From a true story
of HOMESTEAD, FL
By RW Spisak
From a true story of OLD HOMESTEAD
Back when homestead had just three buildings, and the most important one was the trading post, tavern
A young man, well a man. Was sweeping up the porch and a trader came in from the swamps
And hammocks with a baby bear cub on a piece of rope.
He was a cute little bear and everybody stopped to pet him. He was a cute little bear and everybody loved him
Time passed and the cute little bear was treated well He grew from a little tiny baby into a good-sized cub
Everybody stopped to pat his head, and rub his tummy. He ate well, every child who passed by left him a little treat
He was a cute little bear and everybody loved him. Years went by and he grew and grew. And little by little children began to be slightly afraid. Most people still stopped to give him treats. And almost everybody still loved him
He grew and grew and grew. And suddenly he was a cute little cub no more. Hardly anybody stopped to pet him.
And the nice man who ran the trading post tavern cut off his claws. Just so he couldn’t scratch anybody. But still most people avoided him, but still a few friends would stop and scratch him behind the ears, and they would bat at each other. There were at least a few people still loved him, and the tavern owner couldn’t hardly stand to see
how sad the little bear had grown.
Hardly anybody stopped to play with him anymore, and now most people were afraid of him. They walked way over to the other side of the porch, when they wanted to come into the trading post, and that was bad for business. So now, nearly everyone was afraid of him and he was a very sad little bear and almost nobody loved him.
The tavern owner who traded a jug of whiskey, for him and his mother’s pelt, when he first came to the trading post tavern. He wanted to help the little bear be happy again, and he was scheming and dreaming, about how he could help the little bear be happy again. So everybody would love him.
One day a man came into the trading post
with a long list of supplies he needed
He was taking a traveling zoo down to Key Largo
for a tourist attraction.
He saw the bear and started to play with him
This bear is completely tame, Yeah says the tavern
and trading post owner “My children play with him all the time”
And the zoo keeper loved him
How much do you want for him?
I can use a tame bear like this in the zoo
They’ll love him, He scratches the bear under his chin
How bout twenty five? Says the sheepish trading post proprietor
Sure, Tell you what I’ll give you thirty,
you throw in this old bear skin he’s laying on
Gladly the tavern owner helped the zoo keeper
load the bear into his old model-T truck and
he only counted the money twice, and the zoo keeper
love the little bear
Well what with the pop corn and the cotton candy
and the caramel apples. The little bear grew into
a great big bear in just a few short years.
And he roamed free around the whole zoo and he was friendly
and very well behaved and the zoo keeper loved the bear
One day in key largo the little bear was puzzled
because all the birds, went away, even the bugs
seemed to disappear. Everyone was very, very afraid
day the storm came to Key Largo.
The winds came and knocked all the cages around
It knocked all the houses down and blew all the cars,
and wagons, and people away
After a while, after the winds were finished
the bear came out of a big pile of roots and trees
and he began to look for the people
He looked into the piles of wood that were houses
He looked into the piles of wood that were buildings
He looked into the piles of trees and roots that used to be in different
He didn’t find anyone to play with
Everybody he found didn’t want to play
Everybody he found just laid there
He was a very lonely bear
There was lots to eat though
He even put on some more weight
There was lots to eat
But he was a very lonely bear
He climbed through the broken trees
He hunted among the woodpiles that had been houses
One day he saw some people looking around
They put a rope around his neck and put him in a cage
He’d never been in a cage before. He was a very sad bear
They brought him back to the tavern and trading post
in Homestead. But he was so big and the cage so heavy
that the tavern keeper couldn’t convince himself
to keep the bear any more he was just too big.
He was a very very sad bear in a cage, he just laid
on the cool wood floor and dreamed about fields of tall grass.
He even dreamed about cotton candy and caramel apples,
even if he didn’t know what to call them.
The hunter was trying to sell the tavern keeper the bear.
He wanted fifty dollars for the bear.
And since the tavern keeper had sold him once for
thirty and bought him once for a three dollar jug
of corn liquor.
It didn’t seem fair to have to buy him back at a loss
of twenty dollars. Even if he would get a lot more bear
for his money. The bear just laid in his little cage
with his nose between the bars, snuffling once in a while
as people walked by. He was a very sad bear and nobody
The local baker was at the tavern and he heard
the tavern keeper turn down the hunter. The local baker
was having trouble getting people to buy their bread
from him. Everybody made their own bread. But if he had
a bear for an attraction, people would come just
to see the bear, he was a friendly bear and still
remembered his circus tricks.
The baker bought the bear, and eventually built a bigger
cage for him, so he could roll a ball, and climb a block
and do tricks for the people. The bear was a local favorite
and people began to love him again He was a very happy bear.
One day a big big big company announced that they wanted
to buy a lot of bread if the baker would move his
whole bakery way up north to a new little town called
South Miami. The baker agreed and he moved all his workers
and his whole factory and his Great Big Bear.
People would share their cookies, and pies and loaves of
stale bread with the bear and he’d grown quite large.
Many of the bakers helpers, who had to feed the bear
were very, very scared of the bear, and he was very scared
One Monday morning when one of the bakers went to feed
the bear, he got a big surprise, there was no bear there.
When he went to go tell the owner of the bakery,
that the bear was missing, he was given an invitation
to the company picnic, “Everybody loved the bear” again.
Contact the author Rick Spisak