The Little Lost Duck

There once was a bear named Charles, Charles Temple, being his full name. Charles was also called Chuck by his close friends. But in this story I will call him Charles.

You probably just asked, who is Charles Temple? Charles is a bear, he is a great friend to all who know him. He lives alone in a cave at the base of Hedgehog Hill near the Thundering Falls and at the edge of the Great Field. Charles has a small garden, bee hives and likes to fish below the falls. His cave has a funny round door, it’s painted green and has a little stick hanging from a string, and a sign that says "Tap Here". The inside is very comfortable; there are pegs in the hallway to hang your coat. There is a sitting room, with a fireplace and a little window that looks out over the garden. Continuing down the hallway you would come to the kitchen and dining room.

The kitchen has a fireplace and stove for cooking, closets and shelves and a well for getting water. The dining room has a long table and many chairs when friends come to visit. Finally, at the very end there is the bedroom.

So that’s a little bit about Charles. Now, let’s get to the story. This is an adventure story about how Charles saves a little lost duck.

As I have said, Charles raises bees and has a garden. He will often trade jars of honey or bags of spices for things he needs. Every now and then, when Charles is running low on supplies, he will journey the Lonely Trail to the far side of Fox Wood Forest. There is a clearing, sometimes called Cattail Clearing because of all the Cattails that grow along the banks of the Rocky River. The forest folk like meet here to trade and gossip. The week of every full moon brings folks from far and wide. On these trips, Charles would trade his honey and spices for breads, cheeses, maybe a new fishing pole or net. Sometimes a bag of honey drops for the walk back.

Today's adventure happens on this kind of day. Charles was returning home, as he popped a honey drop into his mouth, he saw a very small duck. The very small duck was sitting on a very old log, looking very sad. Charles thought this was very strange because the Lonely Trail was well named. He rarely met anyone and never a very small duck. This was not were ducks lived. So Charles stopped to see if he could help.

Charles said, "Hello there, why are you so sad?" The little duck replied, sniffing with a sigh, " I am lost, I do not know where I am." Charles replied, very unhelpfully. "Well you are on the Lonely Trail; hardly anyone ever comes here, except me." The little duck, suddenly feeling a little scared realizing he was alone in the forest and was talking to a bear, said "Are you going to eat me?" Charles smiled, and with a great bear belly laugh said “No! I am not going to eat you, my name is Charles, how may I be of service, how may I help you?”

The little duck, feeling better, but still a little scared, said. "My name in Wendy, but my mom calls me Wandy and can you please help me find my way home."

Charles, forgetting his bear manners, replied "Wandy, now that's a strange name, oops, I'm sorry that was a little rude."

Wandy said, "That's OK, my mom calls me that because I was always wandering away, she says I am her curious little duck, and Wandy should be my name." "Well Wandy how did you get here?", Charles replied.

“Well”, said Wandy, "This morning I was paddling about, exploring my pond and chasing the fish when a butterfly flew over my head. I had never seen such a butterfly before, her wings were like rainbows, so I decided to follow her to see where she would go. I followed and followed until I was all turned around and all twisted about. It flew to this spot and then flew away, but I was just so tired that I decided to stay. Now I am lost, Charles, can you help me find my way home? My mom says we live near the lilies on Tuck Hollow Pond."

Charles replied, “Well, Foxwood Forest is a great big land, and I don't know how to get to Tuck Hollow Pond”. Wandy was feeling really sad now and sat down and cried. Trying to cheer Wandy up, Charles asked "Maybe we can figure this out, tell me all about your adventure".

So Wandy, jumping down from the log, and pacing about, told Charles of his journey and how it began. "The butterfly flew to the far side of the pond, and then across the field." Go on, said Charles. After a short pause, Wandy continued, "We came to a big rock; it scared me because it looked like a great wolf howling at the sky. After that we came to the forest, and the butterfly flew under a giant fallen log. I should have turned back right then, but I was having so much fun". So was Charles, as he sat down of the log, and popped another honey drop in his mouth. ”What do you remember next?" he replied. We went up a small hill, it was covered with mushrooms, some were small, some were big, some were yellow, and some had red spots. At the top of the hill there was a very old tree, it was a very big tree. I had never seen such a big tree. And Charles said, "Do you remember anything more?”

"Next, I followed a path though the tallest green ferns, they seemed to go on forever, finally there was a clearing and a giant tree stump. It must have been the biggest tree ever", said Wandy spreading his wings showing how big the stump was. "Way bigger".

"A big stump you say", said Charles smiling.

"Yes!", Wandy continued, "it was a very big stump, and then before I knew it I was right here telling this story"

Charles said, "I know this big stump, I've been there before. So I can take us there and then maybe we can find the way back to your home by the lilies on Tuck Hollow Pond. But, before we leave, would you like a bite to eat?". "Yes!", said Wandy. So Charles set out a blanket and some food from his pack and they had a little picnic. Wandy told Charles all about his home, his brother and sisters, his mom and his dad and his favorite place to play. Where the bank was steep and he would climb up and slide down, splashing into the water and gliding on his feet until he could go no further, then climbing back up and doing it again. Charles laughed and laughed and imagined himself sliding down and making a big splash, and not sliding on his feet. Charles told Wandy all about his home, and the things he did and made. Soon afterwards they cleaned up and started on their way.

Charles brought them to the big stump and they looked all around. Wandy found the path that lead to the ferns. Before long they came to the giant tree. Charles climbed up a little way and saw the mushrooms. So on they went. At the bottom of the hill was the fallen log. Wandy went first, but Charles bumped his head.

Out across the field, Wolf Rock could be seen. Wandy began running as fast as he could. They both climbed to the top of Wolf Rock, just beyond they could see Tuck Hollow Pond. When they arrived at the pond, Wandy's mother met them. She paddled over and put her wings around Wandy and said, "Where have you been?" Wandy told his mom all about his adventure and introduced her to Charles. After saying their goodbyes and promising to meet again, Charles headed back to his cave at the bottom of Hedgehog Hill near the Thundering Falls at the edge of the Great Field.

When he arrived at home, he settled into his favorite chair, and thought, "Thank Goodness, I'm home".

The End

David Gray