I perfectly realise that Australia is not what is generally considered to be ‘Bear’ territory (although I hear we do have Bear Markets on the Stock Exchange… hmm-m-m). Of course, there is our national hero and much beloved Koala Bear. He has received many accolades and highly emotive and in-depth media coverage… not all positive. We are reminded here of a certain politician (or ‘pollie’ in ‘Strine’ – Australian), who met with a damp reception whilst cuddling a Koala for the cameras (shouldn’t have clutched him so tightly, I say).
Ahh-h-h no… I refer to the Teddy Bear – who occupies a large part of the hearts of the peoples of our World. Just read this excerpt from the precious book ‘Teddy Bears – A Celebration in Words and Paintings’ selected by Helen Exley –
‘The speed with which the world’s children took to the Teddy Bear was nothing short of amazing, and soon the little creatures were making friends all round the globe – and of all ages too… Today, as the output worldwide shows no sign of decreasing, it is probably fair to say that the Teddy Bear’s appeal has outlived and outlasted all other mascot animals. – Philippa and Peter Waring, from ‘Teddy Bears’
And my Ted Bear is not your general, run of the mill type bear – oh no, definitely not! My Ted Bear snorted loudly with total disgust when he read the words ‘mascot animals‘.
“Mascot?” he growled threateningly. “Mascot? Why, that’s what Crow Bear is, poor little fellow… and skinny little Crow clown, too. They are certainly ‘mascots’. But me a mascot? No Way! I am a staunch supporter of the Adelaide Crows Football Club – and you’d better not forget it!”
And don’t even let him start on the subject of teddy bears being animals. More snorts, more growls, and then an explosive, “Animal? Me?” Ted Bear tries to calm himself enough to speak between ‘harrumphs’, in order to splutter, “I am not an animal. I am a furry variety of the species homo sapiens. Just look at my Mum – now there’s a human, if ever I saw one.” He ducks his head in sudden embarrassment as he mutters, “… of course, I could be a bit prejudiced – she’s been my Mum for 65 years – and I sort of love her… heaps!”
There’s another quote from the ‘Teddy Bears’ book he is quite fond of, despite the first words suggesting ‘animal’ again. He forgives this slip of the tongue, because of the loving and honourable descriptions that follow. You be the judge:-
‘No other animal has ever achieved quite the same status in toyland. True, there has been the odd lion and tiger, not to mention rabbits, hedgehogs and many others, but none has enjoyed anything like the enduring popularity of the teddy bear, nor have then given rise to quite so many stories: tales of love and kindness, steadfastness, honour and bravery, good manners and thought for others. In short, all the qualities which, deep down, we know to be good and wish we had ourselves.’ Michael Bond, ‘Paddington Bear‘
PS: Oops, nearly forgot,
is on Amazon now. You won’t have to queue for your copy, and you don’t have to own an eBook reader to enjoy it. Amazon has an app to enable reading of eBooks on your computer for free, after you become a member – also free.
Your review (good, bad or ugly) would be most helpful to Ted and I. Thank you… Christine