Buster Bear was having a lazy day. But as the sun reached higher into the sky, his fur started to get hot and his stomach was starting to growl.
“All right” he said to himself. “Time to get a move on.”
Slowly and methodically, Buster Bear started to head downhill to the Laughing Brook. The movement felt good to his well-rested muscles and the water ahead looked inviting.
As he approached the Laughing Brook, Buster noticed that he wasn’t the only one that had thought about having fish as a mid-morning snack. Once he was close, he realized that it was Little Joe Otter. He also came to realize that the otter had been successful. Little Joe Otter had a nice big trout in his mouth!
Buster Bear crept up to the unsuspecting otter and snarled. As you can imagine, poor Little Joe Otter panicked at the sound, dropped the fish, and dove into the nearby water.
“Just as I had hoped!” Buster Bear thought as he pounced on the trout before it flip-flopped its way down the stream bank.
Little Joe Otter popped his head out of the water of the water and stared coldly at Buster Bear’s mouth.
Buster Bear stubbornly stood there and eventually said, “If you would like the fish back, just come get it.”
This did nothing to get Little Joe Otter to stop his unblinking gaze, so Buster Bear repeated his half-hearted offer. “Come get your fish if you want it.”
Furious, Little Joe Otter dove under the water and slipped downstream until he met Billy Mink. It didn’t take long to tell Billy about his encounter with Buster Bear. Billy Mink listened to Little Joe’s tale and nodded sympathetically. However, being a practical sort of animal, Billy Mink could only say, “There’s not much you can do about it, is there?”
Stewing in his anger, Little Joe Otter thought over his options until a plot for revenge took root in his mind. Without a word, Little Joe Otter took to the water again and made his way upstream until he spotted Buster Bear.
It was clear that one fish did not satisfy the lazy bear’s appetite, so Buster Bear was progressing from one deep pool to the next. Little Joe Otter picked up on Buster’s plan and moved quickly into action. He first went to the pool Buster Bear was going to next. Once there, he swam at a frantic pace in circles to scare away the fish in the pool and disturb the mud to make the water murky.
Buster Bear fished unsuccessfully there for a while and, discouraged, moved on to the next pool only to find the conditions to be similar. All day long, Little Joe Otter sabotaged the lazy bear’s fishing. Buster Bear’s stomach continued to growl and Little Joe Otter’s stomach joined in the chorus.
Biology connection: Food resources, like fish, are prized by many different types of animals. The battle for food is called competition. The population size of one type of animal is often limited not only by the amount of food in an area but also by whether other types of animals eat that food, too.
Re-write of “Thornton Burgess Bedtime Stories” chapter 1.