The various Stories of how the three little bears and their three cubs moved from bear island to smiths cove many years ago
THERE ARE A FEW DIFFERENT VERSIONS CIRCULATING. Bears have poor memories in the best of times, and advancing years have chipped away some of what mental acuity was once there. They all recall a bad storm and an unexpected shipwreck. But happy remembers another much happier incident that likely preceded their final decision to stay in smiths cove...
Happy Bear recalls: One evening, sitting around the campfire on bear island, telling stories to the cubs (lucy, flakie AND cranky) and eating hot dogs, we decided to take the cubs on a boat ride on the Annapolis river basin. While on the river, it suddenly turned very foggy. The fog was like pea soup. we couldn’t even see the stern of the boat. Then suddenly we heard crunch, and our boat started to take on water and go down. We had to get off fast! We started swimming to the shore with the cubs. I placed lucy on my back. She was not a good swimmer. The question was, Where are we? It was dark, foggy, and we were cold. Morning came, then we knew where we were. We were at the west end of smiths cove. We looked around, and we could see Bear island. We did not have a boat to get back. All we had was the wheel of our boat. So we decided to stay at smiths cove. And the rest is history!
Greedy bear remembers: like as happy bear recalls, we were eating hot dogs and marshmallows on bear island. I had a lot of hot dogs, and my, were they ever good! I thought taking the cubs on a boat ride at night was a great idea. I always made sure that there was lots of food in the ship’s galley. I was in the ship’s galley eating potato chips and drinking pop with flakie when I looked out through the port hole. It was very foggy. Suddenly there was a bang and a crunch, and the ship started to go down. I heard happy yell, “everyone off the boat!” I grabbed flakie and made it off just in time. All my food was gone, though. We made it to shore. I was hungry. I had no food. What was I going to do? We started walking, and we came upon a nice little building. It was like a store. It had lots of food. IT SEEMED VERY FAMILIAR. The others wanted to try and go home. After some talking, we decided to stay in smiths cove. And the rest is history.
Grumpy bear adds his version: it was a miserable night! We were sitting around the campfire. The benches were too hard. We were eating hot dogs, which were too big. The buns were cold, and I wanted french’s mustard. All we had was Heinz. The others thought it was a great idea to take the cubs for a boat ride at night, but I didn’t want to go. It was too dark. I didn’t want to stay by myself, though, so I went just to keep the others happy. I stood on the deck. It was dark. I couldn’t see a thing. Then it got very foggy. Just what I needed. I should have stayed at the campfire. Suddenly we hit something. It knocked me into the water. The water was so cold! I could hear the others yelling to get off the boat. It was going down. I made it onto a sandy beach. I got sand in between my toes. Did the others make it? Where is cranky, my cub? I should have stayed at the campfire, but it was too late to go back. I walked down the beach until I found the others. They were oK. Then I tripped on something…oh, oh, my toe! It was the ship’s wheel. We all started walking. I hate walking. We walked Until we came upon this place that greedy wanted to make his new home (because of all the food inside!) It was ok, but it was not my home. I felt as if I’d been there before, though. Then I thought to myself, Maybe I could make smiths cove my home if the others want to stay. Happy and greedy said “yes”. so we all stayed.
Happy tells a totally different story. Whether truth or a dream, we’ll never know for sure:
One day, a long time ago, our mother bear told us she was too ill to make us lunch.
“you’ll just have to make it yourselves. Don’t forget to feed the cubs. I’m going back to bed.”
Which is exactly what she did.
Grumpy was in a more sour mood than usual. Greedy wasn’t much better.
“no lunch!” greedy wailed. “we can’t get by on no lunch.”
“Let’s not get upset,” I said. A plan was hatching in my mind. “How about we work together and make a picnic lunch. Then we can walk across the plank to smiths cove and find a nice spot on the beach. Low tide is nearly here! We’ll just have to be careful that we don’t stay too long, or we’ll have to wait for the tide to go out again.”
Greedy thought this was a spectacular idea. “a picnic lunch! I’ll prepare it. Don’t you worry about a thing.”
It’s a good thing mother bear had a jumbo big picnic basket. Even then it was overflowing and awful heavy.
Grumpy thought it was ridiculous. ‘we’ll never eat that much! Just more to lug around.”
“don’t worry about a thing. I’ll carry the basket. You just enjoy the outing,” greedy retorted.
the tide was as low as it possibly could get. Off we six young bears went across the narrow strip of land that connects bear island to smiths cove. it only appears when the water level is very, very low and disappears as the water rises. I had often been tempted to try it, but bear island bears are cautious by nature and often tempted is as far as we go.
“we won’t be able to stay too long,” I warned the others.
It was a beautiful sunny, warm day – the perfect day for an outing. We found a quiet spot on the beach and ate and ate. Greedy’s picnic basket still had lots of food in it After we were all full. We couldn’t help stretching out just for a short nap.
“we can rest for a few minutes,” I told the others. “then we must head back before the tide begins to rise again.”
I don’t know exactly how long we napped, but it was a way too long. Lucy the cub was the first to awake.
“Oops!” she cried. “it’s getting dark out already.”
I was soon fully awake. “oh, no.”
Cubs cranky and flaky began balling.
The plank was gone, buried under several feet of water. Bear island was visible but out of reach (unless one wanted to swim, which none of us were keen on doing. Bears don’t mind wading in water looking for fish and clams and the like, but actual swimming to get from point a to point b is a different story).
Grumpy was the next to wake up. “What do we do now, genius?” he was talking to me.
“unless we want to swim, I think we will have to stay here until the next low tide,” was my only solution.
“that will be hours from now. Mother bear will be worried sick,” grumpy pointed out.
“she may not even notice we are gone. Let’s make the most of it,” I replied.
Greedy made a suggestion. “let’s go for a walk and check this place out. We obviously have lots of time.”
So off we went. We followed the beach line as much as possible in order to stay out of sight. Finally we ended up on a trail. We followed that until we found a nice treed vacant lot. We walked up to a cleared area and sat down. We were tuckered out.
Greedy was especially tired after carrying his still really heavy picnic basket.
“oh, finally,” he said exuberantly. “time for a rest. And a snack.”
He opened the picnic basket and began snacking. None of the rest of us were hungry.
But the picnic basket soon attracted some new friends, and they were hungry. A fox, a squirrel, a raccoon, blue jays, even crows. Soon we were surrounded by a large company of hungry animals and birds.
“do you have a little to spare?” they asked greedy. “we’re awfully hungry, you know.”
Greedy snapped the lid down shut on the picnic basket. “well, I don’t know…there sure is an awful lot of you!”
“oh, share with them, greedy,” I said. “we’ve had lots. More than enough.”
Reluctantly greedy opened the lid of his picnic basket and began sharing little bits of his food with the menagerie, which kept growing by the minute as word spread.
In the end greedy gave away every last crumb.
“That was kind of fun,” greedy decided in the end. “wouldn’t it be great to be able to do that all the time. Food is wonderful to eat, but it’s even better to share with new friends.”
“You should start a store,” flaky suggested excitedly.
“That’s not a bad idea,” greedy agreed.
And that was the beginning of the three little bears cottage store.
We knew we couldn’t stay too long – at least not without letting mother bear know what had happened to us. So during low tide shortly thereafter we all returned to bear island (to find a rather irate mother bear, I might add).
But part of me stayed BEHIND in smiths cove, and I often thought of returning…