KIM THE KARATE BEAR
Kim the Karate Bear stood beside Joseph’s chair. The first light of dawn touched the edge of the crystal vase and sparkles pieced the darkness.
Joseph yawned and stretched.
‘Welcome to a new day.’
Sue Care Bear squirmed and stretched in his lap.
‘Who knows what adventures this day will bring.
We’ll goodness me, who are you?’
Her eyes widened. She saw a small bear standing very still beside the armchair. There was some sort of headband on its head and the clothes were pure white with a black belt tied round his middle.
‘What are you doing standing there?’
‘I’m Kim', a young timid voice replied. ' My place is at the back of the bear storage cupboard. To keep me clean someone once told me.
My name is Kim,' he emphasised again. 'Kim the Karate Expert it says on my identity label. I’ve got a problem. I need advice and help.’
Sue was immediately alert. ‘I’d love to help you. I’m a Care Bear.’
‘Thank you very much, but please, (when He’s awake), could I talk to Old Ted?’
Joseph growled. ‘Oh the old bloke wakes early. You’ll hear him give a little snort when he wakes up.'
‘Its an old bear cough’ Sue said lovingly. ‘He wakes up very, very slowly.’
Kim watched the old bear’s grey face with its pointed shiny black nose.
Ted slept now in a child-sized comfortable armchair.
His serene face began to twitch. He made a gargling snorting noise and his eyes slowly opened.
‘Hello young un. Who are you? I don’t think we’ve met before.’ His brown eyes twinkled with kindness.
‘I….I…I’m Kim. I’ve never left the cupboard. I’m happy and simply enjoy the companionship of my fellow bear friends. I heard humans talking and now I’m worried. I have a question and hope you can help me.’
Old Ted shuffled and settled himself comfortably.
‘Ask away young’un. I hope we can help.’
‘What is karate? I’m all dressed up and don’t even know what for. Yesterday I heard people talking and one man shouted. ‘Karate is dangerous. It’s all about warfare and violence.’
‘I’m only a little magic bear. Will I ever be expected to attack or kill someone? I only want to be friendly. Can you help and what should I do?’
Joseph spoke first. ‘You don’t ever have to do or be anything’ he muttered. ‘You are first, a teddy bear. Your costume is for display only. Stop worrying about it. Go back to sleep!’.
‘Thank you, Joseph’ Old Ted said quietly. ‘I’ll ask the others as well.’
‘Wake up folks! I want you to think about something.’
Bears began to wake. Each one nudged his neighbour until row after row stirred to attention.
Forty pairs of eyes focussed now in the dim light on Ted’s grey face.
‘We have to be quick. The children will be up soon. What do you know about karate? Kim here is concerned about the way he is dressed.’
‘I found out I was dressed for a specific season of remembrance.’ Santa Bear interjected.’ Knowing has brought me peace and contentment’.
Francis the Florist commented. ‘One day only, I had a special job. It has changed my life.’
Various others including Harry the Hiker, Scott the Skier, Pete the Pilot, and Gordon the Golfer reminded the group of their past adventures and discoveries.
It was Sam the schoolboy who spoke clearly from the darkness of the shelf whose voice resonated and caught everyone’s attention.
‘I believe’ he said passionately, ‘information is the only way to get lasting help.
Kim find out for yourself what karate is. Why you are dressed so strangely. Know yourself so you can BE yourself on the ‘inside’. The costume is only a covering.’
‘Well said young Sam!’ Old Ted responded.
Many bear heads nodded approvingly.
‘How can I do this?’ Kim asked.
‘I think I may be able to help’. Sam replied. I know how to turn on the computer. As long as it’s “switched on” at the wall. I can press the button and move the black thing around.’
‘What happens then?’ Sue care Bear interjected. ‘Does it talk to you?’
‘No, you have to ask it a question. I think you have to type in a question.’
‘What does type mean?’
‘Oh, I suppose you press buttons and make words.’
‘Does anyone here know how to type?’ Ted asked.
‘I’ll give it a go.’ A deep growly voice replied from the darkness.
‘Come down’ Old Ted invited. ‘Let us see who you are and hear what you have to say.’
A brown bear carrying an axe dropped to the floor.
‘I think it’s Louis’ someone murmured.
‘In the factory where I was made, they had a typewriter’ the
growly voice continued.
I used to play on the keys at night. One
morning the boss yelled out.
‘It’s spooky, the typewriter has typed real words by itself in the night.’
‘I remember’ Louis continued ‘taking careful note after that and
watched them put paper in the machine. Then, they typed in real words.
I was very interested so regularly practiced at night. One morning
early, one of the workers arrived. I did not have time to remove
the sheet I had been typing. I left behind in capital letters the
I never typed again because two grown men were so upset by
what they found in the typewriter that they brought in another
man. He shouted. He told all the evil spirits to leave the factory
and prayed passionately ‘In Jesus’ Name.’
I did not think it applied to me, but I never touched the
If you want me, I’m very willing to try on the computer. (I think it’s like a typewriter.).’
Surprised eyes followed Louis the Lumberjack as he now moved to
stand beside Kim and Sam in the centre of the room.
Ted sat thoughtfully considering, and then made his decision.
‘The first day the family are all out. Adults at work and children at school, the three of you, Kim, Sam and Louis can go into the Computer Room at the end of the corridor. I’ll ask Missie to guard the door, and look after you all. Sophie the cat may like to watch the path to the house from her Tower.
For now, I’d appreciate it if everyone would move immediately back to their right places. Go! Go! Go! Check that nothing looks out of place as you move. The sun is rising.
The children will soon be up.'
Many days later, Missie came in early and barked twice beside Joseph’s chair.
‘Wha…..wha…..What’s up, dog?’
‘Today the whole family will be out for several hours. They’re going to a Sports Carnival and, I’m not allowed to go. They told me this.’ She whined sadly. ‘At least, we can go on the computer adventure. Will you please tell Old Ted and prepare the three bears. I’ll come to collect them. Just call and I’ll be here.’
Bushy tail wagging excitedly, she spiralled in (border-collie dance mode) back outside to snooze for a couple of hours.
At 10am, the three bears – Kim, Sam and Louis (He left his axe beneath the hall pot plant) were carried carefully by the dog and placed outside the computer door which was slightly ajar.
‘Follow me’ Missie called and launched herself with doggy enthusiasm at the door.
It opened. They all catapulted inside and landed in a heap on the mat inside.
‘Oops! Sorry’ Missie barked. ‘I’ll pick you up. I’ll put you safely on the computer desk.
She did this, then settled in the corridor with her black and white face resting on her front paws. She barked ‘It’s ok they’re safely inside.’
Everyone had heard the door crash open.
Old Ted sighed. Bears heard his heartfelt groan. ‘until they’re back in their right places there will be no peace for the rest of us.’
Pedro the Pirate Laughed.
‘I dunno’ he said. ‘I think its funny that lumber jack fella being able to ‘type’. I feel quite cheerful. He rattled his cutlass. Shelves shook as others joined in his laughter.
The computer challenge wasn’t easy.
Pushing the button was harder than Sam expected but Louis gave it a punch. The screen came to life.
Kim sat on the black mousey thing while Sam moved it around. All sorts of funny lights and objects appeared but Sam seemed to have some idea of what he was doing.
Suddenly, Sam said to Louis. . ‘There, now, could you please type in K A R A T E.
Louis found the letters on the keyboard and carefully pushed in a K, an A, an R a T and an E.
Kim held the black thing and Sam pushed another button.
Lots and lots of writing with human figures doing exercises flooded the screen.
Kim was excited.
He couldn’t understand what it all meant but one sentence answered his question.
His reading ability was limited but he could understand. Karate is a ‘striking in the air art form, It does not need to be used in combat, warfare or violence.’
He didn’t care about all the other pages of stuff. He would remember the striking elbow, knee and open-hand gestures, and illustrations.
He would simply be a magic art display karate bear.
‘Thank you. Thank you for helping me. I’m very happy.’
Missie came back into the room.
‘Please be quick’ she barked. ‘You’ve been ages. Old Ted is getting worried. Please turn it all off and make sure the room looks ‘normal’. I’ll take you back into the corridor and one at a time return you to your shelf places.’
Later from her safe position Kim called. ‘Thank you everyone. Please, can I show you what I have learnt one day.’
Old Ted gave him a promise. ‘One night when we have moon-light I’ll call you to come and give us a demonstration.
‘Oh, no!’ the fish splashed in the fish-tank.
Sophie meowed ‘I do hope nothing goes wrong. I hate night-time
A few nights later Kim gave a karate exercise display as fascinated eyes watched. It was and gentle performance and nothing disturbed the pleasant moon’s light on the carpet.
Kim could not bend his bear knees, but he did perform threatening hand movements. He swung around, cavorted, lunged and gave an impression of focussed ferocity.
Then he stopped and laughed. ‘Something like that, he said happily. I’m a magic bear and all I will ever have to be is a magic Karate Bear Instructor. My life is part of this amazing place and my life is here. Thank you again everyone.’
He bowed, scrambled back into the cupboard and settled on his shelf place.
‘Well done Kim’ appreciative calls followed him.
Before long, the dark night enveloped the room.
Only bear ears could hear old Ted snoring happily.