Meanwhile back at home, Mum and Dad were getting a bit fed up with Bear’s long absence. Dad was doing the berry round on his own. Mum was irritated at having to answer all the letters from the school asking why Bear had not been to his classes. Mum was just beginning:
“Dear Mr Spelthorne,
I am very sorry that Bear has been away so long. You are quite wrong thinking that he is on holiday with us. We will let you know as soon as he is able to return to school.”
She was just about to add “yours sincerely” when something flew past the window by the dining room table and landed with a terrific crash in the strawberry frame. Mum rushed outside to see what it was.
The strawberry frame was completely smashed. In the middle was a school bag containing school books, a mangled toy plane and a large packet of peanut butter sandwiches. It was Bear’s school bag. A few minutes later there was a heavy rumbling roar from the forest. Birds and animals began to appear from the trees and head off into the distance. Briefly Mum was caught in a flurry of wings and furry creatures.
A short while later, Bear appeared at the edge of the trees. He ran happily into his mum’s arms.
By the evening, Bear had had a lovely meal and a hot bath and was feeling relaxed and happy to be at home. The trouble about the strawberry frame had been glossed over in the joy of his return. Dad was outside mending it and Mum was lighting the fire to take the chill off the evening. It was frosty now the nights were drawing in.
Bear explained the whole adventure to his parents, he told them about the peanut clouds and breadfruit trees. He told them about Bessie, and he told them why the Tree Bears were now a permanent addition to the forest.
In the meeting after Whaley Island woke up and went off to the deeps, the bears discussed the problems they were having with the Tree Guidance System. Their tree had broken away from the main wood during a storm, and they had ended up by the lane in Bear’s home wood. They had lost their steering gear in the crash. This meant that they couldn’t follow the forests from Whaley Island to look for another landing place. As bear listened he realised that he had the answer to their problems in his rucksack. The x box controller was the tree guidance system. He had taken the tree into the atmosphere by pressing the A button, then put it in his bag - no wonder the Tree Bears couldn’t find it! As soon as he understood this, he had given the controller to the chief engineer and straight away they had headed back to the woods where Bear lived. They liked the look of the place and decided to land. A bit of a bumpy landing made Bear drop his bag into the strawberry frame, but he was home safely at last!
On the minus side, Bear had to go to school on the very next day, but on the plus side, well, so many good things came out of his adventure!
The Tree Bears decided they would like to stay in the forest, so Bessie came to school with Bear. She was very excited to see a real school and learn to read properly. Bear’s mum and dad got on very well with the Tree Bears, partly because they ate berries, so business was good, but also because they had a steady supply of peanut butter sandwiches in the summer. The Tree Bears took the tree up for flights whenever the weather was suitable. Sometimes they took the school on an outing. No one had to bring a packed lunch as long as they liked peanut butter sandwiches, or breadfruit pudding.
As Bear’s dad said it was nice to have another bear at school to make Bear feel more at home. Bear agreed. But he was glad that it was a bear with dimples.