Until the focused changed from writing to writing contests, I belonged to a writer’s group for a couple of years. In fact, I was voted president the second year, amazingly enough. One of our assignments was to take a classic story and rewrite it. This is what I chose to go with…
Grumbling to himself, Papa Bear dragged his feet as he followed behind his wife and young son. High cholesterol indeed! Just because he was big boned (and quite a hunk, even if he did say so himself), didn’t mean for one moment that he needed to change his lifestyle. Especially not on a perfectly good Sunday morning when he should be kicked back in his recliner reading the current issue of Hunting For Humans.
But no…. Thanks to one of her busy-body friends, Mama now spent her time nagging him to take these miserable, early morning walks and cooking up low fat meals that tasted more like something he wouldn’t want to step in much less eat!
“Time to head on back,” she announced, deciding that breakfast should have cooled enough by now.
Oh goody. Porridge with skim milk. Not even so much as a dab of butter to add a little flavor either. Papa kicked at a stone in agitation.
Recalling a recent letter from Cousin Yogi, he thought there were definitely advantages to living in the wild. But then Yogi was smarter than the average bear. He, at least, had the good sense to remain a bachelor. No interfering female insisting on houses and diets and exercise for him! No, the lucky stiff had it made!
“Look, Papa!” Baby gasped, pointing a claw toward their house.
“I see,” Papa told him, clamping a paw over his snout. “Hush.”
The back door was wide open and he knew it had been latched it when they left. Someone was…or had been in their house! He crept cautiously inside, Mama and Baby hot on his heels. Papa stopped abruptly and pointed to the bowls.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” he said, eyeing the bowl in disappointment. It was still pretty full from the looks of things.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” Mama told him. Her bowl, as well, had hardly been touched.
“Well someone has been eating my porridge,” Baby cried out, lifting the bowl and spoon to show them, “and they ate it all up!”
“Must be nice!” Papa grumbled. Mama fixed him with a stern glare, as the cub hurried to the other room. Papa hightailed it after him. Not so much because he feared for his offspring’s safety but because he feared another nagging session about the sacrifices she was making for the sake of his health.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” Papa said, stopping at the sight of muddy footprints in the huge seat of his recliner.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” Mama whined, because whoever sat there had mussed the pretty arm covers.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” Baby wailed, pointing to the floor. “And they broke it all to pieces!”
“Well, don’t get any ideas about sitting in mine,” Papa told him. He had every intention of taking a well deserved nap once this mystery was cleared up.
When junior tried to take off first this time Papa managed to grab him by the scruff of the neck and push him into the safety of Mama’s big, hairy arms. This time the three marched quietly upstairs to see if their visitor had completed the tour of their home.
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,” Papa sighed, picking a strand of blond hair off his pillow.
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,” Mama said, hurrying to straighten the coverlet.
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,” Baby shouted, jumping up and down, pointing frantically at a human intruder. “And there she is!”
At the commotion the girl woke with a start and cried out in alarm. She made a dash toward the window but Papa quickly stepped between her and the escape route. Standing there with his paws on his hips he grinned a suspicious grin and shook his head.
“Not so fast, young lady.”
“Please, sir, you’re not going to hurt me are you?” the girl asked fearfully.
“That depends on what you do in the next two seconds.”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“You march yourself right back down those stairs and finish that porridge! The stuff in the biggest bowl!”