Read by Trish Rowland
The rocky area of Winter Wind Mountain was just right for the cougar family. The mother and two male kittens were perfectly hidden.
Mother Cougar watched over her two young boys. She wondered, “How can Ben and Glen be so different? Being from the same litter is the only thing they have in common. Ben likes to go everywhere and Glen seems afraid to leave the cave.”
The brothers were best friends. Ben always longed for adventure, but it wasn’t in Glen’s nature.
Ben said, “Come on, Glen. It’s time to play.”
Glen said, “No, I think I’ll stay.”
No matter what Ben wanted to do, Glen always had a reason to stay in the den.
Ben said, “The Secret Spring Meadow is so pretty covered in snow. Come on. Let’s go.”
Glen said, “We might slip and fall into the icy water.”
Ben said, “So what if you fall in the river. Why would that be a problem? You know how to swim.”
“Ben, do you remember what happened the last time we went to the meadow? We were chased by an angry brown bear,” said Glen.
Ben said, “How was I to know we were in the bear’s special fishing spot? It’s a good thing you tossed him a fish from the river so we could get away.”
Ben asked, “Mother, what should I do? Glen just wants to sit in his room. I have really good ideas but Glen will not budge. Will you give him a nudge?”
Mother Cougar thought, “There must be more to the story than I know.” She said, “Just give Glen a chance. Ask him what he would like to do.”
Ben wondered, “What boring thing would Glen like to do?”
The next night, Ben said, “Glen, I have some new ideas. Let’s go up the mountain and look for the red dragon. Then we can run through the corn field and knock down the scarecrow. We can go to the woods, climb a tall tree, and growl at the moon.”
Glen was in shock. He said, “Ben, if we go looking for the dragon, we might be unlucky and find him. I don’t want to end up in flames.”
Ben said, “Good point. I hadn’t thought of that. You might be right about the red dragon. What about the corn field?”
Glen answered, “Do you remember what happened the last time we went to the corn field? A very angry guard dog chased us all the way to the meadow.”
Ben said, “What a racket! Her barking woke up the farmer. Forget the scarecrow. What about going to the woods? Don’t tell me you have something against tree climbing?”
Glen said, “Climbing trees is fun but you led us to an area of the woods marked by wolves. We were lucky to get out alive. Mother has no idea of the trouble you get us into when we leave home.”
Glen loved his reckless brother and didn’t have the heart to tell their mother the truth.
Ben said, “Let’s go outside. There are so many things to do and try.”
Glen said, “Not tonight. Let’s stay here. It’s nice and dry.”
Their mother was a very wise cat. She said, “Ben, let’s have a chat. There must be a reason that Glen feels so much safer here.”
Then she asked, “Ben, did you give Glen a chance to tell you things he would like to do?”
Ben finally asked, “Glen, what would you like to do tonight?”
Glen said, “We can have fun and still make it back home in one piece. Ben, do you think you can follow my lead?”
Ben said, “Okay, let’s try it your way tonight. Lead on.”
When the young cougars left the den that night, Glen was in charge. They played safely in the woods, in the meadow, and by the river. Glen proved he was a good leader.
Ben thought, “Glen was right about one thing. It was more fun to go out and not have your night end with a fast run home from a narrow escape.”
However, Ben would never admit to Glen that it was better to be safe than sorry.
Ben would never admit to Glen that it was better to be safe than sorry.