Don’t you love that time of night when you’re all snuggled down under the covers, warm and cosy, and you go into a sort of dozy, dreamy state? Not quite asleep, but only barely awake – and you think of many things – and some are absolute brainstorms, and others are just sifting through the happenings of your day. Here’s a ‘thinking bear’s’ thought. I believe the words ‘barely awake’ came into being from the fact that bears never close their eyes… and the original words were ‘bearly awake’. See? Just like that saying that Gran and Grandpa taught me –
Someone’s got to keep their eyes open all the time.
And whether this next memory was in my dozy time or actually in my dreamtime, I’m not sure… but it was as if it were all happening for the first time. It went like this –
Mum and I were pretty young… can’t remember the exact year. It was Christmas Eve and we were in bed, trying to go to sleep so the night would pass quickly and we would wake up to find our presents at the end of the bed. They would be in the pillowcase we put there, waiting impatiently, just like us, for Father Christmas to sneak in and fill up.
But, we perfectly understood that we absolutely MUST be fast asleep, or else that jolly old man would NOT be laughing, and would not come while we were awake, and might not even come at all, if we took too long to drift off. (Of course, for those of us who live ‘Downunder’, we are very quite close to the end of his list.) We tried… honestly we did, but sleep just would NOT come.
We thought we heard a noise in the passageway, like someone creeping. We did… and it just had to be Father X. Oh no – and us not asleep! We buried ourselves deep beneath the covers (a pretty hot and nasty place to be in Australia at Christmas time. It’s REALLY hot, in case you didn’t know!) And we sweated… and sweated, from the heat and also from the fear that we would be discovered, clinging tightly to each other and barely breathing.
Somehow, we got away with it. Father X never suspected that there were two wide-eyed and wide-awake small folk trembling in the bed, as he filled the Christmas Stocking (pillowcase, actually… all those years ago). Later, we would have nightmares about this experience, and what it would be like to wake up to NO presents at all from that jolly old gent. Whew… doesn’t bear thinking about!
As time has passed, that nightmare has become only an occasional bad dream because it had a good outcome, after all. Still, it’s well on its way to comparing with a bear’s chief nightmare… which is being left behind. OHHH…DEAR!
On that note, it’s time for sleep… and dreams about all the good Christmases and Birthdays and just generally loving times we’ve shared, Mum and I. She has not the slightest doubt that ‘a Bear is as alive as you need him to be’. We read that somewhere, and we’ve never forgotten it. SO many grand times we’ve had together… SO many dreams come true.
Think I’ll just drift o-f-f into that special d-r-e-a-m-y place … yawn (oops sorry, my paw doesn’t reach my mouth too well)… mmm – d-r-e-a-m-y pla-a-c-c-e…
mmm… ‘n-i-g-h-t’ … (snore)