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The First Swim

2006-07-13 23:42

  Baby polar bear was very unhappy, and all because he could not swim.

  Now, though his mummy loved baby polar bear very much, his brothers and sisters would make fun of him. “He cannot swim!” they would giggle, pointing at him with glee. “We can, because we've been taught.”

  Mummy Bear tried so hard to teach her youngest to swim. She would slither gently off an iceberg with him and head for sea, and he would feel so safe, clutching her warm, furry back. But as soon as a drop of water splashed him, he would squeak with fright and she would have to take him ashore.

  One day, baby bear gave way to tears-round, bear-like tears that wouldn't stop once they had started. He had never cried before, and though this upset his mummy, it also gave her an idea, for he was soon sitting in a puddle-of his own tears!

  “Don't you mind getting wet now?” She asked, pawing his damp head.

  “Boo-hoo!” sobbed her youngest, “I don't mind about anything, except learning to swim.”

  “But you don't like getting wet,” said Mummy. “And that's why you can't learn to swim!”

  Baby polar bear's tears dried as if by magic. He thought hard, and then he grinned. “I am wet,” he cried, “and I don't mind one little bit. Please take me back in the sea.”

  So she did, and he shut his eyes tightly, counted up to three, then tumbled off her back into the blue sea. He pretended he was sitting in a puddle so that he wouldn't be scared, then he put both his arms to keep himself above water, but his legs and stumpy tail moved at the same time, and he found that he was 'swimming'. Mummy bear was so proud of him that she caught him a special titbit for tea.

  Then she swam beside him back to shore-where his brother's and sisters cheered his swim home! What's more they never made fun of him again.

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