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

186. Packing for the Next Journey


Theodore Bear said Good-night to Cassandra and Jeffrey and George and soon all was quiet in the house.   He got out his backpack and opened it.  "It has been such an exciting day but I think I had better pack up tonight to be ready to leave after breakfast in the morning," Theodore thought to himself and picked up the honey bottle.  "Dear me, this is nearly empty, there is only a sip or two left," he sighed, "and somehow my bows are starting to look a bit creased after being carried around in my backpack for such a long time. Oh no, my blue one is fraying and coming loose. I had not noticed that before."  Theodore tried to spread his bows out nice and straight on a cushion for the night and then placed his brush and the red spotted handkerchief next to the backpack.  "I will wear my green bow like I always do for travelling," and Theodore smiled at the thought.  He hung his walking cane on the arm of the chair.  "There that is all ready.  Now for a good sleep," and Theodore settled down for the night.

Theodore Remembers

Theodore Bear put out the light and made himself comfortable.  He could see the big golden full moon shining through the window and then closed his eyes.  But he just could not fall asleep.  He turned over.  "Today was so exciting," he mused and began to think about the lake and the big ship.  Then he thought about Jenny Bear and Miss Festival Bear and the concert and the fireworks.  "That was so enjoyable,” he remembered and was still wide awake.  Earth Bear and the beautiful Mountain Park and Daisy Bear, Oscar Bear and Timmy and the sandcastle and the four bears, Frederick Bear and that wonderful drumming evening, Duty Bear at the big airport, Benjamin and Barbara Bear's little guesthouse, Ferdinand  Bear, Hernando Bear and Merlena Bear's happy birthday party. . .  One by one all these lovely memories flooded through Theodore's mind and he re-lived the amazing travels and experiences he had had and all that he had seen and learnt.  "What good friends I have. I would so like to see them all again soon," and he sighed a deep contented sigh and slowly drifted off to sleep.

Theodore's makes up his Mind

The next morning Theodore was awake early.  He jumped up and rushed over to his backpack.   He took out his Super Special Concession air ticket and looked at it carefully.  "Yes, it is still valid for one more flight," he said to himself, "and the idea I had in the night is the right one.  The clever people say you should sleep on an idea and that is what I did.  I will tell Cassandra and George and Jeffrey about it at breakfast and I am sure they will like my new plan."  Theodore quickly brushed his fur before arranging the brush and the red spotted handkerchief next to each other in his backpack. "Hmmm, these look a little straighter today," he said as he picked up his bows from the cushion and placed them all gently on top.  He fastened the buckles carefully and then tied the green bow neatly around his neck.  He heard that the other bears were up too and it was time to join them  around the table under the big tree again.  "Good morning, Everybody," Theodore greeted and smiled broadly.

Theodore's New Plan

"Good morning, Theodore," the bears replied and Cassandra said,  "Please, help yourselves to fruit and nuts and juice.  There is also raspberry tea if anyone would prefer that."  Breakfast was a happy occasion and soon Cassandra asked the question on everyone's mind.  "Theodore, we are seeing you off at the airport today but you still have not told us where you are going.  You have such a cheerful twinkle in your eye this morning – what are you planning?"  Theodore smiled again and began, "You will be very surprised to hear where I am going.  I have a new plan and from here I am heading home!  Yes, indeed, I am going back to my little house in the desert, but not for long.  I have a special plan and I will tell you about it now."  "Well, we are surprised," all three bears said almost together, "we thought you would be travelling for a long time still and visiting all the exotic places in the world.  What is your plan?  Please tell us."

Till we get Together again

"Last night I almost felt homesick!" Theodore Bear said with a sheepish smile. "I was thinking about all the wonderful Bear Friends that I  met at Merlena Bear's party and then spent lovely times with along the way while travelling and I would so like to see them all again.  It will be my birthday soon so I thought I would go home for a while and invite everybody to come and celebrate it with me.  Cassandra, Jeffrey and George, you are the first ones to get your invitation and please do come.    There will be a birthday cake and plenty of snacks and we will sing and play games and Frederick Bear and I will show you how we learned to drum together.  I am so excited I can hardly wait.  You will come, won't you?"   "Yes, yes, of course we will come," all three bears shouted together.  "What a marvellous idea, Theodore, we can hardly wait to see everybody again too," they said.  And the bears were so happy that they linked paws and danced around the table together. "A Party, a Party, oh what fun. That's as good as said and done." they sang in deep growly voices and cheered and shook paws. Then it was time to set off for the airport.

184. So Easy?


As they walked along the bears watched some of the small boats moored next to the wooden walkways being prepared for sailing.  They saw the owners put on their life jackets and loosen the ropes before starting the engines and expertly guiding their crafts between the others.  "It all looked so easy," commented George Bear.  "Yes," said Cassandra with a smile, "when you know how.    Today is lovely weather and smooth sailing but it can be a bit choppy when the wind blows. When a gale is expected the harbor is closed to traffic as it could be dangerous."  Theodore shook his head.  "I still don't think I would like to be in such a small boat," he said and the others laughed but agreed with him.  "No," said Jeffrey and Cassandra, "we would rather be on firm ground." They walked on, went out through the turnstile and headed homewards. 

Tomorrow's Plan

That evening after supper Theodore was very thoughtful for a while then he said, "Cassandra, I have really enjoyed spending time with you here.  Thank you so much for everything and especially for taking me on the cruise today.  That was a lovely trip but tomorrow I must be on the move again.  I still have my Super Special Concession Ticket so would like to go to the airport and catch a plane.  George and Jeffrey, it was good to see you too and I hope you will still have many fine opportunities to attend special events with your suits and flags."  "It was wonderful to have you here, Theodore," said Cassandra and George and Jeffrey nodded in agreement, "and I hope you will visit me again one day. We will come with to the airport tomorrow to see you off. For now we need to catch up on some sleep and maybe dream of faraway places.  All this talk of traveling gives me itchy feet to go too."

183. The Captain's Advice


George and Jeffrey Bear waved their little flags excitedly and said, "Yes, this is our first cruise and we are having a great time."   Theodore nodded and Cassandra explained that she had sailed on the lake before.  "Do you all live here?  I hope you will join us on another cruise," the Captain said.  "I live here," replied Cassandra, "but my friends are just visiting.  Theodore has been traveling for a while already."  Theodore smiled broadly and told the Captain some of the interesting things he had seen and done since he started out. "It has been a wonderful experience," he said, "I have enjoyed every day and wish everyone could travel to see new places."  For a moment the Captain looked thoughtful.  "Once I was Captain of a ship that took cargo all over the world so I have travelled too.  It was indeed wonderful, so keep going, Theodore."  The bears shook paws with the Captain again and thanked him for the visit.  "Bon Voyage," he said, "till next time."

A View from the Top 

By now the ship was already on the way back to the harbor and Theodore could see the entrance in the distance.  "Now we know a little more about how the ship sails safely in and out of the harbor," he said and stood close to the window to watch.  "I would like to stand at the front of the open deck to get a really good view," he said later.  "Good idea," agreed the other bears and they hurried up the stairs.  The ship slowed down, sailed slowly into the harbor and edged its way to the mooring place.  The thick ropes were once again fastened to the bollards on the quayside and the crane lifted the gangplank securely. It was time to disembark and the bears felt quite sad that all the excitement of the cruise was over.  They walked along with the crowd but stepped back to have a last look at the ship.  "Oh, take note," said Theodore and laughed, "look at the ship's name. Joybelle!"  "How fitting," said George.  And it was. 

182. The Man in the Uniform


Theodore Bear was sitting at the window sipping juice and watching the other ships and boats out on the lake.  Through the window on the other side of the deck he could still see the skyline of the city.  "Cassandra, this is a super surprise and I had no idea that a cruise is so much fun.  I hope you are all enjoying it as much as I am."  George and Jeffrey agreed with Theodore and Cassandra looked pleased. "If you are ready now we can go to meet the Captain. That is a real honor to be invited to the bridge.  I have never been there either so today brings a surprise for me too," she said and waved her paw to the waiter. He led the way up stairs right to the top of the ship and stopped outside a door with a shiny sign saying CAPTAIN.  He knocked gently and when the door opened, there stood a man in a smart uniform.  He smiled and said, "Ah, my Very Important Passengers. Welcome on board.  Come inside" and he shook paws with each bear, asking their names.

The Captain on the Bridge

"My name is Cassandra and this is Theodore, George and Jeffrey," she said placing a paw on each bear's shoulder as she introduced them, "thank you, Mr Captain, for inviting us and showing us around."  Theodore could hardly believe his eyes.  "This is not the type of bridge I was expecting to see," he thought to himself, "just look at all the screens and dials and phones and what a wonderful view from these big windows that look over the front of the ship so the Captain can see all the other ships on the water."  The Captain laughed and said, "Theodore, your eyes are almost getting bigger and bigger looking at all this equipment that we use to navigate.  It seems very complicated but it is not really," and he explained some things to his guests. "Just enjoy the view from up here and stay as long as you like.  Is this your first cruise?"  

181. Theodore's Voyage


Theodore smiled to himself.  "My first voyage," he said to Cassandra and they laughed together.  He looked at all the other boats again and took note of the tall pillar with the flashing light on top at the end of the harbor wall.  The ship began to pick up speed and he watched as it slipped through the harbor entrance to sail out onto the lake.  He could feel the cool breeze blowing gently past his face and saw a fish jump up out of the  water to catch a dragon fly.  George Bear said he would like to walk around to to see the little waves spread out on the sides and behind the ship and they all went with him.  They had a lovely view of the city with the tall skyscrapers, the bridges, the trees and the big ocean-going ships in the main harbor where the powerful cranes were turning back and forth as they unloaded the cargo.  "This is wonderful," said Theodore, "and one hardly feels that you are moving when the ship is sailing so smoothly."

The Invitation

After a while Cassandra said, "Would you mind if we went downstairs now to the closed deck? I am feeling a bit chilly.  We can have our fruit juice there too."  Here the groups of four chairs were set around tables at the windows. They found good seats and soon a waiter came.  Cassandra took out the tickets with VIP written on them and the waiter smiled.  "Why, hello," he said, "hmm, Very Important Passengers. Yes, we do not have bears on board every day," and he named all the various juices they could choose from.  "I can hardly make up my mind," said Jeffrey but decided on a  ripe blackberry juice. The waiter brought tall glasses of juice and then he said, "The Captain heard that you are on board and he would like you to come up to the bridge to meet him."  "Oh, that would  be wonderful," said Cassandra, "my surprise is going to be even more special. Will you please show us the way afterwards?"  "Certainly, Ma'am," replied the waiter, "wave to me when you are ready."

180. VIP again!


"Wow!" said Theodore as they approached the cruise ship. "That is big and tall with all those decks," said Jeffrey Bear, "this is going to be fun."  Theodore looked up at the ship and watched the passengers walking up the sloping steps to go on board.  Cassandra handed the tickets to the man at the bottom of the steps and he smiled broadly.  "Welcome, welcome," he said, "what an occasion to have four bears going on a cruise on this ship."  He reached into his pocket and took out a thick pen.  VIP he wrote across each ticket before he handed them back to Cassandra.  "This will get you a glass of fruit juice of your choice. Enjoy yourselves. Walk carefully on the gangplank."  Cassandra thanked the man before they went on board, stopping at the top of the steps to see all the activity on the quayside and look out over the harbor.   They looked at the thick ropes holding the ship  close to the wall and then turned to go inside.  "Wow!" said Theodore again, "just look at that."

Sailing away

Cassandra Bear smiled at Theodore's surprised expression when they stepped through the big door and entered the ship.  "Yes, it is lovely," she said, "and this is just a small cruise ship really as it only does short trips out onto the lake and back again. Those that go on the ocean are much bigger and there are cabins where one can sleep.  I suggest we go up onto the top deck now as it is open and we will be able to see the preparations for sailing.  Follow me."  They went up the flights of stairs to the top deck and found a good spot.   George and Jeffrey waved their little flags to the people on the quay and they waved back.  Theodore watched carefully when the tall crane lifted the gangplank and placed it on the quayside and then the ropes were loosened.  The ship blew a blast on the horn and slowly began to move out into the harbor.  They were  going sailing on the lake!

179. Cassandra's Treat


The next morning at breakfast Cassandra Bear at last asked the question all the other bears were waiting for.  "Now, did any of you figure out what my surprise is?" she asked with a smile.  George Bear was the only one who thought he knew.  "We are going fishing?" he guessed.  "Wrong," laughed Cassandra, "I think I will have to tell you.  We are going on a cruise.  I was given four tickets and this is a wonderful opportunity to use them when I can take you with.  I hope you all enjoy sailing."  George and Jeffrey Bear both nodded but Theodore said nothing.  "Hmmm, what is the matter, Theodore," asked Cassandra, "you look very worried."  "W-w-well, I live in the desert and have never been on a boat before. I hear one gets sea-sick and your face turns green," Theodore answered, "is that so? I would feel very silly with a green face"  The other bears could not help smiling and Cassandra explained, "No, Theodore, you really do not have to be worried. The water in the lake is very calm and the boat sails along ever so smoothly.  You will enjoy the cruise.  I know you will."

Theodore and the Boats

The bears were soon walking along on their way to the lake.  It was a perfect morning and the sun shone from a clear blue sky. They went through the turnstile at the entrance to the harbor and followed the crowd towards the quayside. Theodore wanted to look at everything at once.  He saw the steps leading down to the wooden walkways where all the small boats were moored one next to the other.  Some were very small boats and he was glad they would not be going out in one of those.   In between were some yachts with their sails neatly wrapped up and their tall masts seemed to reach the sky.  Theodore remembered the yachts he had seen on the river once and thought he would rather not go on a boat that tips from side to side even if it did look steady now.  He had to walk a little faster to catch up with the others and then Cassandra pointed to the big cruise ship at the end of the pier opposite.  "“We must go over there," she said, "that is the ship we will be sailing on." 

178. Taking it Easy


The next morning was sunny and warm and Cassandra had breakfast ready under a big tree in the back garden.  The bears enjoyed sitting there and it was quite late until they left to go down to the lake.  First they ambled along the path on the river bank and sat down on a bench to watch the boats sailing by.  "These look different to the ships we had to judge at the model club," said Jeffrey Bear, "I would feel a lot safer on these bigger ones."  They could see some of the long bridges across the river with all the traffic rushing across them.  "It is so busy out there," said Theodore with a sigh, "I am glad I do not have to rush so much."  After a while they walked on again and went down to the lake.   Theodore was surprised to see how big it was.  "This is like the sea," he said, "there one can also not see across to the other side."  "Yes, the lake is big," Cassandra told them, "but it freezes in winter when it is very cold.  Hard to believe when you look at it now."

The Lake

Theodore said he would like to sit down and watch all the boat traffic on the lake and they soon found a bench in a shady spot.  There were cruise ships with people lining the decks and small motor boats with just one or two people on board speeding along.  "It almost looks as if they are flying over the top of the water," George Bear said in surprise, "the front of the boat is up in the air."  Big cargo boats with boxes and containers came by and there was even a car or two securely fastened on some of them.  "They are going to the big harbour further along," said Cassandra, "only the cruise ships and smaller boats may dock here." The day passed so quickly and it was time for  the bears to slowly make their way home before it got dark. At supper Cassandra said mysteriously, "I have a surprise lined up for you tomorrow but first you will have to think what it could be."

177. The Actor!


George Bear was laughing so much that he could hardly talk.  Jeffrey Bear wanted to tell too but George held up his paw.  "Ha, ha, no, no, let me carry on," he said taking a deep breath. "A group of history lovers asked us to come to their meeting as they were putting on a play.  We thought we were going to be part of the audience but when we got there we found out we would be some of the actors."  He looked across at Jeffrey Bear who had suddenly got very quiet.  "Imagine," George went on, "they dressed Jeffrey up in knickerbocker pants, a velvet jacket, big boots and an enormous hat with a long fluffy feather in it.  Ha, ha, you should have seen him," and he laughed all over again.  "But I must tell you that Jeffrey was a very good actor in his part and everybody stood up and clapped the longest for him when it was over."  Theodore and Cassandra laughed too.  "Well done, Jeffrey, stardom next for you," they said.  "Thank you," said Jeffrey and he pretended to bow.

Theodore was Right

"Seriously though," said Jeffrey Bear after George had finished telling about all they had done, "we have had a lovely time and also traveled a lot to the different places to accept the invitations.  Our national suits have always been admired and the little flags that we carry with us have attracted a lot of attention.  We know now why you said it is wonderful to travel and see new places, Theodore, we have experienced that ourselves."  Cassandra suggested a cup of mulberry tea and everyone thought that would be a good idea.  While they drank their tea Cassandra told them of the plan for the next day.  "I do not think you have had a chance to see the waterfront yet and that would be something different.  The lake is beautiful and we will be able to walk along the water's edge or look at the interesting little shops on the boardwalk.  I have not been there for a while either so we can explore together."  "Yes, let's do that," they all agreed and before long they were all asleep.

176. Mascots!


Jeffrey Bear looked at Cassandra and laughed, "We will still be sitting here tomorrow then!  As you know we always wear these national suits and people seem to like them. They invite us to visit them  on their special days and we always try and go.  We have marched in parades, stood in a guard of honor and been to important ceremonies.  But we have also done some fun things."  George Bear got so excited when Jeffrey mentioned the fun that he took over.  "Yes we have," he said and sat forward in his chair. "A football team asked us to come and be their mascots when they played a match against a visiting team.  Every time they scored a goal someone lifted us up onto their shoulders and the supporters cheered much louder than before.  I think they liked us a lot." And George Bear looked so proud of himself.  "I hoped they would not drop us in all the celebration," said Jeffrey, "we were pretty high up on those shoulders."

The Fun

George Bear was enjoying himself telling about all the interesting things he and Jeffrey Bear had done.  "A teacher invited us to come to her history class. 'Bring your little flags too, please,' she said.  The children say history is so boring and she wanted us to take the lesson to make it more interesting.  We had to learn history too so we knew all the answers but the children said it was the best lesson they ever had.  That made it all worthwhile."  Jeffrey remembered another day when they were asked to visit a model ship club. "They built old ships like used to sail around our coast many, many years ago," he told, "and we had to choose which model was the best. That was very difficult as they were all beautiful.  We learned a lot about ships that day." Then GeorgeBear nearly got the giggles.  "Ha, ha, haaaa," he laughed, "wait till you hear about this one."  

175. Surprise! Surprise!

Cassandra Bear grinned as she watched the surprised look on Theodore's face when he saw who was peeping around the door.  The visitors came in smiling broadly at their part in the fun and Theodore  said, "Well, I  just don't believe it!  What ever are you two doing here?"  He strode across the sitting room and the two visitors did the same.  They met in the middle of the floor and shook paws all round.  "Hello George Bear and hello, Jeffrey Bear, how nice to see you again and you are both still looking so smart in your suits," Theodore greeted them and they said the same.  "Cassandra was so cagey about telling me who her guests were," laughed Theodore, "and I did not have the faintest idea who they could be."  "Well, now you know," chuckled Cassandra and looked very pleased with herself, "I will fetch some snacks for supper and then George and Jeffrey can tell us their news now that they are a bit more awake after a nap." 

The Hungry Bears

In a short while Cassandra Bear came in with a tray full of bowls piled high with all sorts of delicious looking snacks and placed them on the table.  She handed each one a plate. "Now, please help yourselves to as much as you can eat and I do not have any scales to check your weight afterwards," she teased.  The bears were hungry after the day's travelling and did not chat much during supper but then George Bear said, "We were not nearly as surprised to see you as you were to see us, Theodore.  You see, we cheated a little bit and heard your voice before we opened the door," and he laughed at their clever move, "but it is wonderful that we can have a mini- reunion here today."  Everyone nodded in agreement. Theodore asked what George and Jeffrey had done  since they met at Merlena Bear's party.  "Oh, all sorts of things," said Jeffrey, "George and I have had a marvelous time."  "Tell us all about it please, start at the beginning," begged Cassandra and curled up comfortably in her chair as she did earlier. 

174. A Reunion


A shriek of delight seemed to come out of the wall and almost at once the door opened with Cassandra Bear standing there smiling happily and looking as smart as ever. "Hello, Theodore Bear," she said, "I am so pleased you have come to visit me.  Welcome!  Step inside and we will have a wonderful reunion as I have two more visitors as well.  They have also just arrived and are having a little nap after their long journey.  But you know them too. Put your things down while I  fetch some fruit juice and then you must tell me how you got here and where all you have been."  Theodore sat down on the sofa and admired Cassandra's lovely sitting room. Soon she came in with two tall glasses of juice and a bowl of berries on a silver tray and placed it all on a little table between the sofa and the big chair where she sat down. "I often wondered if you were still traveling, Theodore," Cassandra said, "I was beginning to think you had changed your mind and gone home."

Theodore's Story

Theodore told Cassandra Bear in detail where he had been and everything he had seen. "Every minute of it has been worthwhile," he said, "I have been so pleased to see all the friends I made at Merlena Bear's party and also met some wonderful folk along the way.  One sees so many new things when you travel and I can really recommend it to everybody."  Cassandra listened attentively to all that Theodore had to tell and she had curled herself up comfortably in her big chair.  "Hmm," she said dreamily when Theodore had finished, "just maybe I will travel too one day.  It sounds like a lot of fun."  The door at the far end of the sitting room opened slowly and Theodore wondered who was wanting to come in.  Two heads each with a big smile appeared around the door and Theodore could hardly believe his eyes.  He stood up to greet Cassandra's other visitors.    

173. The Helpful Driver


Theodore Bear got off the bus and looked around to see if there was a map of the city on display but this time there was none.  He could not see an Information Office anywhere either and for a moment he felt a little worried.  Just then a car pulled up next to him and the driver leaned out of the window.  "This is the first time I have seen you here, Mr Bear, where are you wanting to go?" he said.  Theodore read the sign on the car's roof. TAXI it said in big red letters. "I am going to visit my friend who lives at Number 289 Prima Via," Theodore answered him, "but I really do not know how to get there.  Do you?"  The taxi driver smiled, "Sure, I know how to get there.  I know nearly every street in the city.  This is the first time I will be giving a real bear a ride in my taxi and I won't charge you at all."  "Thank you, Sir, that is very kind of you," said Theodore and, feeling very relieved, he climbed into the taxi, putting his back pack and cane on the seat next to him.

Prima Via

Theodore was amazed at how easily the taxi driver edged his car through the heavy traffic and found his way to Prima Via.  He stopped outside Number 289.  "Here you are, Mr Bear, all safe and sound.  Have a lovely time while in our city."  "Thank you very much, Mr Taxi Man," said Theodore and offered his paw to shake the driver's hand before he got out.  The taxi drove away with a wave and a toot on his horn.  Theodore put his back pack on his back again and swung his cane as he opened the gate and walked up the long path to the front door.  "Cassandra has a lovely garden here," Theodore thought and then he knocked on the door.  A voice spoke next to Theodore and he looked around but saw nobody. "Where did that come from?" he wondered.  "Hello, who is there?"  The voice came again and then Theodore realised he needed to speak into the microphone hidden in the wall.  "It is me, Theodore Bear from the desert," he said.

172. The Big River


Theodore chose a window seat like he always did but this time he could not see too well as it was raining and the water ran down the glass in little streams.  "It is a good thing the countryside is so flat here otherwise I would not be able to see any mountains in the distance," Theodore thought and he almost nodded off to sleep.  Then he realised that it was no longer raining and there were some patches of blue sky to be seen.  The bus turned off the highway and entered a city.  Theodore could see the skyscrapers first and later he saw a wide river with a tall steel bridge ahead. "Wow! That is a big river and look at all those long barges and boats sailing on it," he said to himself, "that is about the biggest river I have seen so far," and the next minute the bus went onto the bridge with the  girders of the steel structure flashing by the window as it traveled.

Flat Country

The driver stopped the bus at a terminus in the city centre for a short while and soon continued the journey.  Theodore noted the many fountains and green open spaces and tree-lined avenues.  "This is a very pretty place," he decided, "it must be pleasant to live here and I am rather sorry to be just passing by."  The farming areas they drove through afterwards were also flat and Theodore missed the excitement of watching mountains and forests from the window. After some time the bus stopped in another big city with broad streets and numerous parks to pick up more passengers. And then it was back to driving through flat scenery.  It was later in the afternoon when the next signs of a city appeared and soon the bus was approaching the main center.  Theodore took the little white envelope out of his back pack and read the name and address on the last card.   "Cassandra Bear, 289 Prima Via," he told himself, "I hope I don't get lost trying to find her."  

171. The Next Moves


It had been an exciting day for Miss Festival Bear, Jenny Bear and Theodore and they leaned back in Jenny's comfortable chairs to enjoy a cup of honey tea.  "I have heard more music in the last two days than in my whole life before now," said Theodore, "and it has been marvelous.  I have been able to enjoy a new experience with each friend I have visited on my travels. Thank you so much for your hospitality, Jenny, but now it is time I moved on again.  Tomorrow I would like to catch a bus and I think I need to leave quite early." Jenny Bear was sorry to hear that Theodore was going to leave so soon again but offered to pack some food for the road for him and both she and Miss Festival Bear said they would accompany him to the bus stop.  "I will also have to leave the day after for another festival," said Miss Bear, "poor Jenny, you will be all alone again."


The next morning dawned grey and cloudy but Theodore wore his green bow anyway. "This has been a lucky bow so far and I have always had sunshine for traveling. Everything is packed and ready," he said to himself as he slung his back pack onto his back and picked up his cane.  Jenny and Miss Festival Bear were waiting for him and they walked to the bus stop.  "It looks like rain," said Jenny Bear, "you will not be able to see much in the distance if it does."  "Maybe it will be sunny further north," said Miss Bear hopefully.  The bus was waiting at the terminus and Theodore said Good-bye to his two friends.  "Thank you for a lovely time, Jenny.  Have a safe journey to the next festival, Miss Bear," he said and waved to them from the top step of the bus.  The first fine drops of rain began to fall and they all waved to each other once more before Jenny and Miss Bear hurried over to stand under a roof. 

170. Music and more Music


Theodore and Jenny sat down on one of the benches to listen to the music.  There were so many different musicians each with their own style of playing. The guitar duets sounded good, choir groups sang many popular songs, bands with big amplifiers turned up the volume and the small ensembles playing classical music also had a turn.  After listening for a long time, Jenny Bear suggested that they walk around once more. They heard some music players who were not there earlier and they had unusual instruments. Tiny flutes held with cupped hands, a frame with a row of wooden keys, long tube-shaped drums and a flat board with many strings played with little oval-shaped hammers. Theodore was fascinated and wanted to listen to each one.  When Miss Festival Bear's duties for the day were over the bears walked home.  "There is one more event to attend tonight," said Jenny Bear, "but that is a surprise for you, Theodore. You will have to wait and see."

The Surprise

Theodore Bear puzzled about what the surprise could be and he was told he would have to wait until it got dark to find out.  After supper Jenny Bear brought a board game to keep them busy until it was time to walk back to the Main Street.  "Just come as you are," said Miss Festival Bear as she neatened her sash and made sure her crown was still on straight.  They strolled along with all the others who were heading in the same direction.  The Mayor was there too and he welcomed the people.  Suddenly there was a loud bang and Theodore got quite a fright but then he saw the beautiful shower of rainbow colored streaks in the sky.  "A fireworks display," he breathed with pleasure.  One spectacular burst of color after the other lit up the sky, a bunch of golden rockets, a fountain-shaped play of lights and big balls of millions of stars.  "What a surprise that was," he  told Jenny and Miss Bear afterwards, "thank you for keeping it a secret after all."

169. Guest Artists


At ten o'clock Miss Festival Bear said, "I must leave you two now to enjoy the day. I have to open the Festival but I will need you to please help me. Will you, Jenny Bear and Theodore?"  They both smiled and nodded and wondered what she was planning.  Miss Bear greeted everybody and then asked her two friends to join her to sing the Festival's theme song and together their lovely growly voices charmed all the visitors. "The sun is shining bright for me, O,what a happy day. There's so much here for me to see, it takes my breath away," they sang and then bowed and waved to the crowd when they clapped along with them.  "Sing it again for us," someone shouted and more listeners  took up the call.  The bears joined in the fun and sang once more for them. Meanwhile, the next band set up their instruments behind them and the Music Festival was under way.

Something to try

Miss Festival Bear was kept busy making sure everything was in place for the musicians and Theodore and Jenny Bear walked around and looked at all the stalls and spoke to some of the vendors.  They saw beautiful works of art, clever flower arrangements and elegant jewellery for the ladies. Best of all they liked an exhibition of photographs of famous places all over the world and the lady could tell about them as she had been there herself.  "Traveling is wonderful, try it for yourselves" she said and Theodore agreed whole-heartedly.  A man wearing a tall chef's hat called out, "Try my hotdogs, they are the best in the world! Oh, look, we have Bears visiting us today, here is one for each of you. Free, gratis and for nothing!"  Jenny and Theodore thanked him and Theodore said, "Come on, Everybody, these are delicious. Buy some for you too."

168. More Music for Theodore


After the last notes of music died away and the audience realised that the orchestra had finished their program for the evening Theodore and Jenny Bear filed out of the hall with everyone else. It took a while until Theodore said, " Did you also enjoy that, Jenny Bear?  I thought it was lovely to listen to all those instruments making music together and I am quite sorry it is over now." Jenny Bear smiled at the sorrowful note in Theodore's voice and she said, "Well, don't worry, Theodore, there will be lots more music in town tomorrow and we will go and listen. There will be interesting things on display and Miss Festival Bear will be a special guest again." They waited in the foyer for Miss Bear and soon she came. "The coach will be arriving any minute to take us home," she said. Jenny Bear and Theodore rode along in the coach with Miss Festival Bear and the people walking home waved to them as they passed.  Jenny Bear smiled "I feel like a queen myself," she said.

Going to The Festival  

Theodore wore his red bow again the next morning. "I am feeling festive today," he said to himself, "and I am sure it is going to be an exciting day."  Soon after breakfast Miss Festival Bear suggested they walk over to the Main Street and quickly Theodore and Jenny Bear were also ready to leave.  Theodore was surprised to see that the street was now closed to traffic and there were many more stalls with vendors offering their wares for sale. Each one had arranged their goods tastefully to attract customers.  A large stage had been erected on one side during the night and there were all kinds of sound equipment in place.  A carnival atmosphere was already in the making and a bright program of the day's music was tacked onto a board next to the stage.  "This is going to be fun," Theodore said as he watched more and more people arrive and walk around looking at everything.

167. The Mayor


Theodore thought the Mayor looked very handsome and he noted the thick gold chain carrying a big round medal with what looked like the town's emblem on it. "That must be very heavy and I am sure very expensive to buy too," Theodore was thinking and then the Mayor began his speech. "Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen," he said, "we are honored to have Miss Festival Bear with us tonight and she has brought two special guests with her, Mr Theodore Bear and Miss Jenny Bear.  I wonder if they will please stand up and face the audience so you can all see them." Poor Jenny Bear  blushed shyly but they stood up and Theodore bowed to acknowledge the applause.  The Mayor smiled and continued, "and now I will introduce . . . Miss Festival Bear!  Give her a big hand, Ladies and Gentleman."  Miss Bear stepped up to the microphone.  She greeted the audience, turned  towards the orchestra and said, "Be inspired to play your best music ever tonight.  I love you all."

The Music

The conductor walked onto the podium and after bowing to the audience raised his baton to the orchestra and the first notes of music filled the hall.  Theodore was enthralled with the stirring sound of all the instruments playing together and marvelled at how the musicians played.  The violinists fingers moved deftly and their bows stroked evenly across the strings.  The double bass player had to stand up to play her part and the trumpeters and trombonists gave a special sound to the music while the flute players drew the sweetest tones from their silver pipes.  At the right time the timpanist struck the drums and Theodore just looked from one to the other as he listened. The orchestra played one lovely piece after the other and at the end of the program the audience stood up and applauded for a long time.  The players stood up too and bowed to the audience and then sat down again to play once more.  Theodore wished he could play beautiful music like that too but then he thought about the terrible squeak the violin made when he tried and changed his mind!

166. The Evening


"I suggest we go home now," said Jenny Bear, "there is a concert tonight that Miss Festival Bear  has to attend and she would like to have enough time to get ready.  Theodore, would you like to attend the concert too?"  "That would be lovely," replied Theodore, "I have never been to a real concert before."   Everyone was excited about the concert.  Jenny wore a brand new pink bow and Theodore exchanged his red bow for his fine purple one.  Miss Festival Bear wore her special royal blue sash with her name embroidered in silver letters and the crown on her head sparkled when the light shone on it.  "You ladies look ever so smart tonight," said Theodore smiling and he bowed to each of them playfully.  "We are going to the concert in style," said Miss Bear, "they are sending a splendid horse drawn coach to fetch us. Oh, here they are now."  How important they all felt!

The Concert

As guests of Miss Festival Bear, Jenny and Theodore were shown to seats in the front row of the concert hall.  Miss Bear could not sit with them as she would have to be on the stage with the Mayor for the opening ceremony.  Theodore hardly knew what to look at first.  He saw all the lovely decorations in the hall and all the elegant dresses and chic suits the patrons wore but most of all he watched the musicians in the orchestra.  They looked so smart with their black bow ties as they unpacked their instruments and sat down before beginning to tune them.  He watched the violin players tighten the strings and saw the light reflecting off the shiny brass horns.  At exactly 8 o'clock the Mayor escourted Miss Festival Bear to her seat on the stage and then he  walked across to the microphone to address the audience.

165. Tea with Jenny Bear


Jenny Bear brought the raspberry tea and some delicious nutty cookies and the bears settled down to catch up on each other's news.  Jenny asked Theodore where all he had been since they last met at Merlena Bear's party and he told them all about his travels.  "I have had a lot of fun," he added, "and I have learned many new things.  Please don't ask me what was the best as everything was wonderful."  Miss Festival Bear listened carefully.  "I will be doing some traveling too," she said, "and there are more festivals for me to attend.  Maybe I will also have so much fun."  Jenny Bear looked at the big clock on the wall.  "Theodore," she said, "I hope you will spend some time here with us.  You slept so well on Merlena's sofa and mine is very comfortable too.  We would like to show you around the town and take you with to the Music Festival. You will enjoy it too, I  know."

A Happy Outing

"I must look very smart today," Theodore thought to himself when he woke up the next morning, "I will be going out with two pretty ladies."  He brushed his fur well, put on his fine red bow and looked into the mirror to make sure it was straight.  At breakfast Jenny Bear said, "It is a bit cloudy this morning but it will most likely clear up later on. I think it will be nice to go downtown and see all the preparations for the Music Festival.  This town is not so big and we can just walk from here."  "Good idea," said Theodore and Miss Bear almost together and in a short while they were ready to leave.  They walked along Victoria Lane looking at the lovely old houses, strolled through the park to see the beautiful flower displays and spent time window shopping in the mall.  Theodore was so interested in all the stalls set up and Miss Festival Bear chatted to many of the vendors about their wares.  Flags waved in the gentle breeze and streamers hung between the lampposts.  "This all looks so happy and festive," Theodore commented, "and tomorrow the musicians will be here too?"

164. A short Journey


"All aboard," called the driver and he drove away from the terminus.  Theodore had again chosen a good seat at the window and he settled back to look at the scenery along the way. Once out of the town on the highway he could enjoy the wide open spaces of the farmers' fields.  He also saw the herds of cattle and flocks of sheep but most of all he liked to see the beautiful horses grazing in the meadows. "It is a pity that the road does not take the bus through all the little towns so I could see them too," Theodore said to himself, "but it means I will soon be getting off again."  He lifted his back pack and cane down from the luggage rack and took out the little envelope of addresses.  He found the one he wanted and read the name on it.  "'Jenny Bear,  Cottage Number 47, Victoria Lane, ( just off Main Street).'  That will be easy to find," he thought as the driver turned off the highway and entered the town, stopping at the Town Hall. Theodore said good-bye and got off.

Cottage Number 47

Theodore Bear looked at the map of the town on the big board at the bus stop and then he knew exactly how to find Jenny Bear's cottage.  He walked along the Main Street, turned left into Victoria Lane and soon found himself at Cottage Number 47.  He opened the little wooden gate and stepped up to the front door.  Knock, knock, he tapped and waited.  The door opened a little way and Jenny Bear peeped around it to see who was there.  "Theodore Bear," she said and a big smile spread across her face as she opened the door wide, "I am pleased to see you.  Come in and have some tea.  I am sure you must be thirsty after traveling."  Jenny Bear led the way into her living room and then said, "Theodore, I would like you to meet my friend who is here for a few days.  This is Miss Festival Bear.  She will be the guest of honor at the Music Festival tomorrow and that is why she is wearing this lovely wide sash and a crown on her head."  Theodore held out his paw and bowed politely, "Pleased to meet you, Miss Bear," he said.

163. Preparing for Tomorrow


Theodore Bear decided to pack his back pack before he went to bed so it would be ready in the morning.   He took off his yellow bow and said to himself, "I have not worn this orange one for a while so I will put it on tomorrow.  I will not be going on a long trip this time and will save my green bow for another day."  He brushed his fur before putting the brush away and made sure the honey bottle was standing upright.  He folded the red spotted handkerchief again and then laid all his bows in neatly with the little white envelope of addresses on top. "There, all done," he thought as he fastened up the buckles and stood his walking cane beside the back pack.  Soon the little cabin was in darkness and Theodore lay listening to some of the night sounds outside before he drifted off into a deep and peaceful sleep.

Good-bye Earth Bear

Earth Bear and Theodore were up early the next morning and Theodore looked very smart wearing his orange bow.  Earth Bear walked over to the bus stop with him and they did not have long to wait until the bus arrived. "Good-bye, Earth Bear and thank you," said Theodore, "take care along the fence today."  "I will," said Earth Bear, "have a safe trip. Good-bye, Theodore, I will go off to work now," and they shook paws before Theodore climbed up into the bus.  A few more passengers  got on the bus and soon they were on their way to town.  Theodore enjoyed the ride and looked out of the window at the scenery.  They left the mountains behind and it did not take long until the bus arrived at the terminus.  The driver called out the numbers of the bus stops for those continuing their journeys and Theodore hurried over to Number 4, stopping only to drop the picture card for Merlena Bear into the post box.  The bus was waiting at the stop and Theodore boarded at once.


Theodore's Travels © 2010

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