Buster Bear woke up feeling very sad on Monday morning. He was sad and a little scared. Buster Bear was starting school that day.
Buster was sad because he had never been away from his mother before, and he didn’t want to be away from her now. He was scared because he wouldn’t know anyone at school.
Mama Bear had been trying to comfort him for days.
“Buster,” she said, “there is no reason to be sad about being away from me. You will only be at school for a couple of hours each day. I promise you will have fun.”
“But Mama, ” cried Buster, ” I won’t know anyone there, and I’m scared. What if nobody likes me?”
“Oh sweetie, you’ll make lots of friends,” Mama replied, “and you’ll play lots of games.”
While eating his cereal with honey, Buster began to cry. “Please don’t make me go Mama!” he begged. Let me stay here with you. We can play games.”
Mama Bear said firmly, “Now Buster, you have to go to school. I understand that you are scared. If it will make you feel better, I will go with you, to show you there is no reason to be scared.”
“Oh, all right. If I have to.” Buster replied sadly. “But I know I won’t like it.”
Buster finished his breakfast, then he and Mama walked to his new school.
The school was in a meadow in the middle of the forest. It was run by Mrs. Owl, who was very old and very wise.
When they arrived at the school, Mama and Buster went to Mrs. Owl’s office. Mrs. Owl, who was also very nice, offered to take them to Buster’s classroom to meet his teacher, Mrs. Fox. She led them down the hall to room that Buster saw was filled with children laughing and playing. He saw there was even another bear cub inside.
“Now, this doesn’t look so bad, does it?” asked Mama Bear.
Before Buster could answer, Mrs. Fox walked over. “Hello, you must be Buster.” she said. “I was beginning to think you weren’t going to make it.”
Buster hid behind his mother.
“Buster is a little scared.” explained Mama.
“Well,” stated Mrs. Owl, “we shall have to help him to get over his fear, won’t we.”
Mrs. Fox knelt down and asked, “Don’t you want to stay here and play with the other children, Buster?”
Buster peeked into the classroom from behind his mother. Just then, the other bear cub and a beaver kit ran up to them.
“Hi, my name’s Beth, what’s yours?” asked the bear cub.
Curious, Buster took a small step from behind his mother. “I’m Buster.” he replied shyly.
“My name is Bart.” stated the beaver. “Want to play?”
Buster took another small step toward Beth and Bart, then stopped and looked up at his mother.
“Go ahead.” she encouraged. “It’s all right.”
Buster hesitated for a second, then he followed his new friends into the classroom. Soon the three of them were playing together happily.
“See, he only needed a little time to adjust.” stated Mrs. Owl, smiling as she started back to her office.
“If you’d like, you can stay and watch for a little while.” suggested Mrs. Fox. “Just to make sure he isn’t scared anymore.”
“I’d like that, thank you.” replied Mama Bear.
Mama Bear sat and watched Buster play and make new friends. After a short while, she went home to fix his lunch before picking him up from school. Halfway to the school, Mama Bear met Beth, Beth’s mother and Buster. Beth’s mother had offered to walk him home. Mama invited them to lunch.
After lunch, Beth and Buster played while their mothers sat and talked. They decided to take turns walking the cubs to and from school since they lived in the same part of the forest.
As soon as Beth and her mother left, Buster began to tell his mother about his first day at school.
“I got to play with blocks and trucks and a little drum. And I learned some of my ABC’s!” said Buster excitedly. “I even got to play on the computer some!”
“Slow down.” laughed Mama Bear. “I take it you had fun at school today, and found out there was nothing to be afraid of?”
“Oh yes!” exclaimed Buster. “Mrs. Fox is so nice, and Bart and Beth are fun.”
“I’m glad you like school, sweetie.” Mama Bear stated. “I am also happy that you aren’t scared anymore.”
“I still don’t like being away from you, Mama; but I don’t think about it much at school. There is so much to do there.”
“I am so proud of the way you faced your fear today.” said Mama, hugging Buster. “Why don’t you go play or watch a video until Daddy gets home. I have to start dinner.”
That evening, Buster told his father all about his first day of school and the friends he had made there.
“I was scared at first,” he said, “but I’m not anymore. I can’t wait to go to school again tomorrow!”
“That’s my big, brave boy.” said daddy, giving Buster a hug.
Mama then told Daddy and Buster about the arrangements she and Beth’s mother had made about walking the cubs to and from school.
“Oh goody!” exclaimed Buster, grinning widely.
That night, Buster went to bed happy, and eager for morning to come. He couldn’t wait to see Beth, Bart and Mrs. Fox again. He couldn’t wait to go to school again. He had found out that school was not scary and learning was fun.