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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Try and Try Again

The little bear stood at the bottom of a tree, looking up to the top. "Thatís the tallest tree Iíve ever seen," Bruce said. "Is that a beehive dangling from one of the branches?" Bruce was feeling very hungry. His tummy was rumbling. "I think Iíll climb up there and knock the beehive down. Itís big and must be filled with delicious, sweet honey."

Using his large paws and sharp claws, he started to climb the tree. "Whew, this trunk is higher than I thought," he sighed. He was only a few feet off the ground and already he was tired. "The bark is sharp and hurts my soft paws," he groaned. "I canít hold on any longer." He let go of the tree and fell backwards, landing on his back in a pile of leaves that had gathered around the bottom of the trunk. "Ouch!"

Bonnie Beaver was on her way to chop down a small tree with her sharp teeth and spotted Bruce lying on the ground. "What happened?" she asked.

Bruce rolled over onto his paws and stood up. "Do you see that beehive up there? Itís full of golden honey. I was trying to climb the tree but I fell down. Itís very tall!"

Bonnie looked at the top of the tree. "Wow! That is a tall tree. You can do it though. Youíre a bear. Bears are experts at climbing trees. Try again," she said and ran off to chop down a tree for her lodge.

Bruce tried again. He put his paws and claws on the tree trunk and started to climb up. He scooted his furry body higher and higher. "Iím higher than I was last time, but I just donít think I can go any further." He let go of the trunk and fell backwards, landing on his back in the leaves. "Ouch!"

Ronald Raccoon had just raided Mr. MacDonaldís trashcans and was heading back home with an armful of leftover chicken legs when he spotted Bruce lying on his back in the pile of leaves. "What happened?" he asked.

Bruce rolled over onto his paws and stood up. "Iím trying to climb this tall tree to get that beehive. Do you see it? Itís dangling from that branch way up there. Itís filled with tasty honey and Iím very hungry." He brushed the leaves from his fur.

"Wow! That is a tall tree! Youíre a bear, and bears know how to climb trees. Keep trying, Bruce. Iím heading home with my chicken legs," Ronald said and ran off into the woods.

Bruce looked up at the beehive. There were hundreds of bees buzzing around it. "Iím sure thereís lots and lots of honey in there. Iím so hungry. Iíll try again. After all, I am a bear." He wrapped his paws and claws around the tree and started to climb up. He climbed and climbed and climbed. He passed the place he first fell from, and then he past the place he fell from the second time. "Iím doing it! Iím climbing the tree! Iím halfway up." He went a little further, but was getting very tired. "I canít go much further. This tree is too tall. Maybe I can go just a little bit more," he sighed, but couldnít hold on. He let go and fell to the ground, landing on his back in the pile of leaves. They flew into the air and fell on top of him. "Ouch!"

Shonna Squirrel was running about, gathering acorns that fell from the oak tree. She saw Bruceís paws sticking out of the orange, red, yellow, and rust colored leaves. "Is that you in there?" she asked.

Bruce rolled over onto his four paws and stood up. "Itís me." He brushed the pieces of twigs and crushed leaves off his fur.

"What happened?" Shonna asked.

"I climbed halfway up that tall tree. Iím trying to reach the beehive because it has honey in it and Iím hungry, but I fell. I was too tired. How will I ever climb that high?" he sighed.

"Bruce, youíre a bear. Bears can climb any tree. You can do it. Just start climbing and donít let go," Shonna said and then ran back to the oak tree with her cheeks filled with acorns.

Bruce looked at the beehive. "Iím going to do it this time. Iím going to climb all the way to the top and get the honey. Iím a bear and bears are the best tree climbers in the forest." He used his paws and claws and started to climb the tree. He climbed and climbed and climbed and didnít look down. Finally, after having to stop to rest several times, he reached the beehive. "I did it! Iím at the beehive!" He felt so happy and so proud.

Bees were buzzing all around him. They didnít want him to knock their beehive down and take all the honey. Bzzzzz. Bzzzzz. Bzzzzz. He stuck his paw into the beehive and took a big scoop of honey out. He started to lick his paw. "This is delicious honey." He licked and licked and licked.

The bees came flying out of the beehive and started to sting Bruce. "Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!" He swatted at them, but there were too many. He fell to the ground from the very top of the tree and landed on his back in the pile of leaves. "Ouch!"

This time the bees came after him. They started to sting him through the leaves. "Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!" He rolled over onto his paws and ran into the forest. The bees chased him.

He ran past Bonnie Beaver. She was gnawing a tree. "I see you climbed to the top," she said, as he whizzed by with the bees chasing him.

He ran past Ronald Raccoon. He was nibbling away on his chicken bones. "I see you made it to the top of the tree," he said, as Bruce and the bees zipped by.

He ran past Shonna Squirrel, who was putting all her acorns into a hole in the tree trunk. "I see you made it to the top," she said, as Bruce and the bees flew past her.

Bruce ran and ran and ran. When he got to the pond, he jumped into the water. The bees flew all around looking for him. He held his breath and stayed under the water until they gave up and flew back to their beehive. Bruce came up and took a deep breath.

Bonnie Beaver ran along the side of the pond carrying a log and saw Bruce climbing out of the water. "I think youíd better practice climbing trees in another part of the woods," she advised and went into her lodge.

Bruce went back to his cave for the night. His tummy rumbled with hunger. He was happy that he learned to climb the tall tree, but knew that from then on, heíd stick to eating fish. No more honey for him. He let out a big yawn and then curled up in a ball and went to sleep.

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