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Berries and Bears
Berries and Bears

One Sunday I am out picking berries - it is the end of the summer and it is very hot. It is too hot! There I am, down on my knees, picking juicy, delicious, red raspberries. And eating two or three! I have just popped one into my mouth when suddenly I come nose to nose with this great, black bear.

The bear is doing the same thing as I - he is eating berries - taking them in his big bear paw and stuffing them into his mouth. He is surprised and angry because I am eating his berries. The bear growls and stands up on his back legs. He is 10 feet tall - scary bear!

I start to run. I look back and the bear is following me, running on all four legs. Bears can run pretty fast when they want to. I can run pretty fast too. I am running at least 100 kilometers an hour. But so is the bear!

I run and I run and I run. I run for a very long time. I am so hot. I run up a silver birch tree to cool off. But then I think that the bear will shake the tree until I fall out, so I run down the other side. Here comes the bear!

I run for another long, long time. The bear is running too. He is still too close to me! Just when I think I cannot run anymore, I see a lake. There is one inch of ice on the lake. I know that if I run fast the ice will hold me. But not the bear!

So I run onto the ice and I stop in the middle. Sure enough, the bear is running onto the ice too. Then, for one second, he looks surprised again. He stops. The ice is cracking all around him - and he falls in with a great, big splash. Poor bear!

Two beavers come and pull him to shore. They dry him off with their tails. He looks sad now as he watches me run away, across the ice. Goodbye bear!

"Hey! That can't be true! You said it was summertime and it was very hot - too hot! There can't be any ice on the lake then!"

Yes, it’s true all right. It was summertime when I started running. But as I said to you, I ran for a very long time!

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