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the adventure continues . . .

posted 16 Jan 2017, 14:25 by Fran Brady

It had been wonderful being chosen from the bear pit, changed from scrawny bear into chubby bear. Then that delicious, cold, white stuff to eat; the hug from Aliida; and Grandma Frances (GF) taking the photo with her phone. Max had seen lots of big people taking photos of other lucky bears and happy children. At last, it was his turn. Oh, happy, happy Max Bear!

Now they were on their travels again, walking through the bright shopping mall. Aliida had her arm around his middle – you couldn’t really call it a waist because the girl in the bear shop had stuffed him so full – his short legs dangling down and his head swiveling to and fro as he tried to see all the shop windows. So many bright lights and beautiful things. Some windows had huge dolls in them, showing off all sorts of clothes; some had rows and rows of glittery things on black velvet; some had big posters of people who must be famous – pop stars, maybe. And, everywhere, jingly music and shoppers rushing in and out of the shops, carrying bags bulging with their purchases. One lady had an enormous bag with rolls of Christmas wrapping paper sticking out of it. It must have been heavy because she kept staggering and bumping into other people who then turned around sharply and knocked the rolls of paper sideways into someone else. Max couldn’t help giggling as he watched. What a great adventure he was having!

But the next part of his adventure scared him. If he hadn’t been held so firmly by Aliida, he might have jumped out of her arms and run away. Where he would have run to he had no idea. Not back to the bear shop – imagine how the other bears would sneer! And he knew no other home. But the big metal box that they crowded into, all three of them huddled into a corner behind three other people who shoved in after them, terrified Max. He wanted to scream but couldn’t get a deep enough breath because Aliida’s grip on his tummy had tightened. All he could do was gasp and squeak. Out of the bear pit into a people pit, he thought. 

He didn’t think anyone would hear his pathetic squeak but he was wrong. Aliida bent her head and whispered in his ear: ‘It doesn’t take long. Don’t worry. It’s just the lift.’ 

Max had no idea what a ‘lift’ was; he just knew he hated it. ‘I guess I’m an outdoors sort of bear,’ he thought. ‘Don’t like being crammed into a small space with lots of other bears . . . or people.’

Then the worst thing happened! The floor beneath them suddenly dropped and with it his newly-stuffed tummy. Then the lovely new heart which Aliida had chosen for him leapt into his mouth. He was going to be sick!

The lift clanked to a halt and the doors trundled open. The people in front of them moved forward, Aliida loosened her strangling grip on his middle and he could breathe again. Pheweeee!

But, my goodness, how cold it was! And dark. Max had lived all his short bear-life in the warm, bright bear-shop. The gloomy, damp, chilly car park was like nothing he had ever imagined. Coming after the horrid lift, it depressed him. Was this to be his new life? Would he have been better to stay in the bear-shop?

A few moments later, he and Aliida were climbing onto a seat in another metal box. Aliida spoke to him: ‘Now, Max, I can see that you don’t know what’s happening to you and you’re frightened.’

You betcha sweet life I’m frightened, thought Max. Blooming terrified!

GF spoke: ‘It is all very new to him, Aliida, dear. It’s the first time he’s ever been in a car. Just cuddle him and tell him he’s safe. Tell him we’re taking him to his new home where he is going to live with you and Daddy.’

‘And Katie Price,’ said Aliida. 

 Katie Price? Wasn’t that the name of a glamorous model?

‘She’s our cat,’ explained Aliida. 

Holy Koala! A cat! As the car rolled along in the dark streets, Max wondered what else lay ahead. 

But, with Aliida cuddling him on her knee and kissing the top of his head, he reckoned he could cope with anything. New life, new home, new Max Bear: bring it on!