(Viel Spaß beim Lesen auch an alle German-Speakers)
It was a wonderful morning in Cape Suzette. A morning with sunshine, singing birds and gentle waves from the sea.
In a wooden building at the harbor, known as Higher for Hire, a small brown bearcub laid in his bed. He was sleeping peacefully and wasn't disturbed by the ordinary snoring noises that came from the other bed in the room where a big grey bear enjoyed his beauty sleep.
The loud ringing of the alarm clock on the nightstand interrupted the silence.
With closed eyes Baloo rolled over to reach onto the nightstand and tried to put out the alarm. His hand hit the clock and it fell to the floor where it continued ringing. The big bear grunted annoyed and finally opened his eyes. Silently scolding he got up and picked the noise maker up from the floor and turned it off.
The pilot sighed heavily and looked at the boy, who was still asleep. Baloo couldn't believe that Kit overheard the alarm clock. Maybe the kid's sick or somethin..., he thought.
He went over to the small bed and gently shook the sleeping cub. "Kit? Hey, L'il Britches..."
Kit couldn't believe that it was already seven 'o clock in the morning. He hadn't slept well the last few days and felt like he'd just gone to bed. "Not... happening," he mumbled into his sheets. He rolled himself over onto his back and slowly opened his sleepy eyes to face the pilot. "Hey..."
Baloo looked at the cub and chuckled a bit. "You should see the look on yer face now kiddo."
"Very funny." Kit sat up and yawned. "Please tell me that you set a wrong alarm."
"Nope," Baloo replied. "7.00 a.m., not a minute later. And since school starts at 8 you probably should get up now."
Kit replied with another yawn and slowly pulled back the sheets and got up. He felt sightly dizzy this morning. School, helping out at Higher for Hire and the little sleep really were overtaxing him.
He walked over to the closet beside the door and pulled out his old, green sweater which he put on over his white nightshirt.
Baloo watched as the boy reached onto the nightstand to put on his red and blue base-ball cap and frowned at the slow tired moves.
"Ain't ya feelin' well, kiddo?" The pilot asked concerned.
Kit faced the bear. "No, I'm fine."
"It's just that you don't look so good," Baloo replied, still concerned.
"Well, thank you," Kit simply said and walked out of the bedroom.
"Wait." Baloo quickly followed him down the stairs.
Rebecca was already behind her desk and buisily writing something down in her notebook. When her two friends came down the stairs, she looked up. "Morning!"
"Morning, Ms. Cunningham." Kit smiled at her and then picked up his school bag which laid beside her desk.
"Mornin' Becky," Baloo said quickly and then turned his attention back to Kit, who was already walking towards the door. "Kit, wait. Don't you want to have breakfast?"
"No," Kit replied and opened the door. "I have an important test at school today."
Baloo frowned. "But it's only ten past seven."
"I know, but I totally forgot learn, so I have to do that at school now," the cub said. "Bye, Papa Bear. Bye, Ms. Cunningham."
"Have a good day," Rebecca said and then continued writing.
"Bye." Baloo said slowly when the door was already closed again.
Now this was defenitely not typical for Kit. The boy normally never forgot to learn for school. And usually Kit was the first to get up in the morning and to have breakfast. Baloo noticed that the cub had been a little absent- minded the last couple of days and it kinda worried him. Kit was usually bright and full of life but he seemed so quiet now.
"Hello? Baloo? Baloo!"
"Huh?" Baloo jumped and spun around to face his boss.
Rebecca sighed. "I called your name like three times!" She got up and picked up her clipboard from the desk. "Pinapple delivery to Dahka today," she announced and handed the clipboard to her pilot.
Baloo looked at the clipboard. "Dahka... okay."
Rebecca frowned. "Okay? That's all? What's wrong with you? Normally you start complaining when I tell you what your delieveries are."
"I'm just not in the mood for a discussion today," the pilot simply said and walked outside to load the cargo into the Sea Duck.
What's the matter with him today? Rebecca wondered. She silently shook her head and went back to her desk.
"Hey, Kit!" Ernie called out when he entered the classroom and saw his best friend sitting on his place.
Ernie noticed that Kit was asleep over his algebra book, looking like dead. He walked over to the little navigator and shook his shoulder. "Hey, wake up!"
Kit stirred a bit but continued to sleep.
Ernie shook his head. Sam, one of his classmate, came closer and chuckled. "What's wrong with him?"
Ernie shrugged. "Don't know. I don't think that sleeping over a school book is very relaxing."
Just then the school bell rang.
"We've got to wake him up before the teacher comes," Ernie said and shook Kit again, this time harder. "Hey, buddy! Algebra test!"
Kit jumped. "What?!" Confused he looked around. What had happened? What were the others doing here so early?
He glanced at his watch. "WHAT?!" he yelled again. "8 'o clock! Damn! I wanted to learn for the test!"
"Looks like you fell asleep during your learning process," Ernie said and took a seat beside Kit.
Kit closed his eyes for a second. He fell asleep? No, that couldn't be. He didn't remember anything of algebra. How should he write this test?
"Good morning, kids." Mrs. Reid, the algebra teacher, entered the room and dropped her school books and her briefcase on her desk.
She opened her book and pulled a bunch of sheets out of her briefcase. "Ready for the test?"
"Absolutely not," Kit whispered desperated.
Mrs. Reid didn't even wait for a response and began to distribute the sheets with the questions for the test.
After she was done she returend to her desk and sat down. "You've got twenty minutes for the test. Good luck!"
While the others started writing, Kit stared at the first exercise:
2a² 34b² .2 = 45ab²
He had no idea how to solve this equation. The next one wasn't better:
46xy – x² .23yx² -46x² = 120yx²
He chewed on his pencil. Normally he was really good at school, even in algebra. But right now it seemed to him like he had never seen an equation before in his entire life. He sighed.
The numbers became blurred in front of his vision. He closed his eyes and then opened them again and started to write something down but he was sure it wasn't the right solution.
"Twenty minutes are over now," Mrs. Reid said finally after a time. "Put your pencils down and give me your tests."
Damn! Kit thought and took a last look at his test. It didn't look good. He sighed and got up to put his sheet down on Mrs. Reid's desk.
"It went pretty good," Ernie said after they all took their seats again. "This test could be my first B. I bet you get an A again, Kit."
"Oh, I don't think so," Kit replied. "My test is a disaster! I hope I still get a D."
"Will you two be quiet please?" Mrs. Reid glared at them and then turned back to the blackboard. "Now where were we..."
Kit didn't listen. He was too deep in his thoughts and too tired. If he brought home a bad mark, Baloo would want to know if he had any problems he wanted to talk about. But did he have any problems? Things were a little stressful lately but this couldn't be a reason for not learning. Kit had always learned, no matter how stressful life was. He didn't know the reason himself, so what should he tell Baloo?
It was already 6.20pm when Kit came home from the longest school day and pushed the door to Higher for Hire open and entered Rebecca's office.
The Sea Duck hadn't been out in the water so Kit suggested that his Papa Bear was still high up in the air.
Molly was sitting in a corner playing with her dolls. "Hi Kit!" she greeted him cheerfully.
Rebecca was rumaging around in a drawer, obviously looking for something. When she heard Kit enter, she looked up and smiled at him. "Hi, sweety. How was school?"
The cub sighed and dropped his school bag to the floor.
"Hard day?" Rebecca asked. She pulled out a piece of paper from the drawer and shut it again.
"The hardest day," Kit replied.
"Something you want to talk about, honey?"
"Uh... no," Kit said.
"Well, if you feel like talking... you know we're always here for you," Rebecca said gently and smiled.
"Thanks, Ms. Cunningham. But it's really nothing."
She put the paper down on her desk. "Kit, could you do me a favor and watch Molly for a while? I have to go downtown and buy some notepaper. It's really important."
"Sure. No problem," Kit replied. Actually he was really beaten up from school and had also to do his homework but he just felt like he couldn't say no to Rebecca. Allthough he felt like he could fall asleep any second now.
"Oooh, we're gonna have so much fun, Kit," Molly yelled and jumped onto his back.
"Oofff!" Kit nearly fell under the sudden weight but somehow managed to keep his balance.
"Molly, promise me not to cause Kit troubles, alright?" Rebecca said firmly.
Molly got off Kit's back and held her hand up. "I promise."
"I'll be back soon," Rebecca said and grabbed her coat.
"See you later, Ms. Cunningham."
"Bye Mommy!" Molly waved as her mother left the building. Then she turned around to face Kit. "Let's play with my dollies!"
Kit sighed and smiled. "Okay."
Suddenly they heard the familiar sound of the Sea Ducks engines outside. Baloo was back from his cargo trip. They heard the cockpit door be thrown open and a silent scolding from the pilot.
"I'll go see what got him so angry," Kit said and headed for the door. Molly followed him outside where Baloo angrily opened the cargo hatch.
"Hi, Papa Bear," Kit said. He walked up to Baloo and looked into the cargo hold. Inside were still the crates with the tons of pinapples. "Uh... weren't you supposed to deliever them?"
"These Dahka-people told me they hadn't had ordered any pinapples," Baloo grumbled. "The whole way for nothing! Where's Becky? I gotta tell her somethin'..."
The pilot stormed off into the office. Two minutes later he appeared again in the doorway. "Where is she?"
"Buying notes," Molly said.
"Notepaper," Kit corrected her. This day was just great. Just as the other days have been last week. In the morning everything was fine and in the afternoon everyone was annoyed and frustrated.
"Aw, this is just great," Baloo said and threw his hands up in the air. Finally he tried to calm down a bit. "Hey, Kit will ya help me unload the crates and bring them into the barn?"
"Okay, but actually–"
"Why didn't they take the cargo? They must have ordered pinapples, otherwise..." The big grey bear trailed off as he disapeared into the cargo hold. He was too upset to notice Kit's tired look and even forgot to ask him about his school day which he normally does every day.
Kit sighed and joined the pilot in the cargo hold. It was very hard to carry the crates over the wooden footbridge to the barn. These pinapples were really heavy. Kit felt like he needed a double because he also had to keep an eye on Molly, who was sitting at the end of the pier and watching them. Plus tons of homework were waiting for him. He had no idea how he should handle this but he just couldn't let Baloo do all the work alone.
He gave me a new home so the least I can do is help him out with his work, Kit always thought. Allthough it wasn't always that easy.
It was already dark when they were finished because one of the crates was so big that it didn't fit through the door of the barn. They had to put all the pinapples into smaller crates and it took two whole hours.
Rebecca and Molly had already gone home.
Kit felt very dizzy and only wanted to go to bed but then he remembered he had still a lot of homework to do.
"Phew," Baloo said. "I'm glad that this day is over." He touched his stomach. "I'm starving. I think I'm gonna make us something to eat. What do ya say, L'il Britches?"
"Not for me, thanks," Kit replied. "I have a lot of homework to do."
"But Kit you gotta eat something," Baloo said looking concerned. "Homework can't be that important."
"But it is." Kit slowly began to walk up the stairs. "I can't risk to forget any homework since I screwed up my test today." He stopped. Damn, you've said too much! he thought and did a mental headsmack.
"Was that the test where you forgot to learn?" Baloo asked.
"I thought you wanted to learn at school for it."
"Uh..." Kit didn't know what to answer. He didn't want Baloo to know that he fell asleep at school. And he also didn't want him to know that he hadn't been feeling well the whole last week. He didn't want him to know about the little sleep he got. Baloo had got his own problems, he didn't need Kit's.
"Kit, I can see that something is bothering you," Baloo finally spoke up. "But you have to tell me. Otherwise I can't help you."
"Baloo, it's just..." the cub started. But then he simply said: "I just want to go upstairs now and do my homework. Okay?"
"Okay, L'il Britches." Baloo sighed and watched as the boy disappeared.
The pilot didn't know what to do. He wanted to help his little navigator but he didn't know how. He didn't understand why Kit didn't want to talk to him.
Doesn't he trust me? Baloo thought sadly.
Finally the pilot decided to go upstairs and talk to Kit. He wanted to know what was wrong with his pardner. He had noticed that Kit wasn't the same anymore. The cub had changed. He hadn't been so active anymore and hadn't laughed much.
He has to tell me, the grey bear thought.
Kit closed the bedroom door and stopped for a second. He felt dizzy and swayed a bit. He leaned against the wall to steady himself. He had no idea how he should do his homework.
His school books laid on the nightstand. Kit wanted to pick them up but before he could reach the nightstand a huge wave of weariness swept over him. He fell slowly without feeling pain to the floor and he was wrapped up in black darkness. He felt so tired. Through his dimmed senses he heard a knock at the door and then he knew nothing more.
Baloo slowly opened the door. "Kit, I just want to..."
He stopped when he saw Kit motionless lying on the floor.
"Kit!" he yelled and stormed over to the unconscious cub. Shaking with concern he kneeled down beside him and gently shook him. "Kit, wake up!"
The boy didn't move.
Baloo started to panic. He picked Kit up and carefully laid him down on his bed. The pilot tried it one more time: "L'il Britches, can you hear me?"
The pilot hurried out of the bedroom, nearly tripping over his own feet when he stormed down the stairs. He rushed over to the phone and quickly dialed.
"Hello? I need an ambulance!"
To be continued...