Original draft of Marianne Hauser's, "Your Little Book of Buttercup, The Happiest Bear in the World"


Material Information

Original draft of Marianne Hauser's, "Your Little Book of Buttercup, The Happiest Bear in the World"
Physical Description:
Hauser, Marianne
Physical Location:
Box: 4
Folder: Little Buttercup- Original Version


Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID:

Full Text



marianne hauser

your little book of buttercup
the happiest bear in the world

An old bear asked me to tell you a tale

and so I must tell it to you.

It's about Buttercup the bear 44rb

and every single word of it is true.

How would I know for sure it's true?

I know.

fr the old bear who told me

was wise Master Oso
ans so it's got to be true.

Buttercup lay curled up fast asleep in a corer of her dark cave. Outside the

mighty sun burst through the fog and sent his countless beams to wake the earth.

Slowly the skies brightened and valley and mountain stirred with new life. The

meadow in front of Buttercup's den began to sprout and glitter with tiny dew drops.

And whatever crawled or slithered or wiggled or walked through the dewy young

grass or winged above it or dived and swam under water was greeting the day.
Atop the spruce the purple finch was wooing his bride with amorous lilts and

trills. Twee-te-deleee... But unless you happened to perch in the tree with him you

wouldn't have heard a peep. For down by the pond a red-tipped blackbird was

carrying on loud enough to outcroak the croaking frogs or wake up a bear.

KONQUEREEEEEEE! But did the noise wake Buttercup up? Oh no! That bear

was still fast asleep in her cave.

Now, you and me, like any creature, beast or human, we each have our

guardian angel to watch over us night or day. And Buttercup's guardian angel was

sunbeam. He was on a special mission. For the mighty sun ruled that the cub had

slept enough and ought to wake up.

So sunbeam sneaked into the comer of Buttercup's cave and sat down on her


We're done with winter! Spring is here! On your paws, little Buttercup,

beamed sunbeam, and tickled her nose.

Ahhh-chee! Buttercup sneezed, twitched, blinked, then shut her eyes and

rolled over to snooze some more.

But sunbeam wouldn't take a sneeze for an answer, least from this bear cub

whom the mighty sun had trusted in his care. So he switched to his extra bright light

and aimed it to shine into Buttercup's eyes.

In less than a flash, before you could say breakfast, bumblebee or bum,

Buttercup was on her paws.

A mild breeze drifted through the den and ruffled her thick brown fur. She

yawned. She scratched her pelt and stretched. And off she wobbled, a bit shaky on

her paws after the long winter sleep. She bumped her head against a rocky edge.

She sniffed and stumbled from the shadows into a rosy flood of early light.

Buttercup had reached the hole which served as her window and door. And leaning

upwind, she sniffed spring.

Yes, spring had blown into the valley -- no question about that. The meadow

stretched into the sky huge and green. Squinting, she saw how the green was dotted

with tight tiny buds, blue, yellow and orange and red. Flighty butterflies flitted and

flirted above, splashing each other with dew drops. But for the busy buzzing bee,

the morning spelled b-i-z-n-e-zzzzzz...

zzzz... They were buzzing the buds. Hello...open up...open up... we got to

zoom into your flower cup zzzzz... we got to produzzze... time is honey...

Right on! Buttercup clapped her paws. Did she smell honey in the wind? Or

was it the scent of the sweet young grass that had her lick her snout expectantly?

Hiho! Once she had clambered out into the meadow, she'd treat herself to the

greenest, juiciest tufts.

I sure am one lucky bear! she proclaimed to a passing rabbit who scurried into

the bushes, frightened out of his wits, Buttercup couldn't see why. Well -- rabbits

are rabbits, she said to herself. And happy as a clam, if a clam can be that happy,

she sang The Happy Bear Song:

oh what a happy bear

oh what a peppy bear

oh what a happy peppy --

Rats! Buttercup cried, irked that the word that rhymed with peppy had slipped her


It wouldn't be would it be sappy or rappy? she asked herself, when

the right word slipped back with a snap. But now, rather than finish the song, it

seemed more urgent that she'd say thank-you to sunbeam. For if he hadn't flashed

her awake, what then? Do you think she'd be the happy bear she was now?

Of course not. Springtime was fun time. Buttercup couldn't wait to give

sunbeam a big thank-you bear hug and dance with him arm in arm through the

blooming meadow. They'd play hide and seek. They'd sing and join the annual

beastie parade to celebrate spring. Hiho!

Buttercup got on her Mn paws and spread her front paws for that big thank-

you bear hug.

But sunbeam was no longer there.










Sunbeam, where are you? Buttercup called. She searched in the front..S'

behind and around. She searched every nook and cranny. She searched the straw

and the bundle of twigs; and after she had searched the cave, she climbed outside

and searched the meadow. And all the while she called, Sunbeam, where are you?

Where are you? There was no answer. There was no sunbeam.

Where else could she search -- climb the tree for a better view? Buttercup

looked at the sky when...

Heavens! Was it possible was sunbeam, way up in the blue; vanishing

faster and faster and higher and higher as he blasted off into outer space on a

comet's blazing tail like an astronaut on a rocket Buttercup couldn't believe her


She stared. Was she scared he mightn't come back to her, now that he was so

high up? No, Buttercup wasn't scared, not what you'd call real scared. Maybe for

an itsy-bitsy mini moment she felt a little queasy. But that didn't mean a thing.

Deep inside her she rm hAn that a guardian angle won't abandon you2

,-Not ever No matter from how far away, he was watching over you and weuld be at

your side at the blink of an eye. All at once, Buttercup felt so wonderful inside and

outside, she somersaulted through the soft warm grass.

So what, she thought, if sunbeam is tripping in outer space, perhaps with a

stop on Saturn or Mars or some other heavenly body? It just proves how brave and

smart he is. Who knows, next spring when I'm bigger, he'll teach me how to fly.

Then we'll blast off together on the same comet. Hi ho! Buttercup waved, and blew

a kiss up to the spot where the tail-end of his comet was winking at her between ct-o

fuzzy cloudlets.

Thank you! Thank you, sunbeam! she hollered as loud as a bear cub can

holler though some may argue she yelped. But yelp or not, it did the trick. She had

gotten through to sunbeam!

You're welcome, Buttercup, he beamed down to her loud and clear. You are

a valiant bear and I am proud of you.

No static blurred the connection. His message came through so clearly, he

might have spoken directly into her ea~litegs pmaav-le-d The cloudlets had

melted into the blue sky. But her eyes were still raised to the same spot where he

had disappeared. And she might be standing like this today with her mind afloat in

outer space, if an angry growl inside her belly hadn't reminded her that she was on

earth and very hungry.

In less than the swish of a comet's tail, before you could say butterscotch pie

t blueberry patch or barracuda, her snout was deep in the delicious pasture.

Was she ever hungry! From the way she dug in, you'd assume she'd gobble

up every single one of the different weeds and grasses and flowers. But when her

belly felt full she stopped and the meadow looked much as it had before, with more

than enough left over for others. Buttercup shushed a bee off her snout. She burped

and plopped down for a rest.

No wonder she'd been starved! Except for a scrap of bark or a dry root to

gnaw on in between bouts of sleep, she had gone without a nourishing meal

throughout the long, long winter.

Winter had never lasted so long. Not in the memory of bearkind. Not in

Buttercup's memory. True, she was too young to remember am much. After all,

she was only a cub. But she had lived through the longest winter. And in the course

of it she had discovered a fact so unheard of, it counts for all the winters she'd


When the cold came blasting into the meadow, she had sought shelter as is to

be expected of a bear; dozing, dreaming summer dreams, with snatches of

wakefulness in between. And during one of those breaks in her sleep, Buttercup

made her astounding discovery: Winter wasn't simply winter. He was lots and lots

of different winters rolled into one.

Or so he liked to make believe. For he had the habit of pretending that he

wasn't who he was. And he didn't play the game just now and then. He played it

constantly. Who was the real winter? You'd be hard put to tell. In fact, he wasn't

sure anymore himself who he was which shouldn't surprise us. Just think at what

speed he switched costumes and faces and voices and god knows what else! Such

dizzy speed is bound to rattle anybody's brain.

So here was Buttercup, dozing in the comer of her dark cave, dreaming of

sunshine and fish. Wading upstream through the river while schools of glittery,

slippery salmon leaped from the waterfall into the sunny air. She was trying to slap

one down but each time she tried she slapped at nothing. And every time she heard

the same oo-hoo...oo-hoo as though some owl she couldn't see was laughing behind

her back. Buttercup got annoyed.

Shut up! Owls don't prowl about in the day, she protested, slapped her paw

at nothing and opened her eyes.

Ooo-hoo...ooo-hoo... She still heard it. But now she was awake and

recognized the hooter by his hoot. Her good friend owl! He was nearby, hooting his

sincere apologies. He had not meant to budge in on her dream. He was a poet, and

to a poet every dream was sacred and very private. But some minutes ago during his

usual night flight he had taken the wrong turn and landed smack in the midst of her


Imagine me, a seasoned owl who navigates the pitch-black skies, losing his

way at night and finding himself in a dream! Preposterous! Undreamed of, owl

hooted in such a flustered tone, Buttercup lost track of what else he was trying to

tell her. But at least now she knew it was night.

And I thought it was day... Buttercup yawned and blinked the sleep out of her

eyes. But who cares? Night or day, they're all the same once you're stuck in the

same dark cave day and night... How is a bear to know which is which? It's

boring... 1o o r- i-^- '"

Buttercup gave another big yawn. And hibernation has barely started, she

reflected wearily, though she felt rather smug that she hadn't forgotten the word for

wintersleep owl had taught her last fall under a full moon. According to owl, the

full moon had magic powers. Owl said his poems hooted best when moon was

rising from behind the deserted barn in the meadow, fully rounded, fat, and naked,

and inscrutably lunar.

I hope she's full tonight, Buttercup thought. Then owl may be in the mood to

hoot me his poems. It would while time away. Sometimes he gets argloomy,

though his poems are always funny. He thinks they're funny because he is a gloomy

bird. That's funny. I wonder 4what.~es he mean?

Buttercup tried to puzzle it out when she became aware of a strange silence.

The hooting had stopped. She noticed it only now. Did owl fly off into the night?

Worried she'd miss him before she had reached the hole, she scrambled out of her

sleeping comer and was on her way.

She had been groping through the dark when she noticed a blurry light at the

farthest end of the cave -- moonlight! She hurried on. The closer she got to the light

the larger it grew until it filled the entire hole with an unearthly sheen.

Hi, owl! The moon is full! she called, and peered out.

There was no owl. There was no moon. There was only the unearthly sheen

like no moonlight Buttercup remembered. It was snowing! Steadily and quietly the

snow was falling, hiding mountains and valley. Where did earth stop or sky begin?

The world had gone to sleep under winter's shimmering silver white mantle.

Snow! Snow! A myriad of pinpoint flakes were humming and dancing before

her eyes. They twirled and twinkled. Play with us! I'm coming! Buttercup-aied.

HVstuck her neck through the hole. Swoosh -- they had danced into her snout. She

lapped them up before they had melted. Delicious! Winter was fun! He was cool!

Why do we bears have to hide from him? It's stupid, she proclaimed through

a mouthful of snow. Well, I am not a stupid bear. I'm Buttercup and I'll be the first

to make friends with winter!

Already two of her paws were outside. She was ready to have the other paws

to follow and soak her pelt in the powdery snow when...

DON'T DO IT, a distant rumble warned from behind the mountains. And not

a second too soon. The rumble was swelling into a thunderous roar as Buttercup's

snout grew numb in a freezing blast. In a shower of ice, winter came tearing down

from beyond the mountains. With a howl that shook the rocks, he ripped his

downy-soft mantle to shreds and emerged, a giant warrior sheathed in ice; his face

masked by a helmet spiked sky-high with icicles so blinding they snuffed out every

single star in the sky. Had the full moon chosen to rise from her cozy cloud bed that

bitter cold night, she too might have been snuffed out. But Buttercup had more

immediate worries. She was in danger of being snuffed out herself.

She beat it back into her homey comer faster than you'd say blizzard,

bronchitis or blubber. And woozy with exhaustion she dropped off to sleep though

she still caught his final warning as he whistled it through the rocks: WINTER




I haven't forgotten, Buttercup assured herself. At least I haven't yet

forgotten, she amended. She was lolling in the sunny meadow, content and fortified

after a square meal -- her first since when? Since like forever, she decided. Already

winter seemed that long ago. Was it possible that she had come out of hibernation

only this morning?

Dear old winter, she reminisced, her chilly feelings thawing in the mellow

spring sun. He can't be half as cruel as he pretend. How could he be? First time

we met he looked so inviting in his cuddly silver mantle. Too bad he ripped it

apart... or has he got lots of others? I should have taken a second peek later on to

see what he was wearing.

But I did try to peek and OUCH! she recalled with a shock. For her snout had

banged against an icy wall. The hole -- her window! her door! -- blocked by a

frozen mass of snow. She'd never get ou ?e I a Winter had made her his


Meany meany winter... I hate you, Buttercup had whimpered as she'd

crawled back into her comer in the dark.

But now in the golden sunshine in the meadow she understood how wrong

she'd been. Winter hadn't harmed her. He had helped her! He'd sealed up the hole

with snow so she'd stay warm and snug as a bug in her comer. What if he'd blasted

into her cave by mistake and frozen her butt off-- what then?

Winter is as good a friend as spring or summer or autumn. The only

difference is he's different, Buttercup stated. She was addressing a very small snail

who had been meditating on a four-leaf clover. If winter wasn't our friend, the

mighty sun would melt him down no questions asked and every single one of us

would drown in the flood and be dead.

Not me, snubbed snail. I am protected by my house. His four tiny horns with

their four tiny eyes twitched once to the right and once to the left. And not deigning

to give Buttercup a second look, he slithered back into his spiral shell to resume


But one snooty snail wasn't going to sour Buttercup's mood. The morning

stretched before her, all sunlight and leisure. Today she would do nothing she could

do tomorrow. She'd hang around the meadow and chat with old pals. She'd browse

and drowse the day away. She'd go by the stream to bathe in the crystal clear water

and see about fish.

But fate had other plans for her. An unexpected visitor was buzzing circles

above her head. He made an expert landing between her ears, and announced

himself with a drone: Bumblebee Bumble, chief messenger for Grapevine,


Grapevine conglomerate communication system between mountain and

valley! The beasties' news channel, internet, e-mail, and phone system! Buttercup

was impressed.

Are you Buttercup? droned Bumble.

What's up? Buttercup asked.

Answer my question! Bumble's tone was a double drone and Buttercup

quickly obliged. You don't mess with Grapevine, Unlimited.

We have, droned Bumble, received the following message from the

Honorable Master Oso...

Buttercup had ~Aiue jumped to her paws. A message from Master Oso! Is

it for me?

If it weren't, I would be elsewhere, Bumble retorted in a triple drone. And

resuming his monotone messenger drone, he delivered what he had come to relay:

An urgent request from the Honorable Master Oso that she meet him at Camp XYZ

this afternoon, the old Master being too lame to descend from his mountain and

relay the news in person; that she depart immediately as road conditions after


Here Bumble lost his cool. His wings began to quiver nervously and his

drone was a tremulant whisper. Buttercup barely heard what he was trying to tell

her. But what she heard was enough to raise her fur.

Road conditions least of worry, whisper-droned Bumble. Region rumored to

be LOADED... perhaps idle gossip... but Grapevine buzzing with it... where there's

smoke there's fire...

And having gone beyond his call of duty, Bumble buzzed off in a vertical

line like a chopper.

LOADED. Buttercup had learned the code word at her Mamuha's teats, and

she trembled worse than Bumble. Hunters! Humans with shotguns! Two-legged

critters who killed not for food but for fun! The mere hint that such monsters have

been sighted will throw the toughest bear into a panic. Buttercup was so scared, she

wished she knew how to make herself invisible. If a pillow had been handy, she'd

have stuck her head underneatlyfeBut when she stuck her snout into the grass

instead, she happened to hit an ant hill. Now, an ant or two might be OK for a

snack. But imagine having those tiny beasties crawl all over -et into your fur --

eek! tV er to action. She rushed to the tall spruce. And

rubbing her body against the rough trunk, she gave herself a pep talk.

Are you a chicken or are you a bear? she demanded. The whole world knows

that black Master O is Master of Reason. If he thought those rumors were true,

wouldn't that make him Master of No-Reason? Hm... maybe he never heard the

rumors... he rarely tunes into Grapevine 'cause they spread rumors and rumors are

for the birds, says Master O. He doesn't mean real birds like owls but birds we

dream up... gee whiz -- I dreamed up owl and he's a real live bird if ever I saw


At this point Buttercup got completely screwed up. But talking things out

with herself did make her feel better. In fact she felt better so fast, she couldn't wait

to hit the road.

For Buttercup, as curious a bear cub as any, was burning to learn just what

Master Oso had to tell her that was so special, he wouldn't put it off for even a day.

Why must she come at once to XYZ high in the wildest wilds?

Your Mamuha that's wqhy y voice whispei~t in the back of her head.

heard wrong? The letdown would be

too unbearable quiet, she said to- the tiny voice. I'm busy.

But one thing she could be sure of: The news he promised must be of the

utmost importance and top-secret; so super-secret, she, Buttercupadiftle-eub, was

the only oe he trusted .i e ,s" g ae (

I'm proud you~g rtfust iW me and I swear I'll follow your instructions 1

td6.biFi? 'Bu ttercup exclaimed as though Master O were standing right beside

her in the windy, humming meadow. And before you could say Chattanooga,

chocolate chips or chucks, Bate4p grabbed her satchel and hit the road.

It wasn't t8 hot and it wasn't too cold. The weather was exactly right for a

long march. The winds had scrubbed the morning sky to a clear blue and the

meadow was thrilling with song. Birds, grasses, skeeters, frogs, trees, mice,-ae

-ear igonatshedgehogs, rushes, horseflies, bluebells, squirrels and countless

other neighborhood voices noises -- each added his or hers or its personal touch.

What a sound mix! Buttercup, happy to be on the march, was about to join the nutty

chorus with -- guess what? Of course! The Happy Bear Song. But she'd had so

many distractions since sun-up, she'd plumb forgotten the rhyme words that went

with the tune. What of it! VI simply invent-iay own rhymes! And she sang:

o what a snuggly bear
o what a cuddly bear
I am!

and so on until she ran out of nice cozy word sounds and switched to less nice ones

like smarty/farty, stoopy/poopy, blinky/stinky bear, which was even more fun to

sing; all the while briskly marching ahead and having a good laugh after every new

nq$'-nice rhyme word.

Would you care to your own funny rhyme words for the Happy Bear

Song? ,oua-asaakI~e-tp your own tune Buttercup would love to have you sing

and rhyme along. Soon she'll have reached the end of the meadow where the

foothills lead into the wild mountains. Then the hard climb begins. Then you'll

have to save your breath and watch your step!

Buttercup dropped her satchel and scanned the land. She was well into the foothills.

Hugd grainy-gray ri4dMeaboulders lay scattered shelter skelter as though the
mountain giant who lives up North had dumped them from the top roof of his many
storied house.
I wmdif t blame him ifr-44di- t1augt Buttercup mst have been lying

abe tf(or a million years, cluttering up his place. Or a billion years? They sure

look ancient. They can't have a breath of life left in them... Or am I wrong?

Sniffing, she had stepped close to the nearest rock. And sniffing till her

nose brushed the stone, some fuzzy green stuff crept up her nostrils and made her


Aa-chee! There's life in that old roc he cried and sneezed against riny

heads of tender new moss were straining through wrinkles, crinkles and hairline
cracks in the agTold granite-- for light and air? For freedom? Or to offer

Buttercup a little something before lunch? Sty fresh sprouts may twest 6-:a-

right for an appetizer!
I'll have a bite or two said Buttercup. But in her haste, she tore off a
whole boutful.

Yuck! Ugh! Too bitter! She spat it out. ; rma e-mstakes. forget

it. Sm find tastier treaf along the way.

For the foothills were gxaxx fragrant with spring. Dwarf daisies white as snow

were 'sg a id the boulders. dt on the far off shimmering horizon she saw real
snow. On those distant mountain ranges, winter keptepalace bilt of ice on
a cliff so high not even polar bear liked to scale it.

Lucky Buttercup! A~wasn't on her route to XYZf She Jouldered her satchel.

And spotting a path A among scrub oak and broken pebbles, she continued her journey.



re sow. "S' those moit ange er k t his palace o ce

on a liff so higl, no ear, not even jZar b ar would dare scale i uc

B ercup it on r route t XYZA s otting a

pat betw scrub oa andokpebbles, e continued e urme

She had just hit her stride when a noise overhead made her stop. It wasn't

much of a noise, only an off and on seed like a pitter-patter. Or like a stutter-

chuckle? ilzeaoinyone up there? she called. For her view was

blocked by bramble and since the wind came from the wrong direction, she couldn't

catch the scent.

E-e-e-... She heard it again. It irked her. But it gave her an idea. Vo "e -
mimic sounc(Maybe that would QWW S0 '-
to mimic the soun Mabe tht wouldsw he puzzle. And

Buttercup began to stutter-chuckle: e-e-e-, e-e-e- on and on until she sound--

like a bleating goat caught in the bramble.

Mountain goats! Who else, you dummy! she cried, relieved she wasn't to be

molested by an unfriendly beastie or shot dead by a human beast. Mountain goats

had few quarrels with bears. They liked to stay with their own kind high in the

So ^ mountains. It was Buttercup's good luck that a few had strayed into the foothills.

s f e-t l They kept

up with the local news and might give her some helpful poin2about... what was the

word messenger Bumble had used when he'd warned her? Ah, Road Conditions!

The code any cautious animal uses when it comes to suspected gun-toting human

beasts. The dread word LOADED was reserved strictly for dire emergencies.

Buttercup shivered as she recalled Bumble shivering all over upon using the

red-letter code. And as fast as her short legs allowed, she hurried to meet the goats

and inquire about road conditions.

Buttercup had traced the funky scent. And sure enough, there on a grassy rise

beyond the ridge, a bearded mountain goat and her two kids stood placidly grazing

and chattering away in between mouthfuls.

Good morning, Mother goat. I'm Buttercup, Buttercup announced herself

from a courteous distance, mindful that the sudden presence of a bear might scare

them off. Would you tell me about road conditions further up? she inquired from

across the scree.

Why, look at that cute little cub, making like a big old bear! Mother goat

ied, amused or amazed, but not a bit scared. Road conditions! she chuckled. My

beard! And I thought I'd heard everything. Tell me, little Buttercup, what are you

up to, traipsing through the wilds all on your own? You don't look like a runaway.

Where's your mom?

My mo-mo... Buttercup stammered. She wasn't trying to mimic goat speech,

not this time. This time she was speechless. How on earth can you answer what you

don't know? Poor Buttercup. She didn't have the faintest idea where her sweet

Mamuha was hiding.

Where's your mom? she heard Mother goat repeat. And now, to make

matters worse, the two kiddies were getting into the act. They had leaped off the

grassy rise. Where's your mom? they chuckle-chanted, their cleft little hoofs going

click-click-click on the broken pebbles as they landed alongside Buttercup; licking

her stubby tail, skipping 'round and 'round her and chuckle-chanting where's your

mom, till Buttercup had enough. She reared. She sounded a menacing growl. And

who knows what might have happened next, had Mother goat not put her hoof

down and ordered them to lay off.

Stop it! Else you won't have a drop of my milk -- capeesh?

You should have seen those kiddies jump and race each other to their

mother's udder. In no time they were suckling at her teats, blissful like little angels.

You'd assume that Buttercup was able to relax.

Not so. Where's your mom? The stutter-chuckle kept going clickety-click

inside her head and she couldn't shut it off, no matter how hard she tried. On and on

it clicked and whatever she remembered of her Mamuha got tangled up in that

maddening clickety-click.

I'm stuck for ever -- stuck like that night I got stuck in the squashy marshes

behind the pond, she recalled. Up to my snout in the goo and no way to get out.

But wait a minute, she said to herself. Didn't I grab for a willow branch? I

sure did. I grabbed that branch and pulled myself up and out because I'm Buttercup

and I got guts and I'm together! Why shouldn't my head be together? There must

be some way...

And now, no longer feeling sorry for herself, she used a trick she'd learned

from wise-l Master Oso: Take a deep breath ... relax ... count slowly backwards

... five ... four ... three ... two ... one ... one ... one ...

Her eyes fell shut. Step by step Buttercup thought herself back to that chilly

dawn late in autumn when her Mamuha was about to leave the cave. I must leave

for the day, she said, to go forage in the hills before they're snowed under, sorry but

no I can't have you tag along, you stay put like a good little buttercake should,
I 01' (-4 "r..
there's rumors abroad about road conditions further iiNWiiayF someone's made

'em up to scare us but mole says better safe under ground than sorry above, so don't

you budgffrom where you are my little budger by sundown your Mamuha's home

again., ,

Shvts biting into another one of those mushy over-ripe apples she chews for a

booster. Home again home again / in the rinky dinky den... MaI sings. Sure is

bubbly this early morning. Rotten apples make her sweet smelling and cheery. My

Mamuha smells sweeter than honey. She hums the funny honey song and hugs me

goodbye...the tightest sweetest hug s furry soft tfa warmert longet=...the closest....

Here Buttercup hurt so badly for her Mamuha. AVbearish common sense went down

the ravine. Home again home again, the rmm wind sang into her ears. She opened

her eyes. And there bigger than life atop the grassy rise was brpwn Mamuha,

nursing two wooly-white little goats.

A miracle. Buttercup held her breath. Then she lunged forward, about to rush

uphill and fling herself into Mamuha's arms. Mamuha A4.ljn her place

she sniffed Mother goat --a gray-white splendid mountain goat but no match for

her Mamuha.

Dumbfounded, Buttercup stood nailed to the spot, convinced that the hills were



Are you sick, little bear?With one leap Mother goat had flown to her side,

solicitious as though Buttercup were one of her own 4ind. Are you sick? she


Me? Sick? Faster than you'd say fee-fi-fo-fum, flummery or fiddlesticks,

Buttercup had come to life. I never felt so good, she cried, and she wasn't lying.

Mother goat had stopped asking -- you know about what! In one swoop a load of
cz -C- ske-
worries were off Buttercup's mindjiw aso top of the world -- fit to join the

mountain goats and. Ip-from cliff to cliff. s I'm the luckiest bear

alive, she exclaimed. And in a fit of gratitude, she embraced Mother goat with a big

bear hug.

Now what is that supposed to mean? thought Mother goat. For her people

aren't into hugging unless they're locked in a fight... And Buttercup had no reason

to fight. That fo was clear, _-

I reckon it's how they say goodbye, ? aatecided a-a little

sad. She'd grown rather fond of the cub. But a sudden stutter-clamor diverted her

attention. Up on the grassy rise, the kiddies had locked in a fight. Heads crashed,

hoofs kicked. And back and forth, the insults were flying as they called each other

such mean names, she wondered what little hoodlums they were running around


with one
Kids nowadays... got to watch them day and night, she grumbled and limahmimmni

tremendous leap took off to teach them a lesson. Goatspeed! she called to Buttercup

in passing.

She's wishing me a safe trip into the wilds, Buttercup figured. And it came to

her belatedly that she'd forgotten to ask about road conditions up north. She

had wasted precious daylight

But was it a waste S .tC T If she hadn't hung around the goats --what then?

She would have mised -miracle, the waking dream that let her glimpse her

beautiful Mamuha! She heArdt wasted soiaJ.

Buttercup shouldered her sat chel. And wishinhg h3rself goatspeed, she was

once again on the move.


At first the trail seemed fairly easy to climmb --a piece of honey cake!
,X ., her
Buttercup laughed it off.Master Oso would setr her
6muha Soon they'd be snuggled up together, perhaps as early as this very

day. Had owl been traveling along, he'd say her waking dream was a good omen

though he may have preferred a full-blown moon somewhere in the picture. But then,

owls don't seep~ to~well in the sunlight. And remember, his poems hoot best

at midnight under a full moon.

Meanwhile the climb had got tricky. The narrow tral was mm growing skinny,

awd Buttercup had to watch her every step. Left and right were sudden crazy twists

with unexpected plunges duimmm off one side; craters deep into the earth A

from where rose ghastly howls and eerie vapors. But Buttercup, nosy as any cub, weNR

wondered what she might see if she took a quick peek to the bottom. Maybe a

monster lived down there. Or would she see the other side of planet earth?

One tiny step to the side, said *6e;te u, and I'll know.

Three cheers for Buttercup! She didn't take that tiny step. Supposing she'd

slipped and tumbled headlong into the fathomless crater... Enough! The picture

is too gruesome. Take it away.

Plain common bear sense told her to keep eyes and paws on the trail --a stunt

her circus dad would have applauded. She didn't look left and she didn't look

right until her paws felt safe on solid rock. Then she let go of a long satisfied

growl. She had made it into the high mountains!

I'm pooped Buttercup had plopped down under a windswept pine which was the

only green on the barren plateau. She pulled a shriveled turnip from her satchel

and munching gazed out at the shimmering mountain range. A short rest in the

shade and she'd finish the final stretch to Master Oso's cave.

But can I get across the water? she cried. For littlee by little the snow-

capped mountadr rSaes were melting into a vast ocean. Flabberghasted, Buttercup

could only stare, This wasn't for real. Or was it?

She'd never been to the ocean. But she'd heard plenty of stories about it

because of its plentiful fish. If I was sure this is for real, she pondered, I'd

dive straight in and catch me a fat mackerel. However, she wasn't sure that

what she saw rolling and foaming out there was really for real. In fact she

wasn't at all sure that she liked what she saw, And diving into her satchel for

another shriveled turnip, she glowered at the distant waves. This place, said

Buttercup, gives me the willies. It's not just weird. It's spooky.

Why did her bottom feel like frozen to the ground when the mighty sun

burned hot in the blue noon sky? I can't make head or tail of it, said Buttercup.

I've been hoodwinked into upside down land. She jumped to her paws and did a

headstand to prove her point. Upside down land either way. No matter how you

slice it!

I've had it, Buttercup proclaimed. I'm getting out!

OUT! echoed the mountains.

That's what I said, said Buttercup and reached for her satchel. The day was

young. The sky was blue. Before the mighty sun had set, she'd be at Master Oso's.

But the sky was clouding over, The sun had slipped i is behind a veil

and a hush fell upon the land. Buttercup stood esrie -+ nostrils flaring. Big

silent fog came drifting in swathed all in gray, his gray muffler floating behind

him. And as he drifted soundlessly, his muffler swept down to earth and whatever

it touched turned gray. Fof ldss than a wink the pine tree flashed up bright green,

then disappearedfl~ Rer last landmark was gone, Big silent fog had stolen her

road map,

Please, let me have my road map back, Buttercup pleaded.4ll I'm on an urgent

mission and can't do without it!

No answer from big silent fog. She might have known by hi'name. ReSFereAhe

He have no sign he'd move along. He settled in. And that could only move one

thing: He was forcing her to wait him out--which won't be a bit funny, Buttercup

grumbled. For it was getting colder by the minute. But no matter what tricks she

used to keep from freezing --like stamping her pam paws or rolling herself into

a tight ball-- she couldn't ward off the cold. There wasn't another animal in
sight to snuggle up against for warmth and company. And if there/one, she wouldn't

have known since she could scarcely see her own paws through the dense gray.

Anybody here? she called, just in case. But in the deep hush, her voice was

less than a whisper.

True, now and then she heard a fox's bark, a condor's cry, a lone wolf's

mating call. But they sounded from so very far away, they might come from a distant

land. Big silent fog had messed up her ears and eyes.

But he wob't mess with my nose! No way! Buttercup was sniffing the air. Was she

smelling caribou? The pungent scent was coming from a lower ledge not quite

beneath her. Caribous! Surely, they'd help her out! Owl said they were helpful

deer who carried packages for Father Christmas. Was Father Christmas a caribou too?

Owl didn't say. But he'd hooted her his caribou poem which was the shortest poem

she'd yet heard him hoot:

swift as the wind oh caribou

Swift as the wind? Buttercup had a brainstorm. The moment the herd was approaching,

she'd call PLEASE STOP! Then she'd jump down and travel piggy-back into fair

weather. Hiho!

No sweat to see herself astride a handsome Caribou! Cling to my antlers, little

bear, he commanded. And off they were on their flight over mountains and valleys!

The stories she'd have to tell once she landed on Camp XYZ! If you ever saw an

upbeat bear it was Buttercup.

But hold it ... she was downbeat again. In her exuberance she'd missed the

approaching herd. They were speeding past --swift as the wind. Stop! Wait for me!

she cried. Too late. They'd melted into the gray like a gang of antlered ghosts.

Buttercup's last hope seemed dhd And yet,.,there must be some way out of here,

Buttercup said to herself. I must think hard.

But hard as she thought, she could only come up with a lesson she'd learned

way back in kindergarten cub-school: Wen weather turns on you abandon unfamiliar area.

Much good did that do her now! Here she was, herself abandoned in the dreary gray,

without a single living soul nearby to share her misery...

Mad(uha... Mamamuha... she wailed.Mamamuha... She blindly tottered forward and

ran smack up against... THE TREE! Holy bamboozle! Buttercup's surprise was

monumental. She'd been waiting by the pine tree all along.

You'd assume she'd know by the resinous smell and put two and two together.

However, Buttercup never had been te .great with numbers.and in her terrible despair

may af>e'forgotten to count. But things were looking up for her. She had the

living tree for company.

A windswept pine, alone like herself on a barren rock and greener than

bayberry candles before big silent fog snuffed the lights. You and me, we're

in this together! Buttercup rubbed her snout to the stem. She licked it to

show her affection. And as her tongue ran up and down the bark, a sprig of

bright green needles shot up in a sudden wind. A dazzle of light forcWd her eyes

shut, and when she looked -- Good bye old fog! Good riddancej.efore you could

say mix, milk or miracle, she was back in the visible, hearable world.

Stark white cliffs agd deep dark forests. Silver waterfalls, streams, lakes,

vast shimmering glaciers, and no fake ocean to trick the eye. What she saw was for real,

real like the swoosh of the wind or the burning fire of the mighty sun.

Buttercup held her paws to the light. She losened her muscles. And doing

seven cartwheels around the greet tree, she greeted the mighty sun.

Time to be off and finish my mission. But should I turn left or should I turn

right? she asked when she noticed a shiny mark bl in Though the bark of the

tree. Round, glossy dark with kax~aBex hardened resin and twice the size of

a bear's eye, it winked at her, then pointedly looked to the right.

S I' 0i 01 h l Inn4r 4 1hr wInnrv fhn,, -( ir i 1

THE EYE! Mater Oso's secret road sign. Buttercup was overjpyed. Take the right

turn and you won't go wrong There was her aswer. Much obliged, said Buttercup

and picked up her satchel. I'm on my way.

The day was young. The shadows on the ground had barely grown which meant the

afternoon was just beginning. No longer need she worry about getting lost in the

dark. Now that she knew the shortcut to camp XYZ, she'd be at Master O's ahead of

the night. Hiho!

Buttercup saluted the tree. So long, pal! She made a right turn and was on the


Her path ran straight along an icefree ridge high above the mountains --or

clouds? Impossible to tell one from the other. The world below her floated in a

lazy blue haze of pillowy shapes. But she kept marching at a brisk pace to the

beat of the wind, and was about to sings --maybe the Happy Bear song-- when

all at once she broke her stride and ducked.

LOADED!No space for Buttercup to hide or run. The dreaded shot had already

whisked through the air. Buttercup was lying flat on the ground while the

cliffs were throwing back their mpurnful echo

** ***

I am dead,
Irmmmrad said Buttercup.
If you were, you wouldn't say it. You'd be it, responded a familiar voice.

Sunbeam! Her guardian angel had flown in from outer space to save her life!

Always a delight to help, he assured her when she had sufficiently recovered

from the shock to thank him. It isn't every day you think you're dead when you

find yourself alive and kicking.

How on earth did you do it? she cried.

Not on earth, he corrected her. In space. You mean how did I divert the

bullet? No problem. I blinded the chap with my extra bright light. So rather than

shoot at you, he shot himself in the foot and in the bargain lost his gun. Two

positive results on one battery so to speak. One hopes the lesson isn't lost on

him. Just now he's emerged from ambush and is frantically limping about in search

of the weapon. He doesn't realize it dropped down the mountainside,down to

the bottom of the lake and through a school of startled fish into a sinkhole..

Did he aim to eat me for supper? Buttercup broke in:- an unsavory although

instinctive question, Sunbeam assumed.He knew his little friend was as squeamish

as other mortals on such personal matters Perhaps his reference to fish had

whetted his appetite?

Sunbeam let go of a sigh. Since you ask, the chap was also after your thick
Ah, Buttercup, he said
fur, sariammtnmbmamm and sighed again, Ahx the world ain't all beer and skittles,

as they used to say in the old UK. But I mustn't linger. Some unfinished

business has to be taken care of onm Jupiter. So fare thee well, dear little bear.

Should fatal danger lurk I'll be at your side. And Sunbeam streakdd into space

** -
new h wt '- on- way.

Here Sunbeam streaked in space atfith speed,h s less n a spa k in t ky.

And ttercup, char wit fresh energy, w T re ng to go.



/41 6; ; ,' A -7 aL-

Sunbeam! Her guardian angel had flown in 'from outer space to save her life!
Always a delight to help, he assured her when she had sufficiently recovered
fro shock to thank him. It isn't every day you think you're dead when you
find yourself a eand kicking.
How on earth did you do 1 cried.
/ Not on earf, corrected herIn space. You mean how did I divert the
L/ bullet? No problem. I blinded the chap with my extra bright light. So rather than
shoot at you, he shot himself in the foot and in the bargain lost his gun. Two

/ positive results on one battery so to speak. One hope/ the lesson isn't -lost on
him. Just now he's emerged from ambush and is frantically limping about in search
of the weapon. He doesn't realize it dropped down the mountainside,down to
S the bottom of the lake and through a school of startled fish into a sinkhole..
Did he aim to eat me for supper? Buttercup broke in-- in nly|a g in h
\V rtso n, Sunbeam ass~umde knew his lit le friend was as squeamish
>C, /-, Cc,
) as other mortals on such personal matters @4*etps-his reference to fish had
Swhetted s appetite?
] / Sunbu ain let go of a sigh. Since you ask, the chap was a1so after our L~TbPE'
tte-B ercap; & /i A+d -- A^h- p^ x c
fur sarimmmmlambm -nd -sg-iheagai, Ahx the world ain't all beer and skittles,
as they used to say in the old UK. But I mustn't linger. Some unfinished
business has to be taken care of onm Jupiter. So fare thee well, dear little bear.
Should fatal danger lurk I'll be at your side. And Sunbeam streakdd into space

,A spark FRO -r way.
new s On ker way.

Here Sunbeam streaked in space aI*Mh speed,h s less n a spa k in t ky.
And ttercup, char wit fresh energy, w re rng to go.




at such speed, not a spark did he leave behind him.

One day we'll be tripping through space together, Buttercup thought. And

loaded wfh new energy, she was on her wayageM.

She'd walked for a while when she had to stopAin front of a towering rock.

The path had come to a deadend. But at the (vwy bottom of the rock she spied a
namime crack--a little door? It certainly was little.
It's either too little or I'm too big. Whichever. I won't fit through I

don't think.

Better think again she admonished herself. Who wants toxbhx be trapped on a dead

end above the clouds? Not me. I have to finish my mission.

So she tucked in her belly. And squeezing as hard as she could through

the cracks she got inside the rock by the breadth of a bear's hair.

Sniffing, she blinked through the shadows. She was in a wet, narrow shaft

that went straight to the toobetween slippery, slithery walls, with father

ropes for bars in the slick stone to hold on to. It would take guts and a

aor a ush-ups to pulls herself out of the rock, Buttercup j'gurue.

I ave sharp claws I a, she reasoned _- ee y she

hooked hrwe~ a s to the stone.

Thus anchored securely she b~gan her slow ascent in a drizzle of seeping

water.; pushing atd pulliTngwith every ounce of her strength getting higher

and higher, but feeling weaker and weaker until she felt she was about to lose

her grip and Emma crash.

And at that crucial moment a milky light filtered into the shaft. A

hickory stick dangled above her and she heard a voice call down, Quick, grab my

waking stick! Hold on with all four paws. We're hauling you out.

The voice was Master Oso's. All clear? haul her in! he directed. Whereupon

two polar bears on a study tour from Russia spm sprang into instant action.

Slowly, like a bundle of precious cargo, Buttercup was gliding into the

light of day.

Buttercup! Buttercup! Buttercup RAH RAH! Camp XYZ where smart young bears

studied survival tactics was noted fpr strict discipline. But this afternoon the

place was jumping. The bears had learned from Master 0 that Buttercup was the

first cub ever to have journeyed from the valley to the dizzy heights of XYZ

all on her own. School was canceled for the day. The students were granted

permission to throw a party. And believe med, it was a blast.

He and she bears of every conceivable shade, from pale to dark and in between,

welcomed Buttercup with such roaring rahs, a cayote on the prowl was chased right

off the premises as should surprise no one. You needn't have studied at XYZ

to know that the roar of a bear can scare the wits out of the strongest lion.

So amidst this deafening commotion Buttercup appeared in the sunlight,

swinginf upside down from Master O's hickory stick, disheveled and sweaty but

mig hty pleased to breathe the dry clean air.

And the whiff of cranberry chowder that wafted her way in the wind!A welcoming

banquet was nearly ready with plenty of other goodies --chewey pears and juicy

juicy apples; nuts, raisins, choice raw fish in a marinade of blackberry jam with

a sprinkle of acorn meats. And we mustn't forget her most favorite dessert,

sun dried rosebuds dipped in honey on a dainty pillow of alpine snow. Who knows

what other fragrant goodies Buttercup sniffed in the wind as she was about to

touch ground.

Hey guys, let's beat her to the table! roared a feisty bear who was running

the show because he could roar the loudest and longest. Buttercup's our guest

of honor --0 K ? Chow sure tastes yummy. But how does it tastes? Em We got
to find out before she gmix lands --OK? One two xgame x8@ix GO!
And off they raced.
GO! roared the rest. When Buttercup landed the grounds were quiet except for

the squeak of the camp mouse.

Carefully the polar bears had lowered her onto the earth. She wobbled a bit

and slobbered a bit, still out of whack from her recent adventure. Who, she wondered

were those two blond giants who had hauled her from the rock?

We are Russian bears from Siberia where winters are long and bitter but

summers shor and always sweet, explained the bigger giant with a courteous bow.

Sometimes. Not always, interjected the lesser giant as she wrapped Buttercup

up in a gigantic bear hug.Hi, little medved, she continued in a melodious

voice while she sniffed Buttercup from head to claw. This little cabbage needs

a thorough bath and don't you fret. Mother svetla is going to groom you with

her tongue. You shut your eyes and rest. Mother knows bestYou'll be smelling

sweeter than a honeycakeAnd not wasting another moment she went to work.

The touch of Mother Svetla's tongue was like a soothing lullaby. Don't stop...

Buttercup purred. And before she added please she was asleep.

She slept and slept in Svetla's polar bear coat, licked clean as a newborn

cub. And tBkxfaxx nestled safe and warm, she had a dream.She was feeding at the teats

of her Mamuha.

BMwrtKEhBxx sEkedxker No cub ever tasted creamier, dreamier milk. Buttercup

sucked on her paws and gave off blissful tremolant grunts which reminded Svetla

of a melody she'd heard back home in the tundra. Or was it the mellow evemig light

that made her think of the Russian steppe?

For the day was drawing to an end. Maybe it's time to wake her up? she

whispered to Master Oso.

She is singing in her dream, so let her sleep, responded the old master.

Buttercup will be awake when nature wills it.

He was pacing deep in thought, a black cutout against the reddening sky.

The mighty sun was going down to brighten the opposite side of our planet, But

high in the mountains of XYZ day does not lightly yield to night. The iqy peaks

and snowy slopes continued to cast their go rose-gold glow into the gathering

dusk. Once it was dark, Buttercup would be awake, Master Oso predicted.

He scanned the fading skies. North star who sits on Little Bear's tail

will be her silent alarm clock said Master 0. North Star will shine directly
S-We she'll
on the spot where Buttercup lies asleep Aeaup mrinmrd bounce wide awake.

The old master had studied the heavens. He'd figure out e

But the students were getting rambunctious. They were hollering for Buttercup and

he had to reassure them that their honored guest was sound asleep.After her

record breaking expedition, nature ordered total rest for mind and body. And (QeCea C

f a-r-ferM z a wise old bear, he'd saved her enough goodies before the gang had
Of course
gobbled up the spread from roots to nuts,mAmd thatxmfxgauxsxxincluded her most

favorite dessert. Svetla had put it in easy reach so Buttercup could make a grab

for it as soon as she opebed her eyes. You don't need a diploma from Camp XYZ

to know that bear cubs 'Ww their dessert at the start of a meal.

In short, otters were under control.Svetla's gigantic mate a r weaving

and wobbling back from the banquet.A bite to eat for my iageeus honey, he

slurred and dropped her a sack stuffed full of vittles. Well stuffed himself, he

belched and flopped onto a mound of hay to sleep off the apple cider.

He'll overdo whatever he does, she pondered. Maybe some males are built

that way. If I wasn't minding Buttercup, I'd give him a good whack with his stick.

Grin and bear it, she said as she crouched in the twilight, her buddy's snores

at her bac nd Buttercup's musical grunts at her chest. Mamuha... The word came

popping up again and again. It had a pretty sound, 4Damtrtte-what it meant. Polar

bears don't snoop into other bears's dreams.it would be bad manners.

But 4gatif y the short sucking sounds were giving the dream away and Mother

Svetla chuckled. She'd whelped and raised three of her own.

They suck on their paws and belie they're at mama's teats.Why should Buttercup

care to wake up ? She's enjoying a liquid banquet right inside my nice warm coaltm .

mused Mother fvetla chomping on a celery root while she patiently waited for

the sky to turn dark.

A gong reverberated through the frost. Night fell and a zillion stars were

filling the sky. The stars of Little Bear showed first, with North Star at the tail#-,~ni

shiny and ready. Action! His sharpest dart of light s -d own on Buttercup.

And every star of Little Bear blinked bravo as Buttercup /jumped onto her paws,

wide awake.

Holy mackerel! Am I hungry! She sniffed. And before you'd said zoom, zip or

zap, her snout was in her favorite dessert. I'm he happiest bear alive! she

mouthed through a sticky mess of rosebuds and honey. ~ iaef- r sI'e oa

Dream milk tastes sweet but honey tastes sweeter, thought Mother Svetl4, watching n

her lick up the last precious crumbs. And licking Buttercup's snout clean she

got a taste of honey for herself while she shoved the heartier vittles under the

cub's nose. Then with an enormous yawn* she hugged her good night.

Sleep well, little medved.... Another vetla was so tired, she'd forgotten that

Buttercup had slept enough. On heavy paws she lumbered off to lie down alongside

her mate. It's been a dhaaeday for all of us she growled. And her snores f4ll

in beat with his.

The mighty sun rose over the cliffs and woke the mountains from their dreamless

sleep. But old Master 0 who'd spent the night tracing the course of the stars, was

already on his way to greet Buttercup.

He saw her from afar across the rise, doing jumping jacks, cartwheels. And

she was standing on her head when he heard her call yo Master 0 into the frosty

dawn. Buttercup had seen him too --upside down, of course.

I'm the happiest bear in the whole wide world!She'd flung herself into his arms.

And not once did she ask where her Mamuha was hididg because she already knew.
Bear didn't
How could Buttercup have known? LittleBNeax amindirt flashed the news from the

sky No, Master 0 did, by mind mail While Buttercup had still been floating

in deep sleep, the following message had swished through her brain:

Mamuha safe at xyz
in cave uvw
eager for hugs and games

But tell me, Master 0, how did you find her? Where?

She's on pins and needles to tell you herself. It's a long story. But she is

short of patience --remember? Your Mamuha hates to wait.

Me too, Master O! I hate to wait too!And dancing ahead of him in the golden

morning, the happiest bear in the world burst into--you tAig which song!


Okay, you'll say. Now what happens next? I wishV I could tell you. But wait

till the second Buttercup book appears. Then you'll find out why she was on her own

during the longest, bitterest winter. And there'll be a whole lot mowe. You'll

hear when the fair comes to the valley and what happens when she sees her

circus dad -w!rWup in the air, pedaling his moped from pole to pole along a

high wire. Or how the reindeer made good for the ride big silent fog had prevented

and ...

Sorry, i almost forgot I'm not allowed to say more. But here's an idea:

Why don't you invent a few Buttercup adventures yourself? You might even add some

drawings if you like and make up dances and songs. It ought to be fun and I know

for a dact she'd feel so flattered. Those who want to get in touch with her

directly, can reach her anytime through your own Grapevine system.

But here I better say good night. Or is it morning? Buttercup's untimely

sleep got me completely mixed up. I'm signing off. Good luck and see you soon!