Authors: Stan Berenstain
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The Berenstain Bears and the Ghost of the Auto Graveyard
Stan & Jan Berenstain
A Major Event
“Papa, dear,” said Mama Bear, “please put away the morning paper and listen. The cubs are talking about school.”
Papa looked up from the newspaper that he had placed beside his bowl of blue-berries on the breakfast table. “Cool?” he said. “Then close the window.” He went back to his reading.
It happened almost every morning. Mama or the cubs would say something, and Papa, lost in newsprint, would misunderstand. Often he wouldn't hear at all. Reading the morning paper at breakfast was a habit he just couldn't seem to break. Sometimes, though, he found an article that interested everyone. And that's exactly what happened on this particular morning.
, Papa,” said Sister. “
Papa looked up again. “School? How did you know I was reading about your school?”
“Reading about our school?” said Brother. “What does it say?”
Papa cleared his throat and read aloud. “âBeartown Mayor Horace J. Honeypot yesterday announced the first annual Beartown Classic Car Show.'”
“What does a car show have to do with school?” asked Sister.
“Hold your horsepower,” said Papa. “I'm getting to that.” He continued reading: “âThe show will be held for the benefit of Bear Country School and will be sponsored and run by the local PTA. Prizes will be awarded to the three finest classic cars. The mayor said â¦,' blah, blah, blah. Well, anyway, to put into a few words what it took that old windbag a couple hundred to say: It's going to be a major event, with classic cars brought in from all over Bear Country. It'll be held on the school athletic field this weekend.”
“Cool,” said Brother.
“Cooler than you think, son,” said Papa.
“Why?” asked Brother.
“Because I just happen to be thinking of entering the Bear family car in the show,” said Papa with a wink.
“Our red roadster?” Mama scoffed. “Oh, come on, dear. I'll admit it's old. But I'd hardly call it a
Papa turned to look out the kitchen window at his beloved red roadster in the driveway. He smiled. “It sure looks like a classic to me,” he said proudly. “What do you think, son?”
Brother seemed to be looking at the roadster, too. But he was really watching the street for Cousin Fred, Lizzy Bruin, and Bonnie Brown. They were due any minute to pick up Brother and Sister so they could all walk to school together, as usual. Today was Monday, and Brother hadn't seen Bonnie since last Wednesday because she'd gone to Big Bear City for a long weekend on a modeling job. He'd missed her a lot.
“Son?” Papa repeated. “What do you think?”
Brother still didn't answer.
“He thinks Bonnie Brown is cute,” Sister snickered.
Brother heard Sister because she mentioned Bonnie. “Cut it out!” he snapped.
“Why shouldn't you think Bonnie's cute?” Sister teased. “She's your girlfriend, isn't she?”
“No, she's not,” said Brother firmly. “She's just my friend.”
“Yeah, sure,” said Sister. “And I'm Mayor Horace J. Honeypot.”
“Stop arguing, you two,” said Papa. “Tell me what's been happening at school lately.”
“We already did,” said Brother, “but you were reading the newspaper.” He jumped up, straining to see far down the road. “Besides, here they come!”
But then Brother's face fell. Coming down the road, with their backpacks slung over their shoulders, were Cousin Fred and Lizzy Bruin. But no Bonnie Brown.
“Where's Bonnie?” asked Brother as the cubs set off for school.
“Don't know,” said Cousin Fred. “Maybe she's not back from Big Bear City yet.”
“Brother misses his girlfriend,” Sister explained.
“I said cut it out, Sis!”
Sister didn't say another word. But Brother was in for more teasing when the cubs joined their friends in the schoolyard to wait for the morning bell to ring.
“What are you looking for?” wondered Babs Bruno. Brother was staring off down the street in the direction of Grizzly Mansion.
” said Sister.
“You mean Bonnie?” asked Barry Bruin.
“Bingo,” said Sister. She leaned over to Barry and whispered loudly, “
He misses his girlfriend
“I heard that!” said Brother. The other cubs snickered. “She's
my girlfriend,” he protested. “She's my best friend. And that's better than a girlfriend.”