Name: Elijah Benjamin Bear
Hometown: Bear Ridge, TN
Goes By: Eli Bear
Nickname: Eli “Bear Behind”
Eli made a surprising entry into the world several months before his parents expected him. He came suddenly one brisk fall morn while his father was far away on a month-long sales trip. Because he was born prematurely, his mother had to be rushed to Bear Memorial Hospital to inspect his weakened heart.
Upon arrival at the hospital, the doctors discovered that he had a condition that they could not fix and had Eli whisked away over 600 miles to the human specialist care center called, Heroic Hearts Hospital.
Before he leaves his mother’s side, she sings to him an inspirational lullaby that she places in his heart. This lullaby is coded with secret words that will help him always find his way back home. The key will be, can he remember to listen to his heart no matter what! The song also helps follow the innate wisdom of his heart to guide him throughout his life.
Eli’s mission is to heal his heart from the inside out and make it back to his home before the winter snows put him to sleep for another 3 long months.
Name: Ruth LeOla Bear
Hometown: Osiyo, TN (Means “Hello Mother/Teacher” in Cherokee)
Goes By: Mom
Favorite Pastimes: Singing, Telling Stories, Working in her Garden
Ruth is every young child’s dream for a mother. She is caring, funny, loves children’s books and is the best rhymer and “boo-boo fixer” in the world. Her parents were struggling foragers until one day her dad was inspired to make “Honey-Beary Jam” quite by accident. This tasty new treat became a local sensation and Ruth’s family ran a country store in Bear Ridge, TN and did quite well for themselves.
One day, as Ruth was sitting alone singing a song on the banks of Copper Springs, a young Grizzly Bear named, Pete, was drawn to her. After a few dates, they both fell in love and got married in Copper Springs. After their honeymoon in Pigeon Forge, TN, Ruth convinced her father to let her new husband become a salesman to help bring Honey-Beary Jam to people and bears outside of Tennessee. They lived a happy and simple life until…Eli came!
Name: Harold J. Bear
Hometown: Mill Town
Goes By: Dad
Favorite Food: Honey Beary Jam
Pete rose from very humble beginnings as the oldest of seven children of Leila and C.J. Bear. His father worked in the small mill town carrying pine trees that were cut for the local mill to make paper. Because his mother also worked, Pete had to help raise his brothers and sisters and carry the load of helping the house run smoothly each day. Pete is a hardworking, no nonsense bear whose word is his bond. He is known for being handy and knowledgeable about many subjects and he is NEVER LATE…at least until the one time when it mattered the most!
After marriage to Ruth Bear, he moved from Mill Town to Bear Ridge, TN near the Forbidden Caverns. Pete took a job as the Southeastern Sales Representative for Honey-Beary Jam, a company that his father-in-law started back in 1942 after the “Great BeeBumbled Wars” ended between the bears and he local bees.
When he’s not working, Pete loves going to Turtle Lakes to fish and relax while whittling train whistles for Myrtles Country Store in town.
Name: William Beauregard Jones III
Hometown: Bunyon Holler, LA
Goes By: Billy
Nickname: “Red Square”
Favorite Snack: Licorice Jelly Beans
Billy’s family is from a long line of scrappy war vets from Louisiana who all served the United States for over 150 years in the U. S. Military.
Billy Jones was born on the same month and day as his great-great-great grandfather on his mother’s side of the family, the great commanding General Pierre Gustave Beauregard of the U.S. Confederate Army. Billy loved that the General was also called “Little Napoleon”, and that he led the Confederates in the first battle of Bull Run in 1861. Billy’s father had expected him to follow in his military footsteps until Billy was diagnosed with a Congenital Heart Defect at the age of 3. Although Billy’s heart challenge will effectively break the long-standing family line of service, he still honors his Dad and Grandfathers by getting the traditional G.I. Crewcut in an awesome squared off top. His goal is still to be a hero in any way he can be of service. As Eli’s roommate at Heroic Hearts Hospital, he may be called into active service!
Billy’s many freckles, red hair and squared off top helped him earn the nickname from his friends of “Red Square”.
Name: Dora Isendorff, R.N.
Hometown: Whispered Promise, TN
Goes By: Nurse Dora
Nurse Dora is both the primary care-giver as well as the “Heart-Care Specialist” for many children on ward 7 at Heroic Hearts Hospital. Eli is the first infant from the wild that she has ever had to care for.
She teaches Eli about the qualities of his heart while also teaching him valuable lessons on how to understand the power and innate wisdom of his heart.
As an empathetic and deeply caring Nurse, Dora can’t help but treat each patient as if they are her own. She gets very attached to the children at Heroic Hearts Hospital and spends much more time nurturing the kids than she is supposed to… which can get her in trouble with her staff and peers from time to time.
Because Dora had her heart “broken” in love several years ago, she has learned to put loss and challenges of the heart into perspective as her greatest teacher. She goes the extra mile to teach kids about the power of the heart and the valuable lessons that will pass through each beat.
Name: Roy Raccoon
Hometown: Crow Caw, TN
Goes By: “Rascal Roy”
Favorite Food: Honey-Beary Jam
Rascal Roy lives near Heroic Hearts Hospital outside of Duck Bill, Mississippi. He loves the great variety of leftovers he gets from the cafeteria trash on “Meatball Mondays” and “Free-For-All Fridays”. When he is disappointed in the meal leftovers the other days of the week, he likes to sneak in through the rafters of the hospital to raid the Nurse’s kitchen refrigerator to sneak their sandwiches and Honey-Beary Jam.
Because Rascal is adventurous, carefree and has no boundaries he has a nasty habit of getting into trouble everywhere he goes.
Rascal has mastered chaos and crossing the line. He is very quick-witted and most clever. He is very “worldly” in comparison to his new hospital friend, Eli.
Name: Morris T. Gloom
Hometown: Skedaddle, TN
Goes By: Security Officer Gloom
Nickname: “Gloomy Guy”
Favorite Color: Really Dark Black
Morris T. Gloom grew up in the small community of Skedaddle, TN where everyone knew each other’s business. His Mom, Patsy Jean, was a hairstylist at “Tattle-Tales and Curls” and his Dad, Big Hank, was the night guard at the S&H Greenback Stamp distribution center.
Morris was the smallest boy in his class and seemed to unknowingly have a permanent sign taped to his back saying, “Kick Me Please!” Just like his dad’s S&H Greenback Stamps, Morris took a daily lickin’ at school and had a hard time defending himself. One day Bobby “Four Chins” and his gang attacked Morris in front of his classmates. Bobby told one of Morris’ friends to push Morris down and take his lunch money and his watch. Morris gave up his lunch money easily, but he fought hard to hang on to the watch his mother gave him for Christmas. Sadly, none of Morris’ friends came to his support and from that day forward the kids all around school said, “Morris Gloom could take a lickin’ but still keeps on tickin’”.
Name: Buzz D. Hive
Hometown: Honeywell, TN
Goes By: “Buzz”
Favorite Foods: Honey Suckle & Wisteria
Buzz is a part of a long line of Royalty. His mother is the Queen of the Westhaven Line of Honey Bees in Tennessee. Buzz is 4,823rd of 72,387 children from the Queen.
Buzz loves adventure and is very protective of his mother, their home and his relatives. He is known to get into scraps instantly with any creature that tries to disturb his home. He lives in honey comb cell #33,812 in the giant hollowed out space in the giant oak tree in Bumble Bark Park.
Buzz’s family and Eli’s family had a feud going back over 300 years, but Eli’s Grandfather helped resolve the Great Bee-Bumbled Wars in the early 40’s and since that time the bees and the bears have lived in peace. As a show of good faith, the Royal Family agreed that they would keep a watchful eye over young bear cubs if they ever got into trouble in the woods in their area.
Name: Betty Lou Rabbit
Hometown: Bunyon Holler, TN
Goes By: Ms.Flopsy
Nickname: “Ms. Flops-A-Lot”
Favorite Food: Plastic Carrots
Betty Lou “Flops-A-Lot” is a pull-string plush toy who was found in a rescue bin in the front entry of the Goodwill Store in Nashville, TN by Nurse Dora Isendorff.
Ms. Floppsy has two pull-strings that allow her to talk. The red ringed string gives the owner words of encouragement and the blue-ringed string makes the owner ponder some words of wisdom and apply them to their lives.
Floppsy is a gift to Eli upon his arrival at Heroic Heart Hospital.
Ms. Flops-A-Lot can only go where her owner takes her and although she seems to be very dependent, when she is called upon to speak, her words of wisdom and encouragement make her the most powerful creature in any room!
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