Betty the Bear loved her backscratcher.
You see, bears have very itchy backs and if they don’t have a tree with rough bark to rub against, they need backscratchers. Bears without backscratchers tend to be grumpy, short-tempered, and generally difficult to get along with.
That is why Betty the Bear loved her backscratcher.
Every few hours or so, she would reach for it and then begin using it to scratch where her paws could not reach. Skritcha skritcha skritcha skritch! Oh, how Betty would smile when she gave herself a good back scratching. Bears with backscratchers tend to be easy-going, patient, and generally fun and entertaining traveling companions.
Betty the Bear kept her backscratcher near her bed. She hung it from a shelf right by her bed and knew, no matter how bad her back itched, if she could make it to that shelf by her bed, she could scratch that itch and all would be right with a skritcha skritcha skritcha skritch!
One day, though, disaster struck.
Betty had an itch. It was a normal, everyday back itch. Nothing unusual about it. When she went back to her room to reach for the backscratcher that hung by her bed for a satisfying skritcha skritcha skritcha skritch, she did not see her backscratcher where it should have been.
Betty the Bear did not become angry right away. “Perhaps it has fallen to the floor!” she said as she looked on the floor by her bed.
It was not there.
Betty the Bear became angry at that point. Not having a backscratcher to satisfy an itch with a skritcha skritcha skritcha skritch made Betty the Bear quite upset. We should all understand why: when there’s an itch that can’t be itched, it gets itchier and itchier to the point where it is a first class nuisance.
Betty the Bear wondered where her beloved backscratcher might be.
Earlier that day, all her friends had been over for a hootenanny, as woodland creatures are known to enjoy from time to time, and Betty the Bear wondered if one of them had irresponsibly picked up her beloved backscratcher and was using it for a purpose it had not been designed for.
At first, she imagined Shemp the Squirrel using it to reach for nuts at the back of his hollow tree.
Then she imagined Moe the Moose using it to pick moss off of his antlers.
Next, she thought of Larry the Lemming using it to direct traffic.
Her anger grew as she thought that perhaps Curly the Cretinous Clodhopping Calico Cat had taken her beloved backscratcher to use for a canoe paddle!
“Cats shouldn’t even be in canoes, let alone use people’s possessions for paddles!” muttered Betty the Bear as she stomped down the hallway towards the front door.
“What was that you said?” asked Bucky the Beaver.
“Nothing!” shouted Betty the Bear as she slammed the door. She was determined to find out who had taken her beloved backscratcher as her itchy itch became an itchety itchety itchety itch due to the lack of a satisfying skritcha skritcha skritcha skritch.
“Huh,” said Bucky the Beaver as he gave his scalp a satisfying skritcha skritcha skritcha skritch with Betty the Bear’s beloved backscratcher. Bucky the Beaver was Betty the Bear’s best of friends and thought it was all right to borrow her backscratcher to use as a makeshift headscratcher. It felt quite nice, to be honest, and Bucky the Beaver was quite pleased to have made his discovery.
Some time later, after Betty the Bear had shaken down Shemp the Squirrel, mobbed Moe the Moose, laid into Larry the Lemming, and cornered Curly the Cretinous Clodhopping Calico Cat, she returned home, dejected and very, very itchy.
Shemp the Squirrel was using a twig to reach the nuts at the back of his hollow tree.
Moe the Moose was rubbing his antlers in pine trees to get the moss off of them.
Larry the Lemming was directing traffic with white gloves and a whistle, like he normally did.
And Curly the Cretinous Clodhopping Calico Cat had actually gone to the sporting goods store to purchase an honest-to-goodness canoe paddle. Who knew?
But none of them had Betty the Bear’s beloved backscratcher. When Betty opened her front door, her mood would be best described as bearishly bad.
And that’s precisely when she saw Bucky the Beaver, sitting on the sofa, grinning his big goofy grin, wagging that big tail of his, scratching away at his scalp…
… WITH BETTY’S BELOVED BACKSCRATCHER!
“BUCKNER JEHOSAPHAT BEAVER, YOU GIVE ME THAT BACKSCRATCHER RIGHT NOW!” bellowed Betty the Bear.
Now, Bucky the Beaver knew that whenever someone used your real name instead of a nickname, you were in trouble. If someone used your middle name with your real name, you were in big trouble. And if someone used your middle name with your real name in a tone of voice that, if written, would require it be written in all capital letters, you were in BIG trouble.
Bucky the Beaver had been in BIG trouble before and, being a good friend, did not want his BIG trouble to continue. Although he loved scratching his head with that beloved backscratcher, he loved life more. Without delay, the terrified beaver tossed the backscratcher to Betty the Bear.
Betty snatched it out of the air and growled at Bucky the Beaver.
Then she reached back with it…
And gave that itch…
That itchety itchety itchety itch…
Skritcha skritcha skritcha skritch!
Betty the Bear smiled the best of smiles and let out a big, relaxed breath. “Ahhhhhh! That did the trick!”
Bucky the Beaver smiled politely and said, “I’m sorry.” He was too good a friend to lecture Betty the Bear about how she should have just asked him if he’d seen the backscratcher because, frankly, he didn’t want to remind her that he had taken it in the first place.
She had been mad enough to use his real name with his middle name in all capital letters, after all.
And so, Betty the Bear finished off her satisfying skritcha skritcha skritcha skritch and returned her beloved backscratcher to its proper place, hanging from the shelf beside her bed.
And there it remained, ever after.
Bucky the Beaver bought his own backscratcher to use on his head… but every now and then, if Betty the Bear was too far from her own beloved backscratcher when an itch came upon her, he was only too happy to lend her the use of his scratching contraption.
After all, that’s what best friends do. And Betty and Bucky were the very best of friends.