Brummel learns to count
As usual, Elsie sits on the windowsill and admires the view over the lake. The ducks are swimming happily back and forth around the houseboat. Brummel, who is lying on Elsie’s lap, also admires the view and follows the ducks.
“Look Elsie, there are so many ducks. I wish I could count.”
“Would you like to learn Brummel?”
“Of course, but who wants to teach me that. Uncle doesn’t have the time and there is no school for bears. Can you count? ” Brummel sits up anxiously and waits for her answer.
“Yes, not quite as good as the children who are a group higher, but I can already count to a hundred. Shall I teach you?” Elsie takes a bag of liquorice from out of her jacket pocket and looks at Brummel.
‘What have you got there. Can I see it? “
Before Elsie realizes it, Brummel is already with his face in the bag of liquorice.
“What is that is that yummy,” asks Brummel?
“Do you want to taste it, but if you don’t like it you can’t just spit it out! You have to throw it in the trash. Do you promise?”
“Yes, yes, just give it,” and quickly he puts one liquorice in his mouth. He spins the liquorice a few times through his mouth and he smacks violently. “Pretty good Elsie, but I like honey more.”
“There are also honey candies. Next time, I’ll bring them to you. But you shouldn’t eat too much of it, because that is too bad for your teeth. If you eat too much candy you get cavities and a toothache and that hurts terribly!”
Brummel looks at Elsie, takes the liquorice from his mouth and puts it back in the bag.
‘What are you doing? That’s dirty,” and she throws the liquorice right into the trash.
Brummel chuckles and puts his paw to his mouth. “Are you going to teach me to count now?”
Elsie nods and takes a few liquorices out of the bag and places it in the window frame.
“Now you have to pay attention to. To begin with, I’m going to teach you to count to five. Do you see those trees over there? Do you know how many there are?”
“No silly, otherwise, you don’t have to teach me to count. Just hurry up, I can’t wait to learn.”
There are exactly five of them next to each other. Take a good look at what I’m going to do. We are going to count the trees from left to right. Do you know what is left and what is right?”
Brummel shakes his head and says he doesn’t understand.
“This is my right hand,” and Elsie holds up her right hand.
“Then your other hand is the left one. Easy, can’t miss,” says Brummel.
“Well done Brummel, you learn quickly. That tree over there on the left, we’ll start with that.”
Brummel listens carefully and quickly he understands how it works. Every time Elsie points to a tree, she places one liquorice next to the other. Before Brummel realized it, he could already count to five.
“So, it’s one liquorice, two liquorice, three liquorice, four liquorice and these are five liquorice,” says Brummel.
“Well done Brummel and now count the ducks that swim in front of the houseboat.”
Brummel counts and counts, but every time he has lost counting because the ducks keep swimming mixed up together.
“I quit, they all swim through each other. It makes me completely dizzy.”
Elsie is laughing and takes Brummel outside and look for six stones. She neatly interrupts him and put the stones in a row and asks Brummel if he wants to count them.
Brummel gets on his knees and starts counting. One stone, two stone, “but Elsie interrupts him and says: “It is one stone, but it is two stones. This also applies to the liquorice that you have counted. It is one liquorice, but two liquorices.”
Brummel looks at Elsie and asks, what is the difference?
“I’ll explain that to you later. So, if there is more than one, they become stones or liquorices,”
Brummel sighs and starts counting again. “One stone, two stones and then three stones. One liquorice, two liquorices, right?”
“Good, Brummel, go on.”
“Four stones. five stones. Hey, but there are only one stone left, how many stones is it then?”
“Do it again and I’ll tell you,” Elsie says, and Brummel starts counting again.
After five, Elsie picks up the last stone, puts it a little further from the others and speaks. “Look, if I put this stone with the others, we have six stones.”
“So, this stone is number six,” Brummel answers. “I can already see it. So, five with one more stones becomes six.”
“Well done Brummel. Five plus one equals six. How many fingers do I have on this hand?”
Brummel starts to count, one, two, three, four, five. When he had counted the fingers on her hand, he started on the other hand. But after six, he looks at Elsie and says: “There are more than six Elsie, but I can’t count further than six.”
“Well done Brummel, just count how much I have left.”
“I’m counting four more fingers, but otherwise I don’t know.”
“I have ten fingers or no, actually 8 fingers and 2 thumbs. I’ll explain that to you later. Let’s teach you how to count first.”
Elsie counts her fingers aloud until she reaches six. “This is six, and then is coming seven, then eight, nine, and ten.”
It is all a bit too much for Brummel. He gets a bit lost and doesn’t like it anymore. He thinks he has learned enough today.
Elsie says he has done his best and they walk back inside with him to sit back on the windowsill. Still, Brummel wants to count her fingers one more time.
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9,” he counts.
“No Brummel, after the 7 comes the 8 first and then the 9. Try again,” Elsie encourages him.
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, is it okay?”
“Good from you Brummel. Keep practising and the next time I’ll teach you more. Are you okay with that?’
“Okay, but now I’m going to look outside.
Silently they look out the window and sees Elsie’s uncle and dad walking up the path. Elsie puts on her jacket, hugs Brummel and tells him to keep on practising.
The End of Part 7