January 3rd, 2015 - Back to school
Had history lesson today. Seems all those ancient bears ever did was fight. And those names: Bearikles, and Bearsephone and Bearseus! No wonder they were constantly fighting with each other. Likely not because of love for the heroine, but about how to pronounce their names right.
I don't like history lessons much anyway. I like the practical classes much more: like how to get the honey from a bee hive without getting stung, and how to protect my sensitive snout from the
bees. And what the deal is with that fermenting fruit that makes me feel so funny. My cousin Beartram, who is quite a character, is convinced that we somehow need to get the juice out of
the fermenting fruits, and that the juice will be a real treat.
January 4th, 2015 - Beartram, the Barbearian
My cousin Beartram is in jail! Guess what he did? He was caught stealing honey again, and there was no use denying it and playing the innocent - Beartram's paws were
all sticky when Bear Patrol caught him. The officer was none to gentle and pawcuffed him. And the judge, who so far had always been very lenient because Beartram is still quite young and
basically a nice bear, said that Beartram needs to learn a lesson. So it was jail for poor Beartram this time. And as he looked quite sad when he was carted off to the county
jail I went to visit him this morning.
The jail is right behind the beariff's office, and the guard let me talk to Beartram through the bars. I wanted to lighten the atmosphere with a joke, and asked Beartram, as he now was a bear behind bars, if he wanted to be the lead bear in my next movie, "Beartram, the Barbearian". But Beartram did not appreciate the joke, in fact he said that if I hadn't anything nice to say I was welcomed to leave. So I quieted down some and we had a cozy chat. I'll go back tomorrow and bring Beartram a book or something to pass the time. But I am not quite sure if Beartram is cured of his passion for honey yet. I rather wonder what he will be up to next...
January 5th, 2015 - Beartram is free again
Beartram was lucky, I guess. They were short of space in the jail, because a gang of honey-smuggling bears was caught, and they needed the cells for them, and so Beartram was
released on bearole. He needs to keep a minimum distance of 100 feet to all bee hives for the next 3 months, but other than that he is free to do as he pleases. So I think that
Beartram got off pretty easy on the whole.
But boy, the judge really has it in for the smuggler bears. Those bears had not only smuggled honey, but also diluted honey with cheap chemicals, and used some of it to make honey wine. And the judge loves his honey wine, and unknowingly bought some of their stuff, and got sick. Now I really would not like to be in the fur of those smuggler bears. I am quite sure the judge will have them shipped off to Sibearia. They have improvement camps for bears there, and all they ever do is get social trainings and shovel snow. And they always have mountains of snow there. I even prefer bear school to that!
January 6th, 2015 - SuperBear
Went to the movies yesterday evening with cousin Beartram. First time ever I saw a SuperBear movie. Beartram was all for it, he loved SuperBear's strength and all the heroic stuff. But I am not so sure. Have you ever seen a bear run through the woods with a red cape with an S on it, and with a blue hood? And then this Bearonite stuff from space, which renders him totally incapable. Not so likely. On the other hand something like that would be nice to have. But I'd rather have Teacheronite, so that they wouldn't notice me making faces in class, or snoring away again during history lesson.
After the movies we went to Beary Queen. Had an ice cream scone and some bee-shaped wafers with it. With honey filling. Asked Beartram how it felt to pay for his honey for a change. He gave me quite a nasty look, and I think if he hadn't just gotten out of jail he would have started a fight right there at the Beary Queen. But we had met Bear patrol on our way over from the movies, and I think that had cooled Beartram's blood a bit.
January 7th, 2015 - Beartram's first day back in school
Today was Beartram's first day back in school after his county jail adventure. Beartram's mother, who is still furious over the whole incident - Oh how could her precious son misbehave so badly? - came in with him to see the principal. And the principal in turn came to see us in math class. He made Beartram stand in front of the class, and gave us a speech on how important sound morals are for growing up to be a good bear.
Beartram looked very suitably crunched for the first few minutes, and he almost had me fooled there. But soon after I saw him grinning, and then he actually winked at Beartrice, who is very fond of Beartram. She blushed quite furiously, and everybody found that hugely entertaining; so the principal, who had not quite caught Beartram in the act despite turning around most speedily, made us all sit down and sing our school hymn "Oh happy Bear". Afterwards we all agreed that Beartram's first day back at school was a success, as it had gotten us out of most of math class.
January 8th, 2015 - Choir Growling Practice
Found out that I am now old enough to join choir singing practice, and since I have always loved singing and growling I talked Beartram into signing up with me for what is commonly known amongst us bears as growling practice. It is for male bears of a certain age only, and when we got there we immediately saw why: the whole place looked and smelled as if it hadn't been cleaned and aired in ages. There was a pile of empty honey wine bottles in one corner and a big, smelly box with fermenting fruit in another. Two bears were rolling on the floor fighting, and at least half a dozen bears were cheering them on and placing bets. At the sight of all this Beartram brightened up considerably. He said he was sure to enjoy growling practice.
But then an older bear came over to us with two brooms in his paws and said, "Here are your brooms, guys, time to give the place a bit of a clean up!" Beartram started looking very belligerently, and I crossed my paws over my chest and just stood there. But before anything more happened a nice younger bear with a smile on his face joined us and said, "Come on boys, I'll give you a hand. We'll be done in five minutes. Everybody here helped to clean the place at one time." So we put the empty bottles in boxes and carried them out, swept the floor and threw open all the windows. By the time we were done the bears rolling on the floor had stopped fighting, and were slapping each other on the back and joking as if they had been best of friends all along. But I noticed that one of them had a black eye and the other seemed to limp a bit. Christobear, the young bear who had helped us with the cleaning, said to the whole group, "Let's give our new choir members a cheer, guys, and a thanks for how nice the place looks now!"
So we shook paws with everybody, and some bears slapped us on the shoulder to welcome us. Then we all sat down and the choirmaster gave both Beartram and me little books with the lyrics and music of all the favorite bear songs. We sang some of those right away, like Cave, Sweet Cave, and Rocky Mountain Bear. And the whole bear choir singing those lovely songs sounded amazing, even Beartram was very quiet when we had finished. We got a little honey wine after that and some bears had brought snacks with them, which they shared. On the way home Beartram said that he hadn't thought he would enjoy choir practice so much, and that he was glad I had asked him to come along. So we'll both be back there again next week, humming and growling and singing our bear hearts away.
January 10th, 2015 - school trip planning
Later this spring we will go on our first week-long school trip. The principal came to see us in class today, and wanted to find out where we wanted to go. But we couldn't agree. Most of the girl
bears want to go to New Bear City to do some shopping and watch Bearway musicals. Some even want to go to Bearis, but the principal said Europe is definitely out of the
question. It will be too expensive for one, and he does not trust the whole lot of us to behave ourselves on a bearoplane anyway. And he wants no trouble with any
Beartram and I want to go to South Bearolina. Some place at the beach will be nice and we can visit some old southern plantation homes. The principal said he liked the idea
because this way we could also learn something about our forbears. But nothing is decided yet. However, I am pretty sure that we will go to the beach. The temptation of wearing their new
bearkinis will be too strong to resist for at least some of the girls. And some sunshine and a bit of sand in the fur will be ever so nice for all of us.
January 11th, 2015 - Little Stanisbear visits
My little nephew Stanisbear came over for a visit this afternoon. Mama Bear told me I had to be very gentle with him, because he is still a very young cub. "No rough playing with him", she said, "not everybody is such brutes as you and Beartram are". So I was not looking forward to the visit too much, I admit. But when the little fellow came over, and immediately wanted to go out into the back yard and started chasing the birds on the cherry tree I was convinced that it wouldn't be quite so bad. The birds didn't mind much, I think, they usually have an easy life in our yard as Mama Bear loves bird song and always feeds them some crumbs. They just moved to higher branches and twittered at Stanisbear indignantly, and seemed to laugh at him when he tried to climb the tree and fell off before he reached the first branch.
Soon after Beartram arrived and we started playing tag. Beartram and I were the robbers, and Stanisbear, who wanted to be a Bear Patrol officer, had to catch us. How he squealed with glee when we slowed down some and let him catch us! I wonder if real Bear patrol officers behave like that when they catch a robber, dancing and screaming for joy. Soon Mama Bear brought us some lemon water, and said it was almost time for dinner.
When we went into the house we could smell dinner from the kitchen, where Mama Bear was busy at the table filling the plates. It was spinach and potatoes and cream. Mama Bear always feeds us vegetables, she insists they are very wholesome for young bears. Stanisbear looked distinctly unhappy for a moment, but then he stuffed down the spinach with a brave face, and was rewarded with fruit cake for dessert. Which he couldn't get enough of. I walked Stanisbear home after dinner, and when I came back Mama Bear said that I was a very nice son, and that Beartram and I had entertained little Stanisbear very well. I thought how nice it is to get praise from Mama, even for a juvenile bear.
January 12th, 1015 - Bearlez vous Francais?
We have a new teacher in Bear school who teaches French and physical education. I wondered why we should learn French when we cannot go to France anyway. But the principal said that it certainly
doesn't hurt us backwoods rowdies to be exposed to some culture, and learn another language. Well, I agree that Bear Junction is no metropolis, but we got a cinema, a Beary
Queen and a Bear Mart. We also have Bear Junction Community College, and even a laundry for cleaning our spare furs. So backwoods seems a little harsh to me. But our
principal is from Bearmont, and very proud of his New England heritage. So I guess we have to humor him when he occasionally puts on his New England Bear airs.
But the first French lesson was fun. The teacher asked us where in France we would want to go if we ever got the chance. Most of us wanted to go to Bearis, but I'd rather go to the
Cote Bearzure. Or to the Champagne region, the wine they make there with the bubbles is supposed to be even better than honey wine. But I have a hard time believing that.
January 13th, 2015 - Trip to New Bear City
Papa Bear, who is Bear in charge of the county's environmental department, had to go to New Bear City for some training course. To travel there he first used his tricycle, which he is very proud of. Many bears around here have tried bicycles, but on our backwoods roads (as Mr. Bear School principle puts it) they usually got stuck or ended up against some tree. So after a few trials with two wheel bikes Papa Bear got himself a tricycle, and is very happy with it. Since he got it he hasn't crashed into a tree once.
After reaching the Delebear river (by tricycle) Papa Bear continued his travels on a steamboat, rather than on a bearoplane. Papa Bear is not very fond of bearoplane
travel. "Firstly bearoplanes use way too much bearosine", says Papa Bear, "and secondly they are noisy and dangerous." Papa Bear was involved in a bearoplane accident
when he was young, and had to spend two weeks in Bear hospital as a result. That was not all bad, because Mama Bear was a nurse in the hospital at the time, and this is how they got to knew each
other. But Papa Bear says he'd rather not take another chance with bearoplane travel. He is very fond of the earth and likes to travel on it's surface, rather than above
January 17th, 2015 - BP fuel
Papa Bear came back from his training course yesterday evening, and he was all excited about some new technology he had learned about in the course. Today he went to see the Bear School
principal, and afterwards the principal came to see us in class to explain what it is all about: the school will get a new BP fuel system to save energy. BP is short for Bear Poo, and this means
that from now on we cannot do our business in the woods, but will all have to poo in one big tank, and the fermenting pile will produce some gas which will be used to generate heat and
At first we all thought this a big joke, we had never heard of bio-gas before. But the principal assured us that he was serious, and that he expected us all to collabearate. The first thing to be built is an outhouse, and we are supposed to help and bring the wooden logs. The principal said it will do us a world of good to work off some of our energy, and Beartram said that he certainly has energy enough to fetch a couple of logs, and that he appreciates any activity that will keep him out of math class. So everybody is happy: Papa Bear can build a BP energy plant, the principal will get our school modernized, and Beartram and I will get out of a few boring math classes.
January 24th, 2015 - Grandfather Bear
We got word two days ago that Grandpaw Bear had died. Grandpaw Bear lived in a little cave not too far from Bear Junction. He had moved there when I was quite young, shortly after Grandma Bear had died. He once told me that he had never cared too much for city life (in Bear Junction), and after Grandma Bear died he wanted to live in nature again, the way he did when he was a young Bear, before he met Grandma Bear and settled down.
Papa Bear and Mama Bear and I went to his cave yesterday, but when we got there he was nowhere to be found. Grandpaw Bear had been very fond of birds, and some birds had become his good friends. Now a robin told us that Grandpaw Bear had left a message for us, and that he wanted us not to worry, his time to meet The One Bear had come. He had learned where he needed to go in a dream, and that everything was well. Mama Bear started to cry when she heard this, and some fat tears rolled down her fur.
Papa Bear went to comfort her, and put his paw around her shoulder, and I remembered that the last time I had been there, only some ten days ago, Grandpaw Bear had shown me a nook in the
rear of the cave, and told me to remember to look there when he was gone. I had totally forgotten about this even before I had reached Bear Junction that day, because Grandpaw
Bear had seemed so happy and so fit. But now I remembered, and I went to the back of the cave. I moved some rocks that seemed to cover some piece of wood, and found an old wooden chest. It
looked a bit like something out of a pirate bear film, and I lifted it and carried it to the front of the cave. By that time Mama Bear had stopped crying, and I put the box down where Papa and
Mama Bear sat on a rock near the entrance of the cave, with paws around each other. We cleaned the box a bit and Papa Bear took a flat stone and pried open the lid of the box.
Something silver seemed to glisten from below a few small boxes, and as Papa Bear lifted the smaller boxes out we could see some coins on the bottom of the chest. There were four smaller boxes, each one with a name on it. One was for Mama Bear, one for Papa bear, one was for my sister, and one was addressed to me. For my dear Berni Bear, it had written on the lid, in Grandpaw Bears old fashioned hand. Mama Bear said that this was all good and well, but that we really had to go home, it was getting late and she felt she needed some food and some rest, the day had been exhausting. We thanked the robin for his help, and I said that I would drop by in a bit to sit at the entrance of the cave like I had done with Grandpaw Bear. Then Papa Bear shouldered the box and we set out for Bear Junction.
January 26th, 2015 - Grandpaw Bear's Treasure Chest
When we got home it was quite dark already, and Mama Bear insisted we first have some tea, she needed something soothing for her nerves. We even got a few of her precious blueberry cookies.
Afterwards I was told to go fetch my sister, because it would be so nice to have everyone sitting at the table together when we opened our little boxes. Beartha came right away, and she
brought little Stanisbear along, as there was nobody else at home to take care of him. When we arrived at our place Stanisbear had become quite irritable - it was way past his
normal bedtime. When I wanted to pet him he even tried to bite me in the paw, the little brute. But Mama Bear gave him a blueberry cookie, and put him on the sofa with a blanket and a stuffed bee
for a toy, and soon he was sound asleep.
In the meantime Papa Bear had put all our little boxes on the table, and we started opening them. I saw something yellowish in my box and got all excited. At first I could not believe it:
Grandpaw Bear had put the little pebble of ambear with the fly in it, that I had always loved to look at, in my box. Grandpaw Bear had once told me that the pebble had
come over with some of our forbears on the Bearflower. So it is a treasured family bearloom. Mama Bear got a little Bear-shaped brooch (made from mother of
bearl), and my sister got a nice pendant with a golden coin in it. The coin had a Bear family engraved, with a nice, cozy cave in the background.
Only when we had finished looking at our things did we notice that Papa Bear sat over a little pile of coins, shaking his head. "I wonder where Grandpaw Bear got all those coins, I never
suspected!" he said. "This is a little treasure right here on the table. And there are more in the big box." He showed us a little golden coin with an engraving of a beautiful castle built on top
of a huge rock. He explained that the castle is Neubearstein, which is a very famous castle in Bearvaria, where some of our ancestors came over from. "This coin alone is worth a
fortune," he said. Mama Bear replied that having a treasure chest full of coins was all very well, but that she much preferred her treasure that was sitting at the table with her, and
she gave Papa Bear, who smiled very contentedly, a big bear hug.
January 29th, 2015 - Snake Oil
About a week ago we played hide and seek in the woods behind the school. Cousin Beartram was there and a bunch of other friends from Bear school. I hid under some bush with quite big thorns, and was not found. But when I wanted to get out, one of those thorns scratched my back, and I think it even bled a little. I soon forgot all about it, but the next day it did hurt a bit, and Mama Bear noticed some swelling and that my fur looked a little dull. Two days later it was rather worse than better, so Mama Bear took me to Bear Junction Medical Center, where her best friend Bearlinda is head nurse.
Ms. Bearlinda looked at the scratch, and said that she was not too much concerned, those things took some time to heal, especially as some of those thorns were poisonous. But a little
snake oil rubbed in twice a day would help with the healing. Mama Bear was very surprised, because Bearlinda had always been decidedly anti-snake oil. But Bearlinda replied that
since she had started her nursing career she had learned a few things. And one thing she had learned was a healthy mistrust for all the new chemical treatments, because on the whole they seemed
to make bears rather worse than better. And that some of the old healing methods were better than their reputation.
But Mama Bear was not convinced about the snake oil and did not get any, and when the scratch was still no better another three days later she said that we had to go to Bear Hill University
Hospital to have a scratch expert take a look at it. Since the scratch was itching quite a bit by then I did not complain, and next day we set out for Bear Hill. We left after
school had finished, and did not get very far, only the ten miles to Honey Cave Creek. Some distant relatives live there, the Bearvenues, whom we do not visit very often, as they always
get on everyone's nerves boasting about their new garden decoration or flashy jewellery or some other thing. But Mama Bear says they still are relatives and proprieties must be observed, so we
looked in at their cave, and they very decently offered us to stay in their guest cave for the night.
The evening passed quite enjoyable for me. Their son Bearemias, who is only a little younger than I am, had gotten a new junior tricycle recently. Since he had crashed a few times the day before we arrived he had one of his paws in a sling and a black eye. He offered me to try his tricycle, and maybe he just wanted to entertain himself by seeing me crash. But Papa Bear had let me ride his tricycle a few times (he said that when he was young he would simply have died to try riding a tricycle), and had taught me some things about how to keep on the road and not end up in the ditch. And since the junior tricycle was so much lighter and easier to handle I did not have much of a problem riding it up and down the road. That got Bearemias very interested, and he asked me to teach him how to do it. Since he had one paw in a sling he couldn't really do it on his own, so I helped him along some. We did crash into a bush once, but Bearemias said that he thought he understood what he needed to do, and that he was very glad we had dropped by and he had gotten a chance to learn how to ride that rebellious thing. He said a black eye once in a while was okay, but he didn't want to make a habit of it.
January 31st, 2015 - Bear Hill University Hospital
When we arrived at the hospital the next day we were shown into a waiting room where several other bears were waiting to be treated. A little bear had his leg in a cast and looked very miserable,
and his mother tried her best to entertain him and keep him from crying. So far I had felt quite brave, but now that I saw all the other bears awaiting treatment, and none of them looking too
happy, I started feeling a little uncomfortable myself.
But I did not have much time to wonder about how horrible the treatment might be, because very soon a nurse came in, asked Mama Bear and me into another room and said that the Professor would be
with us in a minute. The sign on the door said Prof. Theobear Ointment, Scratch Expert. The Professor came in soon, and with his white coat and horn rimmed spectacles on the snout he
looked quite impressive. He shook paws with Mama Bear and me, asked how Papa Bear was doing, and took some magnifying glass from the table to look at the scratch long and hard. He took out some
scissors and cut off the fur surrounding the scratch, and said that he was quite sure what the matter was, and what we needed to do for treatment.
"A little snake oil rubbed in twice a day will cure your son in about two weeks time", said the Professor. Mama Bear answered that she had certainly not come all the way from Bear Junction to have her precious son treated with some most questionable practice. She was very sure that there simply must be some more modern treatment available. "Dear Mama Bear," said the Professor, "I can certainly understand your misgivings. But let me show you something here." He took two little books out of his pocket, and put them on the table in front of us. "This book here contains my notes about all the bears I have treated with Scratch-Ex ointment from Bearacauticals Inc. This other booklet contains notes about the cases I treated with snake oil. And notice the difference here: most of the cases treated with snake oil reported complete healing after only two weeks. The cases treated with Scratch-Ex took 6 to 8 weeks to heal, and some bears even got worse and we had to stop the treatment."
That got Mama Bear thinking, and she said she was sorry for being so obstinate, but she had a mistrust of snake oil treatment because after all it was, well, just snake oil. The professor said he could understand this, and told us that a little special honey imported from New Bearland mixed with the snake oil got even better results, and he gave Mama Bear a small jar of this honey. He said we should come again in two weeks, and if I was no better by then he would put me on Scratch-Ex if we wanted. He wished us a safe journey back, and said we should greet Papa Bear and bring him along next time, he always loved to see him and beat him at Bär ärgere dich nicht, which he and Papa Bear are fond of playing.