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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Light at the End of the Tunnel (01/23/14)

TITLE: Christmas Bear
By Carolyn Ancell


Bear sits and watches the setting sun.
The moon will soon rise,
and it will be night.

I am not afraid, Bear thinks to herself.
I am a big bear now.
But I am all alone,
and I wonder.
Where will I go when the winter snow falls?
Where will I find a safe warm place to sleep?

When the sun rises, Bear heads for a raspberry patch.
She eats her fill of the sweet warm fruit,
and naps in the sun.
She then begins to climb up the mountain.

I am a big bear now.
I am not afraid,
but I am all alone.
I will look for a friend,
and a warm place to sleep when the winter snow falls.

That night, the moon is no more than a crescent.
Then one night, there is no moon at all.
It is very dark.
Bear tells herself,
I am alone,
but I am not afraid.
Surely I will find a friend.
Surely I will find a winter den.

Bear stumbles in the dark,
slips on a rock,
and tumbles into a bush.
Her paw hurts.

She looks up.
What is that?
A light.
A tiny flickering light above her on the mountain.
Bear gets up, and limps toward the light.

Higher an higher up the mountain.
The air is cold.
An icy wind ruffles her soft brown fur.
A snowflake falls from the ink-black sky,
and lands on her nose.

I am not afraid, she says to herself.
I am a big bear now.
But I am still very alone.
My paw hurts.
And it is dark and cold.

The light is coming from an opening in the mountain!
A cave!
Quietly, Bear draws close to the cave and peers in.
A warm campfire burns within.
There is someone there.
A man, a woman,
and a tiny baby.

Bear backs up, but steps on a stick.
The man looks up, startled,
but the woman smiles at Bear.
“Come,” she says.

Bear inches forward,
into the cave and toward the warm fire.
Her furry bulk protects the family
from the cold wind blowing outside.
“Thank you,” the woman says.

Bear looks at the baby.
He is so beautiful.
His beauty seems to fill the cave!
Bear is filled with joy!

I want to stay here forever! she thinks.
I feel so warm, so welcome.
Here I am not alone,
and maybe this human cub will be my friend!

I can play with him on warm summer days.
I can show him where the wild berries are.
I can walk with him in the moonlight.
If ever there is pain in his paws, I can comfort him.

Bear closes her eyes.
I am so happy here, she thinks.
And I am ...
so very, very sleepy.

Outside the cave, it snows and snows.
A single shining star
rises in the dark night sky.

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This article has been read 209 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ellen Carr 01/31/14
I really like your Christmas Bear story. I can imagine it becoming a children's picture book. Well done!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/01/14
This is pure genius. I can't find the words to describe how much this piece touched me. I don't usually notice titles, and in this case I'm so glad I didn't see the title because it would have given away that glorious twist. Not often does a twist take me unaware and when it happens it's pure delight. I never thought a poem would be one of my all-time favorites, but this one definitely made the cut. Thank you for this brilliant piece.
Linda Goergen02/02/14
Oh this was such a delightful read! I love bears, I collect them and so the title drew me in right away and then the story had me beginning to end! This would make a wonderful children’s book.
C D Swanson 02/05/14
Sweet and moving...with a spectacular ending. Peaceful and serene.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/06/14
Congratulations on ranking 32 overall!