Six Bears Get in a Pickle

by Gordon Dioxide

Once upon a time there was a family of six bears. There was Daddy Bear, Mummy Bear, Blue Bear, Big Bear, Clever Bear and Completely Bear. They lived in a forest that didn't have any trees.

Now, as you might expect, Daddy Bear was the Daddy, Mummy Bear was the Mummy, Blue Bear was blue, Big Bear was big, Clever Bear was clever and Completely Bear didn't have any clothes.

One day, Daddy Bear decided that he wanted to do something really exciting, just for a change. So he stayed at home to watch football on the television. Mummy Bear said that she too would have to stay at home because there was a lot of housework to be done, so she stayed at home and watched an old movie on the upstairs television.

The four young bears all decided to go out looking for adventure, so off they went.

Blue Bear headed for the fun fair, but on the way he tripped and fell into a pot of yellow paint. This made him yellow from head to toe - not the sort of colour a Blue Bear wants to be painted.

Big Bear went to the Science Museum. Before he looked at all the interesting exhibits, he went to get a large hamburger and fizzy drink from the restaurant. But instead of drinking the fizzy drink, he accidentally drank some Incredible Shrinking Potion which made him about the size of ant. Not the sort of size a Big Bear wants to be.

Clever Bear went to the library. He was sitting down reading some history books, when suddenly his brain exploded and millions of tiny pieces shot out of his ears. A clever bear without a brain should just be called Bear.

Completely Bear went to the shops. When he was walking down the street he came across an Opposite Thief. Now, in case you haven't guessed, an Opposite Thief is the opposite of a thief - instead of stealing things, he gives things to complete strangers. Quite a good sort of chap really.

He saw a poor beggar man sitting in a doorway and gave him a million pounds. He saw an old lady at a bus stop, and, very carefully, slipped a gold necklace into her pocket. Then he saw Completely Bear, a bear without any clothes. You can guess what he did. He dressed him up in very fine clothes - a silk shirt, a designer suit from Italy, and a pair of leather boots. Completely Bear was furious but he couldn't take the clothes off because he didn't know how to undress because he had never worn any clothes before!

So there we have it - a blue bear that was yellow, a big bear that was small, a clever bear with no brain, and a bare bear that had clothes.

Big Bear went home, knocked on the door, and said "Its Big Bear. Please let me in" in a tiny voice. Mummy Bear said "You're not Big Bear. Big Bear is big. You are small. Go away."

Then Blue Bear went home, knocked on the door, and said "Its Blue Bear. Please let me in." in a yellowy sort of voice. Mummy Bear said "You're not Blue Bear. Blue Bear is blue. You are yellow. Go away."

Then Completely Bear went home, knocked on the door, and said "Its Completely Bear. Please let me in" in a voice that sounded as if it came from someone wearing clothes. Mummy Bear said "You're not Completely Bear. Completely Bear is bare. You are clothed. Go away."

Then Clever Bear went home, knocked on the door, and said "Its Bear Clever. In please me let." in a voice that didn't make any sense at all. Mummy Bear said "You're not Clever Bear. Clever Bear is clever. You are silly. Go away."

So the four bears walked sadly away from their home. They had nowhere to live and they didn't know what to do.

"I know, lets go and see the Wise Old Owl" said Big Bear, but no-one heard him because his voice was so tiny.

"Old Wise go lets see Owl" said Clever Bear, but no-one understood what he meant.

"Lets go and see the Wise Old Owl" said Blue Bear, but his voice was so yellow they thought he was talking custard.

"I know, lets go and see the Wise Old Owl" said Completely Bear.

"That's what I said!" said the other three.

So off they went to find the Wise Old Owl. The Wise Old Owl was sitting in his tree, and he didn't recognise the four bears at first. But when they told him what had happened, he put his thinking cap on. He thought and he thought until he couldn't think any more. Then he thought a bit more. Then he thought so much that there weren't any more thoughts left to think. So he fell asleep.

When the Wise Old Owl woke up he found that the four bears had moved into his tree-house. Big Bear was resting in a thimble. Blue Bear was trying to find some blue ink to pour all over himself. Completely Bear was still trying to work out how to take his clothes off. And Clever Bear was in the kitchen trying to cook some toast in the fridge.

The Wise Old Owl didn't really want four bears living in his house, so he started to think again. He thought so hard that smoke started to come out of his ears.

All of a sudden he had an idea. A great idea. He would mix up some magic potions to sort out the bears' problems. So he went into the kitchen and started to mix up all his special secret ingredients.

After about an hour he was finished. There was some Incredible Growing Potion for Big Bear, some Turn-Anything Blue Potion for Blue Bear, some Clothes-Removal Potion for Completely Bear, and some Brain-Making Potion for Clever Bear.

The Incredible Growing Potion was in a green bottle. The Turn-Anything Blue Potion was in a pink bottle. The Clothes-Removal Potion was in a yellow bottle. And the Brain-Making Potion was in a blue bottle.

He called Clever Bear into the kitchen, and said "Give the green bottle to Big Bear, the pink bottle to Blue Bear, the yellow bottle to Completely Bear and the blue bottle is yours."

Clever Bear took the bottles to the other bears and said "Ummm, errr, the black bottle is for ... no, there isn't a black bottle ... the blue bottle is yours Big Bear, the yellow bottle must be for Blue Bear because he is yellow ... the pink bottle is for Completely Bear, so the green bottle must be for me."

They all drunk their potions and waited for something to happen. After a few minutes, something did happen ... but not what they were expecting.

Big Bear suddenly became very brainy, and started shouting out some really difficult sums. Completely Bear turned blue. Clever Bear grew so big that he hit his head on the ceiling. And Blue Bear's clothes fell off!

What a disaster! What a mix-up! Big Bear was now small and clever. Completely Bear was blue and fully-clothed. Clever Bear was enormous but short on brains. And Blue Bear was bare and yellow! Its all very confusing.

The Wise Old Owl was shocked to see what a mess Clever Bear had made giving out the bottles. The four bears were even more shocked to see what the potions had done to them.

"What are we going to do now?" said Blue Bear.

"There's only one thing for it." said the Wise Old Owl "You must go and see the Wizard of Brick, who lives down the Yellow Oz Road. He has got some Put Everything Back to Normal Potion."

So off they went, down the Yellow Oz Road. They found the Wizard of Brick in his big golden castle. He laughed a great big wizardy laugh when he saw the four ridiculous-looking bears.

"No problem, no problem" he said "I will sort you out. Clever Bear, go into my Magic Room and bring me the bottle labelled Put Everything Back to Normal Potion."

So Clever Bear went into the Magic Room (he only just fitted through the door because he was so enormous) and saw two bottles on the table.

One bottle was labelled Put Everything Back to Normal Potion, and the other was labelled Make Everything Worse Potion. Unfortunately Clever Bear could no longer read, so which one do you think he got?

Yes, the wrong one. All four bears drunk some of the Make Everything Worse Potion!

Big Bear was now small, clever, and bright orange. Completely Bear was blue, fully-clothed, and had elephant trunks growing out of his ears. Clever Bear was silly, huge and thought he was a rhinoceros fairy. And Blue Bear was bare, yellow, and his head had turned into an egg salad!

Oh dear, oh dear! The potion had certainly made everything worse!

But wait, there is an easy way to sort out this mess once and for all. Can you think what it might be?

Go back in the Magic Room and get the Put Everything Back to Normal Potion!

Do you think they sent Clever Bear in to get it?

No, they sent Blue Bear in. It was a bit difficult for him to see properly because his head was an egg salad. But he managed to find the potion and brought it out to the others.

They all drank some and do you know what happened?

Big Bear grew big. Blue Bear turned blue. Clever Bear got his brain back. And Completely Bear lost all his clothes! So everything was back to normal. They all went home and, this time, Mummy Bear let them in.

"Did you all have a nice day?" she asked. "Errr ... yes, it was quite interesting!" they said.

Here are a few questions to see if you've been listening ...

How did Blue Bear turn yellow?

How did Big Bear turn small?

How did Clever Bear lose his cleverness?

How did Completely Bear get his clothes?

What was Clever Bear doing when the Wise Old Owl woke up?