April 2nd, 2015 - Emergency Landing in the Wood
Yesterday Beartram and I went to the Do-It-Bearself store again, and we ordered another Bear-a-Glider kit. We think we need more than one glider for the park, firstly
for a glider show where we are both flying, and secondly to teach others how to use the gliders once we are more experienced.
After ordering the new kit we took our glider out of Papa Bear's garage, and carried it up the rock again for some more practice flights. We have made decent progress with our Bear-A-Gliding
skills, and we wanted to try some longer distance flights and see if we could not make it over the wood to the river bank, and land there. I was to start from the top of the rock, and
Beartram was to wait at the bottom and run after me and help me if I couldn't make it to the river and had to land somewhere in the wood.
At first everything went fine, and I enjoyed the flight and made good progress over the meadow to the edge of the wood, Beartram following me down below. But then something went wrong, because once over the wood I started to lose height rapidly, and it very quickly became clear to me that I would not make it to the river. By that time I had of course lost sight of Bertram, and I was not quite sure what to do, because crash landing in the meadow is one thing, but crash landing in the trees seemed quite a different matter.
I saw a group of sturdy looking oak trees in a little distance and decided that those would be as good a place as any to attempt a landing. I was not much concerned for myself, because we Bears are sturdy creatures, and I have dropped out of trees so often that I lost count, and never really hurt myself much. But I was not sure how the glider would fare, and wanted to make sure that it came to no harm, if possible. All the training landings I had done with Beartram in the meadow really paid off, because I slowed the glider down beautifully and landed in the top branches with what seemed to me not very much of an impact. Just when I thought I was safe I slowly felt the branches give way under me, and I started tumbling down the tree, hitting a branch here and there, still caught in the harness of my glider. When I had nearly reached the ground the glider got caught in a branch, and I suddenly found myself face to face with the most furious creature I have ever seen in my live! It looked like a huge cat, with a mostly orange face with a white beard, and it was roaring at me like mad. I am not one to frighten easily, but this creature was as tall as myself, and much bigger and stronger, and it looked so mean that I was scared stiff. It's breath smelled as if it hadn't brushed its teeth in ages, and it continued roaring and moving closer, until I could clearly see its big fangs. I tried to back away but still being caught in the glider I could not move. Just when I was about to wet my fur because I was so afraid, Beartram came running around some bushes, panting. He looked at the beast and said "Hi Leonid, what has you so upset? Had something bad for lunch?"
The beast stopped roaring and looked at Beartram. "Ah, young Beartram it is, isn't it? Is this brute here, who attacks decent, sleeping folks from the air above, an acquaintance of yours?" Beartram replied that yes, I was his cousin Berni, and asked if I had been a bother. "Better tell him not to do this again, he could have gotten hurt!" Leonid said, closely inspecting his huge and very sharp claws, "Hurt b-a-d-l-y, if you know what I mean." The beast turned to me again, and said "Why don't you pick yourself up, and look that you behave a little better in the future. I would not want to hurt a neighbor, and I am very liable to be bad-tempered when I am interrupted in my afternoon nap."
"Certainly, Sir Leonid," I stammered, "We will be gone right away!" I needed Beartram's help to get myself untangled from the glider, and the beast watched us all the time, looking ready to bounce at us if we made a wrong move. When I was finally free from the harness I picked up the glider and walked off towards the meadow, starting to run after I had taken only a few steps. I had heard Beartram still talking to Leonid when I left, but very soon he came running after me, and caught up with me, since the glider slowed me down considerably. When we reached the meadow we let ourselves fall into the grass, panting. Beartram looked at me and said, "You had me scared there, Berni, for a moment I thought that brute had gotten you!" I said that I had been scared, too, and probably much more than he was.
April 11th, 2015 - Tiger Leonid
After a few moments of resting we got up again and trotted off towards Bear Junction, our slightly mangled glider in tow. "How come you know this beast, and who is he?" I asked Beartram. "Come to think of it, no wonder that you do not know him," Beartram answered. "That day when I went to Growling Practice alone because you had gone to Bear Hill with your mother, some of the older Bears said that they had heard some strange noises in the woods, somewhere near the river, and someone said that he had seen a huge orange creature in the distance. After some talking it over we decided that the whole crowd of us was going to investigate, and see what it was all about."
"When we got to what seemed the right part of the wood for the search we split up into several groups. I was put in a group with Christobear, and Joe and Heinrich, you know those two old mean-looking bears who always start to fight with everybody, and are scarred all over. I felt quite save because I thought those two big brutes would scare off whoever or whatever was out there," Beartram continued. "Well, after a while we heard some shouting from somewhere near the river, and everybody ran there, and there was this huge orange beast, facing the crowd of us down as if we were ants or something."
"First nobody said anything, and I guess most of us were frightened!" Beartram said. "But then the choir master spoke up: You are a tiger, aren't you? And the beast replied, Tiger is the last name, yes, my first name is Leonid! And next the choir master asked him why he was there, because he thought that in the Bearolinas we had tigers only in zoos and wildlife shows!"
"And think, Berni," Beartram said, "next thing Tiger Leonid told us how he had gotten bored with being kept in a small cage, and when some of the keepers started mistreating him he took the first chance and broke out. Cleared out of the zoo, but only after eating a guard!"
I do not really know what happened next. Beartram says that I fainted dead away as I realized how close I had come to joining that unfortunate guard in Tiger Leonid's stomach. But I rather think I tripped over some branch or something and hit my head. And I still was shaken from the encounter with that beastly tiger, and I probably did not pay much attention to where I was going. I do remember that when I opened my eyes Beartram was looking at me: "You alright, cousin?" he said. "For a moment I thought I'd have to do snout to snout rescue breathing on you!" I pushed him away and said that he could do his snout to snout breathing exercises with Beartrice, as she might actually enjoy it. "Did he really eat that guard?" I asked him. "You bet he did," Beartram replied. "Because on our way home that day the choirmaster told us that he had read an article about the incident in the Bear Hill Times. And that everybody at the zoo had been quite upset about the whole thing."
April 22nd, 2015 - Bearaucracy
Beartram has the most stupid idea ever: he wants Leonid Tiger to help us with our amusement park! I told him that I definitely do not want to end up as a tiger snack, and that he needs to have his brain checked if he thinks that I will agree to having that brute anywhere near our park.
Had Bearish Literature class in school today. We read passages from a book some guy wrote about Bears exploring the deep seas. In a submarine named Snoutilus. Wanted to tell Papa Bear all about it when he came home, but he got back from work all upset. He said that those Bearaucrats on the Hill can all go to hell, and that he was of a good mind to go to Bear Hill himself and give them a piece of his mind. Apparently they have again changed the regulations, because they rather burn oil than invest in sustainable energies, and so Papa Bear has to go through the whole approval process for the funding for his Bear Pooh power plant once again. "Always all this red tape," he sighed. Mama Bear smiled at him when she heard that, and took him by the paw. She sat him down at the kitchen table and made him a nice cup of linden blossom tea. Then she started packing a food hamper, and said that I'd have to either look for dinner myself or go to Beartram's cave, because she was taking Papa Bear for a picnic by the riverbank.
When I arrived at Beartram's cave, Beartram was busy telling our friend Bearemia all about how we had met Tiger Leonid in the wood. Bearamia wanted to meet Leonid, too, and wanted to go look for him right away. After I had told him my part of the story he was a little less enthusiastic, but soon he brightened up and said that firstly he believed the Tiger to be a friendly enough fellow - if one did not disturb him during his afternoon nap, and secondly the three of us would be a match for him even if he was of a mind to have a fight. Beartram said that his mother always kept some vegan meatloaves in the ice box, and that we could take them as a gift. They were not baked, but Leonid being a Tiger he was probably into Raw Food anyway.
In the end I let those two persuade me to go with them, and we took the vegan meatloaves from Beartram's mother's ice box and set out for the wood. We thought we'd find Leonid about where we had run into him when I more or less dropped on him from the sky the other day, and so we knew which way to go. When we saw him he was peacefully licking his paws, and looking very much content with himself. "Best thing I ever did," said Leonid by way of greeting us, "was to clear out of that darn zoo. And I have found myself a lovely place here, with a river full of fish and a quiet and cozy wood to pass the days in. Well, mostly quiet and cozy!" added Leonid, looking at me. I kept quiet, and Beartram gave the meatloaves to Leonid. "The meatloaves are made from plant protein, they are a specialty of my mother!" Beartram said. Leonid commented that an afternoon snack was just the thing, and he started eating the meatloaves right away. "Yes, they do taste different," he said between bites, "But not unpleasant. I guess one could get used to the taste if one had to."
April 27th. 2015 - Help for the Park
Turned out Beartram was not done with his idea to get Leonid to help us with the park yet. When Leonid was contentedly licking his lips after finishing the last meatloaf, Beartram started to tell him about the amusement park we are going to build. "And the problem is," said Beartram, "that we do have this glider you already know, and we can build a little shed to keep it in near the rock we jump off, but when we leave it there for the night it will likely be gone in a day or two. So what to do? We would really need some fierce guard close by! There is a nice hollow at the base of the rock, and from there you have a good view of the area where we want to make the park." Beartram kept on talking about the booths and the rides we want to build in the park, and somehow he got Leonid, who seems to like Beartram because of his boldness, interested in our plans.
"Listen, Beartram", said Leonid after a while, "I do not mind staying near your park at night and looking after your stuff. And I wont mind you bringing me a couple of those meatloaves every once in a while. The fish in the river is tasty, but I do like a little variation in my diet. That was one of the good things about the zoo, the food was not too bad." So it looks like Leonid will keep an eye on our glider and tools, and that will make things much easier for us. But I will be on my guard, because Leonid is a little too big and too fierce for me to feel at my ease with him.
Soon after we returned to Beartram's cave, where his mother was not very happy when she found out that we had plundered her ice box. But she said it is a good thing for her to know that we like her vegan meatloaves so much, because she needs help in her fields anyway. The organic peas she is growing desperately need some weeding out and she is looking forward to see the three of us tomorrow after school to help her with the weeding. Bertram grimaced at me when he heard that, but since his mother certainly is not a Bear to be joked with - she seems to have Beartram and his dad well in hand - I will be there tomorrow afternoon helping her with the farm work.