Trying to help parents explain to their children about quarantine, a mom and middle school teacher from The Epstein School wrote this story for her toddler, Maya, and Maya’s preschool class.
The Busy Bears
By Melissa Silver
In a house on a hill lived the Busy Bear clan
Of three cubs, two parents, and a pup named Stan.
They were always in a tizzy, always in a whirl,
Just like the other Busy Bears all around the world.
The Busy Bears worked. They ran, danced, and played.
They were always so proud of all that they made.
Each day was filled with so much commotion.
Busy Bears raced from ocean to ocean.
Grown-up bears helped their cubs to succeed,
Thinking lots of activities was what they need.
In between car rides, grown-ups worked hard,
So they could raise their cubs in a house with a yard.
With so much to do each and every day,
The Busy Bears were rarely home to snuggle, sing and play.
Every so often, they ate together at the table,
But cubs were rushed to bed as soon as they were able.
Then one chilly day, quite out of the blue,
Mommy and daddy bears heard on the news.
It was time to prepare for a long hibernation.
“Get food and supplies to last the duration!”
Warned a voice on TV with a terrible dread,
“There are germs all around and we fear they may spread.
Germs are so little, they cannot be seen.
Not with your eyes or glasses that gleen.”
To stay safe from germs, bears stayed far apart,
But each cub and grown-up each played their part.
“We will do as you say, we will stay in our house.
We will not spread more germs, not to bears or a mouse.”
Bears shut the doors of their work and their schools.
They were sent to their homes with some very strict rules.
Grown-ups and cubs must stay in their home.
No more activities, they couldn’t go roam.
So all around the town and on top of the hill,
Busy Bears stayed inside and waited until
The day would come when the mayor would shout,
“The germs are gone, we’re safe; it’s time to come out!”
On their laptops, tablets, devices and phones,
They kept being busy safely from home.
Teachers still taught and Bear Cubs still learned.
Keeping minds busy ‘til to class they returned.
In the house on the hill, the family of bears
Played in their yard, on their floor, and upstairs.
They said goodbye to their old busy days.
They filled up the hours in meaningful ways.
They dusted off books and found lonely toys
That had been quite forgotten but brought them such joys.
The bears now had time to build tall, tall towers,
To race through their yard and appreciate flowers.
Days turned to weeks and they lost track of hours.
Busy no longer, slowing down gave them powers
To enjoy one another and love more sweetly.
They snuggled and slept and snored more deeply.
Outside of their house were few cars on the street
Except nurses, doctors and the great helper fleet.
So many bears worked as hard as they could
To make sick people better and maintain the good.
Scientist bears stayed up all night
Studying germs to make everything right.
They went on the news and told all the bears,
“Keep washing those hands and stay in your lairs.”
Then after a while and with a great deal of prayer,
Bears finally heard from the Busy Bear mayor.
“The time has come! The time is here!
The germs are all gone, it’s time to cheer!”
Bears emerged all over the town —
They were so glad to go roaming around.
Back to school, back to parks, back to normal it seemed,
But some things that changed came straight out of a dream.
Busy Bears now stopped every once in a while.
While busying around, they pause just to smile.
Time around tables, time just together,
Is what bear cubs need most, now and forever.