So far: Four raccoon kits have met a bear at the park. The bear turns out to be the beloved Ranger Bob. However, when they go back to invite Ranger Bob to dinner, he has disappeared. You can read the details here.
Mama: Did you find out when Ranger Bob is available for dinner?
Sally: We couldn’t find him at the park.
John: And they made me go into the forest to look for him.
Anna: It wasn’t dangerous. We hid from all the big bears. We talked to a cub.
Mama: Did the cub take you to Ranger Bob’s den?
Anna: No. He said that Ranger Bob had gone away and didn’t tell anyone where he was going.
Sally: It sounded like he was sad when he left.
Mama: That’s too bad. I hope he’s OK.
Sally: We still want to find him to thank him. Where do you think he might go?
Mama: I’m not really sure. He was always around when I was little. We didn’t need to look for him. Let me talk to Papa and some of the other parents.
Mama and Papa talked to some of their friends. They were embarrassed to realize that no one had noticed that Ranger Bob wasn’t around much anymore. In fact, no one could remember the last time they had spoken with him.
The parents wondered when the last time was that he had given a safety talk at school. Mama and Mrs. Squirrel decided to talk to the principal.
Mama: Thank you so much for seeing us, Ms. Porcupine. We won’t take up too much of your time.
Ms. Porcupine: It’s no trouble at all. How can I help you ladies?
Mrs. Squirrel: We were wondering if you know why Ranger Bob doesn’t visit the school anymore?
Ms. Porcupine (puzzled): Who is Ranger Bob?
Mrs. Squirrel: You know. The big black bear who explains safety to the school children.
Mama: You didn’t grow up around here, did you Ms. Porcupine?
Ms. Porcupine: No. I moved when I got this position.
Mama: Ranger Bob taught us all about safety when we were little. We recently discovered that our children have never met him. In fact, he startled my kits a few days ago.
Ms. Porcupine: Was he an employee at the school?
Mama: No. They invited him to speak at the beginning and end of the school year. We all loved him. He was particularly popular at the “Fun in the Sun Day” at the end of the school year.
Mrs. Squirrel: Yes, and we’d see him all summer at the beach and river.
Ms. Porcupine: I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I’d been overlooking such an important part of the teaching team. If you’ll tell me how to reach him, I’ll explain what happened and invite him in.
Mrs. Squirrel: That’s the problem. We can’t find him. We thought maybe you’d have some ideas about where to find him.
Ms. Porcupine: I’m afraid not. But let me talk to some of the teachers. I’ll let you know what I find out.
Ms. Porcupine asked for any information available about ways to reach Ranger Bob. The only thing she learned was that he had a daughter on the other side of the river.
She left a message at the number listed, but got no response.
Mama: I guess we’ll have to try going over there.
Papa: I would like to find him and make sure everything is OK.
Sally: Can we come too? Please?
Papa: All right. But we have to stick together.
The raccoons left early the next morning. They weren’t sure how to find a bear among strangers, but hoped for the best.
The animals on the other side of the river were all friendly. One of the local raccoons said that a strange male bear had passed through a few days earlier looking for a female named Emily.
Papa found a bear and explained the situation. He asked for directions to Emily’s den. The raccoons walked on, paws crossed.
Before long, they saw a bear sitting on a rock with his head down.
Papa: Excuse me, sir.
The bear looked up. Papa ran up and hugged him.
Papa: Ranger Bob! We’ve been looking all over for you. Why did you leave?
Next week: What the future holds for Ranger Bob.
Pictures courtesy of Google Images.