New to Theodore's adventures? Read from the start.

36. Theodore Bear tells

Theodore Bear smiled and thought for a minute and then he began to tell.  "Yes, that is so, Shelley," he said. "My garden does not have any grass growing in it.  Instead of a lawn I have a patch of small stones and they do look very nice when they have been raked level.  There are no flowers either but I have many different kinds of cactus plants.  A cactus has thick juicy leaves but they also have very, very long, sharp thorns so I have to be careful when I work around them. Some grow quite tall and they have big, beautiful flowers once a year, red ones, yellow ones or white ones.   You see, I live in a desert.  Not a real sandy desert, but it is terribly dry there and it hardly ever rains.  Sometimes for a short while the rain falls ever so hard and then the streets will be flooded so that one should not drive into any water as it may be deep.  That could be dangerous as the car might be swept away. Then the water dries up and it may not rain again for a whole year."   Shelley's eyes got bigger and bigger.  "Oh," she said and frowned.  "can trees grow there for the birds to live in?"

35. After Lunch

After lunch was eaten the bears were feeling lazy and Hernando Bear was the first one to lie back on the grass.  "Ah, this is relaxing," he said,  "maybe we can spend some time here."  "Yes, let us do that," they all agreed and one by one they also made themselves comfortable.  Ferdinand Bear made sure that he did not crease his smart blue tie and Theodore put his backpack under his head like a pillow.  Merlena turned onto her side and rested her head on her paw.  Shelley stretched out on her tummy so she could watch the bears all the time and then she asked the first question.  "Theodore, where do you live?  You said it is very dry there and the grass does not grow to make a thick lawn.  Please tell me what your garden looks like without grass. I have lots of green grass to play on and the big tree in our garden has a tree house for me in it".

34. At the Riverside

It was quiet and peaceful sitting under the tree on the river bank.  Birds were perched on the low branches looking to see if there would be any crumbs for them to pick up and they were singing loudly so everyone would remember that they were there.  "Tweet, tweeee! Don't forget meeee!" they sang.  Now and then a yacht came sailing by and both Theodore and Ferdinand were fascinated.  They watched  carefully as the yacht tilted to one side and then to the other and they both said they did not think they would like to sail in such a small boat.  Soon all the plates were empty.  "Look there are just five strawberries left," said Hernando Bear, "That is one each." and he passed them around.  Shelley helped Theodore to put the plates together and pack them all back into his backpack.  She folded the red spotted handkerchief and placed it neatly on top of the plates.  "Thank you, Shelley," said Theodore, "My backpack will not be nearly as heavy now as it was when we came."

33. Lunchtime!

Theodore had arranged all the food on his red spotted handkerchief and now lunch was ready to be eaten.  There were little sandwiches with lovely fillings, a selection of juicy fruits and little cup cakes with icing and a cherry on top and everyone put a little of each on their plate.  "Now don't be shy, Shelley, please make sure you also have plenty to eat," said Merlena and she gave her an extra cup cake with pink icing.  "Oh, thank you, Merlena.  Thank you, thank you for inviting me to come with you today," said Shelley and gave one of her lovely smiles.  Hernando Bear opened the bottle of  honey tea and filled each mug.   "Let us say "Happy day to you" and have a sip of our tea," he said and they all held up their mugs and cheered together.  The weather was perfect, the food looked delicious and they were enjoying each others' company.  It was indeed a happy day.

32. Unpacking the Backpack


Hernando Bear had walked on ahead and found a lovely shady spot under a big tree.  "I think this would be a good place to have our lunch.  All those who think so too say 'Yes'" and a chorus of voices called out their agreement.  Quickly the four bears and Shelley sat down in a circle on the grass.  Theodore Bear took his backpack off of his back and placed it in front of him.  He opened it and carefully took out his red spotted handkerchief, spreading it neatly on the grass like a tablecloth. He took out some little plates and mugs and passed them to Ferdinand Bear to hand out to the others.  "What a good thing we brought one extra," Ferdinand said, "now we have one for Shelley too."  Then Theodore began to unpack all the delicious food Merlena Bear had put in for lunch. Soon  there was hardly any room left on the handkie and everyone was feeling very hungry.

31. The Path to the River

"It is not far to the river from here", Merlena Bear told the other bears, still holding Shelley's hand in her paw. "We can leave the mall at the far side through Exit 7, walk through the Mayor's Arcade and then down the stairs to the lawns."  "Do you often come here?" asked Shelley.  "Oh no," answered Merlena, "Today is a very special occasion because all my visitors are here with me."  Theodore Bear stopped on the top step to look at the scenery in front of them.  "That is beautiful," he said,  "I think we will have a wonderful time here" and quickly ran down onto the thick, green grass.  He could not resist giving a few little jumps to feel his feet sink into the lawn.  "What fun," he said,  "The grass does not grow like this where I come from as it is too dry there.  I will enjoy sitting here for a while"   "Yes, we will too," agreed the others.

30. Shelley and the Bears

Merlena Bear was still holding Shelley's hand in her paw and they quickly walked across to arrange with Shelley's Mummy where they would meet again later in the afternoon before setting off together.  Shelley skipped and danced as she went along with the bears, holding their paws and asking ever so many questions.  She wanted to know where they all lived and if they had enjoyed their visit to the city.  She asked if they had been to the top of the tallest building yet and told them all about where she went to school.  "Today is a holiday for us," she said, "imagine if I was in school today, then I would not have been here to go with you to the river for lunch." and for a moment she looked very serious.  Then she laughed and sang happily, "No school today for little me, I'm going with my friends for tea," and she skipped for joy again.

29. A Very Special Invitation

Merlena Bear was right.  The other bears were indeed pleased to meet Shelley and they all smiled broadly.  In turn they each held out a paw and shook Shelley's hand.  Then they all almost spoke at once to thank Shelley for coming to say hello to them.  "We are having such a lovely time looking at all the shops and sights of the city but now we are starting to feel hungry and thought we would go down to the river bank for a picnic lunch," said Ferdinand Bear.  "Yes, we have lots of delicious left overs from Merlena's birthday party last night.  Look at my backpack.  I took all my spare bows out and packed it full of food so that it is quite round,"  said Theodore Bear.  "Will you come and join us?" invited Hernando Bear and bowed politely to Shelley.  "Ooo, I would love to do that," Shelley replied excitedly, dancing from one foot to the other in glee, and she looked across at Mummy who was smiling and nodding her head.  Yes, she could go with the bears today.

28. Meeting the Bears

Merlena Bear was intrigued with this friendly little girl with the lovely smile and wondered who she was.  Michelle said her name and added, "But everyone calls me Shelley for short and I like that name too."   Merlena held Shelley's hand in her paw now and replied, "That is a lovely name and I will also call you Shelley."  They looked at the pretty things in the window together and then  walked over to where the others were standing  "Come and meet the other Bears. They will be so pleased to meet you, Shelley," said Merlena.  Shelley was almost a bit shy to meet so many bears at once but Merlena Bear told her their names.  "I am Merlena, this is my brother, Hernando, this is my cousin, Ferdinand and this is his good friend, Theodore," she said, placing her paw on each bear's shoulder as she introduced them.

27. A Surprise


Merlena Bear had stopped to look at a shop window full of beautiful hair clips, brightly colored ribbons and brushes. There were pink ones and blue ones and others looked as if they were made of pearl. "If it is alright with you, the three of us will look at the travel goods in that window over there," said Hernando Bear and they walked on a few steps to look at the selection of rucksacks, suitcases and kit bags. "Travelers need such things," said Theodore Bear thoughtfully.  Suddenly Merlena was surprised to feel a hand slip under her arm and gently catch hold of her paw.  She turned her head to see who it was.  Standing next to her was a cute little girl with a mop of blonde, curly hair and big blue eyes.  She smiled and said, "Hello, Miss Bear.  My Mummy said she did not think you would mind if I came to talk to you." and she waved at a lady wearing a blue dress.  Merlena smiled and waved at the lady too. "Why, hello, Little Miss.  How kind of you to come and greet me. What is your name?" she said.

26. So much to see


Merlena Bear knew her way around in the city so she took the lead.  She said, "Today we will do something different and we will catch the tram to the city center."   Theodore Bear had never seen a tram before and was fascinated by the coach that ran on rails and swept quietly up to the appointed stopping place. Once all the passengers were on board it left just as quietly.  "This is the business hub of our city" Merlena said and Theodore hardly knew what to look at first as they went along.  There were very tall buildings with rows and rows of windows, large shopping malls with bright lights flashing and trees and flowers everywhere.  They all got off the tram at the biggest shopping center and walked around looking at all the shops.  There were so many people rushing by and they hardly even noticed the four bears ambling along.  But someone did and stopped to chat.

25. Out on the town

The sun was streaming in the windows and all the bears were waking up.  Theodore Bear could hear the traffic rushing along the road and remembered that he was in the big city.  He jumped up from the sofa and looked out of the window.  "Goodness," he said to himself, "it is very busy out there." After breakfast Merlena Bear suggested that they all go out together, take a walk through the city and look at all the lovely things in the many shop windows before going down to the river bank with a picnic lunch.  "Excellent idea," said Hernando Bear,  "I have not had time yet to see any of the goods here and I can get some ideas what to take back to Europe as souveniers."  Theodore decided to wear his orange bow and was so surprised to see that Hernando was also wearing the same color orange bow when they were ready to leave.  "We could nearly be twins," he said to Hernando and they laughed together as they all walked out the house and pulled the door shut.

24. All Good Things come to an End

Just before midnight when the day would close on Merlena Bear's birthday, Hernando Bear called, "Last  song" and everyone linked arms and sang "Auld Lang Syne" to end the evening.  Merlena clapped and bowed. "A very big Thank You to you all for coming and being here to celebrate my birthday with me.  I have  enjoyed it so much," she said.  The guests thanked Merlena for a lovely party and one by one they left.  Ferdinand and Theodore helped Merlena and Hernando take down the streamers and tidy up.  They pushed the furniture back into the correct places and soon all the work was done.  "Many hands make light work," said Ferdinand wisely.  Now it was bedtime.  Merlena put a pillow and a blanket on the big sofa for Theodore and soon the house was in darkness and they were all sound asleep after such an exciting day.

Theodore's Travels © 2010

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