Little Bear and the Stream

Little Bear’s Mama told him to stay away from the stream near the cave until she or Papa taught him how to swim.  The stream could be deep sometimes, even if Little Bear had played in the shallow part while his parents watched. Mostly Little Bear listened to Mama, but not always.

He got bored on a sunny day when Mama was digging up roots for supper.  He decided to go play on the banks of the stream.  He did not tell Mama Bear, and went all by himself.  The grass by the stream was bright bright green, and it waved in the breeze and glittered a little.  Little Bear went to lay down on it, tummy first.  The grass was a little wet, and a little slippery, but Little Bear did not care. He could see a fish! It was silvery and quick, but sometimes it stayed still for five of Little Bear’s breaths.  Maybe he could catch it, like Papa Bear did.  Little Bear really wanted to try.  So he scootched forward on the grass, his nose barely above the water.  Little Bear held his breath so the water would not ripple and scare the fish.

He could sort of hear his Mama calling him, but he wanted to catch the fish. Carefully Little Bear reached out his paws, holding them above the fish on either side.  Then SPLASH! In went Little Bear’s paws! SPLASH! Little Bear fell in!

Little Bear yelled when he fell in, but then he was under the water. Little Bear was scared, so he kicked and splashed as hard as he could.  He couldn’t hear, his ears were full of water! He couldn’t smell, his nose was full of water! He couldn’t see either, but he could yell whenever he felt air, and sometimes when he didn’t.

Suddenly, big strong paws grabbed his small splashing ones.
Little Bear was still trying to splash and yell when his Mama lifted him up out of the stream. She bear hugged him tight, her fur warming him up as he shivered.

Little Bear learned how to swim after that.

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