Joseph hurried to finish his breakfast. It was a bright and sunny day and he wanted to go outside and play.
He swallowed a mouthful of cereal. “Bye, Mom,” he said. “I’m going outside to play ball.”
“Not before you get your chores done,’ his mother said. I’m baking a pie for dessert and I want you to go pick some raspberries.”
Joseph’s mouth watered as he thought about taking a delicious bite of pie.
“I love to pick raspberries,” he said, grabbing a basket and skipping out the door.
Walking through the meadow, he came upon a rabbit munching on a carrot.
“Hello, Mr. Rabbit,” Joseph said. “Would you be so kind to tell me where I might find some raspberries?”
“I couldn’t be much help finding raspberries,” the rabbit said, wiggling his nose. “My carrots have an excellent crunch, why don’t you try a bunch?”
Joseph pulled some carrots out of the ground and put them in his basket. “Thank you, Mr.Rabbit,” Joseph said, and skipped away whistling.
Hearing a noise high up in a tree, Joseph stopped and saw a squirrel gathering nuts and storing them in a hole.
“Pardon me, Mr. Squirrel, but would you be so kind to tell me where I might find some raspberries?”
“Oh, little boy, there are no raspberries up here. There are only nuts to pick from the trees. Try some nuts before you leave, and you’ll forget about raspberries.”
Joseph picked some nuts from the tree and dropped them in the basket. He waved goodbye to Mr. Squirrel and continued his journey.
He entered the dark forest and was scared…just a little. But maybe he would find raspberries. He heard a noise ahead of him. Walking slowly towards the noise, he found a black bear sitting on a log eating something gooey.
“P-p-pardon me, M-M-Mr. B-b-ear, do you know where I might find some raspberries?”
“Little boy, come closer to me and I’ll give you something tasty called honey,” the bear smiled.
Joseph stepped closer to the bear and dipped his hand in the honey. It tasted delicious and sweet.
The bear leaned towards Joseph and roared. “The honey tastes good, but not as good as you will little boy.”
Joseph screamed and ran out of the forest. He jumped over rocks and ran through the meadow all the way home. He looked behind him and was happy to find that the bear didn’t follow him. Looking down at his basket he frowned. He had carrots, nuts, and some of the bear’s honey that dripped in the basket, but no raspberries.
Walking into the kitchen he had an idea. With his mother’s help, Joseph baked a surprise dessert using his carrots, nuts, and honey. At dessert, he ate every crumb of his honey-nut carrot cake and it was the best cake he ever tasted.
© 2000 Sherry Pittinger