“Be back before supper, my little cubs!” Bear, to his four adopted children. “Yes, Bear!” the Cubs giggled as they ran down to the water, dragging a big wood boat behind them.
Bear only calls them his cubs because he will not call them his children. (They are humans)Four years ago, Bear found them eating berries behind his house, after running away from their orphanage. Della was so little, Elmi was carrying her in a towel.
Now, Della is five and quarter. Yes, she is really proud of that and she will tell anyone that listened. It took a while for Bear to teach Della that telling everyone on the street her age is a bad idea.
Della was just trying to help out with the boat when she accidentally flipped it over and trapped Kaylin under the boat. “Della!” Kaylin yelled from under the boat. “Oh, now we’re going to be more than a minute delayed,” Anabel said. Della is the youngest, Kaylin is the second youngest, Annabel is the second oldest, and Elmi is the oldest.
“Stop jumping around in there!” Elma yelled at Kaylin, her neat, blonde ponytail falling loose. “Sure, but don't say ‘in there’ to me. It makes me feel like a chicken in a cage,” Kaylin said. Elmi and Annabel were working on lifting up the boat, while Della sat behind a beach rock, stubbornly thinking that the others would be better without her. Anyways, she thought. I don't even know how to row a boat. I will just be sinking their boat. She slumped her snack backpack off her shoulder sadly.
“Errrrrr! Finally!” Kaylin pushed at the wooden boat with her legs and managed to sneak under it before Elmi and Annabel dropped it with exhaustion.
“Wow, that boat is really too heavy. I'm surprised that it floats as well as it does,” Annabel said, examining the boat. “Well, don't tell Bear that. He thinks he carved it to perfection,” Elmi whispered. “Okay, well. Everybody ready?”
“Yes…” Kaylin said slowly like she was missing something. “ Wait, no. Where’s Della?” Elmi gasped. How could she forget about Della… and where was Della?
They all knew that when Della gets mad or embarrassed, she runs away. “Oh, I hope she didn't go far, knocking over the boat isn't that bad,” Elmi said, worriedly. “Ahem?” Kaylin asked. “I was under that.” Did she just forget I was trapped under that big hunk of wood? Kaylin thought, brushing the sand off her messy blonde hair. They all had blonde hair except for Bear and Anabel. Anabel’s hair is black, and Bear’s hair is dark brown.
Elmi ran over to Della’s favourite hiding spot. A little dome made of beach stones and seaweed. To her relief, she found Della there. She was sitting, puffy and pouty. “What's the deal here?” Elmi asked.
“Kaylin was yelling at me again. Plus, I can't even row a boat. What would it help to have me in the boat?” Della pouted. The old thing is rickety enough as it is… Elmi thought guiltily.
“No, no! Della, who will we have to carry our lunches? With us carrying the boat, our hands are full! We need you, sister!” Elmi said enthusiastically.
“Sister?” Della asked. “You never call me that.”
“Well, aren't we?” Elmi smiled.
“I guess. Yes,” Della said happily, getting up. Della held Elmi’s hand, and they walked back to the beach. Altogether, the four cubs set the boat in the sand and pushed it out into the water.
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