Old Ted. He wakes up slowly
Kim watched the old bear’s grey face with its pointed shiny black nose.
Ted slept now in a child-sized comfortable armchair.
His serene face began to twitch. He made a gargling snorting noise and his eyes slowly opened.
‘Hello young un. Who are you?
I don’t think we’ve met before.’ His brown eyes twinkled with kindness.
‘I….I…I’m Kim. I’ve never left
the cupboard. I’m happy and simply enjoy the companionship of my fellow bear friends. I heard humans talking and now I’m worried. I have a question and hope you can help me.’
Old Ted shuffled and settled himself comfortably.
‘Ask away young’un. I hope we can help.’
‘What is karate? I’m all dressed up and don’t even know what for. Yesterday I heard people talking and one man shouted. ‘Karate is dangerous. It’s all about warfare and violence.’
‘I’m only a little magic bear. Will I ever be expected to attack or kill someone? I only want to be friendly.
Can you help and what should I do?’
Joseph spoke first. ‘You don’t ever have to do or be anything’ he muttered. ‘You are first, a teddy
bear. Your costume is for display only. Stop worrying about it. Go back to sleep!’.
‘Thank you, Joseph’ Old Ted said quietly.
‘I’ll ask the others as well.’
‘Wake up folks! I want you to think about something.’
Bears began to wake. Each one nudged his neighbour until row after row stirred to attention.
Forty pairs of eyes focussed now in the dim light on Ted’s grey face.
‘We have to be quick. The children will be up soon. What do you
know about karate? Kim here is concerned about the way he is dressed.’
‘I found out I was dressed for a specific season of remembrance.’ Santa
Bear interjected.’ Knowing has brought me peace and contentment’.
Francis the Florist commented. ‘One day only, I had a special job.
It has changed my life.’
Various others including Harry the Hiker, Scott the Skier, Pete the
Pilot, and Gordon the Golfer reminded the group of their past adventures and discoveries.
It was Sam the schoolboy who spoke clearly from the
darkness of the shelf whose voice resonated and caught everyone’s attention.
‘I believe’ he said passionately, ‘information is the only way to get lasting
Kim find out for yourself what karate is. Why you are dressed so strangely. Know yourself so you can BE yourself on the ‘inside’.
The costume is only a covering.’
‘Well said young Sam!’ Old Ted responded.
Many bear heads nodded approvingly.
‘How can I do this?’ Kim asked.
‘I think I may be able to
help’. Sam replied. I know how to turn on the computer. As long as it’s “switched on” at the wall. I can press the button and move the black thing around.’
‘What happens then?’ Sue care Bear interjected. ‘Does it talk to you?’
‘No, you have to ask it a question. I think you have to type in a question.’
‘What does type mean?’
‘Oh, I suppose you press buttons and make words.’
‘Does anyone here know how to type?’ Ted asked.
‘I’ll give it a go.’ A deep growly voice
replied from the darkness.
‘Come down’ Old Ted invited. ‘Let us see who you are and hear what you have to say.’
A brown bear carrying an axe dropped to the floor.
‘I think it’s Louis’ someone murmured.