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Webmaster's Comments: The following story is posted here with Edward's permission. It is a wonderful creation in which Sarah's favorite teddy bear....Beary....takes on a life of her own and sets out on a most interesting adventure. We hope you enjoy reading of Beary and Sarah's exploits as they meet some of the most fascinating characters I've come to know in childrens' literature. Thanks Ed!!!!

The Beary Story

- By Edward McAllister

Sarah Meets Bouncer

The soft morning light peeked through the curtains as Sarah rubbed her eyes. The summer vacation was actually, finally, wonderfully here after all the waiting. She really really liked school, but vacations were better. She reached over to Beary for a really good summer morning cuddle and then realised she wasn't there. Beary was a soft white and extraordinarily cuddly bear. She had known her forever and always ensured she looked her absolute best (except when she looked her worst).

She remembered that poor Beary had once fallen from the bed and couldn't climb up again. It was quite likely that the poor thing may be a dusty grey bear under the bed so she peeked down but her bear wasn't there. "This is very weird, strange and altogether rather mysterious," thought Sarah. "Where can my Beary be?" She slipped out of bed and tippy toed around the room looking for her. She looked under the bed again, in the closet, behind the curtains and she even looked in her special drawer that contains her highly secret bits and bobs, but no little white bear was to be found. She tossed the bedding on the floor and looked under the pillows but still couldn't even think what might have happened.

She sat in the middle of the room, screwed her eyes really tightly and tried to remember going to bed last night. She counted all the things that little girls do before sleeping. "I brushed my teeth," she said holding one finger up. "Then I brushed my hair," she said, holding another finger up. "Then I carried Beary to the bed," she said holding the third finger up. Although she had remembered, it sort of made things worse as it just made it more mysterious than ever. Now then, you know how it is when something crosses your mind or a thought just pops in there? Well, a thought just 'popped in' to Sarah's head. She walked over to the curtains and looked out. She could not believe her eyes. Running down the street were two fluffy grey rabbits and hopping and bobbing between them as though she had a life of her own was Beary.

Without waiting to get dressed or even wake anyone else up in the house, she flew downstairs, into the street and ran as fast as she could after Beary and the rabbits. She ran and ran and ignored the people who shouted things like 'Hey' or 'Ho' even 'Yikes' when she flew past them. Soon, the houses thinned out and she found herself on the very edge of the wood. She saw the rabbits jump over a long low stone wall and into the eaves. Without thinking, she ran to the wall and hopped over it just like them. In a twinkling she saw Beary and the rabbits just disappearing down a hole. "Now just you leave my bear alone rabbit," she shouted not really expecting the rabbit to either understand or answer her. Imagine her surprise when the rabbits turned from the hole. They carefully placed Beary by the entrance and both bowed low and very politely. "Good Morning Sarah," said the larger of the two. "My name is Bouncer Cotton and this is my very good friend Flouncer Cotton." "How come you're both called cotton?" Asked Sarah, completely forgetting that she'd never heard a rabbit talk before or how this rabbit knew her name.

"Ah," said Bouncer. "That would be on account of the mix up in the warren when we were born. You see, my Mother was second cousin to Flouncer's third cousin and my father was Uncle to Flouncer's Aunt on his first cousins side, so they decided we should all be called Cotton. Sarah thought very hard about this and tried to remember what her grade teacher told her about family relations, but try as she would, she could not work out who belonged to who and where, so she told them so. "Well I can't work it out, for all I know, you could even be brothers third removed or something," she said. "Well I'm blessed," said Bouncer. "That's just what my uncle twice removed said, how did you know that?" I didn't," said Sarah feeling rather pleased with herself. "I'm a person and that means I'm cleverer that a rabbit, especially a rabbit who is trying to steal my bear," she said loudly as she suddenly remembered why she was here.

"Oh no," said Bouncer. "Beary wanted to come with us." He turned to the bear who was sitting by the mouth of the rabbit hole and prodded her. "Didn't you Beary, you said so last.........."

Before anyone could move Beary disappeared with a whoosh, straight down the hole. Assuming of course that rabbits holes are straight. Sarah turned to the rabbit and putting on her most bossy face asked what the rabbit was going to do now. "Anyway," she asked. "Why doesn't Flouncer say anything? I mean to say, he could have blocked the hole with his fat tummy and stopped Beary from slipping down."

"Well that's the whole thing you see," answered Bouncer. "Poor old Flouncer has lost his marbles and we need a rather brave little bear to get them back again from the water rat's hole. He really is a quite fierce and frightening water rat and we were just too scared to do it by ourselves. We went to see the witch of the wild wood and she told us of a really brave little bear called Beary who could help. We asked around and found out where she was living and we sort of sneaked in last night and asked for assistance. Beary told us all about you, then she agreed so here we all are."

Sarah sat down and started to think. She had always known that Beary was special ever since she was frightened of the wall shadow in the bedroom. She had whispered to the bear and the shadow turned into a jacket that had been hanging on the closet floor. "Wow!" She thought. "My little bear is magic, I knew that pink nose was special." She leaned toward Bouncer. "Okay Bouncer, how can we help Flouncer get his marbles back?" The rabbit bowed even lower than before, so low that his large and somewhat floppy ears rested on the ground. "I need to speak to Boss Cotton first," he said. "He is the head of our family, well, he's really a second cousin of my aunts uncle twice removed from his first cousins brother." Things sure do get confusing with rabbits involved.

Boss and the Sparkly

Confusing or not, Sarah wanted Beary back, and she wanted her right now. She peered down the darkened rabbit hole but all she could see were old tree roots and leaves that had blown into the hole on a windy day. Suddenly the side of the hole where she had been holding on crumbled away. Whoosh! She disappeared in an instant straight down the dark burrow. Now you would think that she would fall down and down like Alice in Wonderland, but not in this rabbit hole. First she turned left, then right, then left again and flew out of the hole landing in a huge pile of dusty musty old leaves. She could see Beary's white furry legs sticking up so she grabbed her. The poor bear did look a site, her blue Oshkosh B'gosh dress had so many little brown twiggly bits sticking from it, she looked like a hedgehog, and her poor pink nose was starting to become unraveled.

As Sarah was starting to clean Beary's dress the two rabbits whooshed from the hole and landed either side of her. Bouncer landed reasonably well but poor old Flouncer landed headfirst. He was okay though as he had lost his marbles anyway. (Well, had them stolen) Bouncer pulled Flouncer from the pile and then hopped over to Sarah and Beary. "C'mon you two, we can't hang around, we've got to reach the Sparkly Kingdom by nightfall if we want Beary to help us. Anyway, I think we're lost now, you should have turned left by the third right turn." "What third right turn?" Asked Sarah rather angrily. "I'm not a rabbit, I'm a human person, in fact I'm a little girl. If you needed someone to turn left or right in rabbit holes, my Beagle Samantha could have done it, so there!"

Bouncer really had to agree I mean, he was always getting lost. He remembered the time he needed to turn right to visit his Uncle's second cousin and ended up quite close to the wily fox's den. Talk about shake. He shook so hard his tail went bald for a while where the fluff was shaken off. "Well," said Bouncer. "I think we should stop talking about Beagles or thinking of foxes and start to think about finding Boss Cotton." "I thought you said we needed to find the Sparkly Kingdom so that Beary could help us," said Sarah. "I do wish you'd make your mind up, I'm beginning to wonder just who has his marbles missing." Bouncer sort of twitched uncomfortably. "We need to find Boss Cotton first, because he has the key to the Sparkly Kingdom. Without the key, we can't ask the Sparkly King to give Beary her voice, and without Beary, we can't get into the kingdom of the Water Rats. Until we can to that, Flouncer here just keeps getting sillier and sillier."

Sarah could see the sense of that so she agreed to go with the rabbits to find Boss Cotton. She picked poor Beary from the leaves, brushed her down and off they went. They did look a sight though, Bouncer was in front leading the group because he sort of knew the way. Sarah was behind because she sort of didn't know the way, and poor Flouncer didn't know anything at all so he just followed them both.

Presently they came to a huge rabbit hole, in fact, it was the largest rabbit hole Sarah had ever seen. The little garden around it was very neat and tidy with some delicious looking carrots popping their heads through the soft brown soil. To the side of the hole was a large rocking chair, and sitting in the rocking chair was the largest rabbit in the wood. He was asleep and snoring when Bouncer respectfully tapped him on the knee. He opened one eye, then the other. His ears popped up and a huge smile stretched from one floppy ear to the other when he saw the bear in Sarah's arms. "Well done Bouncer, I see you've found our Beary at last, is she awake yet?" He asked. "Not quite Boss," answered Bouncer. "She needs to go to the Sparkly King to get her straw stuffing magical again, but we need the key." "Boss Cotton scratched his chin. "Hmmm, let me see," he said quietly to himself. "Where did I put that key? Is it in the watering can? No I would never have put it there. I wonder if I put it in the shed or maybe under the kitchen sink?"

"Have you tried your pocket?" Asked Bouncer hopefully. Boss felt in the pocket of his large blue overall. "Bless my whiskers, here it is!" He exclaimed. "Right where I left it last. I suppose you'd better guard it for me Bouncer, I'm just too busy to start any adventures today. Anyway, I promised the Sparkly King a sack of my finest carrots the next time I visited him and I seem to have eaten most of them." Bouncer took the key and was about to get back in line to lead the expedition when Sarah walked over to Boss Cotton. "Hello Mr. Boss," she said very politely. "I heard you say that Bouncer had found 'our Beary'. May I ask why you think Beary is yours?" Boss hopped around for a little and then he settled down in the enormous chair again. "Well," he said. "It looks as though we might be here for a little while, so I'll make some carrot tea and then I'll tell you a little about Beary that perhaps you never knew."

He made some delicious carrot tea with carrot cake and carrot sandwiches (to tell you the truth, most rabbit recipes have carrot in there somewhere) and made himself comfortable in his huge chair. "Well Sarah, a long time ago and right here in the wild wood lived a Sparkly. Now you might think that Sparkly's aren't really here, and I know that some silly people think that they are really fireflies. Well let me tell you young lady, they most certainly are here. As I was saying, this Sparkly was the first Sparkly in the world. I think he must have been very lonely. One day, he was sitting on a branch. He didn't know where he had come from and he didn't know where he was going, he only knew he was sitting on the branch. This made him very sad so he started to cry. As the tears fell on him, the sparkle started to disappear.

Now just down the road lived the Witch of the Wild Wood. You may think that witches are bad, but this one was a very kind witch. She had a little helper, a little white bear with a pink nose and blue dress. Her name then was Beary Fluffdumpling. Beary was out collecting berries when she heard the sad little cry of the Sparkly. She looked up into the tree and there she saw a little figure starting to fade. She knew she would have no time to run for the witch so she jumped into the tree. The Sparkly was fading fast now, so the brave little bear whispered a magic spell she had heard from the witch. In an instant, instead of being a little warm bear with a pink nose, she became cold and full of stuffing, but she needed the stuffing to keep the Sparkly from going out. She pulled bits from her and waived the stuffing around Sparkly. It lit up and kept the sad little thing going while Beary Fluffdumpling called for help.

Sparklus Hilarius

The Witch of the Wild Wood heard the cry and rushed from her cauldron. (She had been making newt soup) In a flash she was on her broom and whizzing to the sound. When she arrived at the tree, she could hardly believe her eyes. Beary Fluffdumpling was all but gone. She had pulled her own stuffing out to keep the Sparkly sparkling, and now she was all but gone herself. The witch quickly cast a spell on the Sparkly to stop him shedding tears and gently lifted the brave little bear from the branches to the ground. It really was too late to save Beary, but the witch was not only kindly, she was also very clever.

She carried the poor little white bear to the broom and soon they where speeding back to the house. Once inside, the witch opened up her oldest and most secret spell book. She got some special magic bits, you know, like eye of bat and stuff like that, and then sung a very old and ancient spell. After she had finished, it looked as though the bear was sleeping, which I suppose in a way she was. The witch had laid the spell of sleep on her. It went something like this, only it was such a long time ago, I really can't remember all the words. Just as well really as I wouldn't like to send you to sleep.

Flesh and blood and bones and skin
Wrapped in a coat so fair
Now this spell I will begin
To save this precious bear.

< No more blood and bones I see
Just some dried up straw
But this spell that that I decree
Will live for evermore

One day the bear she will belong
To a child that is the same
The sweetest child you ever saw
And Sarah is her name.

After the witch had finished, she put Beary in a bag and mounted her trusty broom again. She returned to the tree to help the Sparkly. She told him that he wasn't alone, he was just the first. Soon, the wood would sparkle with them, especially on frosty nights. In fact, if you ever go to the wild wood on a cold and frosty morning. Look at the fallen leaves and you can see where the Sparkly people have walked through the wood. They glitter and shine and if you're really lucky, when you get an extra white and glittering leaf, hold it up to the pale winter sunshine and you can see a million rainbows so small you wonder how they could all fit there.

Anyway, as I was saying. The witch told the Sparkly that he was now the King and he needed to make the wood ready for his people. "What happened to the brave little bear?" Asked Sparklus Hilarious. (I forgot to tell you, that's what the witch said his name should be) "I really want to thank her for her kindness and bravery. Why, I think she must be the bravest little bear in the whole wood." The Witch of the Wild Wood shook her head sadly and showed the Sparkly King what had happened to the little bear. He reached in to touch her and as he did, something very wonderful and magical happened. Beary Fluffdumpling opened her eyes and spoke.

"Please don't be sad Sparklus Hilarious, I am very happy. In my dreams I have seen a precious little girl who will hug me and love me forever. Her name is Sarah and although she doesn't know it yet, she is magical too. One day, when the wild wood calls and needs me, she will help me to wake from my long sleep." With that, the little bear fell into a stillness. The witch flew away to the big town and very carefully and very quietly she found the baby Sarah. She placed the little bear in her bed with her with a blessing and returned to the wild wood.

Sarah stared at Boss Cotton with her eyes as wide as they could possibly be. She held Beary extra tightly now she new where she really came from. "I always knew it," she cried out. "I always knew my Beary was so special, she was always different to the other bears. Even her nose is a different colour." "Yes," said the rabbit. "Now you see why we call Beary 'our' bear. If it were not for Beary Fluffdumpling, the wild wood would have no sparkle.

In the Tree Palace

Sarah thought long and hard about this. I think she started to see how the life of the wild wood was special. She was the outsider and all the creatures in it were at home. Of course, there had always been the whisperings of the Sparkly folk, and she had always wondered if rabbits could talk to each other, but she had always thought it would have been in a sort of, well, 'rabbity' language. Instead, she could understand everything that was being said, even when Boss Cotton was speaking and chewing carrots at the same time.

"Well thank you Mr. Cotton for that very interesting story, but I think we really need to go to see the Sparkly King, don't you?" The large rabbit flopped his ears as he nodded in agreement. "Yes Sarah, you're right, you've got the key and Bouncer knows the way, so off you go."

Bouncer, Flouncer, Sarah and Beary restarted their adventure. It had been rather pleasant to sit with the old rabbit, and it had been very wonderful indeed to hear the tale of Beary and the Sparkly King, but Sarah knew they needed to find Flouncers marbles very quickly. He was getting sillier and sillier. Presently they came to a large tree, in fact it really was quite the largest tree that Sarah had ever seen. She peered up into its branches and then she walked around it. It took her a while because it was so huge.

"Wow," she said. "This really is the biggest tree in the wood, maybe even the whole world, but why have we stopped here, aren't we supposed to be looking for the Sparkly King?"

Bouncer hopped over to Sarah. "We're here," he said as he produced the key from his waistcoat pocket. He put the strange shaped key into an old knot of wood. Then the strangest thing happened, knots of wood that before had seemed just sort of, well, 'bark' like, suddenly started to look, well, sort of 'door' like. Before the three friends knew it, the door swung open.

"Right Ho," said Bouncer. "In we go." They all stepped into the doorway and as they did so, it slammed shut behind them. Now I expect you would think that being shut in a tree was quite horrible. Not this tree. As the door slammed shut, a thousand glittering lights shone out and there before them was a long staircase winding down.

Sarah sniffed the air. It had a very pleasant smell, you know, the sort of smell that makes you feel really comfortable, like a new toy, or Christmas trees, that sort of thing. They walked down and down and down. This really was a long way and just as Sarah started to think they would reach the other side of the world, they stopped going down. They had entered a large hall that was lit with thousands and thousands of rainbow coloured lights. At the far end of the hall was a huge glittering silver and golden chair, well more like a throne really. Sitting on the chair was the Sparkly King. He rose to greet them and when he saw Beary, he was overjoyed. Sarah looked at him and wondered if this was the same Sparkly that Beary had saved.

As he came near to them, Sarah felt Beary suddenly wriggle and twitch. She was so surprised she nearly dropped her. The Sparkly King laid his shining hand on Beary and in an instant she was awake and yawning. "Well that was a very long sleep and no mistake," she said. This time, Sarah did drop her, but instead of falling on her head, Beary landed nimbly on her furry pads. She looked up at Sarah who was now finding it very hard to close her mouth. In fact, her chin had dropped so much she started to look like a letterbox getting ready for Christmas.

Now then, you now how it is when you want to say something, but you just can't? That's exactly how Sarah felt, but she was actually quite brave and feisty and I don't think it would be long before she found her voice again. She smiled her hugest and best smile and held her arms open. In a flash, Beary had jumped up and they hugged and hugged.

After they had hugged and hugged, Beary jumped from Sarah and ran to the king. She hugged Sparklus Hilarious and then hand in hand with Sarah they followed the king while he presented them to the court. Sarah noticed that amid all this sparkle and light, there was a small dark shadow sitting quietly by a large glittering door. As they got nearer Beary suddenly gave a whoop and ran over. It was the Witch of the Wild Wood. Sarah was most surprised to see that under the dark cloak, the witch was dressed in a very bright green and she had very long golden hair. She was sort of expecting a witch with a horrible crooked nose and spidery fingers.

Beary and the witch hugged and hugged even more that with the king. To be honest, Sarah was getting just a tinsy bit jealous with all this hugging. "After all," she thought. "She's my bear." The Witch of the Wild Wood suddenly looked over at Sarah as though she heard what was thought. The poor girl went absolutely scarlet from head to toe as she realised the witch could read her thoughts, then she became rather sorry for thinking them. "After all, Beary lived in the wild wood before she was given to me." She told herself.

After a while, everyone was bought to a huge wooden table covered with the most delicious food. Sarah was quite pleased, as she was getting rather hungry. Although she quite liked carrots, they didn't really fill you up as it were. While she was eating some delicious strawberry flavoured ice cream covered in wonderful melting chocolate mousse, she noticed that Beary, the witch and the king were sort of huddled and talking rather secretively. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried not to think bad thoughts about it, but would you believe it? Just as her eyes thought they couldn't squeeze anymore, the king called her over to their little group.

"Well then young Sarah," he said kindly. "It would seem that our brave Beary here has had quite a wonderful life with you, a life she wishes to carry on after this adventure is over." Beary smiled at Sarah and I can tell you, Sarah positively beamed back.

Beary Gets the Marbles

The Sparkly King and the Witch of the Wild Wood sat Sarah down with Beary. I think they were there for quite a while because the sun slowly popped away for the night and the silvery moon peeped through the cloud wrack. After quite a few hours of talking and planning, the King walked quietly to where Bouncer and Flouncer were snoring. He shook them gently. "Come on you two loppy eared rabbits," he said with a smile. "We've thought of a plan to get Flouncers marbles back, but it needs to be done before daybreak."

The rabbits yawned and stretched, then they had a very good scratch, stretched again, yawned some more and hopped over to the others. The King gave Beary a small bag. It looked like an old piece of cloth tied at the top with an even older piece of string. Sarah looked at it and wondered what it was, but Beary tucked it away in her blue B'Gosh dress.

The four friends said their goodbyes to the Sparkly King and climbed up and up to the door in the tree. From the inside it didn't need a key, so they just pushed their way out and into the pale watery moonlight. "Right," said Beary. "We've got to get to the Kingdom of the Water Rats and find that dratted hole and we've got to do it before the moon goes back to sleep." They walked quickly and quietly through the tall trees.

Now you would think that a sweet little girl like Sarah would be afraid to be in the woods at night, but let me tell you. She was very brave and every time she felt just the tiniest bit afraid, she squeezed Beary's paw then she thought of her Mom and Daddy. She thought of her Daddy's beard tickling her chin and her Mom's cuddles and cooking. In fact, the more she thought about the cooking, the hungrier she got and the hungrier she got, the more she resolved never to leave any of Mom's cooking again.

After a while, they came to a large clearing in the wood. In the middle was a large still lake. As Sarah looked at it, it seemed that the moon was swimming in it. Very strange! Suddenly a large trout flicked his tail and the ripples made the moon look as though it was being sliced like an old cheese which by the way, is exactly what it is made of.

The four friends were aware they were not alone here. From all around the edge of the lake, little ripples and the patter of claws in the mud began to build up.

Soon it was quite noisy. They thought about running, but as they were about to turn around, hundreds and hundreds of small red beady eyes winking and blinking surrounded them.

I have to tell you that this really is quite the scariest part of the story so far. I mean to say, would you like to be stuck in a dark place and surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of red eyes? I don't think so! Just as Sarah thought she would scream, Beary stepped forward and opened the bag the Sparkly King had given her. She dipped her paw inside and then she threw the contents up to the night sky. The whole woodland clearing became a dazzling sea of light. It was as though a million bright rainbows had fallen to the darkest place in the world. As the brave little bear stepped forward the horrible red eyes turned and fled, their ratty tails following behind.

"Come on!" Shouted Beary. "Let's be after them and get those pesky marbles back." They all ran as fast as they could but the water rats were dashing here and there so fast. Soon the glittering lights began to fade, but it was too late for the rats. Beary had found the thief's hole and was even now dashing out waiving the precious bag of marbles above her head. The four friends ran from the clearing as fast as they could. Water rats could be very horrid when the fancy took them and none of the friends wanted to be there if that happened.

After a while, they were pretty sure the rats wouldn't be following them so they fell on the grass with a bump. Beary handed the marbles back to Flouncer who bowed very politely as only well bred rabbits can. Sarah thought that with his marbles back, he might say something clever, but he just fell over and went to sleep. Soon, Sarah began to feel very tired as well. She lay on the grass and cuddled Beary as hard as she could. "Could I ask you a question Beary?" She asked sleepily. "Will you still be alive when we go back to the house?" She just about finished the words and then fell into a deep sleep.

As she woke in the morning, she expected to see the sky peeping through the tops of the trees, but as she looked to her side, she saw the blue curtains in her own bedroom with the sun trying to peep through. She sat up suddenly as she realised that if this had been a dream, then Beary was never alive, and Bouncer and Boss and Flouncer and the Sparkly King, not to mention the Witch of the Wild Wood, had all been a dream. She started to cry and soon her Daddy Mike and Mom Lori walked through the door.

"What's up sweetheart?" They asked. "Why are you crying?" With that, her daddy lifted her from the bed for a gigantic huge fresh in the morning hug. As he was holding Sarah, her Mom walked to the bed, her brown eyes were wide with amazement. There on the bed was Beary, she was covered in leaves and grass from the wild wood and her paw was glittering with Sparkly dust. Sarah stopped crying and smiled at Beary. She knew it was all real and somehow the Witch had magic spelled her back here. Even as she smiled at the battered white bear with the pink nose, would you believe it, Beary winked and smiled back.

The End.