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The Berenstain Bears and the Truth is the twelfth book in the First Time Books series that was originally published on September 12, 1983. The book features Brother and Sister Bear coming up with a whopper of a tale following a game of indoor soccer that ends with Mama's lamp getting broken.


At home, Brother Bear and Sister Bear were at home doing nothing in particular and neither one of their parents were around. While Brother simply sits with his soccer ball, Sister suggests that they could go out picking wild blackberries but Brother refuses and states that blackberries have too many thorns and that the seeds will get stuck in everyone's teeth. Sister then suggested spinning on the swing and Brother refuses it also and says it's silly, because that they already did it the day before. Sister then gets up and complains to Brother that he doesn't want to do anything but hug the soccer ball and she suggests he might be in love with it. Brother protests that he isn't really in love with the soccer ball, so he decides he wants to play soccer anyway. Brother starts dribbling the ball and then he kicks the ball but then Sister blocks the ball with her knee and then the ball starts bouncing around the living room against a bookshelf, chair, footstool and then struck into Mama Bear's most favorite lamp, which falls to the floor with a crash.

After the cubs break the lamp by accident, they hear that Mama is returning home from the marketplace. The rules they were given were to never eat honey in bed, never track mud on the clean floors and never play ball in the house. The cubs become nervous when they hear Mama walking up the footsteps and about to enter the house. Brother quickly hides the ball behind Papa's easy chair, as Mama walks in, and she is shocked to find out her favorite lamp is shattered. She asked the cubs what happened to the lamp during the incident.

The cubs then tell Mama a big whopper about a purple bird with yellow feet, green wing tips and odd-looking red feathers that stuck out of its head. They then state that the bird was flying through the window,zooming around the room and then knocking over the lamp. After Mama listens to the cubs' whopper, Papa Q. Bear comes into the house after working in his workshop. The cubs then try to explain the whopper about the bird breaking the lamp to him. The cubs couldn't easily remember how they told it the first time, which took them time to think for the second time. Mama then starts picking up the pieces of the broken lamp with a brush and scoop. Papa questions if the bird was purple with green wing tips and yellow feet, if it was yellow with purple wing tips and green feet, or (implying he knows what really happened), was the bird white with black spots, like the soccer ball he notices behind his easy chair. The real reason the cubs had such difficulty retelling their whopper was because of the troubled expression on Mama's face as she cleaned the mess.

The cubs then apologize about the lamp. Mama is not worried about the lamp and decides that they could buy a new one or glue the same one back together. She is worried about the fact that the cubs whom she has always trusted are not telling her the truth and that it is difficult to put trust back together if it's broken. The cubs then explain that it wasn't a bird but it was the soccer ball that they played with in the house. Brother admits it's his fault but Sister says it's her fault, also. The phone then rings and it was Grizzly Gran who is inviting the cubs for a Sunday visit. Mama tells Grizzly Gran on the phone that everything is fine but the cubs tell Mama it really isn't. Mama claims it is, because her cubs learned a lesson in honesty and then tells the cubs to help Papa glue the lamp back together.

The cubs then remember back in time about the rules they broke over time, Brother ate honey in bed a couple of times, Sister tracked some mud on the clean floors once and then the cubs started to play ball in the house before they remembered not to. But the cubs agreed never to tell another whopper again, and became happy that the lamp was fixed. Then realize that trust is one thing that cannot be put back together once broken.

Publication history

  • 1983, Random House (Paperback)