Teddy bears have a way of endearing themselves to almost everyone, including me. Whether the bears are mass produced or handmade, ancient or modern, they still tug at the heartstrings, don't they? My fascination for creating teddy bears and other critters is just as strong as when I began several years ago, but I haven't been as interested in the old ones, the bears of former days - except, that is, for two particular ancient bears of my acquaintance. What follows is the tale of these two teddies.
TALE ONE: PINKYPinky was my childhood companion, and continues with me to this day. She was given to me when I was two years old and recovering from a serious illness. I am sure her devotion aided my recovery and development from the day she became mine. And Pinky's care of children didn't stop with me. She also brought up my sister and three brothers, passing from one to the other through the years, and her appearance tells the story.
Her original amethyst coloured eyes were lost and substituted with buttons at some point, but awhile ago I found some suitable new eyes, so Pinky can see again, and keeps my hug of bears under her watchful eye. Her nose and mouth were mostly worn away by many childhood kisses planted on her muzzle through the years, but a delicate operation was performed, and now Pinky's gentle personality can be seen again.
|A noble bear indeed!|
I discovered a few years ago that Pinky is a Barton Waugh bear, manufactured in Australia in the late 1940s, but her ancestry is not important. My Pinky, faithful friend and lifetime companion, is a noble example of what teddy bears are about in this world - loving, comforting, and giving more to their owners than can be expressed in words, being good examples of what we human beings are created for too.
TALE TWO: PERCYThe first time I saw Percy was late last year, at a nearby market fair. As I walked into the hall where the market was held, Percy greeted me. There he sat, in a basket among a bunch of other elderly bears - all of whom had seen better days. Percy smiled up at me and my heart melted. I should have taken a picture of him there, amid his sad companions, to remind me of the momentous meeting, but time was short and I needed to set up my own table, so I just smiled back at him and moved on.
She didn't know anything about Percy's ancestry, so with permission I removed him from the basket and posed him on my neighbour's table. I then took a picture of him, and sent it with an SMS to my friend Claire, who knows about old bears.
|Percy - could you resist him?|
Claire couldn't pinpoint Percy's heritage either, but his charm had its effect on her also, so together we came to the conclusion that first Percy must be rescued - we could talk about his past (and future) later. So I made an offer for him, the offer was accepted and Percy came home with me, where he immediately made himself an indispensable member of the Carney household and hug.
We still don't know where or when Percy was born, but we know he has lived life to the full till now, and he continues to endears himself all who make his acquaintance and to make me smile.
EPILOGUE: TWO TEDDIES ARE BETTER THAN ONEAlthough Pinky has been quite happy all these years without a close teddy friend, when she and Percy met I knew they belonged together.
|My best friend|
and also with a number of close friends and family - I am a blessed woman!
In a teddy bear way, I felt that when Pinky and Percy came together something similar happened. Just look at this picture and I am certain that you will agree.
|Do you remember having lots of fur, dear? Ah yes, those were the days!|