Oops. Bobby spills paint' Can Alphonse help?
You may remember that unusually warm afternoon when all the visitors came. and the adults went to sit around the pool. It was too cold for swimming but peaceful sitting
in the warmth.
The children wanted to do ‘craft’. Two tables were set up in the backyard. I noticed
through the window that one younger child was placed alone at a smaller table. He had his own pictures, a small pot of paint a brush and lots of pencils.
I enjoyed watching them at their activities. The older children were so concentrated on their tasks that they did not see when Bobby knocked over his paint.
Paint was dripping everywhere. Bobby began to cry. I desperately wanted to help him!
I climbed upon the cupboard’s
highest edge and hurled myself towards the partly open back window.
Not a particularly good idea!
I flew through the window alright but landed outside on the lawn in a tangled, jumbled mess. My brush and palette of paints were somewhere under my left shoulder.
I could not stand up. One of my legs was twisted in a bush.
Bobby was apparently the only one who saw me hurtle past.
He came over and spoke, ’Oh poor little bear. Did you fall out of the window? I’ll help you.’
turned me over, rearranged my clothing, then he carried me with him back to his table.
The small overturned paint pot was still dripping
blotches onto the paper tablecloth.
Then, I saw a picture of a fire-engine and had an idea.
I handed Bobby the picture and said, ’Take my paint brush and I’ll help you.’
I’m not sure if he heard me but he looked at me very intently and replied. ‘Thank you, little bear.’
my brush and his smaller one we transferred layers of spilt paint on to the image of the truck. Finally, a blotchy but very clear fire-engine appeared. It looked very stunning with its layer, upon layer, of rich red paint splotches.
Bobby laughed, then clapped his hands.
‘It’s great! Here you are little bear this one’s for you.’
He shuffled through the sheets on the table
and placed in front of me a strange picture of two girls.
‘Use pencils’ his serious four-year-old voice proclaimed.
‘Use pencils and colour it in. I’ll help you.’
I had no idea how to colour in but Bobby pointed to lines
and said ‘Don’t colour outside these.’
I was having a great time. The picture looked a bit strange but
between us we tried our best.
It was then the strange things began to happen.
An older boy, I had not seen before, came to the table and waved his hand over the drawing. ‘Good work, Bobby!’ he said.
He stayed and coloured in a small section. He did not acknowledge me at all but smiled and waved when he left. His contribution looked shiny on the page.
Only a few minutes after his departure a girl came. She said ‘Hello, little Alphonse. Hello, Bobby. I have come to help.’
Before long the picture was complete.
This girl then said. ‘Bobby show everyone your wonderful fire-engine.’
She handed me the picture of the
girls with the now flowing hair. This one, is yours Alsphonse. ‘ She tucked it under my arm. Please do not move from here. Don’t speak to anyone. I’ll take you back inside when all the people have
Bobby then turned and spoke directly to me in a soft almost whispered voice. ‘Alphonse the Artist Bear, Thank you
for your kindness.’
There was a lot of packing up and laughter and many exclamations. ‘Come and see Bobby’s
10year-old Timothy Jacobs said. ‘At your age I could not have done that.’
‘Well done, Bobby!’ Appreciative cries resonated as tables were cleared.
I stood patiently and much later w'hen it was beginning to get dark, the blond girl returned.
she carried me back to the cupboard.
She took the paper from under my arm. ‘I will sponge down the back of this picture.
It has streaks of read paint along the edges.’
She did this, somewhere in the bathroom, I think.
‘Now I’ll put it on the window ledge here to dry.’
Alphone continued. 'It was from there the page blew down and Sue saw it falling.
‘Great story, Alphonse’. Ted said. ‘We won’t question the mysterious but accept and be grateful.’
‘Still young fella’ Uncle Joseph growled. ‘Please, ask permission before you go anywhere else. It’s hard for us to keep track of everyone.
Sue Care Bear spoke last of all.
Her soft voice proclaimed. ‘I believe kindness reaps its own rewards.’
‘Maybe that's what the picture represents.
With muffled affirmations, the family of
bears, and the animals settled back into their right places and slept.