The Legend Of Vera Summary

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For all her anger at Art, there was a time when Vera, too, had resorted to telling lies. She had been five years old at the time, a blithe little creature who was as intelligent as she was small, and her troubles had begun with a bush of unusual berries. These particular bushes happened to grow just past the home of Ma Anhah, the ursine matriarch from whom all the creatures within Vera’s part of the wood derived their moral and material guidance. All the woodland folk stayed well away from the bushes; Ma Anhah had sown the bushes herself, and had cared for them as she would have her own litter, though she had no cubs of her own. The bushes were sacred, Mother had told Vera, and one must only eat of their fruit after an audience with the matriarch herself. But to Vera, berries were berries, regardless of how they came to be. One day she had returned to her den, lively and well-fed, with a plum-stained muzzle and sticky paws. Mother had duly probed her for her recent whereabouts and her gustatory pursuits; and the moment Vera told her that she had not disturbed Ma’s sacred bushes, the little cub had vomited up the evidence…show more content…
When she was told of the sacred bush, the berries, and the subsequent decline in Vera’s health, the great matriarch had sunk to her haunches and had lowered her head, so that she was at Vera’s eye level. Even then, her great face had appeared weathered, and to Vera, the solemn curve of her mouth could only mean that a scolding was forthcoming. But Ma Anhah did not scold. Instead, she began to ask questions. How many times had Vera plucked the fruit? How often did the sickness descend, and what had Vera been up to just before each episode? Vera duly answered (“I only stole just once – It happens all the time – Last time I was talking to Mother”), to which the older bear would issue slow, deep rumbles of acknowledgement, and then probe her further. At the end of this inquisition, the matriarch drew Vera into her
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