BEAR’S BIG BREAK-FAST
“I think he’s waking!” whispered Mouse.
“‘Bout time,” snorted Squirrel, “much longer and he’d be into next winter.”
“You can’t rush hibernation, Squirrel,” said Owl, “If he wakes up too early, and there’s not enough food, then what?”
Fox arrived panting, and scrabbled through the den entrance to greet them.
“The spread’s all ready. The raccoons have been helping. Oodles and oodles of berries, pies, grubs, shoots, purées, fruits and more. Magpie and her friends even managed to steal a honey comb!”
“Oo, Bear will be so happy,” squeaked Mouse.
“And why will Bear be so happy?” asked Bear, opening his jaw as wide as the cave’s mouth, and exhaling a cavernous yawn and a humungous snort.
“Because we have made the biggest and bestest post-hibernation BREAK-FAST you’ve ever had,” spluttered Squirrel, dancing on her toes in anticipation.
Bear licked his lips and stretched his legs. He blinked a couple of times and looked at his friends.
“Well, what are we waiting for?” he grinned, “this is one hungry bear.”
Bear waddled over to his place at the head of the spread under the sprawling oak.
Bear and his woodland friends chomped and chattered; they chewed and cheered, celebrating the arrival of spring. The feast was well underway when one young little chipmunk, who was attending this celebration for the first time, couldn’t help himself.
BONK! A wrinkled chestnut arced across the table hitting Bear squarely on his snout!
DWEEEEEEEEBLE, the chestnut dribbled down Bear’s chest onto the ground. Bear picked it up and tossed it over his shoulder missing Raven by a beak. Bear’s eyes crossed. He pawed his nose. He looked around and continued chomping on a shoot.
When Bear’s eye were down, two honey combs shot in his direction. PLUNK PLUNK! The table erupted with giggles at Bear’s new goggles.
BLUP! BLUP! The honeycombs dripped and drizzled and slid down his face, plopping into his bowl of soup. Wiping the slash of soup from his white coat, rabbit cleared his throat.
“Pardon me.” He tssked as he spoke.
“My boy you are never too young to have table manners…DOINK, Rabbit was CLUNKED in the noggin before he could finish his sentence, but it wasn’t the chipmunk who chucked the big ‘ole root.
“And proper manners include always returning the favor,” Rabbit said as he picked up a handful of grubs. He slapped his paws together and with a SPLOOSH-SPLOOSH grubs shot out at chipmunk and fox.
ZING! Fox was slimy as a lox, as grub guts slithered down his snout!
Fox picked up the little chipmunk and threw it at Squirrel. “SQUEEEEE!” went the chipmunk. PLOP! He landed on Squirrel’s head. Squirrel picked up a carrot, threw it like a javelin, and it landed square in one of Fox’s nostrils! Thunk-squish!
With his claws full of grubs and berries, Owl flew over low and dropped his bounty KERPLUNK! on the heads of Mouse, Squirrel and Bear; laughing heartily as he flapped high into the sky.
Before Owl could get away, Bear grabbed a hollow shoot, loaded it with worm-shot and BLOOSH, got owl right on the butt- ZINGO!
Mouse and Squirrel weren’t going to let Bear have the only shot at Owl. They piled grub gut soaked berries on one end of a wood bark see-saw and jumped SLAM onto the other end. The pile flew into the air and SPLUSHED all over…
“Stop,” Bear growled. “I’m hungry. I’m starving.”
“Throw it at me,” he said. Throw it ALL at me.” And he opened his mouth as wide as he could.
Magpie lifted what was left of a berry pie. She whirled and twirled and threw it like a discus. SCROOSH, it floated over the table, wobbled across the opening of Bear’s mouth and SPLATOOIE, bounced off of his nose.
“NUTS, I missed!” cussed Magpie. “GRUMBLE GRUMBLE GRRRR GRRRR,” growled Bear. He was getting madder and hungrier by the minute and the gang was running out of food. “Nuts, that’s it!” exclaimed Squirrel. “Open up Bear.” Squirrel spit his cheek-stored nuts to the cave that was Bear’s mouth-TOOSH, TOOSH, TOOSH! “Quick Chipmunk, let ‘em have it.”
Bear crunched those nuts, TCHIT, TCHIT, TCHIT, until his jaw ached. He slumped back among the crocuses and reached over Mouse to dip a claw into the crushed comb oozing honey.
“Mmmm,” Bear licked his lips and sighed, scratching his bloated tummy,”food, fun and friends — nothing better to welcome in spring.”