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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Prickly Raspberries

Wild raspberries grew plump, juicy and red all over the prickly bushes. This year, they were bigger than ever because it had rained more than usual. Brock, a small brown bear, was walking through the woods, gathering acorns, seeds and hazelnuts that had fallen from the trees. His paws crunched the small twigs and leaves that lay scattered about on the ground as he walked along. Soon he came to a pile of rocks. "I think Iíll sit here for a while and eat my hazelnuts," Brock said. He sat down, being very careful not to drop anything. He tossed an acorn into the air and it fell right into his mouth. "Delicious," he said, chewing it up. A hazelnut went flying up and came down, hit him on his wet, black nose, rolled down his tongue and into his mouth. "Delicious," he mumbled, chewing the hazelnut, even the shell. It didnít take long for all the acorns, seeds and nuts to vanish. "Iím still hungry," Brock said, rubbing his tummy.

He stood up and stretched. "Surely there has to be some more food around here," he yawned. Walking into the woods, Brock began his search. He saw several bees buzzing around. "Where there are bees, thereís either honey or berries. Yum," he giggled, rubbing his paws together. He walked on, trying to follow the bees.

A few butterflies fluttered by. "Aha, butterflies. Where there are butterflies, there are either flowers or berries. Yum," he smiled, getting hungrier by the minute. He followed the bees and the butterflies deeper into the woods.

There they were; several bushes filled with ripe, juicy, red, and big raspberries. "Yum. Berries!" Brock said, running towards the bushes. There were so many bees and so many butterflies that he had to shoo them away. "Shoo! Shoo! Shoo!" he said, swatting at them with his hairy paws. After all the bugs had left, Brock stuck his paw into the bush. "Ouch!" he shouted. "These are prickly."

The bees and butterflies hadnít gone too far. They were watching Brock. "Hee, hee, hee," went a bee.

Brock turned and looked behind him. "Whoís laughing?" he asked.

"Hee, hee, hee," went another bee.

Brock ignored them and stuck his paw in again. "Ouch!" he shouted once more. "How am I going to get the raspberries? They look so delicious and so ripe and sweet. Oh my!"

Just then one of the butterflies fluttered over to Brock. "We can get them for you and we would have, but you shooed us away. You wanted them all for yourself. Now you canít have any!"

Brock sighed. He realized the butterfly was right. "If youíll help me get some berries, Iíll help you with something," he said to the bugs, which had now gathered back around the bush.

"There is something you can do for us, Brock. If youíll help us find some flowers, weíll help you get the raspberries," one of the bees said.

"Iíll do it. Follow me," Brock said. They went into the woods. Brock walked through the trees, up hills, down hills, crossed over a stream and finally came to a clearing. It was filled with beautiful wild flowers. There were poppies, bog myrtle, periwinkle, daisies, heather and honeysuckle. "There you are, lots of flowers. Why donít you enjoy them for a while and Iíll take a little nap? When youíre full, you can help me get the raspberries," Brock said.

The bees and butterflies agreed and spent a while gathering pollen, sipping nectar and enjoying the fragrance and beautiful of the colorful flowers. Brock curled up in a ball and fell asleep. "Bzzzzzz. Bzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzz," went one of the bees, near Brockís ear. Brock sat up and yawned. "Youíre finished?" he asked. "Good. Iím starving for some raspberries."

The bear ran back towards the raspberries. He jumped over the stream, ran up the hills and down the hills and walked through the trees until the came to the juicy berries. The bees and butterflies picked the plump fruit and dropped them into Brockís paws. "Thank you," he called.

"Thank you," the bees and butterflies buzzed.

Prickly Raspberries

Brock sat down and leaned back on the rocks. He laid the berries on his furry tummy, picked one up at a time and plopped it in his mouth. "Delicious!" he said. "Yum." Brock enjoyed his raspberries and thought about how it is much better to help each other than to be greedy.

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