'FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!'
'Who said that?' Joseph woke with such a start that Sue
Care Bear on
his lap, grabbed at his fur to prevent being toppled out of the armchair.
Old Ted was immediately on the alert and scanned the room with
his intense piercing dark brown eyes.
'I certainly don't see anything or smell smoke.'
'I'm sorry. I must have been dreaming.' The voice from the highest
shelf seemed to come from behind the small potted plant.'I'm Freddy
the Fireman. Most of you will never have seen
me. I usually watch
in silence and have never spoken before. I had a dream. I think it
a fire because I was in the middle of it with my tiny hose. It was
scary but I felt useful and it was rather fun. I am sorry I woke you
up. I do apologise.'
'It's alright young fella' Ted
muttered. 'Now most of us are awake.
Come down and introduce yourself. It's dark and all the humans are
asleep. It should be safe for us to get to know you better.'
'Can I join in too' Missie the border
collie dog barked from
if you don't bark or get too excited when you are inside
'Me too!' mewed Sophie from her cat tower. I want to listen
and be part of the conversations.'
The goldfish didn't say anything but the splashing and churning
water in the' fishtank' told everyone they
Freddie abseiled down the side of the shelf. Pedro the Pirate
him by a thin length of string borrowed from Harry the
was enjoying his adventure but lost his balance
in his final few steps. He landed heavily and fell over
down on the carpet.
Missie was immediately on alert and raced to help. She
him back on his feet. He toddled shakily forward
and stopped beside Old Ted's armchair.
'Thank you, lovely dog' Freddie said politely to Missie. She
began dancing in excited circles.
'Please, please, don't bark!' Joseph growled.
'Go on now young fella. Tell us your story.'
'HI ALL! ...I...I...I'm Freddie. I....I....don't socialise. I
sit happily up there at the back waiting for a 'fire' I was told
by a wise old bear many years ago I was a fireman.'
'When you see a fire' he said 'You should shout 'Fire! Fire! Fire!
to let others know.'
I know I look a bit trendy but I guess, I look like a fireman and I
do hold a hose.'
It sounded important. I've kept on looking but I've never seen
one. I'm not really sure what I'm actually looking for.'
Suggestions came from wide-awake bears and even a
couple of slurred comments were voiced from the
half-asleep on shelves and in the cupboard.
you!' Freddie responded. 'I will look for something red,
usually noisy, expanding, dangerous, small but can be
massive. I'm to run if its trying to catch me and must yell
'Fire! Fire! to make sure others are safe.'
'Never try to deal with it by yourself' Old Ted instructed
For a short time there was chatter
and conversations on a
variety of subjects.
The Santa Bear enquired, 'Does anyone know how
is until Christmas?
'Not sure' mumbled Pete the Pilot.
It was Sue Care Bear who knew the answer. She spoke
quietly and confidently. 'It's a long time yet. Seven weeks and
five days until Christmas Day.
'How do you know that?' Joseph asked.
'Oh six year old Stephanie and her friend Katie were counting
up the days while they were on the floor playing with me
'Well' old Ted announced wisely. 'We've learned a few lessons
here this evening. I think it's time we all got back to sleep.
There was no opposition and sleepy bears on shelves,
cupboard and on chairs closed their eyes and returned to
The fish returned to their sunken hollow tube, Sophie to her
and Missie turned towards the backdoor.
A bear voice broke through the stillness.
sorry' Freddie said. 'Please could I
have permission to go outside with Missie? I've never been off
the shelf before. I'd like to see what is outside.'
'I'll carry him out' Missie responded happily. 'I'll show him round
the garden and return him to his shelf in a couple of hours.'
Old Ted nodded. 'Be careful.
Look around, and come back
Missie trotted out the back screen door
holding Freddie by his
left leg. She pranced and danced - the picture of border-collie happiness.
The house returned to nightime settled peace. All the
magic bears and friends slept.
Freddie happily explored the garden. He even enjoyed
his encounter with a cane toad who tried to eat his furry
Missie got rid of him with a swipe of her paw.
Freddie lay down beside the dog near the water-tank.
They went soundly off to sleep.