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Bear Pit     (Search for similar jokes)
In times gone by, there was a (somewhat cruel) sport known as Bear Baiting. Two bears would be put into a bit, and have to fight to the death. Between fights, the bears would be kept in pits all the time, so they were used to the surroundings during a fight.
One bear-keeper, though, was very poor, and couldn't afford his own pit, so he kept his bear stuck down the bottom of the local well. (obviously, it wasn't used any more for getting water...)
Many years after this, when the sport had died away, and bears were no longer kept down the village well, a man fell down the well. (No bears, but quite an unpleasant experience nonetheless)
A crowd of people gathered around the top of the well, calling out to the man those typically innane comments like "Are you all right?".
Fortunately, he was unharmed (albeit with something of a headache), so he starts looking around for a way to get out. In the darkness, he finds a series of grooves and indentations in the wall of the well, where the bears have scraped over the years to get out.The grooves run almost the whole way up to the top, and the man starts climbing carefully up the well wall, following where many bears have previously gone.
Meanwhile, at the top, one of the crowd has run off to get a length of rope. He returns, and asks the others how the man is.
"Oh, he's bearing up well," is the reply.

(by Simon Champion)
(bear_pit: 82 of 131)

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