Berenstain Bears' Soccer Star

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  • "Look!" said one of Brother'splaymates. "They're going to havetryouts for the school football team!"

    Now, Brother was a pretty goodbackyard football player, so when hisfriends asked, "Are you going out forthe team?" Brother answered, "Sure.Why not?"

  • But when he went out for the team,he found that the other bears who weretrying out came in three sizes-big,bigger, and colossal.

  • Brother was a pretty good runner, butit wasn't so easy to run with the ballwhen much bigger and older bears weretrying to stop him.

    Brother was a pretty good passer, butit wasn't so easy to pass the ball whenToo-tall Grizzly tried to block it.

    And Brother was a good pass-catchertoo, but it wasn't easy to catch a pass ina crowd when everybody in the crowdwas at least a head taller than he was.

  • Brother got pretty discouraged. ButCoach Bruin liked the way BrotherBear did his best.

    "Brother, you're just not big andstrong enough yet for the school team.But I like your spirit. How wouldyou like to be Water Bear? You'll behelping, and you'll get to ride on theteam bus."

    Brother said yes.

  • Before long it was baseball season.And once more Coach Bruin posted atryout sign.

    "Are you going to try out?" Brother'splaymates asked.

    Brother Bear was a good sandlotbaseball player. He was a good fielder,an excellent base runner, and he usuallygot his share of hits.

    "I guess so," he said.

  • "I don't think you're quite ready yet,Brother," said Coach Bruin. "But howwould you like to be Bat Bear?"

    "Okay," said Brother. Being Bat Bearwould be all right, but it wouldn't belike being part of the team.

  • The same thing happened withbasketball. Brother was the smallest oneat the tryouts and every time he tried totake a shotyou guessed itthere wasToo-tall, ready to block it.

    "I still like your spirit," said thecoach. "How would you like to beManager?"

    Now, that sounded pretty impressive,so Brother took the job.

  • But being manager turned out tomean taking care of all the dirtyuniforms and wet towels after the game,and it really wasn't much fun.

    Especially when Too-tall Grizzlydumped his dirty shirt and wet towel onBrother's head.

    Brother got angry. He got very angry.

  • He got so angry that he began tokick things around the locker room. Hekicked the wet towels. He kicked thewater bucket and dipper. He kicked asoda can.

  • Then Brother went outside andkicked a stone against a tree and whenit bounced back, he leaped up andkicked it again-

    right into a hole in the tree."Just a minute, Brother Bear!" called

    Coach Bruin.Brother figured he was in big trouble.

  • "Sorry about that, Coach," he said."I just got so angry"

    "Never mind about that!" the coachsaid. "You're a fantastic kicker, andyou're just the bear I've been lookingforfor the school soccer team!"

  • And Brother didn't even have to tryout. Not only was he a great kicker, butbecause he was so quick and small, heran rings around the bigger players,who were a little clumsy. Once, atpractice, he scored by dribbling the ballright between Too-tall's legs!

    Brother became Star Forward on theschool soccer team.

  • Brother scored so many winninggoals that at the end of the seasonToo-tall and the other bigger, olderplayers carried Star Forward BrotherBear off the field on their shoulders.

    "Good work," said the coach. "We'rehaving football tryouts again prettysoon, and, you know, you're gettingbigger and stronger all the time. I'd likeyou to try out."

    Brother Bear said he'd think about it.