When Teddy Cried
By Veena Adige
Shivani’s fourth birthday was grand. All her friends, relatives and neighbours came. They had games, a lovely cake and plenty of gifts. Ishani had chosen lovely return gifts as she knew that everyone would get her presents for her birthday.
That night after the party, when she opened her presents, she was delighted with the games and toys. But when her eyes fell on a lovely golden and white teddy bear which was soft and cuddly, she fell in love with him. She loved his beautiful eyes and his smile and hugged and hugged him, forgetting all the other gifts.
From that moment, Bunny, as she called him, became inseparable from her. Shivani took him to bed and slept hugging him. She brought him to the dining table, to the living room and even to the washroom. She made him sit in a corner as she had her shower and spoke continuously to him.
If Mummy asked her a question, Shivani would turn to Bunny, ‘discuss’ with him and answer. If Daddy gave her something, she wanted him to give the same to Bunny also. And every sentence began with ‘Bunny says..’ or ‘Bunny wants…’
Shivani played with Bunny, talked to him and laughed with him. When her parents took her to visit relatives Bunny went with them and sat with her throughout the visit. When they went on a picnic, Bunny went hand in hand with Shivani.
The vacations were coming to an end and school was reopening. Shivani’s school did not allow toys to be brought when the children attended class. Shivani’s mother told her to leave Bunny back at home when she went to school but Shivani would not listen.
‘Mummy, Bunny will be miserable and cry if I don’t take him with me,’ she declared and hugged him tightly.
In school, her teacher told her to leave Bunny outside but she cried and made such a scene that the teacher allowed her to keep him only on that day and told her not to bring him to school the next day.
Shivani’s parents were in a fix. How could they convince Shivani? Her teacher had sent a note that Bunny was not allowed in school.
The next morning when Shivani picked up Bunny to take him to school, she noticed that his face was moist and that there were red streaks near his eyes.
‘Mummy,’ she screamed, ‘something has happened to Bunny.’
Mummy and Daddy came running.
‘Oh, dear,’ said her Mummy, ‘It looks as if Bunny is unhappy and crying,’
‘Why, Mummy?’ asked Shivani.
Mummy went close to Bunny, bent her head towards him and ‘spoke’ to him.
‘Shivani, dear, Bunny has told me why he is crying. He says that all your classmates pulled him and held him, pinched him and made fun of him yesterday. Is it true? And he says your teacher told him not to come to school with you.’
Shivani thought over, yes, her classmates had pulled him and pushed him and she had yelled at all of them. Bunty, the naughtiest boy had even hit and pinched him. He must have been hurt. And that’s why he was crying.
‘Oh Bunny, I am so sorry that you were hurt yesterday. All the children wanted to hold you and they must have given you pain. You remain home with Mummy and I will meet you when I come home. Be a good boy and don’t trouble Mummy,’ she said and went to school after giving him a hug and kissing him a lot.
Mummy and Daddy exchanged smiles and heaved a sigh of relief. A few red pencil marks had done the trick which no scolding, cajoling or threatening had done. Now they knew that at last Bunny would remain home when Shivani went to school.- Total nr. of readings: 371 Copyright © The author  All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.
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