Polar Bear's Visit

The story of Glacier Ridge

Polar Bear received a letter one day from her cousin Black Bear, who lived in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. In the letter, he invited her down to his house near the Big Pine Tree for his annual Christmas party. Polar Bear sighed. She’d love to go visit Black Bear for his party in the Smokies, but that part of the world was far too warm for her thick fur. She wouldn’t be able to make it this year.

As she was remembering what fun she and her cousin used to have, playing on the ridges and in the streams of his Tennessee mountain home, she was brought news of the south by a Puffin who was passing through.

“Have you heard about the big snowstorm that’s blowing down south?” he asked. “I’ve heard it’s going to be the coldest there that it’s been in a hundred years! There will be snow stacked higher than your shoulders, Polar Bear, as far south as Tennessee!”

Polar Bear said, “If it’s going to get that cold I should feel right at home! I can go see Black Bear, and if I leave now, I should make it in time for his Christmas party! Thank you for the news, Puffin!” She started off to see her cousin right away.

The journey took many days, and she saw a lot of new sights on her journey. She stopped to visit with some other bears in her family at Dropline Bay. She saw the Northern Lights dance in the sky as she passed by the Frosted Forest.

As she came into her cousin’s country, the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, she passed by Valley Falls — which were frozen solid! The ice glittered in the morning sunlight as she walked past, toward Black Bear’s house.

Finally, she found the Big Pine Tree, but she couldn’t see her cousin! She walked around the tree looking for him. The tree was so wide it took her quite some time, but she finally found him hanging some holly berries to decorate the trees lowest branches. She called out to him, “Hello, Black Bear!”

He looked up from his decorating and when he saw her, his face lit up like the Northern Lights. He ran over and they nuzzled just as snow started falling. “I’m so glad you could make it!” he said. “I wasn’t sure if you could, since it’s been so warm down here.”

Polar Bear smiled. “I heard from Puffin this winter is supposed to be very cold, the coldest in a hundred years. So I decided to come and down and visit you! Do you remember when we were cubs, and we played around this tree and up on the ridges and in the rivers and valleys?”

“Of course I do!” said Black Bear. “That’s why I invited you. It’s been so long since we’ve played around this tree, I thought it’d be nice to do it again.”

So Polar Bear and Black Bear played and danced around the tree in the falling snow, bringing in Christmas the best way they knew: with family.