Hermann and Dorothea - Chapter 4/4


After my twelfth birthday I become an animal keeper in Skansen. I sit in a bear enclosure with two brown bear cubs. They have dark eyes. The bear keeper stands next to me and says, "They come from the mountains in the far north of Sweden. They'd lost their mother and were absolutely helpless when they were found. You can look after them. I'll leave you with them whilst I go and look after the adult bears. Call me if you need anything."

I give both the cubs something to drink and take them in my arms, whispering, "Hermann und Dorothea, now I'm here to look after you."

I hug them both. Hermann und Dorothea squeal.

I then go the bars of the cage and look at the brown bears.

"Belshazzar," I cry, "Belshazzar!"

The bear raises himself up on his back paws and looks at me. "You are a beautiful bear, Belshazzar. That's why I've given you a beautiful name. But I'm not coming over there to you, as you might think, aha! here comes lunch."

Belshazzar lies down. I go across to Hermann and Dorothea and I sit down with them "So little ones, I'll come again tomorrow and look after you. Now I'm your Mama. And Belshazzar is your Papa. He's looking at you, can you see?"

I point Belshazzar out to them. They squeal. I stand up and close the cage behind me. After a final look at both my darlings I make my way to the wolf enclosure. One she-wolf has a fat belly.

Bredablick, Skansen's lookout tower is my next stop. I run up the tower steps and survey my animals, my little sunbeams, from above.



"Erzählst du uns eine Geschichte?", fragt Linnéa.
"Was möchtet ihr hören?", fragt Natascha ihre Grosskinder.
"Von dir, Grossmama", sagt Linnéa und setzt sich neben Elias auf das Sofa.
"Ich erzähle euch Geschichten, die ihr von niemand anderem hören könnt. Angefangen hat alles auf einem Schiff", sagt Natascha und beginnt zu erzählen.

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