Bobby Bear did not want to be a toy anymore. He wanted to be a real bear and do things that real bears did.
But Bobby was only a toy bear.
He belonged to Lucy.
Lucy was six-years-old and her Mom had given Bobby to her as a gift a long time ago. Every night Lucy held Bobby Bear tightly as she fell asleep. She whispered to Bobby that she was not afraid as long as she had him to protect her.
Every day when Lucy went off to school Bobby Bear would gaze out the window into the woods behind the house and imagine himself as a real bear.
He would dream about walking through the woods and stopping at the stream to catch a fish for lunch.
All of the other animals would be his friends. The birds would bring him berries from his favorite bush, the squirrels would bring him nuts and acorns and the rabbits and foxes would want to play hide and seek with him.
One day, while Lucy was at school, Bobby sat on the window seat with his friend Grunt Gorilla, looking at the woods. He was thinking about being a real bear again.
“Grunt,” Bobby said to his friend, “do you ever wish you were a real gorilla?”
Grunt blinked his eyes and shook his head.
“No,” he said. “I love being a toy.”
“But don’t you wish you could live in the jungle with other gorillas.” Bobby asked.
“No, I’m very happy here with you and Lucy and the rest of the toys,” Grunt said.
“I’m happy too,” Bobby said, “but I think I would be happier if I were a real bear.”
“But what about Lucy?” Grunt asked him. “She would miss you.”
Bobby thought about it for a second or two and then shook his head.
“Lucy would be fine,” Bobby said. “She has you and all of the other toys.”
Suddenly they heard the sound of tiny bells; they turned to see a bright light coming from Lucy’s toy-box.
Then out of the toy-box came a beautiful butterfly.
Bobby watched as the butterfly fluttered to him and landed on his foot.
“Hello,” Bobby said to the butterfly. “Who are you?”
“Hello, Bobby, my name is Angelina. I am a magic butterfly and I can help you with your wish.”
“You can?” Bobby said with great excitement. “You can help me become a real bear?”
“If you are sure that is what you want,” Angelina said.
“I’m sure,” Bobby said, “I’m very sure.”
“Close your eyes,” Angelina said.
Bobby closed his eyes and felt Angelina’s wing fluttering around his head.
“OK, you can open your eyes now,” Angelina told him.
Bobby Bear opened his eyes and couldn’t believe what he saw.
He was standing in the woods. The ground felt nice under his large black paws, the air ruffled his black coat slightly as the warm breeze brought many wonderful smells to his nose.
“Are you happy? Angelina asked.
“Oh yes,” Bobby answered. “I’m happier than any bear in the world.”
“Then I will leave you alone, goodbye Bobby Bear.”
And with a bright flash of light Angelina disappeared.
Bobby walked along the path enjoying the wonderful sights, smells and sounds of the woods.
He talked to the rabbits and sang with the birds and played games with the squirrels just the way he imagined he would.
When night time came he made a comfortable bed of pine needles and leaves and slept under the stars.
The next day was even more fun. Bobby swam in the stream and caught fish for lunch. When it got dark he found a comfortable place to sleep and had another perfect night sleeping in the woods.
On his third day as a real bear, Bobby made a new friend. A fox named Freddy took Bobby for a nice long walk through the woods. Freddy showed Bobby all the best places to sleep and where to find all of the best nuts and berries. When night time came Bobby was looking for a place to sleep when he walked into a clearing. There in the center of the clearing was Lucy’s house.
A wide smile grew on Bobby’s face. He could go to Lucy’s window and see her and Grunt and all of the other toys. This was wonderful!
As he walked to the window Bobby heard a sound that he didn’t understand. It sounded like Lucy, but Bobby had never heard her making sounds like this before.
He looked through the window and saw Lucy lying in bed crying.
Sitting on the window seat was Grunt. Bobby tapped on the window.
“Grunt,” he said. “What’s wrong? Why is Lucy crying?”
“She’s crying because she misses you. You were her favorite toy. Now she can’t sleep. Her heart is broken.”
“Doesn’t she know that I’m a real bear now? Isn’t she happy for me?”
“No she doesn’t know because I can’t tell her. She doesn’t understand gorilla and I can’t speak human.”
Bobby watched for a long time and grew very sad. Suddenly being a real bear was not so fun.
Bobby felt something strange on his cheek. It was a tear. For the first time in his life Bobby Bear was crying.
He sat down to think. This was not supposed to happen. Bobby thought for sure that everything would be wonderful once he became a real bear but now Lucy was sad. Bobby did not want Lucy to be sad.
A bright light lit up the yard and Angelina fluttered to him and landed on his ear.
“Are you OK?” Angelina asked him.
Bobby shook his head.
“No, I’m not,” Bobby said. “I didn’t know that Lucy would be sad when I became a real bear. I don’t want her to be sad, I love Lucy.”
“It sounds like you learned a very important lesson,” Angelina said.
“What lesson was that?” Bobby asked.
“Don’t you know?”
Bobby thought about it for a minute.
“Well,” he said. “I wanted to be a real bear because I wanted to be happy. Then I became a real bear and I was happy. But that made Lucy cry, and that made me sad. I never wanted to make Lucy unhappy.”
Angelina fluttered her wings and smiled.
“So what did you learn?” she asked.
“I learned that just because something makes me happy it might not be the best thing.”
“I think you’re right,” Angelina said.
“Can you help me fix it?” Bobby asked.
“Are you sure?”
Bobby looked through the window at Lucy.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“OK,” she said. “Close your eyes.”
Bobby closed his eyes and felt Angelina’s wings fluttering around his face.
“OK, you can open your eyes now.”
Bobby opened his eyes. He was a toy again and he was sitting on Lucy’s bed as she cried into her pillow. Bobby rubbed his furry foot on Lucy’s arm.
When Lucy looked up, her face was happier than Bobby had ever seen. Her smile lit up the room and her laughter made Bobby feel better than he had felt when he was a real bear.
Lucy grabbed Bobby and pulled him close to her.
“Oh, Bobby, I love you so much,” she said as she fell asleep with a wide smile.
Bobby felt wonderful and he nuzzled his fuzzy face against Lucy’s.
Across the room Bobby saw Grunt Gorilla and Angelina sitting by the window.
He smiled at them as he closed his eyes. Bobby was the happiest bear in the world, even if he was a toy.