A Little-known Aussie, Ted Bear, Esq.
You REALLY Don't Know My Ted?
Here he is in his favourite chair, sharing and spinning some yarns with his good mates - Postman Bear and Greengrass.
Of course, there are many of his ilk on this planet, and there are many humans who would claim they share their lives with 'THE BEST BEAR'.
But Ted and I smile to ourselves just a little smugly. WE know differently.
There is just ONE bear in our hearts - Ted Bear Esq.
I have no first-hand knowledge that Ted's parentage could be described as questionable (despite a secret, sneaking suspicion) - BUT, there IS a tiny label attached to his back stating - 'MADE IN ENGLAND'. Well...
All I can tell you is that in all the long years we've known each other, this decidedly delicate question never arose. If it had, Ted and I would have stated clearly, as if with one voice -
"WE are in no doubt - WE ARE AUSTRALIAN"
And just to be absolutely sure of this - check out the photo of Ted in all his glory, rigged out in his Adelaide Crows supporters' gear, watching one of their BIG 'footy' matches with a couple of his friends - also avid fans - Crow Bear and Crowy Stickman. If you listen carefully, you should be able to hear them cheering - "AD-E-LAIDE (clap, clap, clap) AD-E-LAIDE (clap, clap, clap)".
What Can I Say? It was Love at First Sight.
We met when I was two years and Ted was new. We cannot believe that was more than seven decades ago. It's as clear in our minds and hearts as if it were yesterday.
I christened him 'Ted' as you would! (especially at that age), and we began our sharing and caring from the very first night we slept together. Ahh the memories!
Didn't we sweat it out one hot Xmas eve, 'bearied' together deep beneath the covers when we heard Father Xmas at the foot of our bed filling our stockings with presents. We lay in mortal fear of the tiniest breath or movement betraying our wakefulness! Because everybody knows that if HE finds you awake all bets are off and there will be no presents for you this year, no sir - no way! Even all these years later, Ted and I agree that this was one of our 'closest encounters'.
By the way, sweat is not the only moisture Ted contains - he has absorbed many tears over the years. Some were happy, some hopeful and there were the sad and apprehensive and worrisome ones. But Ted has never been judgmental about such emotional 'melt-downs' and has simply absorbed all that came his way with great composure and quite stoic empathy.
I fondly imagine the words 'barely awake' came into being from the fact that bears never close their eyes, and the original words were actually 'bearly awake'. Ted is a great believer in the adage -
Someone’s got to keep their eyes open all the time.
We Can't Believe How Long it is
....since we were sweet young things! Feels like only yesterday (on our good days!)
Some people have found it hard to imagine Ted is truly THAT old. And so he and I discussed this, and decided I would go looking for some proof. He's such a good-looking guy - even in maturity - I'm just putty in his paws.
Well, I don't have a picture of our 'love at first sight' moment - but I DO have this photo of my birthday (maybe 4th or 5th?) when Ted and I first sat in our birthday present - our chair.
Look - it's the very same one in the first photo you saw of old Ted and his mates, telling each other 'tall' stories. (Luckily, the chair still fits Ted, but I've been just a 'tad' too tall for it for quite a few years now. (Tall in both directions, actually!)
Here is the young Ted and the young Christine, and the brand new chair (Christine is the 'party-pooper' who had to scratch her eye at the very moment of the photo), in case you were having trouble telling us apart.
The other thing I should probably also do at this stage, is to 'come out of the closet' - and bare one of my deepest secrets. It's hard - but here goes. I must... confess... to being...an -
Just a moment! Do not fear. Do not get confused and worried.
You're thinking of paedophiles, maybe? Oh no. That's definitely NOT it.
And nor are bibliophiles. They are lovers or collectors of books.
Nor is it an Anglophile (even if he does wear an English label). No, no. It's nothing like these.
An ARCTOPHILE simply loves Teddy Bears!
Some Arctophiles have gone to great lengths to research and write interesting facts about Famous Bears in History. Just a few get a mention in my Ezine article here -
Just look at Ted's captive audience...
But...Back to the VIB 'HERO' of our Tale - TED.
He just LOVES to tell stories about the 'Old Days' and his many exploits in this and other States of Australia. From city to country, from suburbia to the bush, he has many a tale to tell. Clearly demonstrated here, he ALWAYS has a totally captivated audience. You could hear a pin drop! The younger generation are stunned into silence to hear of his perilous adventures.
Despite his delight in story-telling (and he has been known to embroider the truth a little on occasions), he's actually extremely modest about some personal happenings. For instance, few know this, but I feel I must share with you a tiny tale showing how his bravery knows no limits.
After an unprovoked and extremely unwelcome attack by a small person of totally insensitive and even cruel leanings - resulting in the necessity for me to darn a new nose on his face (without anaesthetic), I was in tears on his behalf. But he soldiered on - saying, "I can bear it if you can". Wow... just wow!
Sometime later, eye replacement surgery was necessary for similar reasons, but Ted declared this to be a 'stroll in the park' this time around!
Personally, I felt quite faint.
PS: Did you know the Small Knitty Gritty Kids are stars in their own right?
They have their own hub here - Soft Toy Shuffle
Ted wishes he knew ALL these Guys and Gals! - ..although, some faces DO look a little familiar!
Bosom Bear Buddies -
...he has a Few
Postie Bear is a valued and special friend. Precious letters issue from his Australia Post satchel from afar, into the hands of Ted and I.
And why are they SO precious?
Well...they came from our grand-daughter, Cirena, and of course, I shared every word with Ted. He has shared nearly as many kisses and cuddles with her as I have. And this would be the very grand-daughter who used to stuff Postie Bear's satchel full with many notes written to all the special 'soft people' who share our home, when she was many years younger than today.
Can you just imagine why Postie Bear assumes SUCH importance in our lives? And he always took time out from his busy day to share the latest news from our 'golden girl'.
...but Then Again...
...there's Captain Chas from Tas.
He and Ted found much to discuss and share about life on the ocean wave as opposed to not basically having very well-developed 'sea legs'. But that hasn't stopped them from becoming beary close friends (and I suspect maybe sharing the odd tot of rum along with their tall stories - I swear I've heard some 'shanty' singing VERY late at night, occasionally)
(The 'Tas' referred to above is Tasmania, and Captain Chas came back with us from a holiday there. He was the Captain from 'The Spirit of Adventure' - a fine ferry that once transported holidaymakers and their vehicles back and forth across Bass Strait - a wonderfully romantic trip all on its own!)
...BUT Some Bad Habits
develop on their Own!
I have had the odd suspicion about the levels in the bottles in our 'Bar'.. BUT can't say I was really ready for this!
Ted getting UNTIDY?? WELL I never!
On the other hand, he doesn't drink and drive, or hang out with wild women, or gamble, or raid other bears' honeypots. It could be worse. Much, much worse.
Guess I'll continue to love him.
What do you think?
Ted is quite the refined old gentleman these days despite experiencing a few health problems, as we all do. He doesn't hold his head quite so high now, and feels the cold a little more keenly each Winter (often needing one of my scarves to provide a little support and a lot of comfort). And his sight is dimming somewhat (hence the 'specs'). He is not permitted to operate road vehicles any longer.
But at home, so long as he can keep his bearings, I allow him to drive his antique three-wheeler bike around the Lounge (weather and health permitting), with Postman Bear and Greengrass (one of my much younger, handmade bears) getting a ride in the trailer. Quite a deal of shouting and hilarity ensue, but I pretend not to notice. This is one of their few opportunities to 'let their hair down', since Ted is a little too Senior to attend Teddy Bear Picnics any longer. He finds them a little too loud and boisterous and prefers to live with his memories.
One of his lovelier traits, I find, is that he still needs someone older and wiser to talk to at times (don't we ALL?) and he has no qualms or embarrassment about seeking out his beloved old Gran and Grandpa to share some gentle moments.
There are many of these - some fairly 'tacky', and even in unbearably poor taste, but, they do celebrate and pay tribute to the best friend of the masses -
'HE WHO LISTENS & HELPS ONE TO CRY AND TO HEAL'.
I have some favourite 'bare' necessities:
- my Red Cross biro featuring 'Trauma Teddy'
- my key ring with the essential reminder - 'When in doubt, hug your teddy'
- and a charming tea-towel with many 'beary' wise words and thoughts, like: -
'Teddy Bears Make the Best Friends Because:-
- they never beat you at Scrabble
- they don't interrupt when you're talking
but best of all -
They always love you - just the way you are'
LOOK - Ted gets visitors - ...and they have SO much to talk about!
The little pink lady on Ted's left is Jemima - a quite important person in our family.
Jemima was the first 'doll' our grand-daughter Cirena was given when she was a tiny baby herself, and Jemima is a teenager now. (I don't actually know how dolly years compare to Ted years, or to doggy or even human years. Do you?)
Just like Ted, she contains many tears and secret 'little' women's business. Jemima has come to visit almost every time our grand-daughter has stayed here - which has been often (how we have LOVED that!).
Ted and his other bear buddies are all so happy to hear what Jemima has been doing and seeing since last time they were together, and she has been heard to say she has no better audience anywhere at all.
And who's the silvery fellow in the front? Well, that is Billow, and he is a plush Seal from the Seaworld theme park in Queensland. He was a present to Cirena from her Mummy and Daddy when she used to live up there - and he is the cuddliest, snuggliest 'child' to go to bed with, Cirena says. But she finds it extremely hard to decide when Jemima is one of the choices. Sometimes she just has to take them both to bed with her.
We Really Can't Bear to Say Goodbye - but We Must
Ted has asked me to share his most favourite deeply meaningful quotation before I close:-
A BEAR TEACHES US THAT IF THE HEART IS TRUE
- IT DOESN'T MUCH MATTER IF AN EAR DROPS OFF
So, it's Goodbye from Me - and it's Goodbye from Him - and it's Goodbye from his 'daughter' and 'grandies'.
NEWS FLASH! - Ted Bear IS a Star.
Of course Ted Bear Esq. is a Star...
I always knew that. From the moment my 2 year old eyes first saw him. From our first cuddle I knew he was destined for greatness (except that maybe back in those days, my world being smaller then, I thought I might be the only one to truly appreciate his charms to the fullest degree). But no. His time has come, and others are saying kind words about my two books about him and his loving nature, like -
'Ted describes memories that he cherishes and holds close to his heart.'
'... deals with feelings such as love, joy, happiness, etc.'
'It's a book every child must read. ...(with) many characters, rhyming words, and new vocabulary, making it educational as well as fun.'
'Adorable Ted Bear Esq!'
'for any child who loves their teddy bear, or any adult who still cherishes the child within'
'My grandchildren love it, and so do my wife and I.'
and there's a second, Almost Unbearable Tales
And as if that were not enough, he has also been given a starring role on my new book site dedicated totally to my children's books. It's true.
Have a look here on my ceedee4kids site. He's featured on the front page with Gran and Grandpa, and then there's a whole Gallery of photos of him, posing all over our home. Just click on the picture above for the full view. Have a wander around the site - it's free and you can let your fingers do the walking! (... and if you should feel the necessity to leave a comment or Like it on your favourite social sites, Ted and I would be most delighted and beary appreciative)