No Sleep For Bear

No Sleep For Bear
Duncan Beedie
Templar Publishing

Duncan Beedie’s staring Bear returns in another droll, diverting episode.

With signs of the approach of winter, Bear is eagerly anticipating his long period of sleep, a very long one he thinks. Bear has a proclivity to make lists so the very first thing he does is list requirements for the perfect sleep and having written and ticked off same, he closes his eyes and … stays awake.

That’s not right he thinks as he spends a restless night till bird song reminds him it’s morning. Maybe a long walk might make me sleepy wonders Bear. He walks from sunrise till almost sunset and suddenly notices a Blackbird preparing to sleep by chirping tunefully. Could that work for me, Bear thinks. Soon, from the top of a tree comes a “GRROOWWOO!” followed by a great deal of fidgety fussing until morning comes.
Off goes Bear once more and noticing Badger busy burrowing into his sett for a cosy snooze, our ursine friend decides to try burrowing along behind. Talk about a squash and a squeeze.

Morning comes around again and Bear returns to his cave where he starts another of those lists. While so doing in flutters Bat and hangs itself up head downwards. It’s not one of Bear’s best ideas to try emulating Bat.

Out into the moonlit night he creeps, heading for the pond deeper in the forest. That’s where he comes upon Frog. Bear explains his plight and Frog comes up with an important point, the gist of which he proceeds to demonstrate. Bear copies Frog to the best of his ability, mindfully contemplating the sights and sounds of the darkness until finally he falls fast asleep. Great for Bear but not of course for the other forest dwellers that had been asleep too. Now what?

That would be telling, and Duncan’s last three superb spreads do it to perfection, about these I’ll only say, there’s another list and the need for some patience.

A terrific tongue-in-cheek offering with some fun alliteration to treat young listeners; but equally, adult readers aloud will relish Bear’s bodily contortions and expressions. Oh! those eyebrows – and not just those of Bear.

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