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The Arkansaw Bear

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


It is a story book. It's not just sex that children learn about sooner than adults can tell them. A brush with death--whether that of a pet or a relative--can quickly alert a child to life's ultimate condition. Even so, few plays for children deal directly with death. If it enters the plot at all, death is reserved for bad people and nasty animals; it does not threaten the child's world. Aurand Harris, the author of The Arkansaw Bear, is brave enough to believe children are able to hear about death: the play confronts the prospect of irremediable loss and finds consolation in continuity. The Arkansaw Bear (I don't know why it's spelled that way) tells how a little girl discovers that life is a gift, and that it's a duty to pass it along, even as we learn how to let it go. It begins abruptly in darkness as the heroine Tish (her name short for Laetitia or 'joy') cries out from the back of the theater: 'Why can't I see my grandfather?' Wondering what she did to make her grandfather so sick and how someone who loves her could leave her forever, Tish is torn between feelings of guilt and betrayal; though childlike, her reactions are also achingly universal. Harris uses Star Bright, the star that Tish has implored for an answer, to supply an antidote to Tish's despair: her grandfather's death is part of 'the great pattern' and 'in every ending there's a new beginning'.

The Arkansaw Bear
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  • Free
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Animals
  • Published: 01 January 1937
  • Publisher: Public Domain
  • Print Length: 86 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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