Although "The Clearing" continues the allegorical adventures of Bubber the Lemming, protagonist of "The Lemming Condition," it is not truly a sequel, in that it is appropriate for an older readership (10 and up) and has greater depth than the earlier book.
Characters search for the lion in themselves, the "lion" being a self both deeper and higher than the surface self. What keeps the story from being pretentious moralizing is Bubber's refusal to accept philosophical twaddle.
At one point during his stay in the Edenic clearing of the title, Bubber meets Russell the snake, another Truth-seeker. Bubber freezes, and Russell interprets the Lemming's posture as indicative of tension, and hence the cause of all the Lemming's past illnesses. Bubber indignantly says he sees his tension "more as staying alive."
When the snake responds, "Well, that's nonsense," Bubber shouts, "It's not nonsense. Look at you. You're a snake! When I see you, my mind yells out 'Snake! Snake!' What's it supposed to yell out? 'Beaver? Beaver?' "