Walter longed to be more than just a 'for show' Bear

‘A teddy has fallen off the top of the cupboard! 

         The voice was faint, yet it resonated with urgency.

          Most of the teddy bear inhabitants and the animals in the hilltop

house, woke up immediately.

            ‘Whatz sa matter?’ growled Joseph.

             ‘shh! Shh!   Sue Care-Bear soothed the grizzled grey uncle bear.  A pink paw patted his furry arm.  She loved her position on this older bear’s lap. She cared for him whenever she was able.

              ‘It’s ok! We’ll deal with it.’

      Missy the border-collie pranced in. Her black bushy tail swished excitedly.

       ‘Here I am’ she barked. ‘What can I do? Let me help!

                                         Bark! Bark! Bark!’ 

     

‘Go back to sleep, girl! Stop your noisy barking’.

 

           The man’s authoritative human voice from the bedroom at

the end of the corridor woke up Old Ted. 

             This very  grey, tattered Teddy Bear shuffled his extrenely senior frame, and said calmly.    ‘Please would everyone… bears and animals  be still and quiet.    

                    'Joseph,what IS going on?’ 

       ‘A small bear spoke’ Joseph answered. 

           The old bear’s eyes, still vision strong particularly in darkness, peered across the lounge room. 

              He saw the dog quivering excitedly and the cat fussing at her scratching pole  

                ‘Who spoke?   Please come forward if you are on

the ground or move to the front of your shelf if you are up

higher. I hope we can help you.’   

 

           A small figure waddled into view. ‘I spoke.  Sorry

everyone but someone is in trouble.’

 

            ‘Who is it?’ Sue enquired.  ‘I can’t see clearly from here.’

 

              Joseph’s low growl responded. ’It’s young Matt.  You

may remember he fixed the wheel on a doll’s pram several

years ago.’

 

         ‘Yep, I did that!  The little girl was incredibly happy, but

I remember the adults argued about whether it was a miracle.

The child said she saw me with a spanner but that made the

situation even more difficult to explain.  I am happy to remain

quiet and hidden.

 

             I’m Matt the Mechanic.’

 

              ‘What’s the matter’ young Matt?’

 

                Old Ted's weary voice sounded now, a little shaky. ‘Let us see if we can fix the problem and all go back to sleep.’

Matt's eye-witness account

Philip photographed Matt on the bonnet of a real car on the day he came to the house on the hilll

 

                  I saw a bear fall from the top of the cupboard.  He fell head-first and I think he is jammed between the wall and the cupboard’s back.’

         

 

            From the corner of the top shelf, inside the darkness of the chosen home of the Secret Seven, Graham the Graduate spoke.

         Clearly, he said, ‘I have checked, and Walter the Wine Waiter is missing.     I know he climbed up on the roof a couple of hours ago.  I did not hear him return.’ 

Missie...Only wants to be HELPFUL

           ‘Walter?... Walter? I don’t believe I have met Walter.’

       ‘No Ted we haven’t. He’s one of the secret ones who chose           to remain hidden and not to come down and tell his story.’ 

         Missie still shook with excitement but tried hard not to bark or make any noise.   On this dark Winter night, every sound echoed around the walls of the house. 

       Bear voices cannot be heard by humans, but the animals become excited by unusual activity and react often in noisy ways. 

        Sophie scratched her pole but vocalised her feelings with deep rumbling purrs. 

            ‘Trouble! Trouble! These talking bears are nothing but trouble. MEOW!’   

               ‘Shh! Sophie’ warned Old Ted.   

            The goldfish splashed around, sloshing water on the floor. 

               Joseph growled ‘be quiet all of you!’ 

               The room settled back into stillness.     

                                    ****

              

            

                     ‘Missie! Please girl Come’. Old Ted suddenly called. 

         ‘Would you thoroughly check behind the large cupboard

         and return to me as quickly as possible to let me know what

         you see.’  

 

     The excited dog danced away,  her plumed tail swished

                          through the darkness. 

              Within a minute she was back. 

       She sat down and faced Old Ted in front of his chair.                     

        Her head tilted to the sde and her intelligent brown eyes focussed intently on his face.

            She woofed a soft bark.  ‘Yes, I can see him.                                            He is upside down.   He looks completely jammed.’ 

                           ‘Thank you Missie.    Please remain beside me and I                      will let you know if you can help us later.’ 

                               The dog immediately sat beside the huge chair.

          ‘Young Matt!  Please climb up to Shelf Two.  Ask if residents there could carefully check from their level to see if Walter could be assisted from their floor.

        Matt shared the information with the teddies on Shelf Two and knew the higher shelf folk could also hear him speaking.

 

          Within minutes a cacophony of bear voices erupted into the room.

 

       Joseph growled. ‘QUIET

                     We do not need any human interference or concerns.

 

             Old Ted added.  ‘One at a time. Please identify yourself as it is dark and we can’t see your faces.’

                                              ***

Only had a gun.

 ‘Howdy! Clint the Cowboy from Shelf Two. 

  I can see the poor little dude but I only have a gun.

     If only I had a lasso maybe I could help him.'

 

              

              'Louis the Lumber Jack

Shelf Three. 

         I can see his feet.

 

He is certainly wedged between the

wall and the cupboard.  '

               I have an axe. I could chop

a piece off the shelf and chip out the

back of the cupboard'

                  Joseph GROWLED.

         'Only joking! Only joking! The

brown yellow bear with his axe

retreated back into the darkness.

       

          Henry the Hiker and Philip the                 

              Photographer spoke next.

Henry has a climbing Rope

     Henry said,  'shelf two Henry the Hiker'

                ‘I can see his head.

I could attach my climbing rope in a

loop around his shoulders and then, if

climb to the bottom shelf.... pull

him downwards to the ground.’

        

        Philip the Photographer interjected…..

 

              

 

        With a  throaty bear chuckle...he said,

         'I could take some great photographs.'

 

          Only Sue Care-Bear laughed.

                                   

                          Old Ted sighed deeply.   

PRACTICAL stanley

              After a few minutes, a mature serious voice spoke.

               ‘ Stanley the Stockbroker .   Shelf Four.   

            I can see the soles of his feet.  If someone tells me 'when' I can give him a forceful poke with my umbrella. I would be careful not to be too rough.'

            'Thank you for your suggestion, Stanley' Sue replied. 

Old Ted makes a clear decision

Old Ted settled back in the chair.     He made clear and precise decisions.     

     ‘Thank you everyone.     Now, please be silent as we work this out together.

         Missie, remain quietly seated.   I will give you your job soon. '

           ‘Henry the Hiker, please be careful and move to the back of your shelf as close to the edge as you can safely balance. I ask you -the other bear residents - all to be kind and helpful as he slides past.  He will need space to move. Rearrange your positions so you can settle again quickly if the need arises.  

      Henry attach your rope to Walter’s shoulders or through his clothing – however you can manage – but drop the free end of the rope to the ground.  

        Then you climb down and hold it tightly. Tell me when you are safe and securely positioned. ‘

           A soft voice shortly called, ‘I’m ready’.

           ' Stanley on shelf four. Can you hear me?’

             ‘Yes sir, loud and clearly.’

             ‘When I say GO! Stanley push as hard as you can with your umbrella and Henry will pull.’

          Philip you have permission to take a photo but only if you are sensitive, careful, and not unkind. Ask permission particularly from Walter.'

           No one saw the photographer climb down but Philip hid himself behind a floor level vase of flowers.  

          Old Ted spoke clearly. 

                        ’GO!’

         Joseph added    

                        ‘NOW!   

         Henry pulled as hard as his strength allowed and felt the bear's body above him shift. 

   Stanley the Stockbroker stood as close to the edge of the back of shelf four as he could, and gave a mighty shove with his umbrella. 

     Walter’s body was freed suddenly. Unexpectedly, he fell head- first to the ground.    A few startled bear eyes saw him drop past. 

       Henry felt him fall, trailing rope.    He tried to catch an extra hold as it passed him.  

        He could not halt the fall. 

          Quickly, he moved to sit beside the dishevelled teddy.

          Walter sat up. 

           He still held his bottle.   A table napkin remained attached to his paw.     Bow tie and waist coat were askew. 

            He was laughing.     

            This emotion was rarely exhibited by magic teddy bears but, on this occasion,

 

                                     Walter LAUGHED.  

         He looked up towards the invisible Stanley. ‘Thank you.’           He saw an umbrella disappear back onto shelf four.                  ‘Thank you, Henry.  He moved to shake the hiker’s paw.            Still seated the little bears embraced. 

               There was a sudden flash.   

  Philip took his photograph. 

 

                         **** 

 

            Old Ted spoke once more.

 

            (Joseph clapped his paws. To bear ears the sound                                  reverberated like a thunder-peal)

Joseph clapped his paws. Bears took notice

‘Everyone now back to your right places.    Walter, stay seated exactly where you are.’

             Ted looked down at the Border Collie.  

            ‘Missie go now and carry Walter to me, then place him gently on the mat. He and I will have a chat.’

             The excited dog quivered with excitement. She desperately wanted to bark out to the world how happy she felt. She restrained herself but danced across the room and sat beside the still-crumpled little teddy.    

            She licked his face, carefully checked to make sure he was not hurt or damaged, and even, with her teeth, rearranged the folds of his garments to make him look more presentable.

              Then, tenderly, she carried him back and placed him on the mat at the foot of the senior bear’s armchair.

             ‘Thank you, dear dog.  

You are a valuable friend to us ALL. 

 Good! Good dog!’  

 

               Missie gave a soft ‘woof’ of acknowledgment and quietly exited through the back-door dog flap into the darkness.

 

***

              

Missie explodes with sound

        When Missie was clear of the house, she ran down the hill.     She kept running and running  until, she hoped,  human ears in the house , could no longer hear her.

        Then, she EXPLODED! 

         W O O F!      W O O F!     W O O F! to the moon. 

           BARK!   BARK! BARK! at the house  and then...........  

     Y O W L! WOWL!  H O W L!

        YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEi P! 

    to all the dogs in the neighbourhood. Missie lives here!   I'm a happy border collie!        

            BARK! BARK! WOOF! BARK! BARK! BARK! 

          Bear folk at the house heard the distant excitement and quietly celebrated with her. 

                                                  ****

Walter now shares his story

       Kindly, Ted looked down at Walter.  He gently asked. 

      'Well young fella, do you want to tell us what happened and a bit of your story?' 

      Walter the Wine Waiter nodded. He politely bowed  and told his story.   

       'Missie the dog has just demonstrated what I believed I needed to find. I wanted to be 'useful'   I thought being useful or worthwhile was ALL about externals. 

        How could a teddy dressed in a waist-coat with a bottle and a table-napkin joined to his wrist ever be useful, even on a shelf with other dressed teddies? 

         I think I have learnt my lesson! 

         Most of the others had stories to tell of past lives or interesting beginnings.    I was simply made by a crafty lady on a fanciful whim. 

        She deposited me on a morning-tea table and announced to her friends.

          ''This is Walter. I made his costume from a pattern. My husband found the Teddy in a box at his office. He told me he thought the little bear could do with some great clothes as he was a bit tatty.  He is now an exact replica of the fine dining waiters in high class restaurants.'    

            Her  friends laughed and gave me a  little poke as they passed by.   I felt useless.    Not made for anything.   Not a decoration. Not comfort for a child.....Just a crafty work of art.'  

             Sue Care-Bear interruped.     'Walter never forget works of craft and art mean something to people who make them.      They are written, painted, made or designed with the hope that they will give pleasure to someone who looks at them ....maybe even years into the future.' 

           She gave a little chuckle.  'I quite like looking at you myself.'  

              Uncle Joseph grunted.  

              'Being with the Secret 7 in our quiet corner has made me understand that.  We all are unusual and are content.   That makes what I was trying to do sound even more silly. 

    I climbed up on the cupboard top in the darkness with the desire to maybe alter my appearance into something more trendy and cool like Pete the Pirate or Bob the Builder. 

      Graham the Graduate tried to stop me.   'Enjoy' he said 'being who you are.'

         'He has such a good background story.....what would he know?..... '

       'I was determined,   Before morning, I would be a different teddy.'

        Joseph interjected.    'You have our attention. Great story! what happened?'    

         'I stood on top of that cupboard and jigged around trying to undress.  I couldn't even get my bowtie and waistcoat off. Everything  was fastened securely.   My thoughts of being just a teddy and then transforming into something different evaporated. I struggled and struggled but then..... 

                               I overbalanced. 

            I toppled forward and fell over the edge.   I became jammed about a metre from where I fell.  

              I was completely stuck! 

               I couldn't move.   I couldn't talk! 

                I couldn't see! 

                It was in that helpless place, I realized if no one noticed or cared about me, I could be stuck there FOREVER.

                I know now that no one cared about my costume but everyone showed they cared for ME.  

                 Thank you EVERYONE.....Animals and Bear Collection Magic community.........You have taught me a great lesson about contentment with self and where true happiness is found. 

                     I'm Walter the Wine Waiter.   

                         Please everyone retun to sleep.

                  I promise I will climb back carefully to my home with the Secret 7.'  

                Old Ted thanked him as many eyes peered into the darkness watching him climb.

                   Gradually the room settled back into nightime  

                                      s t i l l n e s s  

       Old Ted made a final comment to Joseph before sleep again claimed the two older bears.   The wisdom of his years resonated in his whisper. 

          This is what puzzles me most about humans.  Unlike us they have ETERNAL SPIRITS.     They have a Divine Creator.  Why do many spend the whole of their life trying to change their external forms and don't spend much time on caring for the destiny of their spirit/soul internal ? 

     Both Teddies muttered reflectively as they again drifted off  to sleep.  

         

        

Life on earth often feels like this. Only knowing WHO came to make our world right turns PAIN AND SORROW into HOPE and JOY