Short Story: Pooh Bear in Chelsea

‘Imagine a short tubby bear walking down here’, said daddy. ‘Where do you think he’d be going?’

That was a tricky question. This is a long road. Where do bears go on the King’s Road? ‘I don’t know.’

‘What do bears like?’

‘Honey?’

‘Honey. And where do you get honey from?’

‘From bees?’

‘That’s right. Anywhere else?’

‘Shops? Are we going to a shop?’

‘Almost.’

‘Can you give me a clue?’

But daddy didn’t say anything else until we crossed the zebra crossing. We had to wait for the cars to stop first and he held my hand tight. He always does that when we’re crossing the road. My daddy’s so strong. He’s the strongest daddy in the world, I think.

When the cars stopped we walked across the road. No running. I remembered I’m not allowed to run.

On the other side of the road there were lots of people. They were everywhere and they were all eating food.

‘You get honey from markets too. Honey made from happy bees.’

‘Do happy bees make happy honey?’

‘They sure do. And happy honey makes a bear’s tummy very happy.’

‘Are we going to give it to a bear?’

‘Not just any bear.’

I followed daddy to a table with only honey on it and when he was talking to the man, I was trying hard to think about all the bears I knew. My bears. Are we going to give my bears honey? I’ve never given them honey before. They must be so hungry. I pulled daddy’s hand. ‘Are we going to feed my teddy bears?’

‘Think about all the other bears you know.’ This was fun. Daddy’s smile told me he had a surprise for me.

‘Paddington Bear?’

But daddy wasn’t listening. He was still talking to the man on the other side of the table.

‘Is it Paddington Bear?’ I tried to make my voice a little louder.

Daddy stroked my head and he kept his hand on me. ‘I’m talking to someone.’

I didn’t know any other bears. I wished daddy would hurry up.

Then he took my hand. ‘Ready?’ And we walked away. When we were back on the pavement again I asked daddy, ‘is it Paddington Bear?’ I looked up for his answer but he just shook his head.

‘Paddington eats marmalade sandwiches. Who is your favourite bear in the whole world?’

‘Pooh bear. Pooh bear. Is it Pooh bear?’

‘Tomorrow we’re going camping and we are going to Hundred Acre Wood and we are going to see if we can find him.’

‘Pooh bear. We’re going to meet Pooh bear. And Eeyore?’

‘Eeyore too.’

‘And Piglet?’

‘And Tigger and Kanga and Roo.’

‘It’ll be easy to find Eeyore’s house. It’s a pile of sticks. Like this.’ I lifted my hands. The fingertips on both my hands were touching each other. The rest of my hands were far away from each other. ‘Like a triangle.’

‘We’ll keep an eye out for it. It’s going to be so much fun.’

Then I noticed we had been walking a long time. My feet were getting tired. We had already passed Byron which made me feel hungry. But daddy kept walking.

‘I’m hungry.’

‘Just one minute.’

We turned another corner. ‘Daddy, I’m hungry.’

‘We’re having lunch in a minute.’

From daddy’s voice I knew he wasn’t going to change his mind. So I just followed him until he stopped. Finally. I thought we were going to walk forever. He turned to look at the house in front of us. His face looked soft. Not like marshmallows but softer than normal. I wanted to tell him I was hungry again but instead I felt his arm going around my shoulders. I love hugs from my daddy and my mummy too. And as I stood next to my daddy waiting for him to say something or do something like take me somewhere to eat, I thought about tomorrow and meeting Pooh bear and all the funny stories I wanted to share with him too.

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