Baby Bear’s Quest
Once upon a time, there were three bears. There was Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear. I know, I know, you say that you have heard this story before. Well that is a different story. That story had a little girl named Goldilocks in it. This story doesn’t even have a little girl in it. No girl you say, what kind of story would that be? What will I tell my kids. In this story, oh lets just start from the beginning again.
Once upon a time there were three bears. There was Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear. They lived in the middle of the great forest in Bear Village. Every day, Papa and Mama Bear left for work, and Baby Bear went to school. Baby Bear was a very smart bear. By the age of two, he could already climb higher, run faster and swim farther than every other bear his age. He was also very popular with his classmates.
One day though, he wondered what was on the other side of the forest. This curiosity grew stronger and stronger. He asked his classmates if any of them knew what was on the other side of the forest. He got the usual answers of a three eyed giant, a mean old witch, a government tax collector (just seeing if you were listening) and other stories that didn’t sound true.
He decided to ask his teacher. Mrs Brown was the smartest bear that Baby Bear knew. She would know the answer. Mrs Brown thought very hard. This was not a normal question that young bears asked. She couldn’t remember reading about the other side of the forest. Mrs Brown looked through all of her research books. It took alot of time to look this problem up. The only thing that she found was that, although many expeditions had left to find out, none had returned with an answer to the great mystery. Mrs Brown told Baby Bear that it was probably very dangerous outside of the forest, and he should probably not worry about it. This answer, although she meant well, wasn’t what Baby Bear wanted to hear. His curiosity was aroused even more.
Baby Bear decided that he would just have to find out for himself. He knew that he couldn’t ask for permission. His parents were very strict about wandering off by himself. He was of an age when bears started to leave home though, so maybe they would understand. But probably he would be in big trouble, but he had to go. He just had to know the answer.
Baby Bear packed a backpack, left a note for his mom and dad, and started down the trail. He walked and walked. Soon he became hungry. He sat down on a log to eat. A little fish, some berries, with a dessert of honey of course. This made Baby Bear very tired. He couldn’t keep his eyes open. He found a comfortable place to sleep, and into dream land he went.
As Baby Bear slept, the leaves began to fall from the trees. Fall was coming to an end and winter was just around the corner. Baby Bear woke up and found a new world around him. The trail was covered up with leaves. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t go back. He decided to travel to find the answer to his quest. As the days went by, he traveled further and further from his home. It got colder and colder. This was a time when bears found a snug place and slept through the winter. This was not the time for a young bear to be out in the cold traveling. What should he do he wondered?
One night it started snowing. Baby Bear was very, very cold. He couldn’t sleep all night. Having no sleep, no food, and being very, very cold, Baby Bear began to get lonely. He really missed his Mama and Papa. The quest that he was on, suddenly lost importance. What did it matter what was on the other side of the forest, if he lost the world he loved? But what could he do now? He had been walking for what seemed forever, and the forest didn’t seem to end. It just went on and on. The trees began to look the same each day that he traveled. This morning, he came to a spot that looked very much like home. Even the hills looked the same, Baby Bear thought. That tree up ahead, looked like the one that he climbed last summer. That lake looked like the one he swam in last summer. What was happening, Baby Bear wondered?
Maybe he was just so homesick, he was imagining things. As he walked a little further, a small village came into view. It wasn’t an illusion, he really was home. He went to his house, and found his Mama and Papa sleeping. Usually, when bears get woken up, they are not happy. But this time, his Mama and Papa was so happy to see Baby Bear, they woke up the entire village. They had a big celebration attended by everyone in Bear Village. As punishment for breaking the rules, Baby Bear had to write a story about his quest. He told of his loneliness on the trip and the trek that seemed to go on and on. He was disappointed that he never found out what was on the other side of the forest. At the end of the story, Baby Bear wrote that his greatest joy on the trip came when he realized he was back home.
His teacher, Mrs Brown, asked if he knew how he found his was back. Baby Bear replied that he must have walked in a really big circle. He had just lucked out. When asked if he was still curious about what was beyond the forest, he replied, yes I am, but it can’t be better than where I am right now. Right now, I think I will just stay here. Someday, Baby Bear said, I will travel again. But first, I have to grow up a bit more, and make better plans. I need to be able to find my way back to tell you about my adventures. For now though, there is no place like home.