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THE BEAR

Part the First
Have you ever noticed how all of the best stories start with ‘Once upon a time’? And since this is one of the best stories, it has to start with ‘Once upon a time,’ too.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Morgan.

Every afternoon a great big Bear would appear in Morgan’s room.

The Bear would growl,
and snarl,
and roar
(the Bear had a terrible roar)

And every afternoon, Morgan would give the Bear a great, big hug. Or as big a hug as a little girl can give, which are surprisingly big.

One day Morgan thought she saw the Bear getting smaller. And the next day, and the next. A little bit smaller every day.

Each day the Bear grew smaller, he roared a little less, he snarled a little less, and growled a little more softly.

And smiled just a little more

And as the Bear grew smaller and smaller, Morgan grew just a little bigger each day. And smiled even more than she ever had before. Until the day she could hold the Bear in her arms.

Part the Second
Morgan and the Bear played every day.

They had tea parties.
They played dress up.
They went on adventures.

The Bear stopped growing smaller. But Morgan kept growing bigger and bigger.

As Morgan grew bigger, Bear started losing parts of himself. A bit of fur here and a blot of ticking there. A small piece of his nose came off one time during and explore. But he didn’t mind. He like giving up pieces of himself in his love for Morgan. Just as she had given him unconditional lover when he would roar, and snarl and growl.

Part the Third
As time went by, Morgan and Bear played together less and less.

Bear missed her some, but he was getting old and tired and with all his missing pieces he just didn’t feel like playing as much anymore.

So he sat up on a quiet shelf and rested.
And watched.

Except, of course, for those times when Morgan wanted to play. For he was glad of the attention.

More time passed. Morgan went to school. Made other friends. And played with Bear even less. Oh, she’d take him down from his shelf from time to time, dust him off, give him the hugs he adored, show him to a friend.

And Morgan would return him to his shelf and his shelf like thoughts.

Part the Fourth
One day, Bear noticed that he hadn’t seen Morgan in a long time. His eyes were going, and he couldn’t see very well. His hearing was going, and he couldn’t hear very well.

To his great joy and surprise, Morgan came. She gave him a hug and placed him gently in a box.

A box. Black and dark and dry. With tissue paper around him.

Part the Fifth
Have you ever noticed how all the best stories end with ‘And they lived happily ever after’? And since this is one of the best stories, it has to end with ‘And they lived happily ever after,’ too.

Little Morgan grew into a beautiful and big Morgan. Tall, dark, graceful, and slender as a reed.

One day, when she was grown, she met a man and they fell madly in love. Eventually they got married and had a little girl. The little girl was named Hunter.

Every day a great big bear would appear in Hunter’s room.

The Bear would growl,
and snarl,
and roar
(the Bear had a terrible roar)

And every afternoon, Hunter would give the Bear a great, big hug.

And they lived happily ever after.

The End

David Harper

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