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76. The Surprise Visitor

"Hmm, I wonder who is knocking," thought Frederick Bear and got up out of his comfortable chair, "I am not expecting anyone."  He went to the front door and opened it wide.  For a moment he just stared and then he smiled his biggest smile.  "Theodore Bear!" he said excitedly, "what a wonderful surprise.  You have come to visit me at last. Do come inside," and he took Theodore's paw between both of his and shook it for a long time.  "Hello, Frederick Bear, how good it is to see you again," said Theodore, "I had a lovely day on the train and saw snow on the mountains. It is much colder here than where I live in the desert.  No wonder you wear that fine red suit to keep warm."  "Yes," said Frederick, "Let us drink some good, hot honey tea and then you can tell me how Merlena Bear is and all about your travels."  And they spent the whole evening catching up on their news.

75. Finding Snowfall Avenue


Theodore Bear wondered what to do next. "If you don't know something the best thing to do is to ask somebody who does," he said to himself and buckled up his back pack, picked up his walking cane and went over to the counter marked DIRECTIONS.  "Good afternoon, Lady, can you please tell me how to get to Snowfall Avenue?"  "Certainly," she replied, "first street to the left and then third to the right as you leave the station."  Theodore thanked her and set off.  The sun was slipping behind the mountains in the distance so he walked quickly, rubbing his paws to keep warm. Soon he saw the street sign showing Snowfall Avenue and turned the corner, watching for number 17. "Oh, here it is. This must be where Frederick Bear lives," Theodore told himself and walked up the gravel path to the front door.  He tapped a few times with the shiny brass knocker and waited.

74. The first Address

Slowly but surely the train began a descent from among the mountains and all the high peaks.  There were more roads and also more traffic on them.  "I think the city will now be coming into view soon," Theodore Bear said to himself and he was right.  One more curve and he could see the first tall buildings against the sky line.  Soon the train pulled into the station and Theodore got off.   He walked to the end of the platform and found a bench.  He sat down, put his cane next to him and reached for his rucksack.  He opened it carefully and took out the envelope that Merlena Bear had given him with the addresses of all her friends that he had met at her party.  He looked through the little white cards one by one.  "Ah, here it is," and he read, "Frederick Bear, 17 Snowfall Avenue.   Now to find him."

73. The best Scenery

Theodore Bear was enjoying everything about the train ride.  He had turned sideways on the seat so that he could see out of the window better.  The train was going slowly now and passing through a beautiful canyon where there was just enough space beside the tracks for the highway and the river.  Theodore felt he could almost put his paw in the water if he leaned out of the window and it all looked so beautiful.   The river rushed along making little white waves over the stones. "But it looks very cold," he thought.  There was more fun to come. Two fat mountain sheep with big curled horns were standing eating grass on the other side of the river and all the other passengers were just as excited as Theodore to see them so clearly.  The cliffs on either side were so high that Theodore could almost not see their tops.  "What a wonderful day," he thought and smiled with pleasure.

72. A wonderful Train Ride

"I am looking forward to this train ride," Theodore Bear said to himself as he watched the sights of the city slip by, "I was told it is very beautiful along here."  Theodore was fascinated by the high mountains that he could see in the distance and they came closer as the train traveled.  He saw the dry areas where very little grew and then the scenery changed and there were some trees.  The peaks were impressive and some were white with snow.  Sometimes the train would have to slow down to negotiate curves and in other places the tracks crept along the side of a mountain.  "I have never seen anything like this before," Theodore marveled and he hardly knew where to look first.  Then he saw the first ski resort with little cars hanging on a cable that went up and down the mountain.  "Hmm," he thought, "it must be strange to hang in mid-air like that."

71. The first Chill

Theodore Bear had packed his back pack and once again wore his green bow.  After a bite to eat he set off to the station with Benjamin and Barbara Bear.  "There is a real chill on the air this morning," Barbara said, rubbing her paws together, "we will be getting more snow soon and the tops of the mountains will all be white."  They walked briskly to keep warm and the train was just pulling into the station when they arrived. "It was lovely to meet you both and be able to see so much of your city.  Thank you very much indeed," said Theodore and bowed politely as he shook paws with Barbara.  Then he shook paws with Benjamin and climbed up into the train. This time the train was nearly full but Theodore managed to find a window seat.  He quickly opened the window to wave to Benjamin and Barbara Bear.  "Bon Voyage," they called as the train pulled away from the platform.

70. The beautiful View


When they were ready to stroll about again, Benjamin Bear thought it would be a good idea to walk up a small hill to get a good view over the city with the mountains in the background.  "The view from up here is beautiful," said Theodore Bear, "it was definitely worthwhile to come. There is even some snow lying on the peaks.  That is something I do not see often."  On the way back home they walked through the older part of the city with it's well-kept houses and Theodore tried to imagine how it must have looked when there were only wagons in the streets and no cars.  After supper Theodore thanked Benjamin and Barbara for having him to stay and showing him around.
"I enjoyed your city very much," he said, "but I will be catching the train early again tomorrow.  There are still many places that I would like to visit."   "We will come and see you off at the station in the morning," they said, "we like looking at the trains and go there often."

69. Sight seeing


The next morning Theodore Bear wore his fine red bow to look really smart when he set off with Benjamin and Barbara Bear to go sight-seeing.  They walked along under shady trees and Theodore saw how wide the streets were.  "It must be much easier for the drivers when the cars have plenty of space," he thought.  He noticed that the streets were numbered and laid out in square blocks. They looked at the famous buildings and Benjamin told Theodore all their names.  Soon it was lunch time and Barbara Bear suggested they take a rest in the lovely park close by.  "I have enough sandwiches in my purse for us all," she said.  "I have a bottle of honey," said Theodore, "we can share some of that too."  It was so peaceful sitting on the bench in the park that they spent a long time there.  Theodore told about life in the desert and Benjamin and Barbara told about living in the city.

68. Two new Friends


On his left side Theodore Bear saw another bear.  He was wearing a smart blue tie and a pretty lady bear wearing a matching blue scarf stood on his right side.  He was so surprised that he hardly knew what to say.  Then he managed, "Hello."  "We were across the road when we saw you," said the first stranger, "my name is Benjamin Bear and this is Barbara Bear," and the two bears both held out a paw to greet TheodoreTheodore shook paws with them and said, "I am pleased to meet you. My name is Theodore Bear. I am traveling and want to see everything so I got off the train before it gets dark.  Now I must find a place to sleep tonight." Benjamin Bear smiled and said, "Well, we live here and have a little guest house.  We have never had a bear from the desert to stay before and would be very happy if you came to us.  We would like to show you around our city tomorrow too."  "Thank you, that is very kind of you both," Theodore said.  "Then it is arranged," said Barbara Bear, "let's go home."

67. Theodore in the City


The train began to slow down and Theodore Bear realised the station must be close by. "Maybe I will get to see some of those beautiful buildings tomorrow before I travel further," he thought.  Slowly the train pulled into the station and came to a halt.  Theodore stepped out onto the platform and followed the crowd to the entrance.  There a big board displayed a map of the city and he stopped to look at it.  A bright red arrow pointed to the station - YOU ARE HERE it read and Theodore took note of the streets and places of interest round about. "I must be able to find my way back to the station," he said to himself. Then he went to the entrance and looked up and down the street.  Suddenly he felt a gentle tap on each shoulder.  He looked around to both sides and was amazed to see two smiling faces.

66. The next Stop


Theodore Bear had such an interesting day on the train.  He had seen so many new places and had enjoyed looking at the rocks and the cliffs and the trees that clung to the sides sometimes.  There had been deep canyons and gulleys and then again some beautiful arches in the rocks that looked as if a giant had come with an enormous drill and made a hole through the middle.  The color of the rocks in the late afternoon sun made them look as if they were on fire. "I had no idea that I would be able to see so much from the train window," he thought to himself, "but it is getting late in the day and I think I will get off at the next city and stay overnight. I do not want to miss anything."  The next city was only a few miles away and the train soon entered the first suburbs.  Theodore lifted his back pack off the rack and had his cane in his hand, ready to disembark at the station. 

65. The colored Cliffs


Soon Theodore Bear noticed that the rocks in the cliffs were no longer light-colored but were becoming beautiful shades of reds, yellows and orange.  "Why," he smiled to himself, "they look like my  bows that I have in my back pack."  And Theodore was fascinated.  He loved the wonderful shapes of the rocks and imagined what they could be – a beehive, a camel's back, a duck's beak?  The colors seemed to change all the time as the sun shone onto the sides of the cliffs or one of the tall rocks cast a shadow onto another one close by.   He was thrilled to spy an eagle circling slowly above a deep canyon and watched to see if it would dive down for a catch.  Way out front he could see a big bridge and he guessed that soon the train would be crossing a river.  "How far down it is to the water.  A good thing this is a sturdy bridge," Theodore thought as he stood up and pressed his nose to the glass to be able to see right to the bottom, "it really is wonderful to be traveling."

64. The View from the Window


Theodore Bear was enjoying the train ride.  He listened to the sound of the wheels on the rails and looked at the view from the window.  He had been traveling for quite a while and now there was more grass with bushes here and there and the first mountains appeared in the background.  Trees grew in the valleys and from time to time he could see a ranch house in the distance.  The large herds of cattle always attracted Theodore's attention and he wondered how many animals there were altogether.  "Too many to count," he thought and leaned back against the seat.  The busy highway ran along next to the train track and Theodore was pleased that he was not driving there and could look around.  "I am getting hungry," he said to himself and ate some of the honey from the bottle in his back pack.  "Mmmm, that was a delicious lunch," and Theodore smiled with satisfaction.  

Theodore's Travels © 2010

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