Here is another Little Bear story. This one however, should be the first story. It explains how Little Bear discovers that He can talk to animals.
One day after Little Bear had played with his friends, he went for a walk by himself. His mother had told him to never go into the forest alone, and as he was being especially good that day, he took his walk at the edge of the woods. As he walked, a Fox came out of the trees and stopped on the path ahead of him.
Little Bear stopped and said, “Hello Mr Fox, how are you today?”
The Fox said, “Quite well, thank you.”
Little Bear was so surprised that he stepped backward and tripping over a stone, fell flat on his back.
He looked with wide eyes at the Fox and said, “Did you speak to me?”
“Well of course I did,” said Fox, “it is polite to answer when asked a question.”
“But, but, I understood you, you speak my language!”
“As it happens,” said Fox, “I am speaking my own language. I believe it is you, who are understanding me.”
“But I don’t get it,” said Little Bear, “I have never heard animals speaking before.”
“Well I don’t know about these animals that you speak of,” said Fox, “but I guess this must be the first time you have heard one who was not of The People, talking. Must be a bit of a shock but it does happen. There are others who can talk to us.”
As Little Bear got up and dusted himself off he said, “It is said by some of The People that the fox is very wise. It must be so, if you are able to talk to us.”
“Well he’s not,” said a voice from behind.
Little Bear turned around so fast that he almost fell down again. There at the edge of the forest on a low branch, sat a Great Grey Owl.
The Owl cocked his head, and looking at Little Bear quizzically he said,”First time is it?”
“Now just what do you mean, I’m not wise,” said Fox. “I am as wise as you, old owl, I’ll have you know.”
“Old?” said Owl, why, I am not old! We owls live a very long time but I have only been around for ten winters. I could live for twenty more-”
Fox interrupted, “Well you have certainly been here for a lot longer than I have and-”
“I just can’t believe how rude you’re being-”
“Wait!” said Little Bear, “please don’t fight. I am just so surprised that I can understand you both. This is amazing! I can’t wait to tell my mother.”
‘My, my,” said Owl, “where are my manners? Yes of course, young man, you must be very surprised. But I might wait if I were you before I told anyone about your new found talent. When one of the People can start to understand us speak there is usually a good reason for it. Maybe you should discover why you can talk to us before letting too many others know.”
“What should I do?” asked the boy.
“Try talking to your village Shaman about it. I hear that he very wise,” said Owl, while looking at Fox from the corner of his eye. “He may be able to help you.”
So Little Bear thanked the Owl and the Fox, and ran off to find the Shaman.
As he was leaving Fox said to Owl, “I can’t believe you said I wasn’t wise. Not very nice you know.”
Owl said, “If you were wise you would grow some wings and fly up in the tree before that Coyote gets any closer!”
Fox spun around to look behind him, but there was no Coyote to be seen. Owl flapped his great wings and flew away laughing.
“OWL!” Fox yelled, “you come back here!”
The Shaman of Little Bear’s village was called, “Many Winters” because he was very old and very wise. The Shaman was a person who could heal people when they were sick and could also answer many questions. He could see visions and could tell what might happen in the future. Many people went to him for advice. Little Bear came to the door of Many Winters Teepee and, making a sound in his throat to let the Shaman know he was there, waited.
“Come in boy,” said the Shaman after a little while, “I’ve been expecting you.”
Little Bear pushed aside the door flap and stepped inside. It was dark and smokey and it took a moment before his eyes adjusted to the low light. The Shaman was sitting on the ground with his legs crossed before a small fire.
“Fetch an old man a drink of water from the bucket, will you?” asked the Shaman.
Little Bear dipped the scoop into the water and carried it to Many Winters.
“That’s a good boy,” he said taking the water, “now sit down by me. I know why you are here.”
Little Bear sat down and respectfully waited without speaking.
Presently, Many Winters said, “I have known since you were born that you would come to me one day. I think maybe you have discovered that you can talk to animals. I think that you will soon discover that there are more things you can do that others cannot. Do not be afraid. It is your destiny to be this way. Since your father had gone to the Creator before you were born, I was with your mother on the day of your birth. It was I who first held you and looked into your eyes. I could tell that the Creator had made you special.”
“It is a good thing, and I am sure that you have many questions. But be patient. Now is not the time for you to know everything. Be satisfied for the present knowing this: You can speak to animals and they can speak to you. It will help you greatly and in time you will be of great help to them and to the People. For now, do not speak of this to anyone. Not even your mother. I know you have been taught not to keep secrets but this one you must keep. For now. Do you understand?”
Little Bear thought about this for a while and then said, “I am not sure I understand. But I know that you are wise and respected among the People so I will say nothing for awhile.”
Many Winters smiled and said, “I can see that you are wise, even for a boy so young. Run along now and play. And do not worry. We will speak again when it is time.”
Little Bear walked for awhile and thought about all that had happened to him. He could not remember a day quite like this. As he was about to head for home, the Fox he had spoken to earlier came running up. He looked very excited.
“Boy,” he said, “what is your name?”
“My name is Little Bear,” he told the Fox.
“Little Bear, Please come quick! Something has happened and I need your help. Please?”
Fox turned and ran into the forest, and Little Bear, knowing he wasn’t supposed to go in there alone, followed him in. Because The Shaman told him that he would be a great help to the animals, Little Bear felt that he should follow. Soon the Fox stopped. Just ahead of them was another Fox laying on the ground. Her leg was caught under a twisted root and she couldn’t get free.
“This is my mate,” said Fox. “I cannot get her loose. Can you help? Can you?”
Little Bear knelt down next to Fox’s mate. He could see that her leg was cut from trying to get free.
Looking around for something he could use to pry the roots apart he found a strong stick. Putting the stick between the roots that held her leg he pushed with all his might. The roots came apart and Fox’s mate pulled her leg free. Fox attended to her by licking her sore leg.
Fox and his mate looked at Little Bear. “Thank you,” they both said. “Thank you very much. It is very fortunate that you discovered your ability to speak to us today. We don’t know what we would have done otherwise. You are truly a good friend.”
“Thank you,” Little Bear said. “I should be getting home now. My mother will be worried.”
“Goodbye,” said the Foxes. “Goodbye for now.”
It was clear to Little Bear that he had much to think about, but right now all he could think about was his grumbling tummy. So off he went toward home, where his mother waited with his supper.