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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Let Me Rest

Mama bear spent her days taking care of her two cubs. Rufus and Tutu never let Mama have any peace. All day long it was, “I need this, Mama. I need that, Mama. Get me this, Mama. Get me that, Mama.”

Mama was a good mama and usually went out of her way to get all the things her two cubs needed. She climbed trees and robbed bee's nests of golden, syrupy honey. She went down to the stream and caught them fish and even removed the bones for them. Mama loved her cubs, but each day Mama was a little more tired than the day before. Sometimes she had to stay up all night long, especially if one of the cubs had a bee sting or a stubbed toe.

One day, after Mama had ran around after the cubs all day, she sat by a tree to rest. That's when she spotted the rope and a piece of blue canvas. “I have an idea,” she said. She turned the canvas and ropes into a hammock. “I'll make it high enough off the ground so that they cubs can't reach me.” She tied one end to a tree and the other end to a different tree. The hammock stretched between the two of them. Birds watched and butterflies fluttered by, having a look at it.

Mama climbed into the hammock and lay inside it. “This is good. It feels comfortable and I am so tired.” She closed her eyes and went to sleep.

The cubs ran in search of their mama. “Mama! Mama! Where are you?”

The littlest cub, Tutu saw the hammock. “Is Mama in there?”

Rufus stood on his tiptoes to have a look. “Yes, Mama's in there.”

Tutu shouted. “Mama! Let us lie down with you. Don't leave us down here on the ground.”

Rufus called to her. “Mama, please let me come and lie down with you.”

Mama ignored them both.

They asked her to get them a drink, and some honey, and a fish and some berries, but Mama stayed in the hammock and didn't answer them.

Tutu went down to the stream and got her own drink.

Rufus gathered some berries and sat down to eat.

Mama smiled. “They're learning to take care of themselves. That's what good mama's do. We teach our cubs to do things without our help.”

Later on that day Mama let the cubs in the hammock with her and they all took a nap, but every day she climbed in it for a few hours to let her cubs fend for themselves, like growing cubs should do.

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