Read by Trish Rowland
It was early morning. Betsy yawned and rolled over. As she woke, she remembered her dream. It was springtime and she was eating wild blueberries in the Secret Spring Meadow. She thought, “It’s too bad there are no more berries to eat.”
It was nice and warm in the bear den. Betsy looked over at her brother, Buddy, in a deep sleep. Betsy took her paw and shook Buddy but he didn’t wake. He just rolled over and began to snore. It was clear he wouldn’t be getting up any time soon.
Betsy thought, “I will go out on my own. There is no telling what I might find today. Maybe I will find something good to eat. Then Buddy will be sorry he slept all day.” Betsy walked to the entrance of the cave and looked out. She could see that the meadow was covered in a light snow. The sky was clear and the sun was shining. She thought, “This is a good day to go outside. I have been in the cave too long.” Betsy started her trip down the mountain. As she walked, she looked back at her small paw prints in the snow.
She felt the cool air in her lungs and she began to run. As she ran into the meadow, she saw more paw prints heading to the Summer Star River.
Betsy ran to the river and drank the ice cold water. A sudden motion in the water caught her eye. She saw a fish just below the surface of the water.
Without thinking, she plunged her paw into the water and almost fell in the river. Betsy was so busy fishing that she didn’t notice Dawn, a young fawn, eating grass on the other side of the river.
Dawn looked up when she heard the splash. Betsy stood up when she saw the deer. Their eyes met. Both animals froze in their tracks. They did not move an inch.
In that moment, Dawn was filled with fear. She thought, “Oh, no. A brown bear! If I run, will she chase me? Is she the only bear here? Are there other bears watching me?”
Betsy wanted to meet the deer. She thought, “What kind of deer is this? She is so pretty. I wonder if she would like to play with me. Maybe she likes to fish. Should I go over there and ask her?”
Betsy and Dawn were so busy staring at each other that they didn’t notice that they were not alone.
Suddenly there was a loud splash! The noise in the river broke their gaze. They both turned to see Baxter, the beaver, surface in the river. The big fish in his mouth was struggling to get away.
Splash! Splash! Splash!
Baxter looked at the two animals staring at each other on opposite sides of the river. He thought, “What are the bear and deer doing?” Baxter was surprised at what happened next.
The red deer was so startled that she jumped and ran into Fire Fall Woods. She ran so fast that her speed caused small bits of snow to fly in the air behind her. She did not feel safe until she was once again beside her mother.
Betsy cried out in alarm. She turned and ran to Winter Wind Mountain. Betsy ran until she reached the safety of the bear den. Her mother saw her come in and asked, “Betsy, where have you been? I thought you were sleeping.”
Betsy was shaking so hard she could not speak. Tears of relief poured from her eyes.
After Betsy and Dawn calmed down, each would tell the story of their trip to the river.
Dawn told her mother, “It was so quiet by the river. I did not see any other animals so I stopped to eat some grass. I narrowly escaped from a giant brown bear with a roar like thunder.”
Betsy told her mother, “It was a perfect day to go fishing. All of a sudden, I was face-to-face with a large, furry river monster with huge teeth.”
Both stories ended the same way. The deer and the bear each said, “I am lucky to be alive!”
Baxter was surprised at what happened next.