By Thorsten Mungren
What in the world was Farthington Bear doing in Animal Court? My oh my, what a terrible pickle he had gotten himself into!
Turns out, selling honey without a license is a very serious crime in Rainbowville. Judge Beaver didn't even care that the cuddly little bear was only selling the honey to buy a jaunty new outfit for the Big Picnic!
"Farthington Bear, I hereby sentence you to one year in the state penitentiary," said the judge, smacking that great big tail of his against the floor.
"Oh no!" oinked Priscilla Piglet.
"How horrible!" moaned Timmy Turtle.
A miscarriage of justice! the other members of the Fuzzy-Wuzzy Club groaned and growled.
But it was no use. The police put Farthington Bear in shackles drove him straight to prison, where he was stripped naked and deloused! Then some big, scary prison guards took away his tartan vest and little bowler hat and gave him a yellow jumpsuit and a pair of crummy old sneakers.
"I don't even wear shoes!" he cried. But the guards just laughed and shoved him into his cell.
At first, Farthington Bear was very sad. None of the other inmates sat with him at mealtime, and nobody would talk to him in the exercise yard, much less play him in a game of jacks.
But little by little, Farthington Bear began to make new friends! He no longer had his favorite pipe, but the other prisoners sometimes gave him cigarettes in exchange for singing jolly songs or spotting them at the weight bench. He also whittled his pals some handsome new shivs out of birch twigs that his friend Polly Pigeon left on his window sill every morning. And after the other convicts got a taste of the pruno he had been brewing beneath his bunk, why, Farthington Bear was practically the most popular bear in the whole state penal system!
"You've sure made a lot of new friends," Warden said one day to Farthington Bear. "It's a real shame I've got to put you in The Hole."
"The Hole?" cried Farthington Bear. "That doesn't sound very nice!"
"That's the point," Warden replied gleefully. Little did Farthington Bear know that Warden's wife had been mauled by a bear, and now his cold, bitter heart was consumed with thoughts of revenge against all bears, no matter how cuddly!
And so Warden had Farthington Bear thrown into The Hole for the last six months of his sentence. Six months sure is a long time! Farthington Bear thought gloomily as the thick metal door slammed shut. But then he looked around, and his spirits began to soar!
The Hole was dark and damp, and it was very small and very warm. "Why, this hole is simply wonderful!" Farthington Bear cried out joyfully. Then the little ursine inmate lay down on the floor and curled up into a furry ball ... and proceeded to hibernate for the rest of his sentence!
(Writer and itinerant ventriloquist Thorsten Mungren has enchanted children for years with his Fuzzy-Wuzzy Club Adventure Series.)
Saturday, September 08, 2007
By Thorsten Mungren
Posted by ES at 10:00 AM