15-21 June 2014 – “Les Roberts”

Les Roberts

There once was a team of rowers known as the Bears. Now these weren’t your average sort of rowers whose mascot was a bear, but actual big, furry, growling with fangs and big pointy teeth bears. Like the kind that steal your peanut butter on camping holidays. They trained long and hard on the waters of the Charles, until at last they found themselves ready to take on the big prize: their first entry into a proper rowing competition.

 The bears got their boat atop their van, strapping it down tightly for the road. Then with much anticipation, they let the van roar into life, sailing on its way down the road out of Boston towards the Hudson. The journey was long and fun, filled with excitement and lots of growling. At long last they arrived on the banks of the Hudson at Albany. Their excitement was unmeasurable, unsurmountable for any average meter of measuring surmountability.

They roared out of their van, grabbing their boat by its bottom, and running with it towards the river bank where the other teams were warming up for the race to come. However, at the sight of five bears running with a rowing boat hoisted above their heads running down the bank towards the gathering teams, the competition panicked and fled onto the water. The bears figured that this must have meant that the race had begun, and they picked up the pace, growling heartily at the competition to “Wait! Let us get on the line too!” However their cries seemed to make no real mark of calm upon the ears of the rowing teams.

At the water’s edge, they hurled the boat out in front of them, jumping into it in turn, until all five bears sat in their boat, the oars thrusting strongly into the water, back and forth, propelling their boat forward beyond that of all of the competition. But something seemed off, as they found men with guns standing on a bridge over the river. “Tranquilisers!” the bears shouted, ducking to dodge the darts that shot from above.

At the finish the bears found themselves cornered by a hundred armed men and women. The sorry team at last realised what was going on, that in fact all these people were terrified for their lives. The lead bear took his oar, using the handled end he drew in the sand of the bank, “Nous sommes les Roberts!”

And that is why there were some concerns in the Hudson Valley last week about an invasion from Northern Quebec. Whether the bears ever worried again is unknown, as they kept rowing onwards, south towards the sea.

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