Johnny the Bear goes out into the world with his big club
Johnny the Bear wanted to know fear. He was always fighting with his schoolmates and nobody could stand him.
“I want to know fear!”, he told his mother and he said the same to his teacher; “I want to know fear!”.
Then one fine day, seeing that Johnny had not been born for reading books, his teacher said to him,
“Take this club, Johnny. It will be useful for you in the big wide world.”
It was a fine club, the shaft of which was made of the wood from a holly bush. But Johnny broke it in half as if it were a twig.
“I need a club made of iron.”
And the teacher asked the blacksmith to forge a club of iron. When the teacher gave Johnny the iron club as a present, he broke it in half as if it were a twig.
“This club isn't any good for going out into world either!”
And seeing this, the teacher said,
“You go to the blacksmith yourself and ask him to make you a club that you want I'll pay for it.”
Johnny went to the blacksmith's forge and began to pick up all the metal shavings on the floor. He made a huge pile of scrap and asked the blacksmith to melt it. And that was how Johnny got the club he desired, a club made of iron and weighing a hundredweight. He said goodbye to his mother, he bade farewell to his teacher and he wished the blacksmith all the best. And his schoolmates, seeing that he was leaving, started to chant,
“Your Daddy is a bear! Your Daddy is a bear!”
Johnny entered the wood and there he saw a woodcutter cutting down a beech tree.
“What do you want that tree for?”
“My mother asked me to find some firewood”, replied the woodcutter.
Johnny saw the woodcutter give the final blow with the axe, let the tree fall on his shoulder and carry it home. Johnny was amazed at the strength of this man and he thought,
“The world is full of people like me!”
And after the woodcutter left the tree at his mother's house, Johnny and his new friend went off to travel round the world.
Text: Koldo Izagirre
Translation: Joe Linehan
Voice: Tim Nicholson