Joseph shifted position in the arm-chair dislodging Sue care-bear. She woke up instantly, alert and listening.
‘Ted!’ he softly growled. ‘Ted wake up! One of the shelf bears is standing by your chair. ‘
The old bear stretched and yawned. ‘Well, hello young un. What are you doing standing there?’
A quiet voice responded. ‘Sorry to disturb you. I’m Bill the Burglar. Not many of the residents have ever seen me, I sit in the shadows because I’m dressed to represent night-time activities of dishonesty.’
The little bear moved out of a black shadow and intently gazed up at the older bears.
His eyes were hidden by a black mask but he skipped and bowed. Then he joyfully sang a brief song.
‘I have a tale to tell about how this little bear has learnt a lesson
He would with others, this story, like to…… like to…….. share. ‘
Ted nodded. ‘Son, return safely now to your shelf space. We will spread the word.
Tonight, when the house is again asleep, I will call you and you can share your story. We’ll let the others know and maybe the dog and cat will join us. Take care and move quickly '.
It will soon be daylight.’
The little bear nodded and then ran back across the room. He nimbly scrambled one shelf at a time into the darkest and most private corner of the highest shelf.
The small masked bear with the chisel-like instrument attached to his paw, entered the moon-lit circle of space and positioned himself on the centre lounge room mat.
‘Hello everyone. ‘
His hooded eyes surveyed the waiting audience. He nodded an acknowledgment to the unseen figures on the shelves.
His magic bear’s voice soared as he began to sing.
I’m Bill…I’m Bill the Burglar dressed like a thieving rogue.
Breaking, entering, and stealing ‘stuff’ is my dressed-for role.
In my heart – I KNEW I was a giver not a taker.
I’m here to share a story. Not one that’s very old!
This is my story,
It’s my story….My story.
I felt it should be told.
I have a tale to tell.’
He bowed from the waist with dignity..
One night, I think it was only last week, I was restless. So many of the other bears had told stories of adventure and discovery.
I sat in the darkness wondering, ‘What am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to DO? Do I just sit here or could I have an adventure too?’
He stopped and looked directly at old Ted.
‘I broke the safety rule and now I am very ashamed. At the time I decided no one needed to know what I was going to do. I’ll go and ‘do it’ and come right back was my selfish thinking. Please forgive me, I am very sorry.’
Old Ted lifted a paw, accepting his apology and nodded for Bill to continue.
I really had no clear idea what I should do but...... maybe inside the house, I could break into something and steal something. (that was my idea of what I was supposed to do to be the person inside the costume.).
I did not have to break into the parent’s bedroom. The door was open.
I stood for a moment looking at the sleeping man and woman in the bed. I was fascinated watching them breathe. Up and down went their chests, and as air escaped, it made strange whistling noises.
I was here because I am Bill the Burglar Bear. I needed to find something to break into and something to take.
The pretty jewellery box on the dressing table was not locked but my chisel would help me lift the lid.
I climbed up and prised open the lid. It fell on the dressing table-top with a clang.
The man woke up.
Daniel rubbed his eyes. What he saw in the dim light was too unbelievable. He knew it had to be a a dream.
A small masked teddy bear was standing on the dressing table waving a chisel like spanner.
He turned over and went back to sleep. ‘No, absolutely no one, will believe this dream is REAL. I know I saw it. I know it is real. I clearly saw a masked Teddy Bear standing on our dressing table.’
I was terrified he would wake again, so I grabbed an item and was getting ready to climb back to ground level when an unusual thought came to me.
‘Why do you have to TAKE? Why don’t you LEAVE something instead?. Surprise the humans. You can be a magic burglar bear who ‘gives’ and does not ‘take’.
I immediately put the ring back in the container and climbed down. Then. I began my search for something I could use as a leaving gift.
I found a tiny red rose wedged behind a book on the book shelf. Probably everyone had forgotten it was there.
It was not a real rose but shone with a ruby glow in the moonlight.
It was very pretty!
With difficulty, I climbed back onto the dressing table. Truth to tell, I was feeling very tired.
I dropped the rose into the small box and then began the difficult task of replacing the lid to its right place. My bear paws struggled to grip the slippery lid but after many attempts it finally slid back into place.
I carefully climbed down and thought my adventure was over.
Unexpectedly, one of the children came out of his bedroom. Half-asleep he stumbled, then tripped, and fell over me in the corridor.
Young Timothy let out a frightened/shocked yell. Missie the border-collie dog bounded in. The parents came running as well.
Missie saw me. She stopped and barked. ‘What on earth are you doing here? Hide somewhere quickly and I’ll take you home when everyone has gone back to bed.’
I hid under the laundry mat.
Missie comforted the small boy. Then, she walked with him to the toilet and guided him back to his bed.
The parents became her next focus of concern. With dancing swirls and brown eyes of real concern she conveyed the message…. EVERYTHING is FINE.
‘Yes, it’s fine’ she was thinking. ‘Unless Timothy remembers in the morning that it was not me he tripped over’
Missie carried me back to the correct cupboard shelf and dropped me gently in place. I gratefully went back to sleep.
Missie returned to her mat outside.
Missie had been listening to Bill’s story.
She suddenly barked.
‘I hope young fella you’ve learned a lesson and will never do this again. You gave me a big fright too.
She continued barking and speaking to everyone.
' Probably none of you heard the surprise and upheaval the next morning.
Mother screamed and cried when she opened her jewellery box. The jewelled rose had been missing for months. It was the last gift given to her by her late mother and she had unssuccessfully, searched the whole house.
That morning, suddenly there it was. The first thing she saw.
‘It’s like a miracle’. 'It's a miracle!'
Daniel decided not to share with her his dream and rejoiced with her at the return of the beautiful rose. He was prepared to believe that miracles do occur in many ways.
Father and son would weeks later share with each other. They had both ‘seen’ a teddy bear walking around one night.
Bill’s story was now ended. He apologised for any trouble he had caused. bowed and disappeared in the darkness.
The bears and animals then, all moved quickly to restore the house to normal.
Joseph growled to Ted. ‘I hope that young one has learned a valuable lesson.’
‘I hope too’ Old Ted responded, ‘Bear Rules will be observed from now on and EVERYONE remembers the story shared by:
Bill the Burglar Bear.