Teacher’s Pet

Just a few blocks from Chaka and Chacha’s hut, down a beautiful tree-lined street, stood a quaint little school house. It was one of those red school houses with a bell tower and a playground – the kind you always read about but never really see in the average town. The exterior was all brick, with 2 stories of tiny windows and big double doors at the front entrance. Trees and flowers made the school look cheerful and inviting. Chaka and Chacha could not wait to send Chew Bear off to school and to watch him make friends, learn and grow!

Chew Bear began school on a crisp fall morning, just a few years after he was rescued from the Chew tree and brought back to Toledo. Chaka and Chacha had prepared him a few weeks before, explaining to him the importance of learning, behaving and participation. Chew Bear set off for his first day of school with a brand new bright green book bag on his back, a nutritious lunch packed and an apple in hand for his new teacher. He was excited and ready to begin his education.

As Chew Bear entered his classroom for the first time, rather than noticing all of the children staring at him, the first thing he noticed was all of the decorations made up of letters, numbers, shapes and colors that were plastered throughout the entire room. He was mesmerized by the lot of it. The teacher, Ms. Mulberry, quickly grabbed Chew Bear’s attention and directed him to his seat at the front of the classroom. Several of the students giggled and whispered to one another as they sized Chew Bear up and down, “What is he?” they asked each other, and “He is not a human!” some exclaimed. This was the first time Chew Bear REALLY noticed how different he was from people in Toledo. Then and there he decided that he would find out why he was so different.

Once the class had settled down, Ms. Mulberry asked that each student share one interesting thing about themselves.  A couple of children mentioned their love for sports, another talked about her summer vacation to Disney World, and another mentioned having his appendix taken out. It was all great, Chew Bear thought, but no one was really paying attention. Chew Bear decided he needed to  WOW the students and show them that different is good! Chaka and Chacha had told him time and again that being different makes you unique; it sets you apart from the rest and makes you special. When it got to be Chew Bear’s turn, he turned and addressed the class and began to rap:

“My name is Chew Bear; I was born in a tree.

I came all the way from an island in Lake Erie.

I love to eat pizza and for dessert ice cream,

Rapping is my game and I always wear green.”

With that said, or should we say “rapped”, the students in the class saw past Chew Bears odd appearance and saw a totally cool and totally interesting classmate. The class gave Chew Bear a standing ovation and they could not wait to ask him where he learned to freestyle like that!

At recess all of the students in Chew Bear’s grade gathered around him and started asking him questions about himself. Chew Bear loved talking to his new friends but he found it strange that many of the questions they had asked, like “Where are you from exactly?”, and “Why are you so harry?”, he could not answer. He was becoming more and more puzzled about his appearance.

The rest of the day was spent learning, which Chew Bear absolutely loved. He took notes and absorbed everything that Ms. Mulberry said. He could not get enough! Art class was his favorite; he spent the hour painting a picture of the Chew tree just as he remembered it. He could not wait to get home and show it to Chaka and Chacha.



When the school bell rang at the end of the day, Chew Bear walked home with some of his new friends. They talked about sports and practical jokes, all things that Chew Bear could not wait to learn more about. As they rounded the corner just about a block or two from the hut, Chew Bear saw a big building with a sign reading “Library” on the outside. He remembered the night that Chacha had helped him learn to read and told him that the library was filled with books and information. It was a place where you could find the answers to all of your questions. This is exactly where Chew Bear needed to go to find out why he was so different! What a lucky find!

When he returned home, Chew Bear mentioned to Chacha that he wanted to go to the library to get some books on art (he did not want to give away what he really planned to research, in fear that it may hurt Chacha’s feelings). Chacha promised to take him to the library soon to check out some books.  Chew Bear could not wait, finally he would have some answers!

The Days at school seemed to fly by as Chew Bear filled his brain with math, reading, and history. When Library Day finally rolled around, Chew Bear awoke bright and early, ready to begin his research………


To be continued…….