12

The Adventure Bear Show (Part 2 of 2)

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So far – Joey and Mikey Bear were both trying to win a contest on The Adventure Bear Show. To win they had to write an essay about something nice they had done for someone. Somehow, both cubs had ended up at the same place to do the same job.

Joey was stunned and disappointed. Now what was he supposed to do? He didn’t have another idea. Mikey’s mom must have known about the Ursalines too. Mikey grinned from the sofa.

Joey turned to Mrs. Ursaline and said that he didn’t realize that she already had help. He didn’t want to bother her. She said not to worry; there were plenty of things to do. She was sure she could keep them both busy. So Joey sat on the sofa next to Mikey. Mikey’s grin faded. He knew Joey was a good writer and would be able to do a better job explaining their work.

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Mrs. Ursaline was right. There was a lot of work to do. They needed to clean out the garden and cover the plants with mulch. There was a lot of raking to be done. All of the tools had to be cleaned and put away. The back part of the den needed to be raked out and covered with leaves and moss for the winter sleeping.

This was going to be a lot of work. Joey hadn’t counted on anything this hard and wondered if he could back out. Then he remembered that if he did, Mikey would get to go with Adventure Bear. This had to be the best job anyone would have. Grrr.

They each grabbed a rake and started to furiously clear the leaves, trying to outdo each other in the amount they raked. After a while, Mrs. Ursaline came out to see how they were doing. She was not impressed. She called the boys over and told them that it wasn’t a race. They needed to be more careful and make sure they got all of the leaves up. They should work as a team.

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Joey and Mikey looked at each other guiltily. She was right. They had done a terrible job. They told her they would go over it again. They divided the yard, and each cub concentrated on getting all of the leaves. When it was done, it looked great.

They decided that they should rake out the den next. That way they could use the best leaves for the bedding. While they were in the den, they started talking to each other again. They decided that it was stupid to fight over Adventure Bear. He probably already had a favorite cub in the area. They decided to be friends again.

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They found some nice, soft moss for the ground and covered it with the best leaves they could find. None of the icky, smelly ones that had already started to rot. Those ones would be good for the garden. They went outside to get started on the garden.

When they got outside, they discovered that it was already starting to get dark. They told Mrs. Ursaline that they would be back the next day to finish. Mrs. Ursaline told them that they were doing a wonderful job, and she looked forward to seeing them again.

At dinner, Joey excitedly told them about his afternoon with Mikey at Mrs. Ursaline’s. He was happiest that he and Mikey were friends again. His mother smiled. She and Mikey’s mom had hoped that would be the result. Joey went to bed early, tired from all the work.

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The next day, they decided that the best way to clean out the garden was to cut back the plants, rake around them, and cover everything with leaves. It was a lot of work, and their paws were sweaty by the time they were done.

That just left the tools. The job was worse than what they expected. They had to wipe everything down, but then they had to cover the tools with grease to protect them from the cold and damp. It was almost impossible to get the sticky stuff off their paws.

Finally it was time for the Adventure Bear dinner. Mikey and Joey sat next to each other. They talked about how great it was to shake Adventure Bear’s paw and how big and strong he was. They promised to still be friends if one of them won the trip.

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Dinner was great, salmon and berries, but the cubs were all impatient to find out who had won. It seemed like forever until a bear stood up and said it was time for Adventure Bear to announce the winner.

Adventure Bear said it was always hard to choose a cub for his adventure; this time it was so hard that he had chosen two winners for the first time ever. He had chosen these two cubs because they had performed their tasks together and had helped each other as well as the bear needing the help. Both essays really demonstrated the Adventure Bear spirit.

Joey and Mikey looked at each other. He had to be talking about them! When Adventure Bear announced their names, they ran to the stage together. They stood on either side of Adventure Bear while he told everyone that they would be hiking up a local hill and looking for grubs and berries.

All of them joined together in a giant “bear” hug.

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18

The Adventure Bear Show (Part 1 of 2)

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Joey and Mikey had been best friends for as long as they could remember. In fact, they were inseparable. Every Wednesday, they’d race to Joey’s den after school. They wanted to make sure they didn’t miss the beginning of Adventure Bear. It was their favorite show. Every week, Adventure Bear would choose one lucky cub to join him on a special adventure like hiking, swimming, or hunting berries.

At the end of the show, Adventure Bear would lead them in their special pledge: “On my honor, I will be a good cub and always help others when I can.” Then he would tell them the next place he would be to meet with his fans and pick the lucky winner. Joey and Mikey would always recite the pledge then hold paws and close their eyes. But Adventure Bear never came near them.

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Then one day, they couldn’t believe their ears. Adventure Bear was coming to their town. Not near, but right there! Joey’s mother came running from the kitchen when she heard all the noise. The boys were so excited that they couldn’t get the words out. They told her that they needed to go online right away to request tickets. Mikey ran out the door to tell his mother.

Joey went to the show’s website and found the place to request tickets. He stopped at the last item on the page. It said, “You know helping others is important to Adventure Bear. Please write about a time recently that you helped someone. Tell Adventure Bear exactly what you did.” Joey didn’t know what to write. He was a good cub, but he couldn’t remember actually helping anyone.

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He almost started to cry. How was he going to get on the show if he hadn’t helped anyone? That was a stupid requirement. How did that prove he was a fan? By the time his mother announced dinner, he was mad. Adventure Bear was a hoax. He pretended to be fun, but he really was just like other adults.

His father said that he’d heard Joey was going to the Adventure Bear show. Joey said that he wasn’t interested in going to the stupid show. His parents looked at each other in amazement. Joey said that he was done with Adventure Bear. He had better things to do with his time.

Baby Julie said that she knew what happened. Joey told her to be quiet. She said that Joey hadn’t helped anyone and couldn’t get the tickets. Joey was embarrassed. Joey’s mother told him that if he did something nice that night, he could write about it. He needed to think about it.

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Joey’s father leaned over and suggested that he offer to do the dishes. Joey hated doing the dishes; it got his fur all soggy. How badly did he want to see Adventure Bear? He sighed. His fur would dry out by bedtime. And he wouldn’t have to tell any of the guys he did girl work.

The next day at school, a bunch of the cubs were talking about Adventure Bear. A couple of them hadn’t registered yet. Joey wondered if they had the same problem he did. But he didn’t ask. He didn’t want to talk about the dishes. He and Mikey talked about how excited they were about meeting Adventure Bear. Neither one had thought about Adventure Bear only taking one cub on the adventure.

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A few days later, both Joey and Mikey got messages telling them that they were invited to a special dinner with Adventure Bear. They would each get to meet him and shake paws. At the end of the dinner, Adventure Bear would announce which cub would be going on his next adventure and what the adventure would be. The message included an application for any cub who was interested in being considered for the adventure.

Joey read the application. Why did he want to meet Adventure Bear? What was his idea of the perfect adventure? What did he admire most about Adventure Bear? He was excited. Joey knew he could write better than most of the other cubs. Then he read the end of the application.

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Adventure Bear was impressed with the help you told him about. Now he would like you to go out and find something extra-special you can do. You have until (10 days later) to return this application.

Great. This was going to be worse than the dishes. He asked his parents what he could do. His mother told him that the Ursalines, an elderly couple, needed someone to do chores around their den before winter. Joey thought it was a fantastic idea and raced out.

He knocked on the door, and Mrs. Ursaline answered. He said that he had heard they needed some help before winter. She smiled and invited him in. When he got in, he saw that Mikey had beat him over.

To be continued.

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(pictures courtesy of Google Images)