You can read this story from the beginning by clicking on Children's story on the right side under "Labels"
Hattie leaves the cave #3
It had been a long winter in the cave for Hattie. The bear family slept most of the time. With Jake missing, Hattie felt very much alone. She was very happy one morning when Papa bear woke and announced it was time to leave the cave. Spring was arriving!
There had been a big change over the winter months. The babies had grown and were now almost as big as Hattie! She knew, once outside of the cave, her babies would be investigating their new world. She couldn’t be calling them baby anymore. If only Jake was with them he would have good names for the children. Hattie lacked imagination when it came to names. Finally she decided to call her daughter Sissy and her son Skipper. At least those names she could remember.
The bear family was going to walk back to the hollow tree with Hattie so she and the bunnies would have a safe trip. Hoping that no one had moved into the tree already, they set out for the river. Hattie knew this would be the first place Jake would look for them if he had made it through the winter.
It was a pleasant walk back to the river. The air was a bit nippy but the trees had buds on them. Green was beginning to peek through the brown of winter everywhere she looked. Hattie couldn’t help but think about her trip to the cave, carrying the babies, cold and exhausted. Her heart was jumping with the hope of finding Jake.
Finally they reached the river where the big hollow tree stood. Hattie felt so joyful to find it empty except for the hole being filled with leaves from the winter wind. The bear family said goodbye but promised to check in on Hattie soon. The rest of the day she spent cleaning out the tree and keeping track of Sissy and Skipper.
When the bunnies were asleep, Hattie began to think of all her responsibilities without Jake. There was so much to teach the children to keep them safe now that they were bigger and took off alone. Jake would have taught his children boundaries, the animals that were friends and those that were not, things not to eat, holes not to look in and the danger of the tempting river. It was a big job! Hattie drifted off to sleep thinking about the first lesson she would have to teach the next day.
Spring brought rain the next day. This would be good for a first day of learning. It would keep Sissy and Skipper inside and not distracted by the warm air outside the tree and the songs of the birds. The river was Hattie’s biggest concern. She started her lesson by telling the bunnies about animals they would see swimming in the river. She warned them that rabbits didn’t swim. They would get caught up in the currant and drown if they were to fall into the water. She could see she had struck a bit of fear into Sissy. Skipper was not listening to the warning. She only saw excitement in his eyes. How would she ever find a way to teach him fear?
The next morning when the rain had stopped and the sun was shining bright, Hattie walked the bunnies to the rivers edge. There they saw Mr. and Mrs. Duck watching their ducklings take a swim. Hattie explained that ducks have coated feathers that kept them afloat unlike a rabbit. She held onto Skipper and dunked his feet into the water. His fur flattened and stuck in between his toes. He could see his skin through the soggy fur. Hattie told him his whole body would look like that if he fell into the river. She also added that he wouldn’t get a chance to look at himself because the river would sweep him away very fast and drown him.
As the days passed, Hattie taught the children about the snake families and all the other wild animals she could think of to warn the children about. She taught them to not stick there heads in holes. Bad manners could get them more then an angry lashing from some animal that lived there.
One morning she looked out of the hollow tree and peered right into the eyes of the human’s cat. She grabbed her children and backed as far into the tree as possible. This was one animal she had forgotten to warn them about. It was a good thing that he was an old fat cat. He stuck his paw into the hole but his fat head wouldn’t fit. He tried very hard to claw them. Just as he was trying to push himself into the tree along came Mr. Raccoon. Hattie heard the hissing and growls from the two, each giving a warning to the other to stay away, but in the end, Mr. Raccoon was the victor and sent the cat running off towards home. She was very grateful that the raccoon had come along and watched out for her and the bunnies. Usually she would stay clear of him just like she would avoid the cat.
It was a hard job trying to keep up with the children all alone. By the end of the day Hattie was so tired she usually fell right to sleep. One night something was causing her to be restless. She thought she felt Sissy snuggling next to her. She opened her tired eyes just a slit. To her surprise a very tired and dirty Jake was beside her! Her heart danced with delight. She could see he had a hard journey, so she didn’t make a sound. She just fell back to sleep with a very content feeling having all of her family home.
Jakes Home Coming #4