Louie, the Lonely Polar Bear
(a read aloud story) by Elaine Gallagher Louie was a baby polar bear who lived with his Mother on the coldest continent in the […]
by Elaine Gallagher
Louie was a baby polar bear who lived with his Mother on the coldest continent in the world, Antarctica, where the South Pole is located. That’s why Louie and his kind are called “Polar Bears”. Polar bears are big, with long white fur to match the snow. They have a little, short tail, and can swim very fast in the cold ocean water.
Louie had no brothers. He had no sisters. He had no friends because no other bears live near Louie’s family. His father had gone to hunt food. Maybe he would come home with a seal or a big fish. Louie had no one but his mother. He was all alone when his father went to hunt for food.
Most animals in Antarctica are afraid of polar bears because polar bears are very big, and very strong, and always very hungry. They are the strongest of all the wild animals that live in Antarctica.
Louie felt sad. “I am not big. I am not strong. I do not eat much”, he thought. “I wish the other animal babies would play with me.”
One day, Louie saw a large group of penguins. “Wow! Maybe one of those baby penguins can be my friend!” yelled Louie.
As soon as the group of penguins saw Louie, they turned and ran. Poor, sad Louie. He was so lonely.
His mother told him not to worry. “Someday, Louie, you will have a chance to have a good friend.”
Two days later, his mother called, “Louie, Louie,” “Guess what?”
Louie had never seen his mother so excited. “What, Mother?” Louie asked.
“A new polar bear family has moved to our part of the glacier. A mother polar bear and her baby,” said Louie’s mother. Slowly, Louie and his mother made their way to the other side of the glacier. They saw a mother polar bear with a small bear. They did not see the father bear, so they carefully and slowly went towards the mother and her baby.
“Hello,” Louie’s mother called softly.
The other bear looked up. She looked around to make sure there were no other polar bears. She shyly asked, “Hello. Who are you?”
“This is my son, Louie, and I am La Verne, his mother. We live here. Who are you?”
The other bear answered, “I am Marie, and this is my daughter, Chinook. We moved here because hunters were bothering us. They shot and killed Chinook’s father for his beautiful fur skin. So we had to move far away to be safe. Are there hunters here?”
“No…only once or twice have we seen bear-hunters. It is safer for us. But for Louie, it is very lonely.”
Chinook came closer to Louie and began to sniff him. Sniff. Sniff. Sniff.
La Verne introduced her son to the new neighbors. “Louie, this is Marie and her baby, Chinook. Maybe the two of you can become friends.”
That night, Louie’s Father arrived home after being away for four days, hunting. He was swimming towards them in the open ocean. He had a huge fish.
“Daddy, Daddy,” greeted Louie, happy to see his father. “Hello, Louie. I am happy to be home. I brought you and your mother a big fish to eat so you will not be hungry.”
“Thank you, Daddy,” Louie said. “We have new neighbors, Marie and Chinook. They do not have a Father bear to help them. Can we give them some of our fish?”
“Of course,” said the Father bear. “We’ll all be neighbors now and we will help each other.”
Chinook got up and moved closer to Louie and his mother. She asked, “Can we play, Louie? Can we slide together?»
“Oh yes. Yes! Yes! Yes!” shouted Louie, happily. “Mom, I have a friend! I will not be lonely anymore!”
Louie and Chinook went to slide on the ice. They became great friends, running, sliding, playing, and swimming!
Louie was not lonely any more.
- Art. Now you can make a polar bear. Make a simple bear outline, which students will draw and cut-out. They will draw a nose, mouth, and eyes. Then, using small cotton-balls, which they’ll stretch to make larger, but less-fat, they’ll glue the cotton on the bear outline to make a white, fat, polar bear.
- If you can not do an art project, show pictures of polar bears to students and ask them for ideas on how they can make an arctic scene or collage with polar bears. Work on this as a project.
- Emotional Intelligence. Discuss the world problem of the polar bears’ territory gradually disappearing, which can lead to extinction of the bears if humans are not careful. Discuss what we can do. Then talk about loneliness. How does it feel to be lonely? What can we do to help others so they will not feel too lonely?
Younger students: Is this story fact or fiction? How do you know? Find Antarctica on a map. What other animals live there? Do polar bears also live in the North Pole? Explain.
Older students: What can you find out about the exploration of Antarctica? Who «owns» Antarctica? Explain. Describe the climate of Antarctica. Has Antarctica always been so cold? Give evidence. Describe / illustrate the geography/topography of Antarctica. Make a graph or chart showing life on Antarctica. Investigate polar bears and the environmental crisis they are facing. Describe and explain your research.