Hungry Bear

Juliet Crosby was happily playing in the den at her parent’s house when there was a knock on the sliding doors. Looking up from her sheets of A4 paper and well-used crayons, she let out a little gasp as she saw a bear peering in at her, paws around its eyes so it could peer inside. She waited, a little unsure what to do. After all, bears weren’t supposed to be in town. They had caves to sleep in and trees to climb and honey to eat.

The bear shuffled back a bit and pointed at its eyes with its sharp claws. It then pointed in at her, before pointing at its mouth.

“Are you saying you want to eat me?” Juliet asked.

The bear nodded and repeated its gestures.

“I don’t think I want to be eaten.” She replied, sitting up and putting her hands on her hips.

The bear shrugged and repeated those same gestures again.

“Mom!” Juliet called out. “There’s a bear at the window, and he’s saying he wants to eat me.”

“He is, huh? Well, say the same thing right back at him. That should scare him off, and there’s no way a bear can get in the house.” Her mother called back. Looking up from his paper, her father chuckled.

“She has such an imagination, doesn’t she?”

Juliet mused on the advice given by her mother, and looked at the bear. She pointed at her eyes with her fingers, then the bear, and finally at her mouth. The bear, blinking in surprise, managed to look rather sad as it sat down, rubbing its paws against its belly.

The bear, hungry as it was, was just a bear. And Juliet was a wilful girl, so she pointed at the bear and then made shooing motions. “No food for bears here. Go see Dillan, he lives at 524 on the street. He stole my hair scrunchy at lunch yesterday.”

The bear nodded, before making the eating gesture with a hopeful expression in its eyes. It was hungry now, and it didn’t feel like walking.

Taking a moment to scribble on one of the fresh sheets of paper, Juliet made a sign proclaiming the house to be ‘no hungry bears allowed’ with a rough drawing of a bear encircled by red with a similarly red line striking through it. Heading to the sliding door, she set the warning notice down for the bear to look at.

With a rumble from its tummy and the back of its throat, the bear shrugged its massive, furry shoulders and padded off out of the garden. As it reached the back gate, it turned to face the girl one more time, pointing at its mouth. Juliet shook her head with arms folded across her chest, before pointing away from the house again. Its head hanging low, the bear padded off on heavy paws.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Juliet went into the front room.

“Did you scare the bear away, sweetie?” Her father asked.

“I had to make a sign telling it to go away, but yep!” The little girl proudly announced. “No hungry bears allowed here!”


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