THE LITTLE TEDDY

Let me tell you of the adventures of a little teddy with enormous courage and a gift for providing joy. Perhaps he started out life in a comfortable home where he was loved; he might have slept in the cosiest of beds; he may have dried a few tears during the nightmares that trouble the very young; he may even have warded off any fearsome unwanted visitors that pulled at the dreams of one who loved him. Of such a life he does not tell.

He is not one to dwell on the past, or to draw attention to himself. He sits quietly, observing the happenings around him and ponders about his present circumstances and what has led him to undertake ‘the great adventure’. This little teddy was doing just that, sitting quietly and pondering about his present circumstances that had brought him to – a rubbish dump!

Can you believe that anyone could be so heartless; that anyone would have the nerve to remove such a loyal and loving creature and simply dump him at the tip along with a lot of other unwanted household trash?

I had just ascended the ladder, having dumped a pile of cardboard into a container at the tip outside Dorchester, England, when my eye was caught by this stalwart looking fellow sitting quietly on a heap of unsorted trash. No tears; no recriminations about the way he had been treated; just a sparkle in his eye as he looked into mine – trustingly!

“Come to Africa with me,” I suggested quietly. “Come with me and be loved.”

He didn’t shout – or laugh – or jump up and down. This little teddy was already wise to the sometimes unfathomable ways of humans. “Africa? That is very far away!”

“You will be safe with me,” I assured him as I slipped the little fellow into my bag. He knew he would be, so he remained as quiet as a mouse while we walked through the gates. This little teddy did not intend having his trip to Africa cut short before it had even begun.

He travelled by car and by train. Then, tucked snugly into a suitcase, he flew from London down the length of Africa to Johannesburg. From there he had to fly to Port Elizabeth and travel by car to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. What joy he experienced to meet other teddies – and especially to be embraced once more by someone who fell instantly in love with him.

So much in love that some years later he made another long road trip, this time to Cape Town, which is where he now resides in a home filled with love and laughter – ingredients that keep stalwart little teddies strong.

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