Adapted and excerpted from Stan and Jan Berenstain’s Down a Sunny Dirt Road: an Autobiography, published by Random House in 2002.
Books that followed the first two (The Big Honey Hunt and The Bike Lesson): The Bears’ Picnic, The Bear Scouts, The Bears’ Vacation, The Bears’ Christmas, and The Bear Detectives, were all variations on the theme established in The Big Honey Hunt. Papa sets out to instruct Small Bear in some aspect of the art of living and ends up badly the worse for wear, with Small Bear expressing his appreciation for the fine lesson Papa has taught him.
In all these stories, Papa spares himself nothing. In his effort to fulfill his responsibility as Small Bear’s First Teacher, he goes over a cliff, gets caught in a whirlpool, runs afoul of skunks, porcupines, mosquitoes, crocodiles, and a hay baler, mistakes the open mouth of a whale for an underwater cave, suffers himself to be struck in the seat of the pants by lightning, gets dumped on by a garbage truck, and receives such other punishments as a couple of determined cartoonists could devise.
The Bear Scouts was published by Random House in 1967.