Hey, Joe Bear Ė whatís up with that big lunch youíre eating?
Oh, hi, Charlie Bear. Iím just bulking up for the Winter Sleep. How about you? You donít look as if youíve put on enough weight to survive the Sleep. Youíd better start chowing down, yourself.
Well, you see, JoeÖ Iíve been thinking I might not do the whole Winter Sleep thing this year.
Not do Winter Sleep? But, Charlie Ė youíre a bear! Bears sleep through the winter; thatís what we do.
I know we do Ė but, why do we do it? So just because some old bear from the Stone Age decided to take a really long nap during the first winter, now all of us bears have to run straight to our caves on the first day of every winter? Iíve been hearing some really cool stuff about what goes on during winter and I want to check it out.
What do you mean? What have you heard?
Well, the weather gets colder, but that shouldnít be a big deal to us. After all, we do wear permanent fur coats. Iíve heard the air during winter is as crisp as apples and the wind can burn your cheeks with cold air. But what I really want to see is this stuff called snow: itís rainwater that gets really cold and falls from the sky. It covers the ground with a pure white coating. Itís as thick as autumn leaves and soft as moss. They say itís really fun to play in it; you can go up to the top of hills and slide down.
Well, that does sound like lots of fun.
Iíve also heard about this other stuff, called ice. Thatís also made of water Ė and it gets as hard and solid as the earth.
Way. You can glide across a whole pond without falling in or you can dance right on top of the water. Imagine that! Iíve also heard the winter sky is as dark as pitch, and that the stars glitter like diamonds every night.
That does sound pretty amazing.
Winter is a busy season for humans. They have some really special days during that season. Donny Deer says they like to put colored lights on their houses.
That sounds like a great thing to see. But, Charlie, what about getting food?
Well, what about it?
Iíve heard Grandfather Bear say the reason we bears have Winter Sleep is because we wouldnít be able to find enough food during the winter. He says the Creator made our bodies to slow down into a deep sleep every winter when there isnít enough food and then to wake up again in Spring, when our food comes back.
Well, Iíll just have to find food somewhere. Iíve never had trouble before.
So, youíre serious? Youíre going to do this?
Sure! If I donít try it once, Iíll always wonder about what winter is really like.
Look, Charlie: I see your point. Winter sounds fantastic and of course Iíd like to see those things, too. But the Creator made you a bear. He makes every creature a specific way, for His specific purpose. If He wanted us to see those winter things, Heíd have arranged for us to have food in the winter and made our bodies so they wonít slow down during that season. God made us the way we are and it doesnít seem right to go against His judgment
But, why do we have to miss all those cool winter things?
I donít know, Charlie. My Papa Bear says things usually work out better if the creatures donít question the Creator.
I guess youíre right, Joe. Well, Iíd better go get some food so I can bulk up for the Winter Sleep.
Iíll hunt with you. I want to hear more about winter. We may not be able to see it, but I donít see why we canít learn more about it.
OK, let's go. Wait until I tell you about this stuff called mistletoe. You just wonít believe it!
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