There once was a little Tohono O’Odham boy named Bear in The Shade. He lived in a small village on the reservation. He loved animals and treated them like family. Bear in the Shade seemed to always find stray and injured animals to bring home.If the animals got in a fight he would put them in time out zones. He wanted them to get along with each other. Some people thought it was odd how he treated them like people. Bear in The Shade was born with a disability that made him have speech delays. Kids picked on him and made him sad. The animals seemed to love him. They were his friends and he trusted them.
Bear in The Shade loved to build things. He would build houses for the animals. One day he decided to help an elder in the village by building her a new gate and repair her broken fence. Some cowboys saw him working and asked him if he wanted to learn to be a cowboy. Bear in The Shade answered the cowboy with lots of excitement, and hurriedly.
Yes someday but right now I got lots of things to do. I have school and I need to help my mom and dad. Then there is the elderly who need my help to do yard work and repairs that they can’t do. Then the cowboy said that is a lot for a little boy your age to be doing. Bear in The Shade smiled and said I’m eleven years old. I have plenty of time to work and play. The cowboy said I see you’re a hard worker unlike a lot of kids these days. Bear in The Shade smiled and said mom and dad said it’s always better to work for things you want. I like paying for my own toys. The cowboy told him he was a very good boy and to stay that way. Bear in The Shade said thank you sir. If its ok with you I need to finish this fence, so the donkeys don’t get in and destroy the plants. The cowboy told him to go ahead and to remember let him know when he was ready to be a cowboy. Bear in The Shade said ok will do. He finished the gate and fence with few hours to spare before dinner.
Bear in The Shade rode his bike home stopping to tell several people in the village about his day. He told some of the kids who laughed and said your weird to do all that work. He ignored the remarks and finished riding home to where he excitedly told his mom and dad about his day. They smiled and hugged him and told him how proud they were of him. After dinner he told his animals. He showered got dressed for bed, brushed his teeth, and said his bed time prayers. That night he went to sleep and dreamed of being a head cowboy. He also dreamed about being a bull rider the best in the country. From that day on Bear in The Shade went around with his head up and smile on his face.
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