Philip the photographer is a shy, golden-coloured teddy bear. He is
one of the ‘more-private’ ones in the Collection. His preferred place is
in the darkest corner on the top shelf of the cabinet.
The discovery one night that his little camera actually worked,
changed his life. It, like himself, possessed magic ‘qualities’ Tiny
images could even be developed by the strange glasses-like object
taped to his right thigh. He discovered this when he accidently took a
photo of his right foot paw. The image which popped out when he
pressed a button gave him a shock. He put it away in one of his
Excited, but unsure if Old Ted would allow his photographic skills
to be developed or openly discussed, he decided to keep
advice and telling the senior bears could be done later.
He spent a couple of weeks experimenting and learning how to slide the glass door on his shelf.
He was very proud of himself when he finally succeeded and it opened. The fresh air was quite
His six companions on the shelf either didn’t notice or didn’t care.
Two of them were delicate satin butterflies on sticks in a ceramic
pot. They appeared to just sit there, unknowing and uncaring.
The four Collection Bears beside him had never spoken and were
unknown to the wider bear community. They appeared to live in
happy and private isolation.
Philip’s adventure will disturb this isolated privacy for
On the darkest night in mid-winter Philip quietly slid open the glass
cabinet door. He jumped nimbly to the floor. This was the tallest
cabinet and he was surprised he didn’t shake or fall over. It had felt
He knew where Sophie the cat slept. From a distance, he thought
he could take a photo of her sleeping stretched out or curled-up body.
She was on the lounge-room mat. (for some reason known only to the
cat, the floor had become more popular than her high tower bed.)
From the table-top, he aimed his camera.
She didn’t wake and everyone else still slept.
Now back to bed.
Again, with agility, he jumped back to the carpet. He forgot to hold
tightly to the
camera. It slid off his shoulder and landed on the nose of
the sleeping cat as he ran past her.
‘MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!
Sophie reacted passionately as if she was being murdered.
The shelf bears all woke. Sue Care Bear on Uncle Joseph’s lap
called out, ‘What’s happened?’
Joseph and Old Ted immediately tried to quell the bear
commotions. ‘Shh! Shh! Many voices can be heard by human
Missie also reacted instantly. The dog barrelled through the screen door.
She instantly saw the tiny golden bear running across the room.
She grabbed him and carried him in her mouth. Extending her reach
by balancing on her hind feet, she dropped him safely up to where his
paw indicated the open cupboard door. Other bears, standing
at the entrance were bowled over as Philip hurtled in.
Philip was surprised at how his companions were not only waiting,
but how quickly and efficiently they helped him, and even closed the
glass-front cabinet door.
Within minutes the room returned to normal.
Missie walked over to the cat. ‘You ok?’ she barked. ‘Are you hurt?’
‘Something fell on me. It hit my nose. It hurt!’ Sophie
mewed. ‘Did you see who did it.’
‘No! I didn’t see anything.'
Tenderly the border collie licked the cat’s nose. Sophie purred
loudly and contentedly.
Then, Missie turned to face Daniel who wandered in half-asleep.
His slippered feet flapped as he entered. His slippers were not fully
covering his feet. His hair was tangled and in disarray.
‘What’s going on? Do you know Missie?'
She looked up at him expressing her usual desire to help. He
rubbed her ears. 'Well everything seems to be in order now.’
He patted Sophie who purred her agreement. ‘Oh yes everything
is ok NOW!’
Daniel yawned ‘Guess I’ll just go back to bed.’ He began to
walk towards the bedroom when his eyes saw something on the mat.
He picked up the small camera on its leather strap and said,
‘Who does this belong to?’
No answer was expected but Missie came and sat beside him.
She looked up at him and placed her paw on his knee. She barked
once and then softly whined, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll look after it.
Trust me!. You can go back to bed. Woof! Woof! Woof!’
He didn’t know if she was actually talking to him or not, but in his
mind came a refrain.
‘Woof! Woof! Woof! Back to bed. Trust me!’.
Her paw gently patted his knee.
Daniel rolled up the camera it its strap, then passed it to the dog.
Her jaw gently closed over the object
Proudly carrying it she made several circuits of the lounge room
until the father had returned to his bedroom, and she heard the door
close behind him.
Then, assuming a dancing position, balancing on her back legs,
with her body extended, this agile border collie moved towards the
From the top shelf a small golden-yellow paw came out and took
the camera from the dog’s mouth.
‘Thank you!’ Philip said. Behind him he heard applause and
‘Well done dog! What a beautiful animal you are!’
With head held high and tail wagging furiously, Missie pranced
outside to her special place of peace, She took up her position of
'guarding the house.'
First she checked Sophie. She found the cat curled up in a tight
ball, again on top of her cat tower, fast asleep.
The communication between the top shelf cupboard residents
improved remarkably after Philip’s dropped camera event. Under the
cover and privacy of darkness Philip introduced himself to the other
four Collection Bears and was surprised to also make friends with
the two satin butterflies in the ceramic urn. They did not speak but
when they moved their wings, little lights danced around the confined
place. It was like a breath of JOY.
The four small bears introduced themselves with only brief comments.
‘Hi! I’m Bert – the Builder.’
‘I’m Fergus the Fisherman.’
I’m Patrick the Postman.’
‘ I…….I’m Harvey. Pleased to meet you all. I’m not sure
exactly what I’m meant to be or do. I have an identity label in my
pocket. It confirms my name is Harvey the Huntsman. ‘
‘One day all of you will tell your stories.’ Philip said. ‘Now
I’m known, perhaps I’ll be able to help you. Together, we will find
answers if you have identity questions. I could take pictures.
Who knows what we can discover if humans are encouraged to do research?’
They all chuckled; little bear thoughts now alive with possibilities.
Philip’s adventure was not over as far as the senior bears were
A few night’s later Philip woke to hear his name being called.
‘Philip the Photographer! Phillip can you hear me?’
It was the voice of Old Ted. Philip was concerned he would be in
trouble because of his disregard for the safety rules.
‘I’m here, Sir. I can hear you.’ His voice quavered.
When Old Ted continued, he was encouraging, and did not sound
annoyed. ‘Son, please don’t get down. You are a bit high up there.
Just Listen. Joseph and I have a plan. We hope this will be of help
to you. You probably value privacy, and safety is our aim for ALL in
We believe you can learn about photography. If you keep within the
safety guidelines you can be safe. It will work to your advantage.
Missie has agreed that on days she takes Graham the Gardener
outside, she will also take you. You can take photos in sunlight.
Missie has also agreed that on safe nights, you can be escorted to take
inside or outside pictures and be safely returned home only if the ‘time
out’ is short and quiet.
We’ll work out the details later.
A couple of times a year, if you are agreeable, you can show the rest
of us, examples of your work. We’ll hold creative nights and maybe
Alphonse the Artist Bear would like to team with you and share
together your special gifts.’
Philip was THRILLED.
‘Thank you. O thank you for understanding. I promise you I will
from now on, abide by the safety rules. ‘
Joseph gave a growly laugh. ‘I think its an impossibility in this
place, that ongoing adventures won’t keep occurring.
Philip smiled as he drifted off to sleep. I think I like being
Philip the Photographer Bear.