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The Teddy Bar
by Michael S. Collins

I’m lost, can’t you help me? I was coming back from the party and I can’t remember the way home. The pink koala bear I just passed was so unkind about it. No respect for the youth of today.

“Excuse me, sir”, I said, “Could you point the way to Katie’s bedroom?”

“Go away”, said the koala, “Can’t you see I’m contemplating the existence of dragons?”

“But dragons exist! I saw one at the party!”

“Don’t be silly, child. There are no answers in philosophy!”

And off he walked, giving neither food for thought nor directions to my young mistresses’ bed. It may have come to your notice that I am not your regular rambler on a Friday night. Yes, I am a Teddy bear.

Don’t look at me like that, as if I must be mad. A teddy bear is a perfectly normal thing to be. There are sixty million Teddy bears in Britain alone, so why should it surprise you that I am one of the proud many? Or, is your surprise based on the fact that I am making my way down the road in the early hours?

I suppose I could let you in on a secret. We’re not exactly toys. We live. We have short attention spans. To make up for everything you subject us to during the day, we come out to play at night. Tonight I was at Snappy the Crocodile’s birthday, and having had too much wine, I can’t remember the way home. I got to the pub with Snappy, but last I saw he was playing cards with two scheming pandas.

This street is brightly lit. What if I’m spotted? To be fair, any person who spots me will think they had too much drink. But some of them might find beheading a child’s toy great fun, and that is what I fear. Beheading of lost teddy bears is the highest growing crime in Europe. And that would be a hideous fate for any creature, especially one as wonderful as me.

Trying to remember the path home. There is some way of going past the garage without entering the park – a scary trip for anyone after dark – and hopefully the fresh air will help my memory. Well, it is worth a try. The streets seem so dark. I think there was a power cut affecting the lamplights. Either that or they just don’t expect people coming home at this time.

There they are! They were lurking in the darkness at the foot at the street, just behind the car workshop: no-gooders, of a teenage human male type. And this meant only one thing. Beheading was but a false step away. They ignored me, and I could slip past them into the garden. The garden? I’m home. I walked so much that I’ve ended up home after all. I quickly climbed in through the open window, dusted myself down and climbed into bed.

Home safe now. I always knew I would be. And no one knows about this little journey. Except you and me. You won’t tell anyone about this, will you? Mind you, it wouldn’t matter if you did, no one would ever believe you. After all, I am a Teddy bear.