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Raymond ROCA: "THE BEAR AND THE FOX"
A STORY FROM THE CARPATHIAN MOUNTAINS (ENGLISH)

Once upon a time, in the Carpathian Mountains, lived a brown bear called Theo. Every day from sunrise ’till sunset he would roam the forest in search for forest fruits. Theo was a good bear. He never harmed other animals, not even those with two legs. Because of his goodness, he was often rewarded with some honey from the bees.

Theo was even friends with Delilah, the sly fox. He always tried to convince her to give up eating meat, and to start eating things like fruits and vegetables, which are much healthier for the stomach, and are abundant and easy-to-find throughout the forest. After much persuasion, Theo convinced the ‘horror of birds’ to become vegetarian. After converting to the new diet, Delilah was much happier, livelier and smelt freshly of mint. Because she knew how to sing nicely, all of the people from the surrounding villages invited Delilah to all types of parties. She even sung with the roosters in a duet.

One day, while Theo was out having his lunch in a blackberry bush, he had an accident that was about to cost him his life. By mistake, he stepped on a thorn, which broke itself deep down into the heel of the bear. The wound infected rapidly, and Theo suffered like a hero. After a couple of days, the bear could not offer himself his necessary food. Hungry, sick and without energy, he rested in a cave, waiting to die.

The next day, the vixen, which was humming a popular song, passed the bear’s shelter.

- Theeeeeo! Theodore! Teddy! yelled Delilah, How is it going, honeybud?
- Help! Help! muttered Theo under his breath.

The fox quickly entered the cave of the bear and saw him lying there in pain.

- Teddy dear! What is the matter with you? Are you sick?
- Help! said Theo, choking and losing his consciousness.

The terrified and shocked Delilah bounded out, and started to scream with all her might for help. Many animals turned up, even some peasants from nearby settlements. All of them shrugged their shoulders, not knowing how to cure the bear. Delilah was starting to get more and more desperate. Accidentally, she stepped on the hedgehog, and, stinging herself, leaped two metres up in to the air shouting with victory:

- Eureka! Eureka!
- E-ri-ka-aaa! My wife’s name is Erika, not Eureka! exclaimed offended Socrates, the hedgehog, stroking his bent spikes.
- I don’t care what your wife’s name is! I said Eureka not Erika! Eureka! Eureka! shrieked Delilah, triumphantly. I found the way to make Theo well again!

She asked a countryman for a sharp knife, and with it speeded towards the sore of Theo. Everybody was astonished at the heartless gesture of the fox. The crowd’s hearts stopped. Carefully, Delilah stabbed the knife into the wound. The bear howled and then fainted. Everyone thought that this would be the end of the good bear. But no! All of the pain and poison flowed out of the swelling. Everybody then just realised the medical knowledge of the fox. Delilah then washed the wound carefully with spring water, and wrapped in leaves and fragrant herbs, and started to walk around the bear, mumbling some magic words not understandable by ordinary people:



“Fire, black chook, pot and rain,
Make the sick bear well again,
When the soup is good to eat,
Make the bear healthy and fit!"

Not much time passed by, and Theo opened his eyes, and started shrieking with pain. Because everyone was so focused on him, he asked the crowd:

- What’s happening with me! Am I still alive?
- Yes, answered Delilah, and you are going to get well again.

A smile appeared on Theo’s mouth, and he tried to move his paws. He was, however, too weak to stand up. The crowd told him of all the suffering he had been through and the skill of Delilah. The bear recovered after a couple of days, and thanked the fox very much for saving his life. He was always in her company. They would go to weddings, celebrations and festivities, where Delilah would sing nicely, and Uncle Theo would dance graciously.

The years passed quickly, and Delilah married Figaro, a fox vocalist from over the hill, and, shortly they had cubs. Because they were of good breed, all of them sang wonderfully. They established the vocal group ‘Fox’, and toured all of the nearby forests and villages. Theo, who could not find a wife, started to get glum and moody. He would grumble and complain all day.

Again, Delilah was the one that got him out of this mood, inviting him to join the group. Theo, at first, did not understand how a bear could be part of a choir of foxes, but then again, no choir is complete without a baritone. With a few lessons from Delilah, the bear became a real artist. They visited a lot of places, until one day, they reached a big city. Fame came upon them in the local circus tent, where they had a show. The entire city came to see them. That is also where Theo met Mila, a lovely polar bear. She was part of a Russian circus that had gone bankrupt. Now, Mila filled a cage in the filthy menagerie of the local circus.

Theo fell in love with Mila so much, that he started to suffer. He even lost his nice voice. The bear started to get thinner and thinner, and was again depressed and gloomy, because he knew that Mila was behind bars. Once again, Delilah and Figaro proved their kindness towards the bear. They made a deal with the always-drunk boss of the circus, and bought the polar beauty for two cases of vodka. The deal created a big hole in their budget.

The happiness of Theo was enormous when he saw Mila in the tent. The bear asked the Russian lady to marry him and, after she accepted, they had a fantastic wedding party. After this, they went on a honeymoon to the mountains. Mila, which always suffered of heat, was now delighted with the coolness of the place. It made her feel as if she was back home, in the Arctic Circle. She convinced the groom to settle there. He accepted, and they made their shelter in a cave next to an alpine lake.

The winter came with wintriness, blizzards and snow. Theo, with his mind at hibernation, became very sleepy and taciturn. Mila, on the other hand, was contented, joyful and lively. This was the environment and climate she liked. This time, she was the one who found the cure for the lethargic husband. She made a hole into the ice of the lake, and everyday caught Theo fresh fish. Because he had plenty of food now, he did not feel the need to sleep through winter. He also put on a bit of weight, which helped him to not feel the cold so much. As the spring came, Mila had very good news for Theo. Soon, they were going to have cubs. This made the would-be father very happy.

After a couple of months, Mila gave birth to twins, which were both white. They were named Chum and Gum, and were very cute. Not even a month passed, and black spots began appearing on their fur. They looked like some bear-Dalmatians. Whoever saw them was amazed. Not much time passed, and the family of four went on a lovely excursion to Theo’s birthplace, because the bear missed Delilah so much. Everybody was very happy when the foxes and the bears met. People from seven villages came to see both Chum and Gum. They relaunched the group ‘Fox’, and performed successfully all summer. They put apart some money for the next trip, a special one to Mila’s native lands. And now, our story finishes, the story about the good bear and the smart fox, animals which have won great fame, becoming main characters in many stories that grandparents tell to their grandchildren…






precedent precedent (1/2)

Raymond ROCA
publicat la 18.12.2003 (21724 citiri)