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Bear Country

One cold winter, twin bears were born, deep in a warm cave. They stayed in the cave with their mother, as long as the snow was on the ground. On a lovely spring day she led them out into the world. The mother bear looked out across the lovely green pasture, wet with the morning dew. The twins sniffed the cool air and looked out toward the blue mountains. The world was a beautiful place, indeed. To the first born, and biggest and gruffest of the twins, she said. “I will name you Pasture after the spring green meadow.” Then to the smaller quieter bear, she said, “I will call you Dew, after the sparkling drops glistening on the pasture wild flowers.”

Pass and Dewy. They nundged each other playfully.

“Someday when you are big.” Their mother said, “You will own all of the lands you see, from here to the tall blue mountains. You will have to divide them one day, of course, and each rule an empire of your own. But for now you must stay by me, while I teach you about your lands. Today we will go down to the stream and I will teach you to fish,” And off they went, tripping over the rocks and sniffing at the flowers.

Pass and Dewy were friends and played happily together, although they were very, very different. Pass would challenge every animal he met. He chased the birds and frightened the baby foxes and wolves every chance he got. “They must learn.” he said, “That I am the master of these lands.”

Dew, on the other hand was good natured and loved to have the other animals about. He loved to listen to the birds sing. Sometimes they came right down and landed on his big soft back to sing their songs. Both bears grew big and strong following their mother and eating the wild berries from the bushes and catching silvery fish in the streams.

One day their mother said, “It’s time for me to go now. You have learned all that I can teach you. Divide the land as you please.” And off she went to the other side of the blue mountains to find a new cave for her next cubs.

“Let’s not divide the lands.” Dew said “There is enough for us to share.” So the bears went off together.

Soon they met Philip fox. Pass showed his strong white teeth and growled, “This is MY land. You are not allowed here- GO!”

Dewy said softly, “It’s MY land, too. You may stay on my part of the land. We can share.”

They walked along and Michael wolf. “This is MY land.” growled Pass, “Get off of MY land.”

“You may stay on My land.” said Dew, “We can share.”

Down by the stream they met Anne eagle eating a fish. Pass rushed up to the eagle and grabbed the fish. “This is MY land and MY fish. You may not eat here, Go!” he growled.

Dew caught another fish and said to Anne eagle, “This is MY land, too. You may eat my fish. We can share.”

Pass stood up tall and growled down to his smaller brother,”It will not work for us to share all of the land together, unless you help me keep the other animals from using it.”

“I think the land is big enough to share with the others.” said Dew “If you will not share with them, then we must divide them up and go our own ways.”

And so they did. Dew living happily with foxes, wolves, eagles and all of the others. While Pass ran from one side of his land to the other growling and chasing, to keep it all for himself.

One day a weary Philip fox met Michael wolf who had stopped to rest by a rock. “I am very tired of being chased by Pass all of the time.” said Philip fox. “Someday he is going to catch me.”

“Yes,” said Mike wolf. “If we stay on Dew’s land we are O.K. But 1 keep getting on Pass’s side by mistake. What can we do?”

“If we could figure out a way to mark Dew’s land we would be helping all of the animals.” suggested the fox “Maybe the eagle can help.” Mike wolf threw his head back and howled until Anne eagle heard and flew down.

“Were you calling me?” she asked.

“We need help. You are up high. Can you fly around and tell us which lands belongs to Dew. We are tired of being chased by Pass. We’d like to mark Dew’s lands so everybody will know they belong to Dew, not Pass.”

The eagle flew around and where ever the road crossed into Dewy’s side, she put pebble down for the fox and wolf to see. Michael wolf looked at the sky and said “Soon the snow will hide the pebbles. We must put up good signs very fast.” The fox dipped the end of his tail in berry juice and started to write. “How do you spell Dew?” he asked the wolf. Michael wolf thought. Neither of them had ever been to school.

“D.O. I think.” he answered. The fox wrote “DO NOT PASS”