From the shade of the swaying sunflowers, Tiny heard the rumble of tires and the familiar toot-toot—Dana-bear was back in town! She scrambled through the stalks and raced to meet his food-truck. But something was different—the truck was no longer pink, but a gleaming emerald green with a sign that read, ‘Better Than Yum’.
Dana-Bear jumped out. Instead of the usual bear hug and brilliant smile, his face was as steely as autumn rain. “Oh, Tiny,” he said panting, “I was planning a marvelous feast for the village. . .”
There’s a feast?” Tiny interrupted. A bubble of excitement rose inside her.
“Well, there was, to celebrate the new food truck. But now I’m not so sure. The two-leggeds caught me collecting food scraps from the village dumpster and now they want to banish me from Treetops. What shall I do?”
Tiny’s hand flew to her chest and the bubble popped. “We can’t let that happen! We’ll have to speak to the two-leggeds. I’m sure they’ll understand.”
Dana-Bear shook his head and lumbered back to the food truck. How was she going to convince them? Thoughts tumbled through her mind like acrobats. She returned to the sunflowers to think until the moon ushered her to sleep.
It wasn’t long before the sun kissed Tiny awake. The library bells rang out—the two-leggeds were starting their community meeting. Tiny ran through the crack in the library door ready to make her case. Eyes bore into her from every direction.
Tiny cleared her throat. “Friends, you are invited to the Feast of Midsummer tonight in the Wild Briar Wood, featuring a very special guest, Chef Dana-Bear.”
The crowd grew restless. “Dana-Bear is a thief, a scavenger!”
“Banish him forever!” another resident cried.
Tiny bit her lip to stop the upset spilling out. “Dana-Bear is creative and thoughtful. He teaches us about food waste, and recycling. Plus, he feeds the people he loves. Which is why you’re all invited,” she added defiantly. As she turned to leave, murmurs filled the silence. She had tried her best.
Tiny and Dana-Bear strolled together through the woods, hoping it wouldn’t be their last. But when they returned to the food truck, Dana-Bear roared to the skies. The two-legged had donated a mountain of food—carrots, hazelnuts, apples, and eggs—enough to feed the village.
“You did it, Tiny! You convinced the two-leggeds I could stay.”
“I just reminded them you’re the best chef in town,” she replied with a grin. “And this feast is going to be better than yum!”