THE LAST TEDDY BEAR
On that terrible day not long ago when all the teddy bears on Earth suddenly
disappeared Maximilian Metallica Teddy Bear iwho lived far away on his own planet
in outer space spiffed himself up with a quick polish, carefully packed his battered old
suitcase, hopped on top of his giant silver yo-yo, pulled its golden cord and whirled full
speed down toward Earth to their rescue. For a teddy bear always goes where a teddy
bear is needed.
Now Maximilian was a most extraordinary looking teddy indeed. For instead of
being made of fur, he was created from some mysteriously shiny silver metallic material
which gave him a strange outward appearance quite different from other bears. He had
never minded though, because that difference was his very own self and he liked it. But
now that Maximilian knew he might be he very last teddy bear left in the entire universe,
he suddenly felt very lonely. So off he hurried to find his lost brother bears.
It was almost dusk the next evening when his flying yo-yo finally spiraled down
to Earth, screeched to a stop, then landed him precariously atop the steep crumbling roof
of a faded old red barn on a deserted farm in the country. Clutching his precious suitcase
tightly in both paws, Maximilian hastily slid on his ample bottom, whumph! down to the
ground below where he was welcomed by a tearful bunch of heartbroken children who,
desperately missing their own vanished teddies, gathered expectantly around him in high
hopes for their rescue.
“No tears, no tears,’ he assured them confidently. “Be of good cheer, my dear
Earth children.” And he flung open his suitcase, grabbed a few instruments from the
entire marching band he had crammed inside it and jubilantly began rooty-toot-tootin’ his
trumpet and tuba and rump-de-dum thump-bumpin’ his drums. For Maximillian was a most
extraordinarily musical bear.
“It’s me, Maximilian Metallica’s One Man Teddy Bear Brass Band and Rescue Squad.
At your service!” he proudly announced. So all the children, greatly relieved at this unexpected
promise of rescue for their teddies, snatched up the rest of his instruments and joined in loudly
playing along in a rowdy parade behind him.
But now in the growing darkness and their eager excitement neither children nor
teddy bear had noticed the sinister stranger slyly lurking outside an abandoned well house who
secretly watched them all. Watched and waited. Then just as Maximilian’s One Man Teddy Bear
Brass Band and his raucous troupe of strutting children marched close enough, out from the
shadows the ferocious figure suddenly leaped in front of them.
“Klunk!” It shrieked, furiously clanging bells, blowing whistles and frantically jumping
up and down, its long arms and wobbly legs flailing wildly about. “Klunk! I say,” it raged over and
over again scattering all the frightened children into one jumbled pack of hysteria as they ran crazily
about abandoning into the receiving air their flying assortments of flutes, clarinets, piccolos, bassoons,
oboes and trombones while a bewildered Maximilian looked on in horror. Klunk! Klunk! Klunk!” the
jumping thing clunked endlessly over and over again until the poor teddy bear could stand it no longer.
“What clunk?” he suddenly demanded confronting the startled creature in mid-clunk? “Now,
just who do you think you are clunking at anyway? And how very rude you are, too, whoever you are,
scaring these poor children half to death. Whatever do you want?”
“Klunk!” It stopped abruptly, sighed deeply, then quietly answered in a most pitiful whimper.
“Klunk! My name is Klunk the Clown,. And I have lost my circus.”
“Poor sad thing,” sympathized Maximilian standing on Klunk’s two floppy shoes, which were
three sizes bigger than his feet and patting the clown’s knees, which were just about as high as the
teddy bear’s shortness could reach. He stared up at the pathetic painted face looking down at him and
said, “”Oh, no wonder you are being so miserable.” For teddy bears are always quick to forgive once they
understand what needs forgiving.
“My circus was here just last night,” Klunk moaned on. “But when I woke up this morning it had
disappeared. Even the old brass cymbals my grandpa gave me are gone.” He saddened even more, if that
was possible. “My wonderful circus with everyone and everything in it, gone, gone-illy gone,” he repeated
not for he last time. His head bowed with grief and its mop of stringy straw yellow hair barely hid the
frown wrinkling his tired forehead. “All gone forever.”
Then a serious silence swept over the wretched clown, and the children as well. For they could see
that Klunk was deeply saddened by his loss and very embarrassed at this massive mess of an entrance he
had just made.
So when the long, awkward pause that followed desperately needed ending, it was Maximilian
who broke the silence. “Well now, my fine Klunk fellow,” he kindly suggested, “why don’t you come
along with us and join Maximilian’s One Man Teddy Bear Brass Band and Rescue Squad to save the
Earth’s lost teddy bears. I’ve got a brand new shiny set of symbols in my suitcase you can have, and we
are, after all, desperately in need of such a talented fellow as yourself to play them. What do you say?”
“Yes!” accepted Kunk suddenly grabbing the startled teddy bear with grateful clown hugs and
joyously tossing him high up in the air. “Yes! Yes-illy, yes!” And a waterfall of tears streamed down his
chubby cheeks streaking his painted face as the rejoicing children eagerly retrieved their lost instruments
from the thieving air, then circled lovingly ‘round him. “Oh, yes,” Klunk said again, wiping his smudged
face with a mussed sleeve of his purple polka-dotted clown suit. Then he carefully adjusted the matching
pointy hat and gently fluffed up the pleated white ruff of his tear dampened clown collar. “Yes,” he added
to the relief of everyone around him. “I will, will-y will.”
“I gather then that you will accept,” beamed Maximilian, who was very glad to be back on the
ground again. And as he proudly presented the clown with his grand new cymbals, the last teddy bear’s
shimmering metallic body glistened eerily in the ever blackening darkness surrounding them.
“Now,” Maximilian shrewdly observed to his fellow rescuers, “as we all know there have been far
too many disappearing going on around this planet lately. Why? Where did all the teddy bears go? And
Klunk’s circus? What’s next and when?” he wondered out loud. Only silence answered.
“But onward!” he proclaimed rallying his forces together, “for a teddy bear’s got to do what a
teddy bear’s got to do. And now we must forge bravely ahead to rescue Earth’s lost teddies and find
Klunk’s missing circus before it’s too late and they all stay disappeared forever.” Truly, his was so great
an effort from so small a bear.
So with Maximilian joyously thundering out on trumpet, tuba and drums, Klunk the clown
jubilantly banging to the beat with his flashing brass cymbals and the exuberant children playing their
most absolutely best on everything else, off they all soldiered on as the last teddy bear led his courageous
Brass Band and Rescue Squad away from the farm, across the meadow, down through the town, past the
Old Church, over the River Bridge and onto a winding road curving into the ominous dark night to find the
lost ones. And through that long journey their joyous music played them on.
The adventurers had trekked a far torkle when the road abruptly ended and a dense mass of
humungous trees loomed before them. This must be that creepy Midnight Forest where the Story Tree
grows,” Klunk shuddered. “I heard tell about it from my circus pals.” He stopped and stared up at the
massive woods towering above them. “Seems its enchanted. Only here at night, never during the day.
But strange goin’s happen in there all the time. Things go in that never come out. Ever. We better turn
back,” he warned, “while we still got the chance.” But the others hadn’t heard his dithering for they had
already forged on ahead and into it.
“Wait for me!” called the panicked clown running after them. “Wait,wait-illy, wait!” When the
breathless maverick finally did catch up, they were all well into the Enchanted Midnight Forest.
“Do hurry along now, Mr. Klunk,” urged Maximilian “and kindly observe the no whining rules.”
So the hesitant clown reluctantly fell in behind them muttering muffled grumblings no one heard. Or
“Now,” the teddy bear noted to his comrades as they trudged along, “notice these fresh footprints
here in the mud. Others have been this way,” he shrewdly deduced, “and quite recently, too. We must be
“Closer to what?” asked one of the children.
“I don’t know yet,” answered Maximilian. “But we’ll soon find out. Let’s just go with the flow
because the flow knows where we’re going.”
But by now the children had become so frightened they couldn’t even play their music. Still, they
followed him on in silence anyway, for they knew he was the last teddy bear and the only one that could
lead them back to their own. And Maximilian knew they knew. So to calm hem he sang a ‘specially song
for their very own, because somehow he also knew that in the end their music would save them all.
Dear Earth children, little children
I’m Maximilian Teddy Bear
Come to save all your lost teddies
For no matter where
They go, you know
Their rescue’s not far away
For the bright light from my own planet
Is only a night flight away.
So dear Earth children, little children
Do not fear this night
For always in these darkest places
I shine my brightest light.
I’ll be your star here to always guide you
And truly do the best I can
Just remember little children
I am your teddy bear man.
“Oh, my talented muse of sublime joy,” gushed Klunk. “Such a love, lov-illy loving song!”
he raved. “My eyes puddle with liquid tears of unbearable joy upon hearing its wondrous beauty!”
And as he ranted on, the children saw in him what grownups would never see. For there, buried deep
inside his slapstick clown-ness dwelled a gentle soul of great kindness and fragile sensitivity. So now
they all cried along with him. And when the last tear was finally shed, the notes from the last teddy bear’s
song snuggled down into all their hearts to stay. For Maximilian’s magic was his music. Always the
Then without warning it happened.
A blazing rush of radiant light slashed through he black depths of the Enchanted Midnight Forest
to surround them in warming rays of golden brilliance. No one spoke. They stood transfixed in its magic.
For there in front them, beaming its wondrous truth of timeless legend, grew the Story Tree. And beneath
those sheltering branches, listening intently to its enthralling tales, sat every single one of Earth’s lost
Teddy bears. The Story Tree had beckoned them home and they had come
“There you are my naughty bothers!” Maximilian blurted out.
Of course he hadn’t meant to scold. It was just such a relief to find them. Besides, no one heard
him anyway for the delighted children had run screaming to their found teddies, grabbed them up and
smooched them with mooshy kisses and huge furry bear hugs of fuzzy, frenzied joy.
“Well tickle my pom-poms,” rejoiced Klunk, who sensed a grand celebration coming up. So to
speed it along, he grabbed his cymbals and clang-banged away louder than ever. Then Maximilian took the
lead twirling two silver batons as the happy children joined in behind them raucously playing their music
once again with their found teddy bears padding along closely beside them. And they were all a grand
parade once again. One last time.
So out of the Enchanted Midnight Forest and into the grand dawning light of a brand new day,
Maximilian Metallic Teddy Bear led his victorious Brass Band and Rescue Squad triumphantly home
back along the winding road, over the River Bridge, past the old church, up through town and across the
meadow to the old red barn on the farm where their long journey together had begun only a short
Now the strange and wonderful thing about strange and wonderful things is that while they
are happening you never really realize they are strange and wonderful things. And what happened next
was truly one of them.
“It is time for me to go and find my circus,” Klunk had farewell-ed when they were safely
returned. “But you always have to say goodbye before you can say hello,” he added mysteriously. “So
goodbye, bye-illy bye, dear ones. Remember me!” And he was gone.
“Clowns certainly come and go quite suddenly,” Maximilian thought gazing pensively up at his
old home planet spinning in space through vast new morning sky. So now he also goodbye-ed each of the
children and all their teddies, gave away to them for keeps his treasured instruments from the One Man
Teddy Bear Brass Band and Rescue Squad, then shimmied back up the barn roof to his mother ship from
outer space. He tossed in the empty suitcase and climbed aboard. “My great adventure has ended,” he
said to empty air.
But in truth I had only begun. For just as he was about to pull the golden cord for take-off, he
heard the sound of circus music far away in the distance. Closer and closer it came. Louder and louder it
played. Until yes! What was lost is found again. For there, parading back down that ever winding road
and onto the farm to encircle the barn marched an entire circus with its own uniformed marching band
and cymbal-clanging Klunk the Clown in the lead!
We’ve come to serenade you down, down-illy down, my shimmery silver pal,” Klunk yelled up
at his buddy. “For we are in desperate need of a talented musician such as yourself to travel the world and
starring performances on our brand new calliope. Say yes and the job is yours!”
The teddy bear looked tenderly down upon his old clown friend. “Yes!” he accepted, then added
With the sly wink of an eye, “yes-illy, yes.”
And that is how the last teddy bear came to be the first teddy bear ever to star in his own circus
show. And my, how he shined!
© Copyright 2016 Joan Simon. All rights reserved.
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