A very short children’s story about a bear’s search for a new home. The original text was found on a Chinese children’s stories site.

Interesting Vocabulary

洞 – dòng – Cave, hole
造 – zào – make, build
挂 – guà – hang
砍 – kǎn – to chop
舍不得 – shě bù de – can’t bear to










Little bear lived in a mountain cave. Grandfather bear said to Little Bear: “Go and build a wooden house to live in!”

In spring, little bear went into the forest. The trees were full of green leaves, and he couldn’t bear to cut them down.

In summer, little bear again went into the forest. The trees were full of fresh flowers, and he couldn’t bear to cut them down.

In autumn, little bear went into the forest. The trees were full of hanging fruit, and he couldn’t bear to cut them down.

In winter, little bear went into the forest. Many little birds were living in the trees, and he couldn’t bear to cut them down.

Years passed, and little bear still hadn’t made a home out of the trees. He was still living happily in his mountain cave.

The little forest animals thanked Little Bear very much, and they gave him a bunch of beautiful fresh flowers.

16 comments to "Little Bear Lived in a Mountain Cave"

  1. Great site! This is really useful – I do hope you continue to post more stories and translations.

    One comment about the little bear story: shouldn’t grandfather bear say, “Go and _build_ a wooden house to live in!” (not make)

    • Thanks! Appreciate it. That’s true, grandfather bear does say “go and build” – I’ll update that.

      • u not making more of these storyz zwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

  2. Hi Sandra,

    I really appreciate the time you have spent posting these stories. Thanks!

    What does 造间 mean in this context? Is it “build a room”? I know there is another jian 建 for “to build” but I can’t find a word zaojian in my dictionary with either of these jian characters.

  3. SORRY! I meant to type Kendra….

  4. I spent a while trying to understand these symbols in the second paragraph:


    I am told that the given meaning (Actor in a supporting role) is a metaphor, while the direct translation (Green leaves) is more correct in this case.

    • Hey Rory, yes, you’re right. Those pop-ups are automated via a script that a very kind soul wrote, I am using theirs, so I don’t have control over the contents of the popups. They are occasionally wrong.

  5. Hello. This is just perfect. My compliments to this amazing work. This helps me with improving my reading skills. I hope that you will continue to make more stories like this available for us avid readers! ^_^

  6. Reply Mor Shemesh says: July 5, 2016 at 4:55 am

    A question about the first sentence:

    Does that mean “little bear’s family lives in…” or “little bear lives in…”

    Thanks :)

    • Reply Dian Williams says: August 16, 2016 at 3:06 am

      Please notify me when this question is answered. Thanks

    • Essentially, 小熊一家 means the “Little Bear and his family.” Little bear’s family would be 小熊的家。

      So the full sentence means “the little bear and his family live in a cave in the mountain.”

    • Reply カネキ ケン says: August 16, 2017 at 9:26 am

      I suppose that it should mean ” little bear’s family lives in a mountain cave”

  7. Hi, I’ve got some questions to ask regarding this sentence

    不 得 砍

    What’s the purpose of the character 得 and how does it work?

    Will the meaning still be the same if I just say
    不砍 instead of 不得砍?

    Thank you for any help and explanation provided! :)

  8. Reply Alyssa Detwiler says: July 29, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    This was a great translation, but it’s very important for me to say that 小鸟 can mean bird, which makes a bit more sense, I think.

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