A small dusky brown teddy with a navy cap perched on top of his head, came out of the shadows, stood on the mat, and faced the audience of shelf and cupboard dwellers. His warm brown eyes twinkled.
He turned and bowed politely to Old Ted, Uncle Joseph, and Sue.
‘I’m Patrick. I represent a real person, PATRICK THE POSTMAN.
He was loved by a community and would deliver by hand all the mail to the local people. I am proud to be a reminder of him, but I have no stories to tell about my former life. I was made by a lady with personal love for Patrick
I was given a name tag. It simply said… Patrick the Postman.
I lived on a factory shelf until one wonderful day I arrived here. I was told we are a family of Collection Bears and in this place, we are ‘magic bears.’
I’m sorry I have no story, but I have enjoyed listening to yours.’
He turned, bowed, and would have disappeared back into the darkness, but old Ted coughed loudly.
‘Young man, please stand closer to the armchair, with your mailbag open. I have letters for you to deliver. It would be a great service if you could help.’
Patrick uttered a surprised gasp but moved towards the Old Bear in the huge armchair as instructed.
A large grey paw extended and deposited a number of coloured envelopes into the open bag and closed the lid. Ted did not attempt to re-buckle the safety clip.
‘Happy to be helpful.’
The little bear bowed, waved to everyone, then danced a jig as he melted back into the shadows.
‘Do what you have to do and then come back and tell us all about it later’ Old Ted called after the little figure.
The following two nights were a time like no one had ever experienced before.
Patrick would suddenly appear either with an envelope in his paw or to enquire directions to a specific bear.
The envelopes Patrick had found in his mailbag were real and not yet touched by any ‘magical’ quality. Each one had a name on the front. The writing was clear but sometimes if looked a bit strange. It was like it had been painted very artistically with scrolly swirls. Others were printed in bold well-formed capitals. Many were clear, but less confident in outline. Every one of them had been sprayed with a misty stream of gossamer-fine artist’s sealant.
The first bear he delivered an envelope to was Colin the Captain. He laughed so heartily when he opened the seal that all his neighbours called out ‘Shh!’.
He held up for everyone to see, a small paper drawing of a screwed-up face with a large smile. The wide-open mouth showed there were very few teeth. It was more like a comic grimace.
The one word was printed in vivid red shaky, jerky spirals.
Patrick delivered letters to every bear in the community in the next two days. Each enclosure was different but all had simple hearts, crudely cut-out butterflies, birds or words like HOPE, PEACE AND JOY so boldly printed they appeared to leap off the page.
A couple said BOO! One of these had a ghostly drawing with it. In the second one the word was in capital letters with bright red squiggles erupting from each letter and eyes painted in the OO’s.
It did not matter the contents as Patrick delivered them with such joy that the feeling passed on even to the five who had contributed to the surprise.
Miracle and magic brought the room to ‘life’.
Old Ted opened his blue envelope, Uncle Joseph opened his green one and Sue Care Bear squealed as the seal came apart on her pink one.
From each opening a whoosh of coloured sparkling confetti flew out.
The particles settled on their coats and a few drifted on to the cat, the dog, and settled on the fish tank.
Sue clapped her paws.
Patrick opened his postbag again and saw with surprise there was a final pure white one addressed to him. Patrick was written in a crayon of vivid green.
He flung the contents into the air and shouted.
‘Thank you everyone!’
Coloured hearts and little stars now also settled on gathered bears and animals.
Missy was so astonished she couldn’t bark.
Sophie the cat fled to her scratching-pole tower. ‘Beautiful’ she meowed. ‘Very beautiful’ but who will explain this in the morning.’ Oh! Meow!’.
Dad Daniel, and Mum Kate, sat down bleary-eyed to enjoy a quiet early morning cuppa.
There was an envelope on the table.
Daniel opened it.
A piece of paper fluttered out. It drifted around the room and settled at his feet.
P E A C E!
The word was printed in clear blue.
He took Kate’s hand and together they watched as the rising sun kissed the lounge room with a new day’s Light.
The whole room – all the shelves, cupboards, fish-tank and animals sparkled with strange life and hope.
The humans bowed their heads and thanked their Saviour God for their lives and for blessings.
Silently, they decided to accept gratefully what was inexplicable.
The Bear family watched. High on the top shelf with the Secret Seven in the corner, they called their own, Patrick the Postman bowed his tiny head.
His thoughts were all of Patrick the Postman whose human life had left a legacy of LOVE.