Mrs. G looks around. It appeared that everyone had arrived. She goes over to Mr. G. He is speaking with Stag.
Mr. G: I don’t want a repeat of last year. The does are here to enjoy themselves, not to fend you off. It’s too late in the year for that nonsense.
Stag: Some of them enjoy the attention.
Mr. G: And some of them don’t. If you can’t behave properly, this will be your last “truce”. You look like you might be a tasty post-hibernation snack.
Mrs. G: Dear! I told you – none of those jokes tonight.
Mr. G (looks at Stag): Who says I’m joking?
Stag: Very well. Point made. (Walks off.)
Mrs. G: I’m going to serve dinner.
She motions everyone to be quiet.
Mrs. G: Welcome everyone! I hope you’re having a good time. The food is ready, so enjoy.
The carnivores settle in one place, the herbivores in another. The herbivores are not at all comfortable watching the bears eating other animals, even if they weren’t relatives.
Mr. G is in a bad mood. He doesn’t like being near his favorite snacks and not be able to eat them. It was risky for Mrs. G to go to the ranches to get the cows and sheep. What if she got shot for the benefit of some stupid deer?
Mr. G: Darling, why is Mrs. B sitting with the carnivores? She says she doesn’t eat anything except berries. She should be over there with the mice and squirrels.
Mrs. G: Don’t be silly. She’s a bear and a member of the family. Look at her. Do you really think she’d be that “healthy looking” if all she ate was berries? That’s just another of her acts. Besides, the raccoons are with us and they eat anything.
Mr. G: Exactly. They eat meat.
Mrs. G nuzzles him. He hugs her and calms down.
The talk turns to the coming winter. All the signs point to a worse year than last year. The hibernators wonder if they’d put on enough fat. The small animals worry that they will end up as someone’s meal.
Mrs. G: Enough of the gloom. We’re here to have fun. I have a special treat for dessert.
Everyone waits in anticipation. She disappears into the den and comes back with her paws full of honeycombs. The guests gasp.
Mr. B: Mmm! Where did you find that much honey?
Mrs. G: It’s top secret. (She had found a rancher who raised honey bees.)
She divides the honey between all of the guests, the size of the treat proportional to the size of the animal. The small animals had never tasted honey; it belonged to the bears in the forest. Mrs. G stopped in front of the Black Bears. She gives a large piece to Mr. B and looks at Mrs. B.
Mrs. G: Do you want a piece, dear? I guess probably not, since it’s not berries.
Mr. G smiles at his wife’s cleverness. He could see Mrs. B struggling with an answer. Everyone knows black bears love honey. Finally Mrs. B. gives in.
Mrs. B: Well, I guess I could make an exception this one time. A small piece would be lovely.
Mrs. G: I’m so glad you’ll try it. It really is delicious.
Mr. G has trouble not laughing.
After dinner, the animals play games. The bears wrestle and most of the others run around. Mr. G sees Stag talking with some the does and walks over to see what is going on.
Stag: Mr. G, what a wonderful party you and your wife have put together! We’ve been talking about how great the food was.
Doe: Yes, I’m having a lot of fun. And Stag has been entertaining us with stories of how he has escaped being a trophy on somebody’s wall for the last couple of years. I’d heard that he is rather wild, but he’s been a perfect gentleman all evening.
Stag smiles gratefully. He had hoped someone would have noticed the change. Mr. G nods in approval and returns to his wife.
Mr. G: Well dear, it looks like another success.
Mrs. G: I think you’re right. Have you managed to make it around to say hello to everyone?
Mr. G: I think so.
Mrs. G: Even the herbivores?
Mr. G (low growl): You know I hate talking to them. They’re all afraid of me.
Mrs. G: Well you are the biggest, noisiest bear in the forest. And you look pretty grumpy most of the time. Go show them your charming side.
Mr. G (sighs): Yes, dear.
He heads to the herbivores looking as friendly as possible.
Soon the guests start to leave. Mrs. Snowshoe Rabbit looks around anxiously.
Mrs. S: Has anyone seen my husband?
The herbivores look around nervously. They don’t see Mr. S or Mr. G.
Mrs. S (looking at Mrs. G): You don’t think…
Mrs. G (a little nervous): Don’t worry, dear. I’m sure he’s around somewhere.
Just as she starts toward the trees, Mr. G and Mr. S appear, talking intently to each other. Seeing his wife’s face, Mr. S hurries over to assure her that all is well.
Mr. S: Don’t worry, sweetie. Mr. G was just showing me how to spot those traps the humans put up in the winter.
Mrs. S: That’s very kind of you, Mr. G. Thank you so much. I’m sorry I thought something bad had happened.
Mr. G: No hard feelings at all. I know my reputation. Have a safe trip home.
The Grizzlies start to get ready for bed.
Mrs. G: I’m so proud of you, being so gracious to all the herbivores.
Mr. G (feeling guilty): Well, not quite all of them.
Mrs. G: What do you mean?
Mr. G: Well…. Those skunks who kept running around pretending to squirt everyone really got on my nerves. I took them out back, but they just laughed. So I hit them with my paw.
Mrs. G: So what happened?
Mr. G: Well, the neighbors won’t have to worry about the smell anymore. The bodies are out back. (Waits for Mrs. G’s response.)
Mrs. G: Well, since the deed is done, let’s have a midnight snack.