I was recently asked by a friend who teaches primary school for a little story to be told alongside a picture of a Teddy Bear’s Picnic. The story below is what I offered to them. The little ones are between five and six so the challenge for me was to keep my sentences simple yet interesting enough to keep a story moving along. There also had to be simple words that they would understand while also exposing the class to slighter more challenging words. I hope you like my little ones’ story and you like an old favourite that has been updated a little bit.
The Picnic and Baby Bear
Last Saturday Mammy and Daddy decided to bring us on a surprise day trip. Mammy asked everybody to help gather want we would need for the day. Séan got the plastic beach glasses from under his bed, he had hidden them the week before – just so I couldn’t play with them. Mammy said I could help her make ham and cheese sandwiches, I am very good at making sandwiches. Oísín went out to the orchard and collected a bucket of apples. I found some small plates and added them to the growing pile on the table top.
Daddy came in from the back shed, he had cobwebs in his hair, I thought I saw a spider scurry over his shoulder. He was holding a bundle in his arms, he flashed a broad smile at me and said “Ta-da!”. He had found a picnic rug and a flask.
Mammy was delighted with the find and poured some orange juice into the flask. As a treat Daddy said that I could add some pink and purple fairy cakes to the hoard of treasure.
Daddy and Oísín packed the car. We all jumped in, Mammy reserved down the drive and we were off.
Séan, Oísín and I were crammed in the back of the car for ages, but we were on best behaviour. We didn’t fight, which Mammy said was very good. Séan looked sick at one point, but he wasn’t in the end, Daddy was very happy about that. Finally, we turned off the road and Mammy turned off the engine.
We had arrived.
According to Mammy this place was special. But to me it looked like a normal wood. Daddy said “These woods are special because here the woods have magic. And if you are very good we might see some.”
There was a soft path leading away from the car and it led deeper and deeper into the woods. It was dark and a little cold under the branches and I wasn’t always able to see the sun. Séan kept running ahead and jumping out from behind the trees and make horrible faces. Everyone else laughed but I didn’t like it, not under the dark trees. But then, suddenly, we walked into a clearing and the sun was shining and it was warm. There was lots of blue and red flowers. It seemed like they waved at us as we walked into the sunlight. It was really pretty, almost magical.
The boys and I wanted to play Hide ‘N’ Seek but we were told that we had to have our picnic first. We unpacked everything and set it all down on the rug. I set all the plates and glasses out, like I would lay the dinner table.
The sandwiches were lovely and the buns were delicious. The flask kept the orange lovely and cold. It quenched our thirst after the long walk. Séan gobbled his food in a flash and started to run around the clearing. We were all watching when he stopped and grimaced. He had a stitch in his side and had to sit down and wait for it to pass. I thought his face looked funny and gave him some of my orange
When everyone was ready Mammy and Daddy played chase with us and when it started to get dark Daddy said that we should go home. We were packing up when Oísín looked up and ssshed everyone.
Across from us at the edge of the clearing there was a bear cub. He was chewing the bushes, which had some blueberries on it. He was very small for a bear, but much bigger than me. He was very brown on his back and his legs, but I could see his chest, and it was very fair. It reminded me of toffee.
Nobody moved. We only watched, fascinated, as the cub pawed the bush and found the berries. He was having a picnic too. Séan sneezed, the little cub looked up at us. We froze. The little cub watched us for a moment. He tilted his head and his eyes were so dark, but very happy. He turned and bounded back into the trees. We didn’t see him again and we quietly packed up and left the woods.
With the car all packed and everyone belted in we headed home. I heard Daddy tell Mammy that it was a magic day, I knew he was right.