THE BEARS OF SANSUR by Louise A. Stinetorf


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Bear-ly disguised propaganda, set in the Armenian mountains where the Communists' drawing of a red line down the middle of a road separates the Russian Armenians from their Turkish cousins. Two cowherds--Adrian from the free south, Josef from the Communist north--become friends, train two bear cubs (an old custom of the town), and are asked to join a circus. They have great success but when a fire interrupts their career they return to Sansur and their brotherhood serves as an impetus for revitalizing communications along the border. The sides are obviously weighted--good food and generosity on the Turkish side, a subsistence level and victimization on the Russian--and the message is hammered home as in this word-weary sentence: ""That Adrian always permitted Josef and his cattle to enter the village first was indicative of a type of simple courtesy that children whose mothers labor as farmhands while they are brought up in day nurseries do not have an opportunity to absorb."" The bears are okay but the boys are just political animals.

Pub Date: June 30th, 1969
Publisher: John Day