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Sad Little Bear
He remembered that first day as though time had not passed. The grown-ups held him by his waist and swung him to and fro while the child gazed at him in wonder, giggling with delight. Small, pudgy hands squeezed and held him tight, while strong gums gnawed and sucked his left ear until it was mangled beyond recognition.
In the early years, days were spent attending lavish tea parties and participating in extravagant parades, always wearing the gaudy orange hat and the pink feather boa. Evenings, he was lovingly held close in peaceful slumber; though he often woke up on the floor as if he'd spent the evening on a wild bender.
Later on, he was privy to such classified information as to what was said at recess, to whom and how, and detailed dossiers of those who didn't play well with others. It never occurred to him that he could retire on the royalties that such a tell-all book would bring.
Recent years were a mixture of long hours of solitude, lying prone on the flowered bedspread, and listening intently to the tortured lament of teenage love, offering the condolence only a hug can provide.
It was all coming unravelled now, as he sat watching her pack her worldly possessions, eagerly anticipating the freedom of university. He contemplated his dismal future, imagined it would involve being boxed and sent to a charity where he would lay with other abandoned stuffies, bewailing better times.
She stood up then, set the last box upon the bed beside him and looked around the room, a wistful expression flickering across her face. She picked up the box and, tucking it under her arm, scooped him up in a one-armed hug, squeezing him close to her.
"You have to come with me," she mumbled into his fur. "You're my best friend."
And with that he left the room, held firmly in her hand, happily swinging from one leg, visions of the next great adventure speeding through his fluffy head.
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