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Mikayla McCormic

Lauren Barret
English 2268
15 December 2014
Do They Dare? Yes, They Do

The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree is an old childrens book, published in
1978 by Random House and written by Stan and Jan Berenstain. The three Berenstain children
leave their house and head into the woods. One had a light, one had a stick, and one had a rope.
In the woods, they came across a spooky old tree. Do they dare enter the spooky old tree? Yes,
they dare.
My dad used to read this story to me almost every night when I was a kid. It was my
favorite book. He used all kinds of different voices and sound effects, and I laughed the whole
time. Sometimes my dad tried to read quickly because he wanted me to sleep, but I would make
him read it again with the voices anyway so he stopped trying to speed up the process. The only
scene that I did not like was the part with the great sleeping bear. My dad would read this part
quickly and move on. It reminded us too much of home.

In February 2014, a report came out that Ray Rice and his then fiance Janay Palmer
were involved in a physical altercation that ended in both being arrested. The report states that
they struck each other, and Rices attorney commented that it was a minor physical altercation
and nothing more than a misunderstanding. Ray Rice continued to play for the Baltimore
Ravens.
Four days after the initial arrest, the first video of Rice attacking his fiance emerged. The
footage showed Ray Rice dragging the limp body of Janay Palmer out of an elevator and down a
hotel hallway by her shoulders. The NFL defended Rice, stating that he was a good man and that
the couple was seeking counseling for their obvious problems (meaning the video).

One summer day in third grade, I came inside after playing in the sun for most of the
afternoon. I was thirsty and saw a glass of water sitting on the counter, so I walked up to it and
took a drink. It burned. I ran into the bathroom and spit most of the liquid back out, running
water over my tongue. My father walked in on me and .asked me what was wrong. I told him
that the water I just drank was actually fire and I was dying. He hushed me and warned me not to
let my mom find out that I had taken her special drink.

The three bears used the rope to climb down the mouth of the spooky old tree. Inside,
they come upon a twisty old stair. Do they dare go up that twisty old stair? Yes, they dare. An
alligator leaps up and chomps away some of the stair and takes the rope with it. The three little
bears continued on: one with a light, one with a stick, and one with the shivers.
My father used to tickle me when he said shivers.

Hope Solo is the Captain and goalie of the Womens US soccer team. She is strong and
powerful, and she is good at playing soccer. She won US soccers female athlete of the year, and
has two gold medals. Hope Solo was also accused of assaulting her nephew and half-sister to the
point of drawing blood. Allegedly, Solo had dinner with her family when she verbally abused her
nephew. The nephew called her a name and she attacked him, scratching him and punching him
in the face. Her sister-in-law tried to remove her from the house but received similar treatment.
Even when Solos family got her out of the house, she still circled the property like a shark.
Police reports state that she was most likely drunk during the incident.

In 5th grade, I came home from school and saw my father on the couch, watching TV with
the sound off. I walked up the stairs to the living room. His arm was bandaged; blood had begun
to come through the wrapping.
I asked him what happened.
He said that some branches scratched him while he was cleaning up the lawn.
It was the middle of winter.
I asked him why he put up with this, why he didnt just leave her. My father wouldnt
look at me, but he spoke clearly: He made a vow, and that meant something. He upset her and
she overreacted. He loved our mother very much, and she loved us. He got up to change out of
the bloody bandage. There was no option to escape.

The three bears enter a strange hallway within the tree. In the floor lies a giant key, which
the bears turn. A wall panel swings open and reveals a secret passage. Will the three little bears
go through that wall? Do they dare go into that spooky old hall? Yes, they dare. The hall is lined
with old suits of armor bearing weapons. An axe falls from one of the suits and slices the stick in
half. The bears run from the hallway and down some stairs: one with a light, and two with the
shivers.

Mrs. Rice was present for her husbands disciplinary hearing, supporting him in this
rough patch. She pleaded that this was a one-time incident and for the judge to not ruin her
husbands career. Janay apologized for her involvement and said that she deeply regretted the
role she played on the night of the incident. No one is sure what her role was that caused her
professional running back husband to attack her.
The NFL suspended Rice for two games despite clear evidence of physical violence.
They admitted their blunder, and strengthened the leagues domestic violence policy as a form of
apology. This was before the second video is finally released. The second video shows Rice
punched Janay Palmer in the face so hard that she fell to the ground, hitting the side of her head
against the elevator railing on the way down. She did not move once she hit the ground, and Ray
Rice dragged her out of the elevator; the original video picks up after this point. The same day
the video was released, Ray Rices contract with the Baltimore Ravens was terminated.

The first time the police had ever come to my house I was still in kindergarten. I was
shaken awake by an officer who had a few questions for me.

Did your father attack your mother? he asked.


No. Dad would never do that.
Has your father ever been angry with your mother?
No, thats my mom. She gets really mad.
The officer looked annoyed. I thought I was doing something wrong. I apologized to him.
He grunted and walked out of the room, telling me to go back to sleep.
My mother came into my room after the police left and grabbed my arm so hard it
bruised. She asked me what I told those cops. My dad was in the living room with his head in his
hands. I dont remember why my mom left, but she did. My sister began to cry in the corner. I
told her to shut up before she brought mom back into the room. The only sound in the house was
my fathers voice echoing in the living room.
Im sorry.
Im so sorry.
He said this over and over again, shivering.
-

The three little bears shine their light on a great sleeping bear. The only way out of the
spooky old tree is over the great sleeping bear. Do they dare go over the great sleeping bear? Yes,

they do. The great sleeping bear wakes up and begins chasing the little bears. The light is lost.
All three bears have the shivers, and no way out.

As Hope Solos charges go through, the US soccer team continues to let her play. She is
the best player on the team, and the other players need her to succeed; thats what her
spokespeople say, at least. The court does not seem to take this case seriously, and will most
likely let Solo go and continue her career as one of the best soccer players we have. Her husband
will not be sending out tweets of ruined careers and true love. Solo released an apology to the
media, aware that she is held to a higher standard of conduct. Her court date was set for January
20th and she continues to play for the soccer team, unlike Ray Rice.

When my mother first struck me, I was in 7th grade. I thought this would be my ticket out
of the house. I heard my fathers quiet voice turn into a roar as he reached for the phone. My
mom turned on him, but she was too drunk and couldnt get to him in time. When the police
arrived, they asked what happened.
Did you provoke her?

Has your father ever raised his hand against you or your mom?
They said they think they have a good grasp on what was happening here and left. I remained in
the house as the police cars drove away and my mom turned up her music.
A few weeks later, I was called down to the principals office. A counselor wanted to talk
to me about the police report that she was given. She asked if things at home were okay. I told
her about my mother. She took notes and nodded, but never spoke.
I never heard from her again.

The bears go up a ladder, through the floor, down a slide, and out a door. They run out of
the woods as fast as they can. Finally, the three little bears make it home and into the arms of
their mother, far away from the spooky old tree and safe at last.

Ray Rice appealed his suspension, and the Ravens backpedaled on all fronts in relation to
the incident and how it was handled. Supposedly, the NFL knew the whole story but claimed that
they did not.

Janay Rice released a statement after he husbands termination on her twitter account
about the affect the ordeal has had on her family. She blamed the media for her suffering and the
suffering of her husband. Her tweet ended with a note about continuing to grow and showing the
world what real love is.

My senior year of college, I asked my father why he was still with my mom. He focused
on the road and spoke softly, saying that it was for us; he didnt want us to grow up in a broken
home. I am in college and my sister is on her way out. The car was quiet for a time. We talked
about my favorite book as a child. He asked if I was the one with the light, the one with the stick,
or the one with the rope. I didnt know how to answer. He always thought of me as the one with
the stick. I told him that was silly. This is real life, not a story. There is no way out of the spooky
old tree. There is only the room with the great sleeping bear.

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