Maxwell Grantly

Magical stories from an independent author

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Little Teddy Meets Johan

There are some things that are better in pairs than alone. What is the attraction of fresh toast with no butter, an autumn conker with no shoelace or … consider this … a teddy bear with no master?

Little Teddy felt alone and incomplete with no master to look after him and play with him. In addition, there is the natural obligation for a teddy to offer complete love and loyalty to a human child and, without one, any teddy’s life lacks lustre and is of no value or no reason. With the departure of Kelii, due to the onset of adulthood, Little Teddy began to look around for a new master – someone who would care for him and love him without condition and someone to whom Teddy could return the innocent trust and affection that is only understood in the world of teddies.

It was on one December afternoon that Little Teddy first met a new friend. Teddy was sitting on the fishing quay at Nemo beach relaxing in the hazy sunshine as he overheard a shuffling coming from behind, from the insides of the Escapades Store. He craned his neck upwards and caught the glimpse of a small boy looking through the T-Shirts one at a time, pondering on which one to purchase.

“Red is best!” suggested Little Teddy helpfully, as he giggled playfully at his own bravery in daring to talk to a complete stranger.

The small boy turned around and his eyes sparkled in the afternoon sun as he looked out, towards the quay. With a fleeting glimpse, Little Teddy caught sight of the boy’s soul through the glassy facades of the boy’s first glance and he knew at once that he was looking into the face of someone he could trust.

“Red? And what would you know?” replied the boy playfully, looking down on the face of the teddy that peered up over the boardwalks of the quay from below.

Little Teddy took his cue effectively and immediately delivered a lecture on the quirks of boyhood fashion, drawn from the many years of his own past with his old master. He recalled how Kelii would dress him in an array of multiple hats or how Kelii would share his birthday and Christmas wish lists with him. Teddy recounted fancy dress parades in the garden and Saturday afternoons shopping with Kelii and his mummy. Immediately the air was buzzing with conversation and playful laughter as the two strangers giggled and bantered and they, at once, felt at ease in the company of the other.

And so, one event led to another and the seeds of friendship were sown from that moment on. Day by day, the little boy returned to the fishing quay, hoping to see the courageous little bear that had dared to speak to a stranger, and the little bear returned, hoping to discover more about the youthful innocent play friend that he had found in the store.

Little Teddy discovered that the boy was named “Johan” and that Johan was a monster. Johan discovered that Teddy kept bees and that Teddy loved the taste of honey. Teddy discovered that Johan loved spaceships and that he was excellent at climbing trees. Johan discovered that Teddy’s favourite colour was red and that he had a compulsion of pressing buttons. Little-by-little the two characters began to find out more and more about the other and little-by-little the two became inseparable.

It was, in fact, a full months before Johan discovered the most important thing about Little Teddy and that, strangely, it was something that the little bear knew nothing about, nothing about until the April that followed that first meeting. Tucked safely away in a box inside Teddy’s home was a small piece of paper, carefully placed there by Kelii so many years before. Teddy had found it neatly folded and safely stashed in Teddy’s treasure trove; a box full of amazing trinkets and useless junk that only a teddy would find of value.  As teddy had sorted through his conch shell, his peacock’s feather, his pirate’s coin, his porcupine quiver, he had noticed a small rectangular folded paper sheet that he hadn’t noticed before. He inquisitively handed the paper to Johan who began to unfold the note and read the words aloud with a sense of bewilderment.

Johan recounted the words one by one, pausing at each one, trying to make sense of the seemingly random sequence of abstract terms, “Cirrus. Socrates. Particle. Decibel. Hurricane. Dolphin. Tulip.”

Little did he know at that time that, what he had just uttered was the start of the imprinting protocol for Little Teddy. Instinctively (and without any logic other than the subconscious law that governs our own fates and very being) he added his own name into the last three words, “Johan, Teddy, Johan”

“It’s just some weird poem, Teddy,” explained Johan with confussion, “It doesn’t even make sense!”

Little Teddy didn’t care whether the poem made sense, whether it rhymed or not – he didn’t even care that he didn’t care. However, he did know that the most amazing and wonderful little boy stood before him and that he cared intrinsically that this boy should be totally happy.

“Let’s catch fireflies,” suggested Teddy, as he pointed to the tall grass that lay before the two of them, beckoning them forwards with its undulating green waving fingers that danced with the gentle breeze. “It’s a perfect day for fireflies!”Image

Little Teddy Meets Tiny

Have you ever had that strange uncanny feeling that you are not alone? Whether you call it your sixth sense, a psychic ability or a natural heightened sense of awareness of danger, most of us have experienced the unease of feeling watched. Little Teddy had just that same feeling. He didn’t know whether it was the wolf-like howling, the heavy canine panting, the excited barking or simply the soft brush of a fur-covered tail against his face as a four-legged shadowy creature bounded past him but something told him that he was not alone. Little Teddy’s gaze diverted from the buzzing ambling insects darting too and fro between the summer’s rich blossoms and he stared across into the undergrowth of the meadow, to where the bounding shadow had darted away, into the depths of the swaying tall grasses.

“What on earth …” began Teddy with an astonished cry but, before he could finish his exclamation, a dark ebony muzzle poked back out from the tall stems of grass and Little Teddy found himself looking straight into a tiny pair of glossy eyes that beamed with a playful innocence of fun.

The head extended forward to reveal a surround of short golden-brown hair that shone with a rich radiance and it opened to reveal a sugar-pink tongue that drooled and slopped about. The head continued with its forward motion and nuzzled into Little Teddy’s face, coarsely grating Teddy’s fur with long slender licks of its tongue.

“Hey! Hey!” Little Teddy giggled with playful glee as he made half-hearted attempts to back away from the affection that he was receiving. His initial apprehension evaporated like the early mist on a summer’s morning and he found himself enjoying the novel friendly greeting of this new companion. He looked over the creature with an enquiring eye and marveled in the strength of its features, the muscular build upon its limbs and the symmetry of its pair of pointed upright ears.

Little Teddy looked up at the size of the new arrival and exclaimed with a sense of determined assertion, “What a beautiful horse you are. I’ve never seen such a magnificent beast!”

Teddy stepped back from the tall grass and the beast followed. With every few small bear footsteps that he took, the beast took one stride to remain at his side.

“Haven’t you a home to go to, Mister Horse?” Little Teddy enquired of the beast, as he continued his steps back through the meadow grass. The beast replied with a whimper and continued to follow the little bear as he backed through the undergrowth.

“You can’t stay with me,” continued the small bear with a sense of resignation, Surely, you have an owner and a home to return to.”

The beast yapped a playful bark and ran around the small confused bear with lighthearted bounds. Little Teddy stepped out of the meadow and onto the warm golden sands of the adjacent beach. The beast followed his every step and remained faithfully by his side as he walked.

“Well …” continued the bear, “… I guess I could look after you until someone comes to claim you. After all, I can’t leave you alone in the meadow with no one to care for you.”

And with that, Little Teddy stepped out onto the beach, for the long walk home to his seaside cabin. He gazed up at the gigantic creature towering over him.

“You make me feel so tiny!” he sighed

He paused on the word “Tiny” and repeated it again in contemplation.

“Tiny … Tiny … That would be the ideal name for you!” he chucked and he called the name aloud once again. “Tiny!”

With a bark, the creature bounded around Little Teddy and, with a gentle flick of its soft muzzle, lifted him onto his back. The small bear found himself being carried along the edge of the beach, in the direction of his home.

“Well …” exclaimed the bear, “You are one mighty fine horse and I am so glad that I found you.”

He learnt forward and grasped the beast’s neck with his soft stubby arms. Little Teddy hugged the strong muscular neck, as he rode upon its back.

“I’m Little Teddy …” he whispered into one of the beast’s pointed upright ears. “… and I think you are the most amazing horse I have ever seen.”

Tiny gave a contented yap and continued with his gigantic steps across the sand, towards Teddy’s cabin. He couldn’t explain to the small teddy that he had been abandoned and nor could he explain to the teddy how much he thought of his new friend but somehow (call it a sixth sense, a psychic ability or a natural heightened sense of awareness) Little Teddy knew.Image

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