Perry's language lesson

"Perry, that's the third time you've fallen off the bookcase!" said Miss Cynthia, exasperated.

Only one day left until we leave on our big trip! All day, I had the oddest feeling in my tummy. Happy, and funny, and a little bit scared, all rolled into one. Would I like visiting Japan? Would I be able to talk to the people? What if I got lost, or stolen? Miss Cynthia and Doctor Steve were rushing and hurrying and scurrying, and nobody seemed to have time to talk to a little bear.

So I jumped off my bookcase, right into Miss Cynthia's path.

Miss Cynthia stopped, picked me up and dusted my fur.

"All right, Perry," she said, "Why don't you tell me what's wrong?" All my funny feelings came tumbling out as I sat, snuggled up, in Miss Cynthia's lap. "Miss Cynthia, what if I get lost in Japan? What if I can't find the restroom? What if I don't like any of the things to eat?"

"Perry, it sounds like you have a case of the jitters," she said. "I don't think we need Doctor Steve to cure you." Miss Cynthia put me back on my bookcase, and handed me a little book. "Here," she said, "the best cure for the jitters is to learn something. Why don't you learn a few words in Japanese?"

I opened the book. Why, this was just right! How do you say "Hello!" in Japanese? Hmmm. You say, "Konnichi-wa". I practiced the word. "Co-Nee-Chee-Wah, Co-Nee-Chee-Wah, Co-Nee-Chee-Wah!" I could say, "Hello!" in Japanese! This was exciting!

I looked for more important words. "Thank you"--that's very important! In Japanese, it's "Arigato". I practiced again: "Are-ree-gah-toe, Are-ree-gah-toe." Now, when someone helps me, I could say, "Arigato!"

Using my little book, I practiced some more Japanese words. Let's see, "sayonara" means, "Good-bye!" "Pencil" is "empitsu" and when you answer the phone, you don't say "Hi!", you say, "Moshi moshi!" I tried it out: "Moshi moshi, Ewer residence, Perry speaking!" I liked it!

Suddenly, I thought of something. I turned the pages in my little book, forward and backward. Where was the word for "bear"? It wasn't listed! The most important word of all!

My bear friends, I need your help! Can you tell me how to say "bear" in Japanese? Tomorrow, we leave to join the Orchestra in San Francisco. On Monday, we fly to Japan--and Perry Bear Ewer will be ready!


Your bear friend,

Perry Bear Ewer

Perry's Travels: