Bear and Blacksmith

Bear & Blacksmith

History

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The Bear and Blacksmith and similar toys seem to have their origins in Russian folk lore.  The figures are fastened to two sticks and can be animated by a simple push pull action

The story of the Bear and Blacksmith (based on a Russian folk tale)

A blacksmith lived on the edge of a dark, cold forest in Russia.  He always needed plenty of firewood to keep his forge operating.  One day, when he was busy collecting firewood and logs, a great black bear rushed out of the forest roaring ‘No-one is allowed to take wood from MY forest’.  The blacksmith was frightened but he bravely challenged the bear.  ‘I am only collecting firewood for my forge’ he replied.

The bear roared angrily at this reply, ‘If I catch you here again I will eat you’.  ‘Oh, that is not fair’ said the Blacksmith.  ‘I am doing you no harm’.  This made the bear angrier and again he roared at the Blacksmith ‘I will eat you.’

Then the Blacksmith had a good idea,  He stood up tall in front of the Bear and challenged him to a wood chopping competition, the winner would be left in peace in the forest.  To his relief the Bear agreed, the Blacksmith gave him an axe from his bag, they found a fallen log and started chopping,   Soon the forest echoed to the sound of the axes as they moved faster and faster,  Eventually they both became very tired, and looking around they realised that if they continued like this there would be no forest left.  They declared the competition a draw, shook hands and agreed to share the forest for ever.

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The moral of the story is, rather than argue and fight over something it is better by far to agree to share.

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