Dirty Bear

Bruno loved to splash in mud puddles. He loved to roll in the grass. He loved to push his trucks in the sand. He loved to eat berries that dribbled down his chin. He loved being messy – the messier, the better.

The only thing Bruno didn’t love was taking baths. He’d do anything to avoid them.

Some days he hid in the cellar with the spiders. But his sister always found him.

Some days he clutched his stomach and moaned. But his mother always knew he wasn’t sick.

Some days he pounded the floor and cried. But his father always sent him upstairs.

So Bruno would march upstairs like a good bear and draw a bath. With the tip of a paw he would splish and splosh until water went everywhere. Then he’d track muddy paw prints across the floor. Finally, he’d wipe berry stains onto a towel. Every day Bruno did the same thing. He made a mess while pretending to take a bath. And every day Bruno went to bed a little dirtier.

Soon Bruno’s fur stuck together. His pyjamas turned color. Bed bugs bounced on his sheets. Worst of all, he began to smell.

“Something stinks!” said his sister.

“Open the windows!” said his mother.

“Put out the garbage!” said his father.

No one suspected Bruno, so no one really looked at him. He’d just taken a bath. It couldn’t possibly be him.

At school, nobody wanted to sit next to Bruno. Flies buzzed around his head. The janitor tried to put him in the trash can.

Bruno knew what he had to do. He raced home. He marched upstairs to the bathroom. He reached behind the soap and pulled out a bottle when…

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