Manataka American Indian Council







Out Of Place Bear

By Yonv Tali

Many seasons ago a young grizzly cub was born into this world. It was during the month of the Harvest Moon. 

And he was hungry, very hungry.  His hunger was greater than most cubs of his age. He grew and grew and grew. The more he grew, the more his hunger grew. 

He had longed for the day he would start bear school. He wanted to play with other cubs of his age; for, you see, he had no brothers or sisters to play with. 

Finally, on the following year, on the month of the Nut Moon, the day he had longed for, had finally come. He was, finally going to school so he could play with other grizzly cubs. 

By this time, he was the half of the size of an adult grizzly bear. 

On his first day of school, his mother walked through the forest with him so he would reach his destination safely. 

When they reached their destination, they received an welcomed and unexpected surprise. 

They saw, much to their surprise, that the bear school there were no grizzly cubs but only polar bear cubs and the teachers were polar bears as well. 

After seeing this, he turned to his mother and said, "Mother, I do not want to go to school. I will be the only grizzly here."  His mother turned to him and said, "Son, you must go to bear school.  It is the only one that is close to our home. Besides, it is the law of the forest. You have no choice in this."  

So, in fear of his mother's wrath, he reluctantly went on to school.  

During the term of his bear school life, he was constantly ridiculed and poked fun at because he was different from the other cubs, . They were mean to him and accuse him of things he did not do. He was constantly having to defend himself either by fighting or arguing.  But, he always stood his ground.  He was truly an out of place grizzly cub in a circle of polar cubs. This continued all during his school life.  

Finally, it came the day when he reached the day when he did not have to attend school anymore. This was on the on month of the Planting Moon. He left bear school without hesitation and never looking back.  By now. he was a fully grown bear; only twice the size of a normal grizzly bear.  

When he left school, he thought his problems were over; but they were not. These problems continued into his adult life as well.   As he did  when he was a cub, he stood his ground; whether it was fighting or arguing, he stood his ground.  

He  finally left his home in search of a new home. He found a new home in another part of the forest.  He made a vow not to ever return to his old home unless he is given no choice.  

However he occasionally sees and old polar "friend" from the bear school and pretends not of see them.   The treatment he received as a cub; he now gives back to them.   Where once he was an out of place grizzly cub in a circle of polar bears, now they are the out of place polar bear. The medicine he received when he was a cub has been returned to the rightful owners; courtesy of The Out Of Place Bear!

- Yonv Tali

[Editor's Note:  This would be a good story to tell your children about the 'wrong way' to view life.  Struggles of growing up should be used as tools of learning - not resentful behavior.


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