Transcription from the Book One Reader,
The Big House on Market Street
A Baby Bear Name Teddy
(by Eleanor Tennyson)
Hot chocolate on a winter night never tasted better. Carolina, Julia and Johanna huddled together on the rug at the foot of their bed and sipped from their steaming mugs.
“That must be good. Is there any left for me?” their father teased as he came through the door.
“Oh, Papa,” they giggled.
“Papa, tell us a story,” Johanna begged. “Please.” She almost spilled her chocolate in her rush to get to Papa’s lap first.
“Well, just one, and then you must promise to get to sleep.”
“We promise.” The girls all said as they nodded in agreement.
“Maybe you could tell us about the first Teddy Bear?” Carolina and Julia agreed, eager to hear the story again. Each of them had written to Santa and asked for a Teddy Bear. Letters to Santa were all very secret, of course.
“Well”, Papa began, “The man who is President of the United States now came to Santa Clara about five years ago. That was when we still lived on the ranch in the other house [on Winchester].”
“Uh-huh, and he came right in front of our house!” Carolina exclaimed.
“And we played the gramophone real, real loud,” Julia chimed in.
“Yes, and it was just like a parade. The horses pranced along and everything,” said Johanna, her eyes sparkling with excitement. “But they didn’t have any elephants.” She shrugged her shoulders.
“Or clowns!”, Julia added.
The children had heard the story so many times they imagined they remembered the actual event.
Mr. Roosevelt was on his way from Congress Springs to Santa Clara for a speaking engagement at Santa Clara College. He loved the woods and to be out of doors. He liked to fish and swim and to hunt. He went on a hunting trip---“,
“And that’s when he found the baby bear.”
“Yes, the mama bear was gone. He felt very, very sorry when he found a baby cub was all alone in the woods.”
“What happened to the baby bear, Papa? Is he alright now?” Julia’s eyes moistened.
“Oh yes”. He patted her head. “He found someone to feed and take care of baby bear right away. He’s a big bear now, all grown up.” Johanna sighed with relief.
“But while he was still a baby bear, a cartoonist, drew a picture of him and Mr. Roosevelt. Because the little bear was so cute, and because Teddy Roosevelt looked like a big bear himself, with his fat tummy and a big, hairy moustache, the little cub was named Teddy, just like Mr. Roosevelt”.
“And then…,” Carolina prompted papa, not wanting to miss any of the story.
“Then, when the little bear’s picture was in all the newspapers, the toy makers saw it and began to make little toy bears for all the little boys and girls to play with.”
“And they named them all Teddy Bear,” Julia finished the story for papa.
They say for a moment as if in deep thought.
“All right, girls, to bed now. Santa may be watching.”
Three sleepy little girls climbed into bed. Papa and Mama kissed them, heard their prayers, and tightly tucked the covers so the girls were snug.
Their hot chocolate mugs were empty and scattered on the rug at the foot of the bed. By the time Mama straightened the room a bit and closed their door, they were already close to dreamland. Their dreams were of Santa and doll clothes, buggies and cradles, beautiful dolls, and, of course, their very own Teddy Bears.