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Thursday, March 11, 2004

The First Annual Teddy Bear Ball at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Teddy: Sometimes, living in Philadelphia is a beary good thing! In the middle of March, right before the first crocuses pop up, Philadelphia holds the beary biggest and oldest Flower Show in the whooooooooole world! Spaulding: This year was their 175th show, so you know it's beary old and beary big! Teddy: It's one of those things Mommy and Daddy have always wanted to go see, but, between their allergies and the cost... Spaulding: ...it cost $22-$26 per person! Are they kidding? Only rich people can afford such things!!!! Teddy: Ummmm, or beary special Teddy Bears! Spaulding: Kehehehehehe And beary special Teddy Bears don't have to pay anything, we are all just cordially invited! :::::::::Both stand taller and smile broadly, knowing exactly how special they are.::::::::: Teddy: Once again, our Mommy and Daddy spoiled us wonderfully! Spaulding: They called The Philadelphia Hord-a-cult-u-earl Society... Teddy: ...the group of peoples, who created and hosted the Flower Show ... Spaulding: ...to include a beary special Black Tie and Tails Flower Show Teddy Bear Ball for us and all of our friends! Teddy: Mommy said that they weren't going to do it, until she convinced them to visit our message board's photo albums. Spaulding: Remember? Peoples just have the hardest time believing that stuffed animals are real! Kids know, but some grown ups forget. Once they see us really writing to one another, of course they have to believe again! Teddy (knodding in agreement): I was so pleased to have an op-pour-tuna-T to get all decked out in a tux with tails! I didn't get the opportunity at the Grand Race last year at Mawson's house, because I was dressed to race! Spaulding (turning around to twitch hia little tail): I already have a tail, but I'm glad that Lady, Valentine and several of the Need-To-Be-Adopted Teddy Bear like to sew, or it would be difficult to make such grand outfits in so little time! Teddy (head held high and posing as if in a tuxedo ad): We did look so sauve and debon-ear, didn't we? Spaulding (matching Teddy's pose): We certainly did, and the gals...wow...the gals were just sooooooo... ::::::::::::Lacking the words to describe his feelings, Spaulding pats his heart with his paw and then makes a very dramatical swoon. Teddy nods in agreement as he catches his brother with an equally dramatical flare. The family, still here to tell about the Ball, has been patiently waiting for a moment to join in. Dee, impatient with the grown ups theatrics, and still feeling mighty important in her beautiful lacy gown, is the first to break into the conversation.:::::::::::::: Dee: I have never seen so many beautiful stuffed animals in allllllllll my life! The guys were ever so handsome in their tuxes and uniforms, and the gals were elegant past what seems even possible! Surely, even Di and Charles' wedding paled in comparison! Ding (speaking to Dee): I have never seen you look so grown up and pretty. There was more then one boy trying to get the courage to ask you to dance! Dee (blushing, but also having the confidence to know her brother was right): I must have danced with 20 different boys, and even then, we spent quite a long time playing Hide N' Seek together! Ding: Didn't you notice how many boys were chasing you while playing Hide N' Seek? Spaulding (confused by the angst he harbored at the thought of so many boys chasing his little girl): OK! OK NOW! I mean. ummm, err. uh-hum, we've gotten ahead of ourselves already! Lady (smiling quietly at her husband's overprotective reaction, but only because she knows that Dee truly is too young to think of boys in that way): Yes, we are ahead of ourselves, but....ummmmm, isn't anyone going to talk about the gals' outfits some more? ::::::::No one will laugh at that moment, knowing that Lady's feelings would be hurt, but they all had to quietly smile, knowing, since she designed many of the outfits, that she wanted her recognition. One other, out of the group, understood that the most, having created some of the outfits on her own too.::::::::::::: Valentine: I truly think we out did ourselves this time, Lady! The guys all looked like gazillionaires in thier suits, and the gals all looked like they belonged in a huge southern mansion during the biggest ball of the year! Velvet material and ribbons, lace, little silk flowers and satin bows, all adorning the most lush, soft and feminent satin and silk in the whoooooooole world! What you made... Lady (so beary please to be complemented by one with equal abilities to herself, had to share the praise): ...what WE made... Valentine (now a bit embarrassed to be included, but trying to overcome her shyness): ...what WE made, was just, ...just, ...just gorgous! The only thing that could possibly top what we made were the flowers themselves! Lady: And, at the Ball, you took some of those flowers and DID teach us how to add them to our gowns so they were the beary, beary prettiest things in the whoooooooooooooooole wide world!!! ::::::::Knowing how important it was to give the ladies their complements, but not knowing how to describe the beauty itself, everyone else listened intently to the two wives, agreeing with nods all along, and, once satisfied that what they said described how they felt, they knew it was now fine to continue describing the night.::::::::::::::::::: Axlerod: We did get to the Convention Center by our helioplaneship boxcar, and they had valet parking inside the building 'specially for stuffed animals! Teddy: Once they drove our vehicle away, a horse drawn carriage, of sorts pulled up to take us to the center of the Ball! Spaulding: The carriage was huge, and looked quite a bit like a pumpkin, except it was all silver! Valentine: It was drawn by horses, but the horses looked strange...something mousey about them, but I couldn't quite put my paw on it! Lady: The coachman looked beary mousey, but he was supposed to, since he was a stuffed mouse! Axlerod: Inside we found a beary, tiny high heeled shoe made of glass... Lady: I'd so love to sew the same pair of shoes out of glass, in my size, but Mommy told me that you just can't sew glass!!! Beary disappointing! ::::::::::::Ding and Dee both have their mouths opened in amused shock, but aren't quite sure if they are being teased.::::::::::: Ding (the bolder of the two): Are you all saying that you didn't recognize that carriage at all?! ::::::::::::::Axlerod sneaks a wink towards Ding and Dee, while the four other grown ups are confused, realizing that they are supposed to be knowing something at the moment, but totally unaware of what it could be. Not wanting to give themselves away, any more then they already have, they try to pretend to know what the kids are saying.::::::::::::: Teddy (with a false knowing smile): Sure we do, but, go ahead, you want to think you are the ONLY ones who know...tell everyone! :::::::The other three grown ups murmur and smile to agree with Teddy's game. Axlerod hides his face behind his ears as his whole body shakes in quiet laughter.:::::::::: Ding: Pumpkin carriage? Mouse horses? Glass slipper? Ring a bell? ::::::::::::The grown ups are so lost, they can't even pretend to know now, and look blankly at Ding and Dee.:::::::::: Dee (breaking out in her beary bestest mousey voice, starts to sing): ~Cinderella, Cinderella, ...dadada Cinderella?!~ ::::::Another awkward moment passes, before the light above their heads lights up.::::::: Teddy, Valentine, Spaulding and Lady: Oooooooooooooh, Cin-der-rel-la's carr-iage! Duh, now! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding: I wonder what became of Cinderella?! Dee: She married her Prince Charming and didn't need the carriage again! Probably bought a minivan when the children came. All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe Valentine: When we got to the middle of the Teddy Bear Ball we were greeted by many, many well dressed stuffed animals! Lady (while thinking of Holly, Sophie, Buns, Hope and BerryAnn's gowns): All the gals were dropped dead gorgeous! Dee: "Dropped dead gorgeous!" Rather a strange compliment! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe Ding: Jingles looked so pretty, I was expecting to see a halo over her head! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe Ding: Now, don't get me wrong--Hope looked like she belonged with the flowers themselves in her Spring Fairy gown, and, if Martin didn't look so serious, I'm sure I would have checked out Sophie some more... All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding (not at all sure if he wants his young son noticing women so much, but also glad he does, like only a father could be, decides to change the topic and finds a great moment): Speaking of being startled by Martin, did anyone else notice Uncle Teddy's reaction when he saw Martin in his uniform? Valentine (rather embarassed she even noticed): I noticed how handsome he was in his policebear's uniform! Teddy (shocked first that Spaulding mentioned anything about the incident, and then surprised to hear his wife's reaction): Wait a minute now, was anyone else expecting to see a cop at the Ball? Spaulding: Yeah! All of us, since we read the message on our message board! I did think it was funny that you tried to hide when you first saw him! What did you think you ever did illegally?! Teddy (blushing as he rubs his paw in a circle on the floor): I dunno! I just felt guilty, and I don't know why. It was reflexs... Ding (smiling, as he thinks he still is one of the grown ups): Maybe guilty for all the times you pinned Daddy in a Rass'lin hold?! :::::::::Spaulding holds a questioning look on his face towards his son, as Teddy, behind Spaulding's back, smiles widely and nods his head in a very strong "YES!"::::::::::::: All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe Spaulding (as he looks from one to the next in his family): When did Teddy ever pin ME in a rass'lin hold? I ALWAYS pin him! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe Dee (feeling a bit uncomfortable laughing at her father, but not wanting to offend Uncle Teddy either): Uncle Teddy didn't hide long before he walked right over to Mr. Martin and shook his paw! Spaulding (trying to save face again): ...And asked him lots and lots and lots of questions about being a policebear! All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe Teddy: I had to find out why bears even need police, and got interested in becoming a policebear! Valentine (some what afraid of the answer): Do you? Teddy (taking his wife's paw into his and kissing it gently): And be away from you, my Honeybun? Never! All: Awwwwwwwwwwwww! Kehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe Lady: And Honeybun, err, ummm, Aunt Valentine was brilliant when she wandered away, giving Uncle Teddy time with Martin, as she gathered some flowers to add to her dress! Teddy: She looked just like a flower when she came back! She is always the most beautiful gal in the world for me, but she found a way even to make perfection that much prettier! All: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Valentine (blushing with pride towards her husband): All the gals seemed to like it, so we all gathered more flowers and made every gal there that much prettier--some times with a whole flower dress, and some times with a cor-sodge! Spaulding (while looking at Lady as if she still wore the gown, says whiskfully, as if caught in a dream): Yes, perfection made better! :::::::::::::::::::Lady blushes!::::::::::::::::::::: All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe Axlerod (as he remembers all the sights, and smells and sounds of the night): It was one of the bestest nights ever though! ::::::::::::startled back into their original conversation, they all look at Axlerod, fade into their own memories and seem to come back from them at the same time, knodding in wholehearted agreement with Axlerod!:::::::::::::::::: Dee (as she holds out her dress and swings softly to imaginary music): I don't know who Strauss was, but I bet he was a Teddy Bear! He wrote such pretty music to dance to for our Ball! ::::::::::Spaulding and Lady join in and start dancing. Teddy and Valentine, without prompting, grab each other tighter and start dancing. Axlerod grabs Dee with one paw and Dng with the other, as the three of them rock softly back and forth in a circle, then swirl slowly like a small pile of autumn leaves caught in a gentle breeze.::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding and Lady (still swaying to the imaginary music): I could have danced all night! Teddy and Valentine: We almost DID dance all night! Dee: The floor of dancers was so pretty, it looked like something right out of Fantasia! Axlerod: The magic flowing from so many sources, it might well have been right out of Fantasia! I never noticed how many special powers so many there had until that night! Lady: Babybear's family seem to have a lot of magic... Axlerod: ...not so much like a lot of magic, but much magic for the beary place we were that night! They have a great amount of Gardening Magic! Spaulding: Sure wish we could borrow some for Mommy! She doesn't seem to have much gardening ability! Axlerod (having known Mommy the longest): She's getting better! When she was young, she was so bad at gardening that killed air plants! Ding: What's an air plant? Valentine: A plant that only needs air to survive and grow! Ding: Then how can you kill an air plant? :::::::::::All look up at Mommy for an answer, but only see her shrugging her shoulders as she smiles!::::::::::::: Axlerod: Yeah, but remember last summer? Out of all the flower and herb seeds she planted, only two grew, BUT by the end of the summer, we had lots of basil and dill weed and lots of impatients, because she kept watering the weeds, which ended up being the same plants she had grown the year before! We had enough basil to use the sause on our hotdogs and on their pasta three times each!!!! And, still, even though they didn't start flowering until September, the front pots finally looked like flower pots! That seems much better then killing air plants to me! ::::::All look at Mommy with sympathetic smiles, as they quietly nod in agreement.::::::: Teddy (trying to get away from this moment of embarassment they thought Mommy might have--but didn't since she knows she will keep trying): Babybear's family used elfin dust to bring in the moon and stars, and even brought in an early summer evening breeze! We might have been in a convention center, but we were also outside with all those flowers! Valentine: Boy, oh boy, didn't Babybear's brother, Teddy, get his wish when he said all he wanted to do was dance around in the flowers with Buns?! Lady: They were a beary cute couple! So were the other Teddy and BerryAnn and Holly and Brownie and Christopher and Hope... Dee: ...so many cute couples dancing! Even some of the Need-to-be-Adopted bears made cute couples, whiich is never what my mind thinks of when I think Adoptees! Spaulding: Did you see Sophie and Martin too? Great dancers! All of them! Ding (who was never too keen on the dancing part, once Jingles pleaded that she couldn't dance, so wouldn't dance with him, but who really enjoys watching magic at work): What made the dancing so cool was the elfin magic that made beary buddies so light that everyone really was dancing on the tops of the flowers--circling around from one plant to the next, like some kind of musical chairs game without the music ever stopping! Dee (who was so happy to be asked to dance by so many boy bears, but was still under the impression they were just dancing with a kid sister, but understanding her brother's opinion of dancing, gladly opened the door to the next part of the adventure--the part her brother, started and loved): Speaking of being on top of flowers, that Hide N' Seek was so beary fun too! Ding (feeling important now): Well, all the grown ups were dancing and eating hotdogs, but all the little guys needed some fun too, besides eating chocolate and honey flowers! With that many displays and flowers, Hide N' Seek seemed like the bestest kind of fun to have! Axlerod (with his old, wise smile): Well, for the young'ns it was! We older stuffies found this cool treehouse in one of the displays, flew up to it and spent most of our night hypothesizing on how that lovely smell from the orchids is made, and how best to use the different pixie dusts for gardening. Elfis taught us so much, it's a shame he had the need to get back to his beloved flowers so quickly! Ding (not quite sure what to do or how to react when his grandfather gets in these moods, listens carefully, and then jumps right back into his tale!): Yes, the treehouse was a great place to hide, but apparently everyone thought so, since I was found up there quickly, but it took quite some time to find out we had a problem that we couldn't handle without grown ups finding out! Dee (jumping to the defense of her brother): It wasn't your fault! There were so many little ones, we just didn't know them all! Ding (feeling both defensive and guilty): I knew Kwalla, and I knew most of the other lost little stuffies! Dee: Yeah, but there were so many of us! And, we didn't know how powerful Elfis was! We didn't know he was putting plants to sleep for the night! Lady: It's all right, Ding! No one got hurt and you didn't do anyting wrong! :::::::::Unaware how scared he was until that moment, Dings eyes mist over as he buries his head into his Mommy's arms.::::::::: Dee (feeling the strong need to explain now): Elfis didn't do anything wrong either! Nothing bad happened, we just all got scared because we thought something bad did happen, that's all! ::::::::The back of Ding's head nods in agreement, as he slowly gets the courage to come out from his Mommy's chest.::::::::::: Dee: I don't know how many games of Hide N' Seek we had played, before we noticed that some of the little ones didn't return when the game was over. At first we wandered around ourselves, searching for them, and when we were far enough away from the dancing grown ups, we even called out their names to find them, but... Ding (with panic still in his voice): ...But no one answered! No one came out from their hiding places! They were all so little! I was afraid one of the carp in the pond had eaten them, or that they were even bearnapped! I was one of the oldest little ones, so it was my responsibility! Spaulding (softly patting his son on the shoulder and then rubbing his shoulders to relieve the tension): No, Ding, all parents know that WE are responsible for our kids! We never gave you our responsibility, and had we known you took it yourself, we would have let you know then that you can't take it! Teddy: Even Babybear and Elfis weren't ever angry with you, nor did they ever think it was your fault! Valentine: Poor Elfis! Teddy: When the kids came to tell us what was wrong, I just happened to be facing Elfis, and saw something flash in his eyes--a thought, but I didn't really notice it until later! Spaulding: We all walked around at first, calling out, but no answers came! Teddy: We quickly grabbed all of our vehicles to fly around the area to go faster and see higher up! Valentine: Most of the flowers were taller even then Babybear! Axlerod: Obviously, we older stuffies heard the commotion and came down to find out what was wrong! When I heard, I immediately started looking for Elfis! Spaulding: Why? I was on the other side of the display, so don't know exactly what happened! Axlerod: Elfis might not be as old as I am, but he has a wise old spirit about him, and knows so much about gardening. He was with us for a while in the treehouse, but left, because he said that he needed to put the flowers to sleep for the night! Lady: What does that mean? Axlerod: The whole idea startled me too, but I remember Mommy talking about some plants she saw in one of her walks called a Morning Glory! It's called that, because it closes up--sleeps--for the night, then opens up again the next morning in all its glory. Many flowers do that, and it ends up that Elfis is the type of creature that does just that with his magic! Teddy (still confused): Yeah?! Axlerod: Well, think about it! What other type of creature likes to sleep often too?! Teddy: All creatures do! Axlerod: Not all! Sometimes Mommy hates to have to take naps or go to bed at night because she gets in the middle of something she really wants to do! Spaulding (smiling sheepishly at Mommy, before responding): Ummmmmmmm, you mean like right now, as she sits there typing away, but wants to find out about our Ball too much to go take a nap?! :::::::::All sheepishly look at Mommy, who cocks her head and smirks, as if saying, "Oh, well! I'm caught!"::::::::::: All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehe Axlerod: Ex-act-ly! So, what type of creatures DO like to take naps and sleep whenever possible?! ::::::::::Mommy must nudge them all awake after they ponder a little too hard, but realize that their very action gave away the answer::::::::::::::: All: Kehehehehehehehehehehehe Ding: OK, so stuffed animals like to sleep, but what does that have to do with the lost little ones? Axlerod: Elfis' magic is powerfull! Think how high the flowers were. What better place to hide then in the middle of a tall flower?! :::::::::::A series of hesitations hit the rest of the family as they feel like the answer is right there before them, they almost grasp it, but not quite, all being innocent enough and naive enough to not quite grasp any concept that could even just be used to be sneaky:::::::::::::::: Axlerod (being so much older and having lived in Peoples World for several decades, isn't as naive, so does understand): When Elfis put the flowers to sleep, he also put the babies in the flowers to sleep! That's why none of the lost ones even knew they were the cause of any commotion! ::::::::::Finally, the light flicks on and stay on in their innocent minds::::::::::::::::::::: All: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Now we get it! Ding: I thought they were just being brave when they all came back into their family's arms! They slept through everything and didn't even notice there was a problem! Thank God, I didn't hurt them at all! Lady (exasperated by her son's inability to forgive himself for something he didn't even do): If they did know they were lost and did get scared, you still wouldn't have hurt them! ::::::::::::::Ding tries hard to leave the guilt behind, knowing he did nothing wrong, but not yet feeling it. He gives everyone a quiet little smile, knowing they would understand his dilemma.::::::::::::::::::: Dee (giving her brother an affectionate pat): How's Elfis doing? Axlerod: He felt as guilty as Ding is feeling, but we also talked to him. Since he is older then Ding, he seems to be taking less time to get rid of that fake guilt then Ding is! Ding: Fake guilt? It's real! Axlerod: I don't mean fake, like unreal, but like there are two kinds of guilt--the first one comes from committing a sin, and is very real. We are guilty of that type and should feel guilty for it. But, the second kind just comes from a feeling, not based in doing anything wrong, or committing any kind of sin. That's fake guilt, and can just be ignored, because it's undeserved. Spaulding: Yeah, like sometimes if Mommy stubs her toe, I say that I'm sorry! Ding (still confused): Why? Spaulding: I feel like I caused it, even if I was on the other side of the room! Ding: That's silly! Axlerod: No, that's fake guilt! Doesn't feel silly at all. Feels beary real, however when you look it over and discover you did nothing wrong, then you know it's fake, and just ignore it until it leaves on its own! Spaulding: If I dwell on it, it will stay with me, and I remain with that yucky feeling. Ding: But, if we start ignoring it, it leaves?! ::::::::::::All the grown ups smile as they realize he understands!::::::::::::::::: Ding (with a big relieved smile): Cool, then...gee, the Teddy Bear Ball at the Flower Shower was just fantastic, wasn't it? Not only the real flowers, but the chocolate flowers and the honey flowers! Yummy! What else could stuffed animals want? ::::::::::The two married couples grab each other and start dancing again.::::::::::::::::: Teddy (singing in his beary best Teddy Bear voice): ~I could have danced all night, could have danced all night....~ :::::::::Dee grabs her brother's paw and her gradnfather's paw and starts dancing together to Teddy's singing.:::::::::::::::: Ding (to the reader as he continues to dance): It was a fantastic night. Until next time... ::::::::::::::::::::::All continue to dance until they fall asleep.::::::::::::::::::::::::::

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