Maxwell Grantly

Magical stories from an independent author

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


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