The Adventure Begins
adventure began on a warm August afternoon, in the United Nations gift shop in Geneva. In July, after graduating from Bear School, I had moved to a comfortable
shelf near the front of the gift shop. This
was an ideal location, providing an excellent view of all the people coming in
to do their shopping. I have always been
fascinated with people, so I found it very interesting to watch them. But the best part was in the evening. Once
all the people had gone home, I was able to wander about the store, playing
with the toys, and visiting with all the other stuffed animals. There were many different animals - tigers,
elephants, and even dolphins! Unlike
some of the Bears, who only liked talking to other Bears, I enjoyed visiting
with all of the animals. It was an ideal
situation, and I was getting very comfortable.
first, when the human picked me up, I was a bit frightened. It seems strange to think about it now, after
all the time I have spent with humans, but at that time I had never been picked
up by a human before. But I quickly
relaxed, once it became clear he was not going to try to hurt me. We Bears are tough anyway. I was confident that I could take care of
myself. Before I realized what was
happening, he took me to the cashier, gave her some money, and took me from the
store. I had been bought.
first thought was that I would run away that night. I was no stranger to Geneva, having grown up, and gone to Bear School there. Once it was dark, the streets would be far
safer for me than for him. So I stayed
quiet and waited. Then, to my amazement,
the human started taking me around and showing me some of the famous sights of Geneva. I had seen many of them before, but never in
the daytime. He took pictures too.
is one of the very first pictures that he took.
I am in front of the UN building in Geneva. This driveway is lined with the flags of all
the countries in the United Nations. In all,
there are 191 countries in the UN, and every one of them has a flag here.
realized that this human was not from Geneva, or even from Switzerland. He seemed to be interested in one particular
flag, from a place called Canada.
In Bear School, we had learned many useful
things. We had studied how to find
berries, how to catch salmon, and how to avoid humans. But we never learned anything about a place
called Canada. I have always been a very curious bear. My mother always told me that it would get me
in trouble one day. But this day, it
didn’t get me into trouble. It started
me on the greatest adventure that a bear could ever have! I had been planning to run away that night,
but I started thinking about this place called Canada, and I wondered if the human
planned to take me there. I wondered
what it would be like, and if there would be interesting people and bears
there. The more I thought about it, the
more curious I became. In the end, my
curiosity got the better of me, and I decided I just had to stay. And that is how my adventure began.
we went to Canada, the human gave me an extended
tour of Geneva. I learned all sorts of interesting
things. I had seen this globe many
times, but only at night. When I saw it
in the daylight, I was amazed to see all the gold. It is impressive even at night, but in the
day it is awesome. As we toured Geneva, I realized that I was seeing
the city in a whole new light. It was
like I was discovering it anew. I
realized that if I was having this much fun in Geneva, imagine the fun I would have
in other cities.
traveling companion (I was already beginning to think of him in this way) also
began to tell me stories about some of the things we were seeing. He told me that the gun I was sitting on had
been a real gun used in the First World War.
At the end of the war, they decided they did not want any more wars, so
they tied the barrel of the gun into a knot.
It is a really neat idea – I wish it had worked.
sightseeing tour, we went out for a lovely dinner, and then back to the
hotel. I had several chances to escape
that evening, but by then I was firmly decided to go with my traveling
companion, and see what the world could show me. It is a decision that I have not ever
last day in Geneva, I saw something that I had never seen
before – the jet d’eau, which is a giant water fountain. They turn it off late at night, so I had
never seen it. I was amazed. I have looked it up, and the water goes 140
meters high, and is going 200 km/hr.
That is twice as fast as a car on the highway, which is simply amazing.
the rest of the day I had a huge smile on my face. And then that night, my traveling companion
began to pack his suitcase. I began to
get excited, because I knew that the next morning I would have my first
airplane ride. I would also have my
first sight of this place called Canada.
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