Searched to find his history


The flash of red startled Sophie the black and white cat.  She was snoozing on the mat beside the dog.  They waited for the start of the concert.

      Missie whose senses were ‘ever’ alert barked so loudly and urgently, Old Ted cautioned with a loud bear ‘Shh!’.

       This senior bear was watching from the position of the large armchair.  He was always anxious to make sure they were not discovered by the arrival of unexpected humans.

         Barney the Bellboy, dressed in his brilliant red outfit, continued his dance around the room and even stopped to visit the goldfish before he finally settled on the mat in the centre of the room.

          He waved his paw in greeting towards the shelves and cupboards of watching bears.

          ‘Evening all! I’m happy to have this opportunity to talk to everyone’.

            Once again, he did a little dance around.

             Joseph the Uncle, a respected elder, shifted restlessly and hugged Sue Care Bear (who liked her position on his lap), a bit closer. 

      All the seniors who supported the holding of these regular concert-type evening events suffered from the knowledge that to remain a secret group of ‘magic’ bears, they had to be very careful.   He fervently hoped Barney would ‘get on with it.’

        Barney’s excited impromptu dance continued for a few minutes.

        Then, he stopped.  For a moment he stood thoughtful and very still. 

         Then, he began his story.

                                           Joseph sighed.

     My life has been very similar to Clint the Cowboy’s.  I remember a factory.  I remember the people who made costumes and a lot of humans talking and their smiles of appreciation.   “Authentic” was a word I too heard often.   I was classified and given a passport stamped “Authentic”, before I had the slightest idea who or what I was supposed to be.

      In the summer before I was placed in the room with the swing doors and the sign... The Bear Collection..., I stood on a table with a whole lot of other people.

     My companions were varied.  Most were soft toys for children but others had a crafted appearance as if prepared for a special job.

     I quite liked the dolls.   One called ‘Melanie’ had blue eyes and long blond hair.   She spoke to me one day. I replied ‘Hello’. 

    She was whisked away in a purple-lined box. I supposed she was going to her permanent home.   We never spoke again.  

    None of the other dolls ever spoke to me.   They simply stood there, looking elegant.  They were not frightening like the other larger animals which crammed that table space.

    There were dolphins, gorillas, lions and tigers and a massive carved elephant with shining white tusks.   I saw the expression in his glinting black eyes and certainly did not speak to him.




The Guidebook for Bellboy Duties

     An important human wearing a smart black suit came to ‘inspect the factory!’

     He came in the middle of a very warm morning and was accompanied by several serious and grim-faced humans.  (They all looked very overheated to me).  

      I heard a nearby lady mutter, ‘I wonder why he needs six body-guards?’

     This impressive man charged around the factory looking bored.       

     He suddenly stopped. People around him struggled to maintain their balance as he made this abrupt stop  beside my table. He stared intently at me.

      He shouted:     

    ‘Well bless my soul.   Look at this.   Isn’t he delightful? It’s a Bellboy Bear.’

    He picked me up and held me against his chest.

     For a moment, I could feel his heart beating. Then, unexpectedly, a slow tear trickled down his face and plopped onto my red hat..

    “A Bellboy teddy bear.   Oh, what memories you bring to me, little bear.”

    Tenderly, he placed   me back onto the table.   ‘Please take care of this one.   He is special!’

   This man began to share a story with the people around.   They all listened intently.  His voice was loud and clear.

   Five years ago, while staying at a hotel where bellboys there fulfilled with excellence their porter, and care for guests, responsibilities.   They were always polite and efficient. I knew they had a special Guidebook to help them care for guests.

    I accepted without thinking their service but was grateful for the polite care I always received when I needed it.

   During our second week staying at this Hotel, my wife Karen unexpectedly collapsed in the foyer.   I was absent for a business meeting being held in the Conference Centre at the end of the street.

   I received a note informing me my wife was ill. I ran immediately to where the ambulance was parked, waiting to pick me up.

   In the back of this Ambulance was Karen, with two paramedics, and young Benjamin the Bellboy, from our own hotel. 

     ‘He refused to let go of her hand,’ the paramedic explained.

    Benjamin moved politely aside to give me space.  However, he continued to maintain his firm grip on Karen’s hand.

      ‘My job is to care for our guests’ he said quietly.  ‘In the foyer, I promised your wife I would hold her hand and not let it go until she was safely at the hospital. I feel I’m still doing my job.’

      He went far beyond his job description in the days ahead.

       For the next week, this young bellboy in his bright red uniform became a silent companion of hope and encouragement to us both.   He was like ‘family’ and remained beside and with us.

      I explained to the Hotel that he had remained with us and the management graciously agreed that he would not lose pay or entitlements because he had chosen to extend his care beyond the Hotel boundary.

      He cared for us in many small and significant ways.   Long after the crisis was over and we returned home, memories of Ben always made us smile.

     He had been the ray of sunshine on our journey of worry and stress.

     He turned to me again.  

     “Thank you, little bear, for bringing back clear memories of kindness and love.”


     Barney stopped speaking. He powed his head as if in prayer, then cheerfully waved his paws towards the watching  audience. 

              ‘I love being here in this house with all of you. I’m glad to be a part of the family and now know who I’m dressed to represent.

       I’m Barney the Bellboy Bear.   

       Thank you for listening.       

         Good night everyone!’

      He bowed and with appreciative shouts and applause ringing in his ears, danced his way back into the darkness and returned to his almost invisible, lower shelf position.

       Old Ted coughed.  

       Missie gave one short, sharp bark, everyone settled, and the house returned to night-time stillness.