remember my first airplane ride, when my traveling companion told me that we
were going to Canada, a vast land of forest,
prairie, and mountains. My eyes lit up
when he mentioned the mountains. I had
only been away from my home in Switzerland for a few hours, yet already I
was missing the mountains. When I was a
very young bear, I would stand on my bed so that I could look out my window,
and see the snow covered Alps. Later, when I was at
Bear School, I would sometimes stop in the
playground to look up at the sun drenched slopes of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. My friends would laugh at me, saying how can
something be “drenched” in sun? I didn’t
care what they said, I still loved the mountains. Leaving the mountains was the hardest thing
that I have ever done – except for leaving my family, of course. I knew it would not be exactly the same, but
I thought that if Canada had mountains, at least I
would have something comfort me when I was homesick. Imagine my surprise when my traveling
companion told me that even though we would be in the same country as the
mountains, we would still be 3000 kilometres away from them. Three thousand kilometres! Imagine that.
Frankly, I simply could not imagine it.
I was convinced that he was playing a trick on me, so I laughed at him
and had a little nap. While I was
sleeping, I dreamt I was standing by my window, looking at the most beautiful
mountain I had ever seen.
up as the plane was landing, and was very excited to be in my new home. As drove away from the airport, I was looking
out all the windows, trying to see the mountains. Slowly, the horrible truth dawned on me. My traveling companion had been telling the
truth! The mountains were very far away.
very homesick for a few days, but then I was introduced to the most wonderful
grade 3 class in Stittsville. They made
me feel very welcome, and soon I felt right at home. I almost never thought about the
mountains. Then my traveling companion
began taking me on trips, and soon I was lost in the excitement of seeing the
evening my traveling companion told me that he had a surprise for me. The very next day we were going to fly right
across Canada, to a city called
Vancouver. He waited a moment for me to think about
where I would be if I flew right across Canada. Suddenly my eyes opened wide as I realized
what this must mean. I looked at him, my
eyes gleaming with excitement. “Does
that mean…?” He laughed and told me that
I was right. In Vancouver you can see the mountains,
very much like you can in Geneva. I was so happy that I ran over and gave him a
great big bear hug, taking extra care to make sure that my claws didn’t stick
out. I don’t think he would have been
too pleased if I had hugged him with my claws out.
so excited that I hardly slept at all that night. My suitcase was packed, and I was ready for
Vancouver. We arrived at the airport, checked our bags
and headed for the gate. Once we boarded
the plane I relaxed, and suddenly I realized just how tired I was. The next thing I knew, my traveling companion
was shaking me, and telling me to wake up.
When he said “we’re here” I was suddenly wide awake.
soon as we were off the plane, I rushed to the nearest window, and looked for the
mountains. It was a dull, overcast day,
and all I could see was the airport. I
think my traveling companion could see how disappointed I was, because he told
me not to worry. He assured me that I
would see the mountains soon enough. I
looked him straight in the eye, and told him that it couldn’t be soon
enough. He laughed and took me by the
hand as we went to collect our bags.
taxi drove us into Vancouver, the fog began to clear. I could see more and more of the city, and
even what looked like hills.
suddenly, as we came around a curve, there they were – the mountains. I asked the taxi driver to stop, and I got
out and just looked for at least 5 minutes.
When I got back in the taxi, my traveling companion gave me a tissue to
wipe the tears from my eyes. I couldn’t
believe how happy I was.
rest of the week I was in heaven. Our
hotel was over a kilometre from the conference, so we walked through the
streets of Vancouver every morning and evening. There were so many interesting old houses
mixed right in with high-rise apartment building. I found it all very interesting.
day, as we were looking for someplace to have lunch, we found a Japanese
restaurant. My traveling companion
suggested that we give it a try, and since I love Japanese food, I agreed. As we were going in, we saw the strangest
sight. A giant pink rabbit was sitting
in front of a nearby store.
He looked lost, so I asked him if I could help
him. He must have been very shy, because
he wouldn’t say anything to me at all.
When I asked him if he wanted to join us for lunch, he shook his
head. So we went by ourselves, and had a
wonderful lunch. I learned that there
are many Japanese people in Vancouver, and even more Chinese. Since we had been in Japan just a few weeks earlier, it
almost made me feel at home. All too
soon, the trip was over, and I waved goodbye to the mountains once again. Who knows when I will have the chance to see
them again, but I was happy for the brief visit that I had. I gave my traveling companion another hug as
the plane took off. I lay back in my
seat with a smile on my face.
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