Monday, August 23, 2010

The Saturday Afternoon Bear Hunt

We live on a hill at the end of a road with neighbors on either side who have small children from 3-5. You can often find one or more of the crew down in the pasture by our garden. On Saturday afternoon we discovered that we could sit out there and be out of the cold wind that has been plaguing us for a couple of months. We set our backs to the setting sun and transformed into lizards on warm rocks while we chatted. The kids soon tired of sitting around and requested that my husband Rod take them on a bear hunt. He is a former preschool chef and teacher, a kid magnet and has the fertile imagination of a 6 year old.

"Story Telling"
Thanks to Philippe Fernandez for letting me use his amazing illustration

There are no fences between properties up here and areas around our property and one of our neighbors have a great variety of trees and flowering shrubs that form thickets and great hidey places.

The kids decided that Rod would be the “tall things” lookout and they would be his protector and lookout for “short things” ahead and behind. They all carried small sticks from the brush pile to defend themselves if they ran into the bear. They circled down around the old Victorian next door and Rod asked if they should knock on the door and see if the bears were home. The 5 year old said “No, we shouldn’t disturb them” and they continued on the hunt.

Suddenly the old stump down along the winter creek became a bear. They fought a hard battle and were victorious in the end. It was decided that they would have bear and fresh berries for dinner. The children gathered leaves and twigs in a pile for a pretend cooking fire and told Rod he should light the fire because he was the adult. Once that was done he was sent to gather blackberries.

They had a fine meal and decided since they had already be gone two weeks they should hike out of the woods and head home so their parents wouldn’t worry. They were about half way up the hill and the 3 year old stops the crew and said “we forgot to put out our campfire”. He was going to go back and take care of it, but the kids decided it was everyone’s responsibility so they all went back to put out the pretend campfire before emerging from the woods.

There are so many stories to tell from fanciful to family history, share them with your children and grandchildren. Rekindle your imagination and you will enrich their lives and your own.