Thousands of Israeli children have grown up with this much loved book—about an envious bear whose every wish is granted the moment he expresses it. It all began one day when little bear saw a wolf in the forest that had a brown stripe on its neck and he said, “Oh, what a pretty stripe! I wish I had a stripe like that.” Right away he too had a brown stripe on his throat, and that’s what all the bears called him!
BrownStripe was adventurous: he went deep into the forest and met all sorts of animals. When he met a lion, he admired its long tail and said, “Oh, I wish I had a long tail like that!” and right away he grew a long tail. When he met a goat, he envied its beard and said, “Oh, I wish I had a beard like that!” and right away he grew a beard. In the same way, he acquired antlers, then wings and even fins. Finally BrownStripe met a chirping bird. “Oh, I wish I could chirp like that!” he exclaimed, and right away he began chirping.
And that’s how BrownStripe lost his identity. When he got home, his bear friends didn’t recognize him. And all his attempts to explain who he was didn’t work because he could only chirp! But his mother recognized him right away, and when she kissed him, BrownStripe became his old self again! But the brown stripe stayed on his neck and never went away.
Illustrations: Aviel Basil