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The Adventures Of Ted And Josh No 1 - The Mystery Of The Dancing Bear
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H W Shelton
Ted and Josh were looking for bear.
They had left their homes this morning after breakfast, and headed out toward the woods behind their small town.
They talked it all over and had looked at it different ways and decided that hunting bear would be about the most fun that two boys could have at the age of eleven.
They brought some extra food and water that they told their moms would come in handy while they were walking the trails down by the river.
A picnic was the word I believed they used when talking about their day to their parents.
But a picnic was not what they had in mind, hunting Bear was!
The two boys had become instant friends at the age of seven when both found themselves with one leg each inside a bag and running in a race at the county fair. They hadn't won that race but had found a friend in each other that had so far carried them for four years and a lot of tight turns together.
Like that Christmas that it was reported 'someone' stole the tree that old man Ike had cut down on his neighbour's property without permission and he planned to sell it at a yard sale.
That 'somebody' pinned an "I'm Sorry" note to it and had replanted it back in the field.
A good turn you might say.
But in the process of taking that tree off of old man Ike, the 'somebody' had also managed to take a pair of his brand new leather gloves and had left them laying out in the weather by the newly planted tree.
When found, they weren't worth very much and sure didn't look like they did when they were new.
There was also that time last year when the school library had been blessed with a hundred new books.
Now they hadn't purchased these new books mind-you, the books had just appeared one morning all in nice big piles by the front door.
Never mind that a truck carrying new books, just the night before out on the road, had a breakdown and had to be towed into town.
It was funny that they found the back door had been opened and some of the shipment of new books had been thrown around inside the truck pretty good. They didn't do a count but figured about a hundred had been lost when that door came open.
After all, they were just library books and who would want them?
No one ever came forward and take credit for the books but the publisher who had shipped the books, let the school library keep them and place them in circulation.
So all ended well, even though the route to get those books was a little funny.
The truth of the matter was it seemed that any wrongdoing made the two boys a little upset and they set out to make it right again.
They never gave any thought to what or who was the correct way, it only mattered that the ending turned out right.
Almost like 'Robin Hoods Boys' if there was such a thing.
But, today is bear hunting and that's where our two heros are at this very minute.
They needed information.
So, like any good detecives, they started asking questions about bears.....
They asked the little girl who was cooking with her pots and pans if she had seen any bears pass by lately?
She had not and as the two boys thanked her and turned to leave, she did mutter something under her breath about being crazy.
They paid her no mind and went on their way.
Soon, they came upon another girl who was playing with her doll in her yard and asked her if she had seen any bears today.
She looked at them kind of funny and told them no and again as the boys turned to leave, they thought they heard her say something about, "boys are stupid."
They looked at each other, shook their heads and continued on their quest.
It seemed like no one had either seen a bear or didn't know what one looked like. There had to be a bear in these woods somewhere and Ted and Josh were going to find it.
The trail brought them to a boy who was backpacking and hiking.
They again asked the bear question and received the same no answer.
As they were leaving, they noticed the boy just standing there staring at them with this blank look in his eyes and offered to help him.
"No, thanks," he said, "I'm not the one needing help."
With this remark he turned to leave, as did our bear hunters.
They next came upon a boy who's ice cream comb was melting and ask him the bear question.
"No," was the answer.
The boy followed up with a question of his own.
"I saved up for this ice cream comb and the sun is melting it away. Do you think I'd worry about a bear passing by now and perhaps stopping to eat my ice cream comb that is now laying on the ground in a big gooie mess?"
Having no answer to this question, the boys turned and walked away.
Some things are just better left unsaid.
When they arrived at the lake, the boys thought that maybe they should ask the question of different creatures to see what kind of answers they might receive.
The human group wasn't doing very well by them.
They noticed a leaf with a caterpillar on it and asked him the question.
Stopping his eating, the caterpillar thought for a minute and said,
"I did see a bear pass through here this morning and I thought to myself that there was one happy bear."
"Happy bear?" asked Ted.
"Yes," came the answer, "a singing happy bear indeed. A most joyful sight I must say," the caterpillar remarked and continued to munch his leaf.
Looking at each other, the boys thanked the caterpillar, turned and walked off.
"Why are we hunting a happy bear?" Josh asked.
"I'm as surprised as you are my friend, but I want to see this, if it's for real." Ted smiled.
"Let's ask this deer if he's seen any bears today," Ted said.
The deer had seen a big bear and he confirmed the happy singing part also.
Thanking the deer, the two hunters set out once again to find this strange happy bear that sings.
After all, how hard could that be, finding one like that?
Asking a squirrel the same question brought the same answer.
"Yes," he had seen the happy bear and matter of fact he sees him almost every morning on his way to the woods after fishing in the lake for his breakfast.
He acted quite surprised that these two human boys knew nothing about the bear. Everone around here knew the story very well.
After getting directions from the squirrel as to where this bear might be at this time of day, the two boys set out to find him.
Hearing a noise in the bushes brought the boys to a standstill, and with caution in their step and wide eyes, they inched forward to have a look.
There, in a small clearing in the pine trees, they saw their first ever singing dancing bear!
He was a big brown and sure enough, he was one happy singing bear!
Claping his huge paws together and pating his masive feet to a beat that was coming from a headset that he wore around that big head; that barely hooked into those two ears of his.
Ted and Josh had never in their young lives seen anything like this, NEVER!
They were just about to say something when all of a sudden the music stopped!
Off came the headset and this big 800 pound brown bear stood up on his hind feet with his head in the air and his nose twitching.
He had noticed the two boys.
"Well well," he said, with his paws on his sides.
"I do believe that we have company and I don't recall inviting them. Come on out here boys and let me have a good look at you."
Shaking now, and really scared, Ted and Josh starting moving their feet one step at a time toward that huge brown bear waiting for them in the middle of the clearing.
They could see those black eyes follow their every move and with each step they took, he started to look a bit different.
They couldn't place their fingers on it, but something was happening as they drew closer to this monster.
Ted wanted to cry, but held back his tears, and looked at Josh who plainly was trying not to scream out.
Stopping just five feet from the biggest thing that either boy had ever seen, they noticed a slight smile start to spread across that big hairy face.
"Did I scare ya?" came the bear's question.
"I do so love to do that. You human folks expect that from me and I want to give you what you want. You can stop shaking now unless you want to do it with music beating at your ears."
With that he stood down and placing his headset back on that big head, he starting humming and moving those feet and snapping those paws.
Ted and Josh had to sit down.
Ted was to first to speak; "I don't know if I believe it or not, but I think I like it!"
"I know I do," Josh said as he got to his feet and starting moving them in time to the music.
"This is sooooooo way cool that I can't stop dancing!"
"Me either," the singing dancing bear said as he started moving to the sound.
The rabbits started dancing as well, so did the rest of the animals.
It was starting to be a regular party and Ted and Josh were right out in the middle and having the time of their lives.
"Josh, Josh, wake up, you're singing!" Josh's mom was shaking him and calling his name.
"What, singing?" Josh said as he sat up in bed.
"What are you dreaming about?" his mom asked
"Dreaming? I don't know Mom. Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you."
"That's okay, you boys must have been having some party, now go back to sleep son," she laughed as she tucked the blanket around him.
Laying back down on his pillow, Josh started to smile.
It was all just a dream.
A happy music filled dancing dream, how cool is that?
That is why they talked to animals and it explains a lot.
When Ted came over the next morning after breakfast, the two boys were sitting in their fort throwing rocks at a lizard climbing up the side.
"Hey, what do you want to do today?" Ted asked.
"Do? well," Josh said, thinking for a minute and getting a big smile on his face,
"We could go hunting bear!"
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