The Teddy Bear

A headless teddy bear lay in the grass. Its body reached for its head only a few feet away. It stretched its neck in vain. The teddy bear was hopeless, hapless, and distraught. A few feet away, a man took out a pencil and began to sketch the trees, bushes, and grass that surrounded the teddy bear. The man breathed in the park smells: pine, wet grass, and crushed cigarettes. He didn’t notice the teddy bear’s head by his boot.

The teddy bear frantically called out to the man, “Please, sir, if you could just pass me my head! Right by your foot!”

But the man didn’t hear him. He kept sketching the park, finished his drawing, and left.

A businesswoman passed by next. She walked along the grass on the pavement, talking to someone angrily on the phone. She yelled about her finances and her stupid, no-good secretary. She huffed and rolled her eyes, then said, “Fine, I’ll tell you the number, but this is the last time, I swear…”

The woman dug around inside her purse until she found a piece of paper with some numbers on it. As she took it out, her red, leather wallet fell out onto the grass.

“Miss, your wallet has fallen from your bag!” the teddy bear called.

The woman ignored the the bear and kept reading the numbers, with her hand on her hip and her eyes rolling constantly.

Then she said, “Yes, of course,” sighed, “Yes, you’re welcome,” rolled her eyes, and left.

The teddy bear began to cry, only to realize that its head was still two feet away and was now covered in salty tears. More tears pooled around the the head, and it began to float away.

“My head!” cried the teddy bear.

“Where is your head?” A little girl cocked her head to the side. She sat criss-crossed in the grass beside the bear. She wore sandals with little pink flowers and dancing Hello Kitties.

“There! There!” The teddy bear pointed halfway down the little river of tears that had formed.

Its head bobbed up and down. The girl chased after the teddy’s head, splashing in the tears as she ran. Finally she caught the head and gleefully brought it back to the teddy bear.

“Oh, thank you! I have been trying to get my head back all day!”

Relieved, the teddy bear pushed its head back into place, stood up, and started off.

“Wait! Wait!” called the little girl. “I thought maybe we could play? I have a doll house and another teddy bear. They can play too!”

“Sorry, little miss, but I have a job to get back to. Why don’t you sit in the grass and play alone?” The teddy bear continued to walk off. “Oh — and thanks for my head!” it called over its shoulder.

The little girl sat down in the damp, tear-stained grass. She didn’t like to play alone; she always played alone. She smelled the pine, wet grass, and crushed cigarettes, pushed aside a red wallet on the pavement beside her, stared at her sandals, and watched the little flowers sway and the pink Hello Kitties dance.


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