Little Bear Adventure By Angela Kirk
Once upon a time there was a family of bears, Edward (known to everyone as Teddy), his big sister Betty, his little brother Ben, and his Mama and Papa.
Today was Teddy’s special day, his birthday, yet he did not feel very special. His big sister Betty was super clever and good at everything, his little brother Ben was fun and popular with everyone, but Teddy was just the ordinary middle bear. That morning as he stared at his porridge, which he had let go cold his world looked very ordinary too. Teddy didn’t notice the jug of flowers on the table picked by his sister, the drawing of him his brother had stuck on the wall, the warmth and sweet smell of his Mama’s fur when she hugged him, or the love in his Papa’s voice when he said “Happy birthday Teddy!” When a butterfly flew in through the window and landed on his nose, he swiped it away. Nor did he cheer up when he heard they were going for a picnic in the forest to celebrate…he had wanted a day at the lake.
They found the perfect spot, shaded by oak trees, to rest and play. Teddy was so full and tired after eating honey cake (perhaps his birthday wasn’t turning out so bad after all), that he sat against a huge tree and let himself drift and relax.
A wonderful sensation came over him . Teddy imagined he was dreaming but he had never felt more alive. He saw the world with new eyes, it radiated beauty and energy. His family had colours around them and he was surprised he hadn’t noticed this before. All the details of the forest were clear, from the glossy shell of a beetle scuttling along the ground to the pattern on a mushroom cap. The little bear had a feeling of belonging with everything. He sensed the tree was giving him an enormous hug. As he looked up into its branches, ribbons of rainbow light shone down. Teddy was content, he knew he was being filled with love.
He noticed the birds high above him and was amazed he now understood every note of their song.
Then other creatures came closer, and he understood them too.
Wise Owl reminded him to be watchful and know how to be quiet and focus.
Overhead Teddy saw an eagle swooshing in the air with tremendous wingspan. Eagle brought him the gift of vision, and told the young bear to see the bigger picture, as she did from her lofty nest, but also notice the smallest details of life as this could help him in the future.
Next Bold Badger came forward, urging Teddy to play and have fun because it was the best way to learn and everything turned out better when you did.
Fox followed, saying her advice was to never miss an opportunity.
Then there was Spider, weaver of wondrous webs, who told him to look at patterns of nature for perfection.
Teddy asked himself what it all meant? He had never been happier than in this moment, hugged by the tree, in the company of these wise fellow creatures. Everything was perfect exactly as it was. He could imagine himself being as old as his Papa, remembering everything he had seen on his wonderful birthday.
Then suddenly the dream, if it had been a dream, ended, and he was just an ordinary little bear resting against a large tree. He felt he had returned back to an enchanted land and a sadness swept over him. He yearned to go back to that place where he had felt so at home. The birds still sang sweetly at the top of the tree but he felt dazed and alone despite being with his family. Mama bear, who had been keeping a watchful eye on her son, came and snuggled next to him, “Not yet, there are still things to learn and be done my love. I am with you always so hold my paw and let’s go back”.
Papa bear began to sing and they all walked home through the forest in the best of spirits. Teddy had never realised what a lovely voice his Papa had. He was amazed by all the facts Betty told him about the different plants and animals. He noticed how Ben shared any berries he picked. He felt how soft and warm his mother’s paw felt in his. Everything was perfect exactly as it was.
Teddy never mentioned what had happened that day to anyone else. He simply felt grateful for a birthday with so many gifts. From then on every day was special and he was happy to be a (not so) ordinary little bear.