Teddy the Bear vs. the slippery fish

(day 35/61 of the Daisy Yellow Index Card a Day Challenge. Prompt: imaginary. Theme for week six: mandalas)

Betty Bear and Boo Boo Bear arrived at the library on the Big Day to enjoy a program titled “Bearland’s Favorite Tall Tales.” They were especially excited because Bearnacle Bear was going to tell a very Fishy Fish Story. He had never told either one the tale at home, and they were very curious to find out what the tale was about.

Bearnacle Bear had just recently returned from the annual “FisherBears Who Really Aren’t” tour that he ran for all of the bears in Bearland, who dreamed of going out to sea and catching great big fish! The bears had the time of their lives pretending to catch fish, but, alas, they hardly ever caught even a little fish. Not even a herring or a sardine or an aanchovy or any of the other little fishes. And certainly not a big fish. The lack of fish catching didn’t translate to a lack of story telling. And so, Bearnacle Bear had gone to the library to tell a few fish tales.

“Once upon a time,” said Bearnacle Bear. “There was a tour boat full of seasick fisher folk, who wanted to catch the Biggest, Baddest Fish Ever!”

“Why is papa speaking in capital letters?” Boo Boo Bear whispered to Betty Bear.

“You’ll find out soon,” said Betty Bear. “Listen.”

“Well, so anyway, one of the fisher folk, the one named Teddy the Bear, suddenly went mad and climbed the mast of the ship, yelling ‘I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your little ship down!”

“Isn’t that the Big Bad Wolf?” thought Boo Boo Bear. “Papa is mixing up his tales.”

“Well, Teddy the Bear didn’t have enough lung power to stand on top of the mast and blow the ship down at the same time. So he took a flying leap and landed in the water on top of a great big whale! The whale was very startled to find a fluffy, though very wet, bear on his back. The whale bounced around, trying to make Teddy the Bear fall off of his back. But Teddy the Bear wasn’t going anywhere. Pretty soon, he sat down on the whale’s back. He felt very sad that he didn’t have a nice lawn chair and a delicious beverage to enjoy while fishing.

“Teddy the Bear threw the line into the water and sat and waited. And waited. And waited some more. The other fisher folk on the ship watched Teddy so intently that they didn’t even notice when fish were nibbling at their bat. A few bears fell over board when big fishes nibbled at their bait and then thrashed so hard that they pulled the bears over! The bears swam to a rescue boat that the captain sent out, mainly because the captain knew that the fisher folk were anything but fisher folk. Unfortunately, in the process, the bears who fell into the water lost their fishing poles, but that was okay because, for a fee, the captain had a stash of spare fishing poles, good for catching little fish or for dropping into the ocean.

“Teddy the Bear’s patience paid off because he managed to catch a giant fish. It was a great big bluefin tuna! The bear tugged and tugged and battled it out with the stubborn fish. Just then, the whale burped the giantest burp any creature could possibly make. And the whale was enormous! Teddy the Bear accidentally let go of the fishing pole as he somersaulted his way into the ocean. He began to wrestle with the bluefin tuna, but the fish was so slippery that Teddy the Bear just fell off. He continued to sink down lower and lower until he came to a cavern. He went into that cavern. It was said that the cavern was full of air and plants and everything that a land creature needed to live a happy and fulfilling life, even the land creatures who failed to catch the big fish. And it is also said that Teddy the Bear told the tale of the Fish that Got Away to any of the Cavern Critters who cared to listen.

“No one ever saw Teddy the Bear again, and tales are still being told of the magnificent deeds that he was said to have accomplished. Divers have gone to the area where Teddy the Bear was said to have lived but no cavern was found. But who knows? Someday, the mystery may be solved!”

All of the bears jumped to their feet and applauded Bearnacle Bear, the seafaring bear and the storytelling bear.

But none more than Bearnacle Bear’s son, Boo Boo Bear.

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