This is the first of some Prize Draw stories from the competition I ran on my FB author page – my good friend Kat Douglas suggested one about my orphan teds………
Hattie had lived in St. Ursula’s Orphanage for Homeless Bears ever since Reverend Mother found her forlorn and lost on a stall in a flea market. Hattie had already picked up a few! There had been another home before but Hattie couldn’t remember it now. The magic of the orphanage was that once new orphans came in to be washed, dressed and sorted out, they forgot about their old lives and the pain of parting from previous friends. Rev. Mother thought that was best; new start, new outfit, new outlook.
Hattie got her name from the very brightly-coloured fluffy hat that Rev. Mother had knitted to match her sweater and although she was only tiny, she was adorable. She was also bored, so when she saw Rev. Mother packing her bags to go on a trip, Hattie sneaked into the bottom of one of them. Once inside she fell asleep and only woke up when the bag was jolted and bumped. In a terrible fright she clambered out of Rev. Mother’s enormous brassiere which had made a snug hammock and clambered to the top. The zip opened and a total stranger began rummaging in the bag. He was wearing a uniform and, in terror, Hattie jumped out of the bag and ran down the moving belt, squeezing herself into a different bag through which he had already searched. Panting, she hid under a bunch of feathers and some broken jewellery. She didn’t dare look out again but sat there being bumped around as the bag was carried, dropped in a taxi and driven somewhere.
“Well hello there!” said an unfamiliar voice as the zip opened, the light blinding Hattie. She squinted up and was delighted to see that the person was wearing a hat even more outrageous than her own, decorated with bits of metal, feathers, lace, flowers and standing a couple of feet high. She immediately became “The Hat Lady”.
“How did you get in my bag, lil one? You looking for a new home? Looks like you found one. I’m going to use you to advertise my hats. I’ll put your picture on my Internet page and you can become my mascot. Like that, eh?” The woman shook Hattie gently so the bear looked like she was nodding. “Great! Welcome to your new job, Mascot!”
Hattie was in heaven. She sat at the desk and watched the woman sketching new designs and once, getting bolder, she tipped herself over so she was pointing at a bare patch on the hat band.
“You what? A tiny little bear there? Oh well – I don’t see why not. Good idea! Hey – you are going to be a great partner, Lilbear”
Rev. Mother always said that you knew when you had a new home cos you got a new name. Hattie decided that Lilbear suited her even better…and she had a job! She was a partner in a milinary business!