The next day I went in to see what Bear was doing but I couldn’t find him anywhere. This was becoming a habit.
I needed to go shopping so I went to the car and there was Bear, just sitting.
“What are you doing out here, Bear?” I asked.
“Waiting for you.”
“You said we are going to see my family.”
“Not just straight away, Bear. You haven’t even had any breakfast and it’s quite a drive.”
“Just make toast and vegemite ‘cos that isn’t sticky like honey and I can have breakfast while you drive.”
We had a discussion for a while and Bear came inside and had breakfast and I washed the honey and vegemite off his face and washed his paws and brushed his fur and straightened his ribbon and then we left for a drive in the country.
“I think I am beginning to get cross,” said Bear after a while.
“And what is it that is making you get cross, Bear?”
“I am waiting patiently like you told me to and we still haven’t arrived anywhere. Especially not anywhere where a bear might perhaps find his long lost family.”
“I said it would take quite a few minutes.”
“I have counted up to a hundred and seven minutes more than fifty times over and still nothing happens. If we don’t get there soon I will get out and walk home all by myself and I will just have to go through my life with never a thought about having a family that might just happen to love me.”
“That was a very fine speech Bear but it was a bit of a waste. Have you noticed anything different about how the car feels?”
“No. But I would like you to start driving again because I am now very impatient. We need to get there soon because I might be hungry in a little while.”
“Stop grizzling Bear and get ready for a huge delight. We are here. I want you to close your eyes and I will pick you up and take you to meet your family.”
Bear stopped talking and grizzling and waited. He was shaking just a little and I knew he was nervous.
Then he sat down and I told him to open his eyes. As soon as he saw his mother he buried his head in her and hugged her.
Mother Bear asked if she and Bear could sit on their own for a while so we left them and went inside. I looked through the window and they were busy talking in the garden.
Mother Bear had obviously told Bear about his older sister and soon she went outside and they met.
Bear was very surprised because his sister was quite a bit smaller than he was.
“Most girl bears are smaller than boy bears,” I explained.
“But Mother Bear is bigger than I am,” said Bear.
“Mother Bear is a lot older than you are and when you are older you will probably be bigger than her.”
Then everybody had cakes and drinks and laughter and stories until Bear suddenly stopped and was very puzzled.
“In the picture you showed me John, there was a small brown bear. Where is he? I want to see him too.”
We all laughed until Mother Bear explained that the little bear in the picture was Bear when he was only very young.
So we took some photos so that Bear could have them at home to remind himself all the time.
We drove home and Bear slept for most of the trip. I carried him inside and he woke up and yawned.
“Thank you John, I had a very nice day. Tomorrow I would like to take Duck with us when we go.”
“We won’t be able to go every day but we will go again soon. In the meantime would you like to see the photographs I took.”
“Yes please if you aren’t too tired after driving for a whole day.”
Then Bear went to bed and went straight to sleep.