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Brother Bear
a true Menominee story retold by
Louise Bear and Terri Zhuckkahosee

A long time ago on the Menominee Indian Reservation there lived a very old couple. The husband loved hunting and fishing. One winter night he decided to go on a hunting trip. So the next day his wife packed some warm clothes and lots of dried meat and berries for him and he set off on his trip.

He followed deer trails through the woods for a long time without seeing a deer. Then, at the edge of a meadow, he spotted one. Carefully, he aimed the arrow in his bow and let it fly. The arrow struck the deer but only wounded it. The deer leaped into a thicket of trees, and the old man quickly followed. He tracked the deer for many miles but eventually lost its trail. When he finally decided to return home, he realized that he was lost. The old man panicked and started to run, but he could not find a familiar trail. The old man remained lost for many days.

Late one afternoon, while trying to save time, he decided to walk across a lake. He had not gone far, when suddenly he broke through a weak spot in the ice! He carefully pulled himself from the water and crawled to shore. There, he took off his snowshoes and other heavy clothing and started walking. He became very cold and tired. Fortunately, he noticed a small cave and went inside. A bear was hibernating in the cave, but that didn't bother him. The old man cuddled close to the bear to keep warm, and while lying next to the bear, he ate the dried meat and berries his wife had sent with him. He stayed with the bear until his clothing dried and he regained his strength.

When he finally returned home, his wife asked, "Where have you been?"

The old man answered, "I was staying with my brother bear."

Brother Bear
Word Problems

Join: Result Unknown
The old man lay next to the bear eating berries. First he ate ___ berries.
Then he ate ___ more. How many berries did the old man eat?
(5, 3) (13, 24) (35, 47)

Separate: Result Unknown
The old man had ___ berries. He ate ___ of them.
How many berries didn't he eat?
(8, 3) (18, 12) (34, 26)

Part Part Whole: Whole Unknown
The old man has ___ blueberries and ___ strawberries. How many
berries does the old man have?
(3, 6) (12, 13) (38, 27)

Compare: Difference Unknown
The old man saw ___ crows and ___ blue jays.
How many more blue jays than crows did the old man see?
(4, 9) (12, 18) (16, 23)

There were ___ oak trees. In each oak tree there were ___ blue jays. How many blue jays were there altogether?
(3, 4) (4, 6) (5, 8)

Measurement Division
The old man gave ___ berries to some animals. He gave ___ berries to each animal. How many animals got berries?
(9, 3) (18, 6) (36, 4)

Join: Change Unknown
The old man stayed with the bear for two days. On the first day he ate ___ pieces of venison.
On the second day he ate some more pieces of venison.
Altogether he ate ___ pieces of venison. How much venison did the old man eat on the second day?
(4, 10) (14, 26) (18, 32)

Separate: Change Unknown
The old lady packed ___ pieces of venison for the old man. When he returned home, he still had ___ pieces of venison. How many pieces did he eat on his trip?
(10, 2) (30, 8) (45, 17)

Part Part Whole: Part Unknown
The old man saw ___ birds. ___ of the birds were blue jays. The rest were crows.
How many crows did the old man see?
(7, 2) (22, 18) (31, 24)

Two-Step Problem
To celebrate the old man's safe return, the old lady held a feast. ___ friends came to the feast. Each friend ate ____ pieces of frybread. There were ___ pieces of frybread leftover. How many pieces of frybread had the old woman fried?
(3, 5, 5) (6, 4, 25) (11, 6, 29)