Lost and Found By Angela Kirk
It had been a long hard winter but Teddy bear felt ready for another adventure and some fun.
Teddy felt lonely, it had been some time since he had seen his friends. Mama bear and Papa bear were too busy to be with Teddy right now. Mama bear was preparing baskets of food to share with neighbours, as they had been struggling to feed their families. She asked Teddy to go out and play so she could complete her tasks.
Papa bear was outside chopping wood, and as Teddy ran into the garden Papa bear reminded him to stay close, and not to stray too far, and to keep within the boundaries of their land. He said this rule was to keep him safe. So Teddy ran out into the snow, enjoying the snowflakes settling on his fur. He noticed the pattern of his paw prints on this new ‘white canvas’. He rolled in the snow then shook himself to get warm. He missed his playmates as everything seemed very still and quiet. Then without really thinking about anything, Teddy found himself wandering over the land with no particular aim in mind. He simply followed his nose and watched the squirrels running along the trees. Then he saw some rabbits who had popped out of their burrows. He greeted them in a cheerful way, but they were all too busy to pay him much attention, so he kept exploring the path ahead.
After a while Teddy came to a crossroads. He looked all round trying to work out which way to go, and suddenly realised he had gone way past the boundary. A feeling of fear came over him, as he was now well and truly lost. He began to feel cold. He wished he had noticed that he had strayed too far, that he had been more aware of where he was. He was worried that this adventure would land him in trouble. Luckily the sun was still shining, and it was not yet dark, but Teddy was afraid and he didn’t know what to do. How had he wandered so far from home? His parents would be worried about him. He felt bad; he hadn’t listened to them, and now he was lost. He tried to imagine what Papa would do, but he was too nervous to concentrate. So instead he found himself taking a deep breath, and then exhaling to calm himself. He remembered that Papa had told him that all answers lie within. Teddy didn’t quite understand what this meant. He just asked out loud for help to anyone who was listening, but he really wasn’t sure if this would work.
“Is there anyone who could help me? Please? I seem to be lost and I’m not sure how to get home.” He then leant against a tree and remembered this had been a source of comfort on his last adventure. A robin flew to a branch and hopped towards him and to his surprise answered his call. “Hello my young friend!” he said “Let yourself be guided by Nature. You think being lost is a mistake but this experience will help you learn and gain wisdom. All will be well and you will have help to get home.” Sure enough a lovely dog came from nowhere and rushed through the undergrowth, charging towardsTeddy with his tail wagging. This greeting made Teddy feel immediately reassured and he knew he was there to show him the way home. The dog was called Toby and he said “I represent friendship and loyalty. I will be your faithful companion.” So they set off together with Toby leading the way and Teddy feeling much more cheerful. He knew he could trust the dog and was being looked after in every way.
The weather, however, had become much colder and a mist had fallen in the valley. Teddy was so relieved to have this guidance. Toby reminded Teddy to stay close and follow his lead. They settled into a rhythm and Toby told stories of his adventures along the way. Toby had learnt about life by observing the seasons, going with the flow, and appreciating beauty all around. He lived by his senses and recommended trusting and being patient. Teddy was so relieved to have such a good teacher who seemed to answer all his questions just as he thought of them.
Toby continued to tell Teddy that there is balance and harmony in Nature so he could learn valuable lessons by staying observant. Then he would never feel lost. This had all been extraordinary and now Teddy could see the familiar path that led him back home. Toby bid him farewell and said he would know more with each adventure. “Notice all of Nature is covered in a blanket of snow right now, so everything is hidden, but soon the spring will come with renewed life. We are here to look after the planet and help one another. As you see the beauty you will feel better and stay happy.”
Finally they reached the garden gate and before he could thank Toby, he realised the dog had vanished as quickly as he had appeared. Mama bear rushed to the gate looking flustered. Toby immediately apologised but Mama bear gave him the best bear hug ever and all was well. Teddy knew he would see the dog again and was so grateful for a new friendship.
Then Papa bear appeared and Teddy said he was so sorry for causing worry and for not listening to him. Papa said he had learnt from this mistake too, and he would show Teddy the way in the future. They would have many opportunities to explore and have fun together,
Teddy was so happy to be home. He ate a large slice of delicious honey cake and he felt warm and comfortable. Everyone had been so understanding and he was grateful for all the loving kindness. He gave thanks for this special day and asked that everyone could share his happiness.