Frederick

He only stood five inches tall.  Barely.  But, oh he was a looker!  Freckles on his face, bright black eyes,  his tan fur combed just so.   The little girl  could barely wait to get this little guy out of the cellophane covered box.   She had already ripped the wrapping paper off in one fell swoop, it being her birthday and all.  As soon as she saw this little guy, and he saw her…theirs was a love story for the ages.  He looked at her, she looked at him.  Through the cellophane she could see he was sucking his thumb.  So tiny, so innocent, she thought.  Suddenly his thumb came out of his mouth and  then  the shout she wasn’t expecting, “HEY! GET ME OUTTA HERE!”

Quickly she opened the box.  Her parents and brother all looked at one another with quizzical expressions.   They were not expecting this pint-sized polar bear to talk.  But they didn’t want to question it.  For sometimes things happened that couldn’t be explained.

“Hi there, little buddy!”  “Well finally someone got me OUTTA THERE!” The little girl felt sorry for him.  She seemed to know, instinctively what he had been through, first being made at the factory, then getting boxed up and made to wait on the shelf at the store.  “Well, little guy, you’re home now.  And I’m going to take really good care of you.  I already love you so.” “Good to hear.  What have you got for EATS around here?” With that, he ran into the kitchen.  The little girl’s mom thought they should call him Frederick, and everyone was agreeable, although it quickly got shortened to “Freddy.” Freddy made their house his home.  As the days went by, the two became dear to one another.  Wherever she went, he went.  Wherever he went, she went.  The two were inseparable!

Whenever the family went out for dinner, Freddy went along.  He even got his own wardrobe, and the little girl would dress him in little pants and t-shirts to go out on the town with them.  The only trouble was, as he got comfortable with his new family, he started to act up a little bit.  For instance, at the Lemon Basket Restaurant, he would run around on the table and try to kick people and mess up the table settings as he giggled.  Or he would shout out “fire! fire! Everyone out!”  He was quite a menace, sometimes. The little girl tried to get him to behave, but he was so disagreeable, she soon wondered if she could continue to bring him with her or not when they went out in public.

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One day, as she was organizing his clothes and fixing his bed, she called him over.  “Freddy , I need to talk to you if I could.” He crawled over to her.  “What have I done now?”  “Oh Freddy, why have you been so naughty lately, and out of sorts? Don’t you want to live with us anymore? ”  Freddy rubbed his eyes as he started to cry.  “I’m sorry I’m naughty.  Please don’t take me back to the store.  I promise I will try to be better.  Just don’t get rid of me.”

The little girl was taken aback.  “Get rid of you?  Why would I ever get rid of you? I love you.  I only brought this up so we can work on this together.  The day you became mine, I vowed to always take care of you.  This doesn’t change just because you misbehaved sometimes.  I will always love you.  Let’s just start fresh, you and me.”  “Oh wow! You mean it? I’m yours forever?” And with that, Freddy jumped up into his tiny wooden bed and snuggled in under the covers.  “Nope.  You’re coming with me.  This small bed is just for naps.  At night-time, you can cover up next to me in my bed.  That way I can be sure to keep my eye on you.”

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So the two of them, Freddy and the little girl, snuggled into bed for the night.  She was tucked in by her mom and dad, right after their nightly ritual of saying , “Night. Love you. See you in the morning.” And Freddy felt pretty special right up there in the big kid bed.   “Well, since I’m stickin’ around here, can I get a brother?”  “Go to sleep Freddy!” And such was the beginning of their lifelong friendship.

There is much more to the story about the little girl and the tiny talking bear.  Because this is my story.  I’m the little girl.

TO BE CONTINUED…