[I first posted this very short piece last week on the blog of Julie Lawford, who blogs as Jools at A Writer’s Notepad.  Julie had requested contributions from other writers who follow her blog, none to exceed 250 words.  She received thirteen such short pieces, including mine. The other twelve are all well worth your time, and I urge you to go take a look.  However, since this one is mine, and not all of you follow Jools, I’m putting it up here too.  Like the two preceding posts (Tweed and Bathroom), it comes from a novella in progress.]


Just after Anna began sleeping in her new big girl’s bed, she dreamed the wild animals in the zoo escaped from their cages. Everyone had their windows shut tight so no animals could get in, except the window in Anna’s room had been left open by mistake. She was very frightened.

Sure enough, a huge brown bear climbed over the sill. His mouth was open, he had long pointed white teeth, saliva dripped from his gums; she knew he wanted to eat her. Heart pounding, she slipped out of bed. The bear saw her. She circled the bed. The bear came after her, round and round, closer and closer….

That’s when she woke up. Her mother was there. Her mother stroked her hair and kissed her and told her it was just a bad dream, but that if a bear ever did get into her room, all she had to do was feed him honey and he wouldn’t hurt her. Then Anna really did wake up and found herself all alone in her room. Her mother wasn’t there. The advice about feeding bears honey had been part of the dream, too.

After giving it a lot of thought over the next few days, Anna decided her mother’s advice in the scary dream had not been useful. How would she find honey in her room if a bear came into it? And how would she feed the honey to such a huge bear?



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