Maggie de Vries
Fraser Bear: A Cub's Life - a Children's Book by Maggie de Vries
     

Fraser Bear: A Cub's Life Excerpt

January

Deep in their den, two baby bears snuggle against their mother's belly, drinking her rich, warm milk. Tiny and hairless and blind, they are as happy as they can be. As they drink, they make a humming sound, like the buzzing of bees.
***

Far away, in the ocean, thousands of chinook salmon begin their long journey home.
***

February

"There she is."

A man squeezes halfway into a hole in the tree, just above the bears' heads. The mother bear stirs as he jabs her in the shoulder with a needle.

She is asleep when he reaches down and lifts out the two cubs. Daylight strikes the male cub's eyelids, and he cries softly.

"Oh, he's so cute! Can I hold him?" a voice says, the voice of a child.

Moments later, the tiny cub snuggles into his new spot under the child's coat. He senses his sister nearby and is content.
***

The child peers at the female cub. "Samantha," she says. "I name you Samantha. And you," she says, turning to the male bear, "I name you Fraser. Fraser Bear."

The man changes the mother bear's collar, weighs and measures her, and returns her to the tree. He places the cubs against their mother's chest.

It is time to go. The child walks away as slowly as she can.

One day, she hopes, she will see Fraser and Samantha again.

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