A Moonlight shaft streamed across the floor and central carpet square in the lounge, of the house on the hill. It illuminated a different scene in late 2021 to how it had looked for years. .
There were now two new white cabinets with shelves and no doors.
Rows of small bears sit side by side on three joined shelves in six separate compartments. They sit in alphabetical order with names indicating their correct place. No hidden bears now – the family are together on display.
Old Ted, Joseph and Sue-care-bear remain on separate armchairs on the other side of the room. Their Authority over the junior residents keeps everything safe and in order.
When Mark unexpectedly turned up with two very tiny bears unknown to Ted. Ted was astonished, But when Tim the Tennis Player walked into the thin trickle of moonlight two nights ago, there were gasps of recognition from everyone
. Ted immediately told Tim to find his name on the shelves and go there immediately.
‘Mark please will you take your two friends and stand on the cupboard top next to the flower vase. In two night’s time, I would like everyone, who has been a part of this story of Tim to share it with the rest of us so we can readjust to changes. I know some amazing things have happened since Tim’s absence was reported. Tell it as it was and we will decide where magic, miracle and human interference have impacted this wonderful outcome. For now, please all settle and allow peace to be in this place’
Joseph growled. ‘Yes, let’s get some sleep. You too young rebel’ he shouted in Tim’s directiom
2 NIGHT'S LATER
NOW as the house again slumbers - a small light coloured teddy wearing a sweat band on his forehead,a white t-shirt with blue/black trim and holding a tennis racquet, stands in the light of a full moon, visible to everyone.
His head is bowed and he looks frightened.
'Settle down, young un. no need to be worried. Simply tell us the whole truth.' Old Ted's voice soothed and encouraged.
‘First, I would like to say SORRY’ The bear’s voice resonated with sincerity. It was gentle but surprisingly clear.
‘I had no idea my decision would upset so many people. I had always been focussed on my own dreams and forgot that when we are part of a family each separate action affects EVERYONE.
I listened to stories of other teddies who had disobeyed the Magic Bear Code of Rules. They somehow found their way home again and settled back happily.’
From across the shelves came many voices. Donald the Doctor’s voice joined with Sabastian the Surgeons as they affirmed ‘That’s a true statement.’
Hank the Hot Dog Seller, Henry the Hiker and Graham the Graduate all expressed their contentment. Most of the assembled ‘others’ either nodded or muttered affirmations.
Tim shuffled nervously,
His eyes scanned the many faces then he enquired of the senior bear.
‘Please Sir, would you invite Mark and Bert to join me here. I believe they should tell you the story from their personal perspective as well.’
Old Ted responded immediately. ‘Mark and Bert will you please come down and stand on the carpet square beside Tim. We would all like to hear the FULL story’
Tim continues his story.
I am saddened to admit to everyone here that when the opportunity came my way for escape, I hoped I would never come back. I longed for a ‘freedom’ that I believed only existed away from all rules and limitations to my personal desires. I wanted a different life. I wanted to pursue dreams and be accountable to NO ONE,
Many years ago, and some of you may remember, young humans came to this house to stay overnight or for short periods. I heard the father call it ‘A sleep over’.
One night during one of these events, a teenaged boy came out wearing pyjamas with an open backpack slung over his shoulder. He was curious about all the items on shelves but knew Missie the Border Collie watched him carefully.
I took my chance. Missie didn’t bark.
I jumped. I landed safely and hid in the open backpack.
I didn’t believe anyone had seen, and certainly when the young man returned to his sleeping bag in the son’s bedroom, everything appeared normal.
Bert the Builder standing now beside Tim, suddenly interjected.
‘I thought I saw something. I was not with the others on shelves around the room but had been placed by a little girl on a small flowerpot with the pottery items. I had good views of the room and on this night, so long ago, I thought I saw a flash -maybe it was Tim’s racquet.
I never thought about it through the years until I heard Old Ted read the Announcement that Tim the Tennis Player was missing.
A few days after this announcement, I waddled across the room and re-introduced myself to the other bears in the Collection. Barney the Bellboy politely showed me my name on the new shelves between himself and Bill the Burglar.
Bill then climbed down and helped me climb back to our positions, They are clearly marked in alphabetical order. My place is now No.3 on the top shelf. My heart leapt.... I was not forgotten.
It was sadly obvious then that of the forty clearly named places there was still one empty. Tim the Tennis Player was missing!’
Tim muttered. 'Sorry, everyone.' He swallows and continues his story.
'The boy acted surprised when he found me in the morning. ‘WOW! What a gift;’
He laughed triumphantly.
I don’t believe he even wondered how I got there or ever intended to return me home. ‘You are my mascot. Together we will go to Tennis Tournaments all over the country and even the World. You are my TENNIS Mascot companion. I’ll carry you everywhere.’
Tim paused, looked around the interested teddy faces focussed on him, and bowed his head. He was silent for a few seconds then looked up and continued speaking.
‘It all began like the fulfillment of my greatest dreams. I was present at many tennis tournaments. I sat on a little box. I held my tennis racquet proudly. I saw people playing, heard all the cheering, and enjoyed the excited atmosphere. Occasionally someone would pass by and give me a pat on the head. ‘What a great life you have little bear’ a man once joked.’ A life amid all the action’.
But, I didn’t. What I hated now the most was the constant action. No connection was ever made with me to indicate I was valued but I was treated just like an object to be thrown into a bag….tossed on a bed or shoved into a cupboard or drawer.
SUMMERTIME CAME AGAIN
One day I was squeezed into the side pocket of a waterproof jacket. I knew this was not about tennis. I couldn’t even imagine what or where we were going.
I decided to get comfortable and sleep.
I woke up when the jacket was flung on the ground outside of what looked like a small tent. I peeped out. Several young human youths sat around a fire. They seemed to be cooking meaty food on sticks and drank liquid from a barrel with a tap.
They laughed a lot. I climbed partially out of the jacket pocket and made myself comfortable. I enjoyed watching.
One by one the different young people left in the darkness to sleep in their tents. It was late and extremely dark when the fire was damped down that I felt myself being shovelled securely back into the jacket pocket. I was annoyed….I wanted to see out. I furiously kicked my legs.
‘What do you have in your pocket,Jim? ‘I saw something moving.'
‘Oh just this little old teddy’ Jim replied. ‘He’s a tennis mascot and I thought it would be cool to cart him around. Sometimes though he gets in the way.’ He yanked me out and stood me on the arm of his camping chair.
I wobbled but was determined not to fall and lifted my tiny racquet high.
I heard a gasp from the youth who had spoken. He now positioned his chair closer.
The dying embers of the fire showed me his worried expression. ‘Where did you get him from? ‘
Jim picked me up and replied. ‘He sortof fell into my backpack when I stayed at KC’s house when we were all still at school.’
‘Why didn’t you bring him back when you found him?’
‘Aw, He fitted in with my tennis lifestyle and I thought he was happy to come. Don’t look so worried I didn’t nick him. He just came with me. Come on Pete, you don’t believe I pinched him. Do you?’
Pete said. ‘I believe you, but I want you now to clearly look at the little ticket emblem on his tennis racquet. I can see it from here it says .’Bear Collection’. He is part of a special family of small teddies. I know KC’s Mother has a collection and cares for them and they are meant to be TOGETHER.’
Jim picked me up and for the first time in a long time….really LOOKED at me. ‘You are right. He deserves to be returned if he has a family.’
He hugged me. ‘What should we do?’
Peter replied ‘Let’s check first if KC is sleeping. Then when we know for sure let’s put him at the bottom of KC’s backpack and when he gets home and finds him he’ll know what to do’.
The plan in part worked perfectly.
The next day I experienced the familiar smells and atmosphere of the House on the Hill.
I had returned. There was a different dog. This fluffy little white one knew I was in the bag and barked furiously.
‘Stop Barking!’ A voice called authoritatively. She kept on sniffing but stopped trying to talk. I said ‘Hello, Dog’ but this sent her outside terrified.
I was surprised but KNEW overwhelmingly, I was happy to be home and longed to reconnect with everyone.
However, the Plan went wrong. ‘
Tim stopped speaking and sighed.
He shuffled and looked around. He appeared suddenly uncertain and a bit flustered
Eager faces indicated everyone wanted him to continue.
Old Ted with the assistance of Sue Care-bear managed to climb down from the large armchair. He waddled over but remained out of the illuminated moonlit carpet square. He spoke briefly to Tim and then returned to his vantage point across the room.
‘The old Bear said. ‘I have been here a long time. Many things I have seen which still puzzle me. Please continue your story young Tim. Don’t be worried or get too tired but please give us ALL even the bits which don’t make sense.’
Tim continues his narrative.
K.C. didn’t even notice me when he pulled out his clothes then threw his backpack in the corner of his room. I was hurled around and landed in a crumbled heap wedged against the corner wall. I found out later this son in the family was preparing to leave for an overseas job. He had bought a new travel case and his backpack and much of his old stuff was going to be thrown out before he left. I didn’t know that at the time.
Although I was unmindful of how dangerous my position was, I was desperate to escape . I felt uncomfortable and squashed.
It took me hours to struggle free from the folds and straps of that old backpack but finally exhausted I began to climb onto nearby shelves.
Tim stopped speaking and said to Mark beside him. ‘ Perhaps you would like to continue the story.’
Mark moved fully into the light and all of the older residents recognised him as the teddy who had joined them in the early years. Because his previous owner had no room for him, he was welcomed by Joseph, Sue and Old Ted. He even sat with them for several years till a young child took him to bed with her, and he never returned
Mark continued the story.
I heard sounds of a struggle and a canvas bag in the corner began to vibrate, shake and dance around in an alarming manner. I was unsure what would finally emerge and was thankful when a golden small teddy bear emerged. He was holding what looked like a weapon but I was thankful it was not some wild Animal which emerged . The teddy stood defiantly, and it was a tennis racquet he wielded like a club.
Then, although he looked exhausted, he flung himself at the base of the bookcase where I was and began the climb to the top shelf. I heard a startled gasp and next moment I saw this yellow shape, tangled and caught in fishing line, ribbons, and silver tinsel with craft wire and stars wrapped around his body, come hurtling past my line of vision. I reached out a paw.
I somehow caught him and we fell back onto the lower shelf where fishing line and all the other craft stuff then attached itself to me and splayed over my companions Tilly and Tara.
‘Thank you for catching me ‘a gentle voice said. ‘I was headed for a deep bucket of blocks and leggo. I probably would have disappeared FOREVER.’
I remember introducing myself and my two companions then all we could do was untangle Tim as best we could and wrapped in each other’s arms we waited for the day when we would be found.
The room around us was always very dark. This son’s bedroom was used for storage in his absence and remained with curtains drawn and door shut for a very long time.
We were thankful that at least we were together.
Mark looked up at the watching faces. The rest of this story is so amazing that I need Bert, and if the little dog can hear me, her testimony as well. Magic and Miracles which are only from God sometimes entwine so we can only tell you the events as they occurred. I can never explain the blinding Light that came into the bedroom, but I do know without that we would never have been able to be with you all today.
These were the events prceeding the RESCUE.
- New cupboards were purchased. The Collection Teddies were placed on the new shelves behind their names. Bert the Builder joined the family from across the room and then it was discovered Tim the Tennis Player had not been seen for several years.
- The human mother wrote AN ANNOUNCEMENT and out in human communications expressed her sadness that a bear was missing.
- Old Ted read the Announcement to all the Teddies. Bert remembered he had seen Tim jump into someone’s bag.
- The mother sat and prayed to her God. ‘Father, Please, help us find this missing teddy. In this world of such sadness, I know this is such an unimportant thing but as your child, I come and ask in Your Will help us. In Jesus Name a-men.
They see something.
Then, they both see something,
Charlee can’t bark anymore and Bert feels as if he is frozen.
The light moves towards the closed bedroom door and passes through it. It returns holding a large ball.
This ball is comprised of four teddy bears all caught by fishing line and tinsel stuff. Wrapped together they hold tightly to each other.
The angel rolls the ball towards the white dog. Soundlessly Char-Lee rolls the ball to Bert and together they gently roll it towards the Lounge Room.
As it is rolled towards the room at the end of the corridor all the tangles unravel and the four rescued, stand up and wait in the shadows until they can reunite with the family.