Gladly The Cross Eyed Bear

GladlyOnce upon a time in the great big forest, there lived a couple of bears.  Now Mrs. Bear was sad, because she and Mr. Bear had no children.  Mr. Bear loved Mrs. Bear very much, and tried to make her happy.  He brought her the sweetest honey from the hives, and lovely flowers from the fields.   But Mrs. Bear remained sad and this made Mr. Bear sad too.

Then one day, a joyous event happened, Mrs. Bear had a little baby bear.  Mrs. Bear was so happy to have a baby; she had waited so long for this child.  She was so pleased, that she named her little baby Gladly Bear.

Gladly was a beautiful little bear, his fur was thick and brown.  His teeth were white and sharp, and his eyes were round and brown.  There was only one problem, Gladly’s eyes would not look straight ahead.  Yes poor Gladly was cross eyed.

When Mr. Bear came home and saw Gladly’s eyes, he was upset.   How could he have such a poor child, he was not perfect.  Yet when Gladly cuddled up to him, the love he had for his son welled up inside him and poured out.  Yes even with his eyes, Gladly was perfect to Mr. Bear.

As Gladly grew, he often went out in the forest to play.  There he met the other animal children, but because of his eyes they would not play with poor Gladly.  They laughed at him, called him mean names, threw dirt at Gladly and chased him away.  The other children were not nice.

But one child, Benjamin Squirrel did not chase Gladly or call him names.  Poor Benjamin was also picked on by the other children for he had large buck teeth.  He knew how poor Gladly felt and joined him to play.  Gladly and Benjamin quickly became close friends, and played together every day.

One day while they were playing together, Gladly and Benjamin came across the other animals playing a game.  They asked them if they could join in the game, but the other animals started calling them mean names.  Then the other animals started to throw dirt at them and chased them away.  Gladly and Benjamin were so upset that they ran crying into the forest, soon becoming lost.

As they wandered in the forest, they came across Rosie the Wise Old Owl.  “What is wrong, why are you crying little ones?” asked Rosie.

“The other animals are making fun of us and calling us names”, replied Benjamin.

“They said we are ugly and funny looking”, cried Gladly, “they don’t want to play with us and chase us away.”

“Why there is nothing wrong you”, said Rosie.  “Don’t you know that you are both special to God?  In fact God made you just the way you are and He knows how special you are.  God loves you so much he sent His own Son down to earth for you.

Everybody does bad things, this is called sin.  Sin keeps us away from God because He can not be around it.  This makes God sad, because He wants to be with us.   But God sent us Jesus His son to help us get rid of sin.  He took all of our sins and put them on Jesus.  Jesus died for our sins so we can be with God.  So now when God looks at us, He sees Jesus.

“Now”, said Miss Rosie, “it is getting late.  You children better run on home before your parents start worrying about you.”

“But we can’t go home”, cried Benjamin. “We got lost running away from the other animals and don’t know where we are.”

“Well I guess I will just have to show you the way home then”, said Miss Rosie. And she started down the path, leading Gladly and Benjamin back to their homes.  Soon they saw the lights shining happily through the windows of their homes and ran on ahead.

After that, Benjamin and Gladly spent many days visiting Miss Rosie.  She told them many stories about Jesus and how he loved them.  One day, Gladly stomped in to visit Miss Rosie looking upset.

“Why Gladly Bear” said Miss Rosie.  “What on the earth is the matter with you?  You look very angry.”

“It’s those mean kids”, sniffed Gladly.  “They have been calling me names again and throwing dirt at me.  I hate them, they are not nice.”

“But Gladly”, said Miss Rosie. “Remember what I was telling you about Jesus.  He would want you to forgive those kids, and to pray for them.  Now give me a smile, and we will pray for them now.”  So Gladly and Miss Rosie prayed for the mean kids, asking Jesus to help them learn how to be good.  Gladly’s heart felt much lighter after he forgave the mean kids.

A few days later, Gladly went over to meet Benjamin to play.  Benjamin’s mother told them to be careful while playing, for Man had been sighted in the forest.  Benjamin wanted to have a race, but Gladly wanted to play Hide and Seek.  So they ran off to their favorite clearing where they would have plenty of room to do both.

Gladly smelled a strange smell as they came near their favorite clearing,.  Cautiously they crept up to their clearing, peering out through the bushes.  There they saw Man.  Man had built cages of wood and ropes, and had locked the other kids in the cages.

“Benjamin”, said Gladly.  “We must do something.   We can not leave the other kids with Man.  Man will hurt them and do mean things to them.”

“But Gladly”, said Benjamin.  “They were mean to us, why should we help them.”

“Remember that Jesus helped us”, said Gladly.  “He would want us to forgive them and help them also.  I will keep Man busy, while you chew the ropes and free the others.”

So standing on his rear legs, Gladly broke through the bushes running towards Man.  Fiercely he gave a mighty growl scaring Man, causing him to run out of the clearing.  Gladly followed him a little more, growling and roaring to keep Man running until he was out of the forest.

While Man was running away, Benjamin scurried over to the cages.  Using his impressive buck teeth, Benjamin chewed through the ropes on the cages.  As the ropes broke, the cages fell apart and the other kids were able to escape from them.

The other kids surrounded Gladly and Benjamin while cheering loudly.  Happily they thanked them for saving them from Man.  Slowly Hannah Rabbit walked up to Gladly and Benjamin.

“Thank you for saving us”, said Hannah.  “But why did you help us after we called you all those mean names, and threw dirt at you?”

“Miss Rosie the wise old owl told us about Jesus”, replied Gladly.  “And he would want us to forgive you and help you.”

“Can we learn about this Jesus also?” asked Caitlin Otter.

“Of course”, replied Benjamin.  “Follow us and we will take you with us to Miss Rosie’s.  She can teach all more about Jesus.”

So the other kids followed Gladly and Benjamin, through the woods they went to Miss Rosie’s house.  Miss Rosie brought out a tray of cookies she had been baking and soon was telling all the children about Jesus and His love.

The other kids soon became good friends with Gladly and Benjamin. Every day they would go see Miss Rosie, where they would learn more about Jesus.

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