Once upon a time, there was a little bear without a name. The other bears teased the little bear. Brownie yelled, “You are the stupidest bear ever. Whoever heard of not having a name?” The other bears laughed and pointed at the little bear.
“You’re so ugly, when your momma woke up from hibernating and saw you in the cave, she ran out screaming,” taunted Bumble.
Teddy said, “Maybe we should just call you no one. Everyone has a name, even the nutty squirrels.”
The little bear’s eyes welled up with tears. He didn’t see the wisest bear, Sol, shake his head when the others teased him.
Finally, one day, the little bear couldn’t stand the name-calling anymore. His furry face was matted with tears. When Bumble shouted, “Get out of here you stupid no one,” the little bear turned and ran as fast as his legs would carry him.
When he finally slowed down, he saw a little pink cottage. He was in the part of the woods where the humans lived. He felt even more alone and scared than he ever had before. He put his snout in the air and sniffed. He was sure there weren’t humans in the house right now. The cozy, little place looked like the perfect spot for a scared, little bear to rest. He went to the door and pushed it open with his head. Sniff, sniff, there was a delicious smell coming from the table. He reared back on his hind legs and put his paws down next to a pot of honey. He stuck his tongue in and licked every drop of the best honey he had ever tasted.
Suddenly the table gave way under his heavy paws; the pot and the table went crashing down. Splinters of wood and pieces of crock went flying everywhere.
The poor little bear ran into the next room. He saw a big mound of white fluff. It looked like a very comfortable place for a tired bear to rest. He jumped up on top and turned around three times. Just when he got comfortable, he heard a large crack. The white fluff and the bear went crashing to the floor. He looked at what once was a chair. Now it was covered with dirty, sticky paw prints and was in a heap on the floor.
He backed up; his rear foot stepped on a black rectangle with a big red button at the top. Suddenly, the box on the wall started flashing pictures; loud, horrible noises screamed at him from every inch of the room. He was so scared he jumped right through the window. Crash! Shards of glass flew all over the house. The bear curled up under the window, too afraid to move another inch.
Soon he heard human voices. Three girls with beautiful colored hair entered the cottage. The biggest girl, with long golden hair screamed, “GRRR! Who left the door open?”
The middle girl with strawberry-blonde hair, shrugged her shoulders and said, “Not I. Grrr, who broke the table and ate all of the honey?” She glared at the littlest girl with auburn hair.
The littlest girl shrugged her shoulders and said, “Not I.” They all went into the living room; she looked at her biggest sister and said,”Grrr! Who got honey and dirt all over the white chair?”
Both sisters shrugged their shoulders and said, “Not I.”
The biggest one looked at her two sisters and shouted, “Grrr! Who left the TV on?”
Both girls said, “Not I.”
Then they all yelled, “Grrr! Who broke the window?” They answered in unison with a shrug and a loud “Not I.”
The little bear had heard enough. He ran all the way home. When he got to his clearing, he panted,”Guess what! I went on a quest and I found out I do have a name. It’s Noti.”
The other bears were happy to see Noti return home. Sol, the wise bear said, “God always knew you had a name. It says in Isaiah 49:1, Before I was born the Lord called me; from birth he has made mention of my name. (NIV) God has always known your name; He knows and loves all of his creatures. He has known you forever, Noti, and He has always loved you."
The rest of the bears joyfully welcomed Noti home. Noti forgave the bears and they lived happily ever-after.
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