BEAR AT THE BEACH by Clay Carmichael


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A depressing fable about Clara's toy bear who longs in vain for a father and makes futile gestures to reach him: ""message after message in paper ships"" and a sand sculpture (""It is a hard thing to watch your father wash away""). When Bear describes his father to the sea, to a dolphin, and then to the ducks as ""someone who loves me just as I am,"" the ducks reply, ""No one's ever loved us as much as that."" A clam is just as discouraging. It's left to the hermit crab (""tapping his borrowed shell"") to point out Bear's father in the night sky and speak the story's message: ""Some of us make our homes where we find them."" That would be reassuring if it didn't sound euphemistic for ""settling for what you can get."" Clara's presence at the end musters only cold comfort.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: North-South