When’s the last time you shared with someone?
Maybe you took turns playing with a toy. Or you offered up half of your favorite sandwich.
It can feel good to share, and be shared with. But it isn’t always easy!
In today's story, we’ll meet a bear who’s not so big on sharing… until he makes a deal with a very clever rabbit.
Our story is called "Share and Share Alike." Variations of this tale have been told in many countries, including Denmark, Scotland, Austria and Russia. It’s also been heard in the southern United States; that’s where our version comes from.
Voices in this episode include Tiffany Boone and Glynn Washington. Grown-ups: you can see Tiffany Boone in the Showtime drama series, The Chi. And Glynn Washington is the host of the public radio show and podcast, Snap Judgment.
This episode was adapted for Circle Round by Rebecca Sheir. Original music and sound design is by Eric Shimelonis. Our artist is Sabina Hahn.
ADULTS! Print out this picture so everyone can color while listening. We’re also keeping an album so share your picture on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, and tag it with #CircleRound. We'd love to see it! To access all the coloring pages for past episodes click HERE. Our resident artist is Sabina Hahn and you can learn more about her HERE.
Things To Think About After Listening
What’s one thing you can do to share?
Maybe you can put together a puzzle with a friend and take turns picking out pieces. Or you can donate some of your clothing or toys to other kids who might appreciate them.
Think about one way you can share, then get some paper and draw a picture of it. Hang that picture where you can see it, and then some time over the next week… make it come true! Get out there and share. You and the people you’re sharing with will be glad you did.
NARRATOR: Rabbit and Bear were neighbors. And the two animals couldn’t be more different.
Rabbit was quick. Bear was slow.
Rabbit was clever, and she loved to learn. Bear was lazy, and he loved to sleep.
Rabbit had a big family… seventeen fluffy-tailed little bunnies… so she had no problem sharing. Bear, on the other hand, lived alone, and wanted to keep everything for himself.
One thing Rabbit and Bear did have in common is they both… owned farmland.
Bear’s parents had left him many, many acres of beautiful land, with rich soil and plenty of sun. Rabbit, meanwhile, owned just a small patch of earth: dry, sandy and in the shade. Bear paid the raccoons next door to work his land, while Rabbit did all the work herself. In fact, she was constantly studying up on agriculture, to find better ways to grow food for all of her fluffy-tailed bunnies.
And as those bunnies grew bigger, Rabbit realized that if she wanted those growing bellies to stay full, she’d need more land.
RABBIT: …But how will I find more land? I can’t afford very much… (beat) I know! I’ll go see Bear. He has so much farmland, maybe he’d rent some of it out to me!
NARRATOR: So Rabbit hopped next-door to Bear’s house, and called in through the window.
RABBIT: Hey, Bear! Bear! It’s me: Rabbit!
NARRATOR: Bear was just waking up from his seventh nap of the day – or was it eighth? — so he stretched his furry, brown arms and came shuffling over to the door.
BEAR: Hi there, Rabbit. What’s up? Is it morning? Afternoon? I’ve taken so many naps today I don’t know what time it is.
RABBIT: Good afternoon, Bear. Listen: I have a business proposition for you.
BEAR: Hmmm… Go on…
RABBIT: Well, you have so much farmland; it seems to go on for miles! Do you think I could rent a corner of it? Just a corner? My bunnies are growing bigger and bigger, and soon I won’t be able to grow enough crops to feed them all!
NARRATOR: By now, Bear was fully awake. He considered what Rabbit had proposed.
BEAR: Well, Rabbit, you know I’ve been hiring those raccoons to do all my planting and harvesting. If you rent land from me, they won’t work for the likes of you. If anything, they’ll try and eat you!
NARRATOR: It was true. A lot of animals tried chasing after Rabbit – including raccoons.
RABBIT: Not a problem, Bear! I’m quick and I’m spry – and I work much harder than those raccoons ever could. I also know a whole lot more about farming. I can do as much planting and harvesting on my own as a dozen raccoons!
NARRATOR: Bear scratched his big, brown head. He thought about how fast and smart Rabbit was.
Then... he had an idea.
BEAR: You know what, Rabbit? Now that I’ve considered it some, I will rent out my farmland to you. And more than just a corner.
NARRATOR: Rabbit smiled.
RABBIT: I like what you’re saying, Bear! But tell me: how would you rent your land? By the square foot? The acre…?
NARRATOR: Now it was Bear’s turn to smile.
BEAR: Naw, naw, Rabbit. Let’s keep things simple. I’ll rent all of my land to you. All of it… By the share.
NARRATOR: Rabbit was intrigued. She leaned in closer.
RABBIT: The share? And just what kind of “share” are we talking about?
NARRATOR: Now, unlike Rabbit, Bear didn’t know a whole lot about farming. After all, he’d been paying the raccoons to do all the work… while he spent all that time sleeping!
BEAR: I tell you what, Rabbit. How about… for my share… I take the tops of the crop. And for your share, you take the bottoms!
NARRATOR: Rabbit thought for a moment. Then she nodded, and reached out her small grey paw to shake Bear’s big brown one.
RABBIT: Alright, Bear. You have yourself a deal. (beat) I’ll start plowing next week!
NARRATOR: Rabbit scampered home and took out her farming books; she wanted to be well prepared for this next harvest. Bear, meanwhile, stood in the door of his house and chuckled to himself.
BEAR: Oh, that Rabbit. Doesn’t she realize that if she only takes the bottoms of the crops, she won’t have anything good to eat? (beat) Speaking of eating… all that napping has made me hungry. Time for a nice, big snack! And then… maybe… I’ll rest my eyes just a little bit more…?
NARRATOR: Then he fell sound asleep. While Bear took yet another snooze, Rabbit jumped into action on Bear’s farmland. She plowed, she planted, she watered, she weeded, and a few months later, when it was time for harvest, she bounded over to Bear’s front door.
RABBIT: Hey, Bear! Bear! Time to wake up! The crops are ready!
NARRATOR: Bear yawned and blinked open his eyes.
BEAR: Harvest time? Already? How long was I asleep? No matter. Let’s get to those crops. Remember: you get the bottoms, Rabbit. I get the tops.
RABBIT: You sure do, Bear! And I have all those tops ready for you… right here!
NARRATOR: Rabbit gestured toward a red wheelbarrow. It was piled high with crinkly green stalks, leaves and vines – not one vegetable to be seen.
Bear was confused.
BEAR: Wait a minute! I can’t eat this stuff! Where’s your share, Rabbit?
RABBIT: Oh, I haven’t dug those crops out of the ground yet, Bear! I just snipped off the tops for you. The bottoms are still under the soil. They’re root vegetables! You know: carrots, radishes, beets, potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas -
BEAR: I know what a “root vegetable” is!
NARRATOR: Actually… he didn’t.
RABBIT: Look, you’re the one who chose tops, Bear. Not me. So a deal’s a deal: I worked my tail off for months, and you get the tops!
NARRATOR: Bear’s mouth watered at the thought of all those delicious root vegetables – root vegetables that Rabbit, not he, would be taking home to eat!
Suddenly, Bear had an idea.
BEAR: You’re right, Rabbit: a deal’s a deal. And you’re a fine worker – much faster than those raccoons ever were. So, I tell you what. You do all the planting in my fields again, and when it comes time to harvest, we’ll switch things around: I get all the bottoms, and you get all the tops!
NARRATOR: Rabbit smiled.
RABBIT: Thank you, Bear. My bunnies are getting bigger and bigger… and hungrier and hungrier. I’ll get to plowing right away!
NARRATOR: Bear went ambling back into his house.
BEAR: I just know I made a good deal this time. That Rabbit is in for a big surprise come harvest!
NARRATOR: Then he promptly fell asleep.
Meanwhile, Rabbit scurried back home to her farm books. When she returned to Bear’s fields, she plowed, she planted, she watered, she weeded, until again, it was time for harvest.
RABBIT: Hey, Bear! Bear! Time to get up! The crops are ready!
NARRATOR: Bear wiped the sleep from his eyes.
BEAR: My, time flies when you’re dreaming sweet dreams! Okay, Rabbit. Give me my crops. And remember: this time you get the tops, and I get the bottoms!
NARRATOR: Just like last time, Rabbit gestured at the red wheelbarrow.
RABBIT: Here you go!
NARRATOR: Bear stared at the wheelbarrow. It was piled high with gnarled, tangled roots.
BEAR: Wait a minute, Rabbit. You said I was getting all the bottoms!
RABBIT: And you are! Which leaves the tops…
NARRATOR: Rabbit pointed toward a blue wheelbarrow, a few feet away.
RABBIT: …for me!
NARRATOR: Bear stared at the blue wheelbarrow. Unlike the red one containing his share, Rabbit’s blue wheelbarrow was bursting with beans, cabbage, cauliflower and asparagus.
Vegetables that all grew… on top of the ground.
BEAR: Grr. Okay, Rabbit. We’re doing this one more time. You’ll work my fields again, and come harvest time, I will get both the tops and the bottoms!
NARRATOR: Rabbit scratched her head.
RABBIT: But… Bear… if you get both the tops and bottoms… what will that leave me?
NARRATOR: Bear smiled, pleased with himself.
BEAR: Why, that’ll leave you the middles, of course!
NARRATOR: Rabbit scratched her head again.
BEAR: Look, that’s my final offer, Rabbit. Take it or leave it.
NARRATOR: Rabbit thought about her growing family… and their growing bellies.
RABBIT: Alright, Bear. I’ll take it!
NARRATOR: As Bear lumbered back into his house, he laughed to himself.
BEAR: (little laugh/chuckle) I’ve definitely got that tricky Rabbit this time: I get both the tops, and the bottoms, and she only gets the middles! Let’s see what she does with that!
NARRATOR: Bear had another good chuckle… then, yes, promptly fell asleep.
Meanwhile, Rabbit sprinted home to read more about farming. She returned to Bear’s fields and whistled a little tune as she plowed, planted, watered and weeded. Later, when it came time for harvest, she skipped over to Bear’s front door.
RABBIT: Hey, Bear! Bear! Rise and shine! The crops are ready!
NARRATOR: Bear was in an especially deep sleep, but the mere mention of food woke him up straight away.
BEAR: Alright, Rabbit. Let’s see what you’ve got. Or – more importantly – what I’ve got!
NARRATOR: Bear was smiling ear to ear as he stepped outside his front door.
NARRATOR: ...he wasn’t smiling for long.
BEAR: Well, I’ll be!
NARRATOR: Because, again, in front of Bear’s house, there were the two wheelbarrows. This time, Rabbit’s blue wheelbarrow was piled high with glistening ears of yellow corn. Bear’s red one was filled with roots and tassels.
RABBIT: It’s just like you wanted, Bear: tops and bottoms! I planted corn this season. So I saved all the roots on the bottom, and all the tassels on the top, for you. That leaves the middles… all these yummy, yummy ears of corn… for me!
NARRATOR: For a few moments, Bear was speechless. Then he slumped his big, furry body down on the ground and hung his head.
BEAR: Well, Rabbit, you aren’t just a quick one; you’re as clever as can be! Here I am, with all this land, and I never bothered learning how to grow it. You’ve sure shown me.
NARRATOR: Rabbit gently lay a paw on Bear’s shoulder.
RABBIT: Farming is hard work, Bear… but I’d be happy to show you a thing or two! There’s a lot you can learn about living off the land. It might mean a couple fewer naps each day, but I tell you: it’ll be well worth it. (beat) Whuddya say?
NARRATOR: Bear lifted his head.
BEAR: You know what, Rabbit?
NARRATOR: He reached out his big brown paw to shake Rabbit’s small grey one.
BEAR: You’ve got yourself a deal.
NARRATOR: So... over time Bear learned how to plow and plant and water and weed his fields. It wasn’t always easy, but before long, he and Rabbit were splitting all the plowing, planting, watering and weeding duties.
And when it came time for harvest, they didn’t divide the crops by tops... or bottoms... or middles.
No… they split the crops in half: share and share alike.