TED THE MIDDLING BEAR
Ted Bear had a problem. He felt ordinary. He wasn’t cute like Little Ted on Playschool. He wasn’t a big Thorpedo sort of Ted. He was just a middling sort of Ted.
He only did middling, everyday sorts of things. Every morning he climbed out of his middling-sized bed, put on middling-sized trousers and jacket, ate a middling breakfast and cleaned his teeth with a small toothbrush.
At school he always sat in the middle row. Not at the back with the clever kids. Not at the front where the teacher kept an eye on the naughty ones. Even in footy games he didn’t kick goals, only behinds.
“I wonder if I’ll ever do anything special,” he said with a big sigh.
When the siren rang for lunch he opened his blue lunch box. It wasn’t as big as Troy’s and not as colourful as Tina’s. Inside there was a fruit bar and cheese. Now, he liked cheese and fruit bars, but sometimes he wished for something different…or more. He wasn’t sure what he wanted.
“Could you put something else in my lunch box?” he asked his mum.
His mum thought very hard.
On Monday, there were bear-shaped carrot slices and on Tuesday, vegemite pikelets. On Wednesday, Ted found peanut butter and sultana balls. On Thursday, he had fritz chunks on sticks.
Ted sighed. Everything was very tasty, but still he wanted something different…something more.
On Friday there were tiny sandwich triangles. Ted unwrapped one. He popped it into his mouth. His eyes got round and big and then they squeezed very tight.
“Mmmmmm!” he said, licking his lips. “This is exactly what I want!”
He ate all the tiny triangles. He even smoothed out the wrap and tipped his lunch box upside down just in case he’d missed one. What made them so wonderful?
He ran all the way home to ask.
His mum showed him a big pot with a yellow label.
“Honey!” said Ted. “I didn’t know bears liked honey!”
“Bears were born to eat honey,” said his mum, who knew a lot. (*)
And that was how Ted discovered he had a BIG talent for eating honey.
He had honey on porridge and honey with carrots and honey on hazel nuts. He loved honey crackles and honeyed sausages, and even honey lemonade. He ate honey at breakfast and honey at lunch and honey for dinner. He ate it when he was glad and when he was worried and when it was rainy and when it wasn’t. And the more honey he ate, the more special he felt.
Ted became famous. People came from everywhere to ask him about honey. They came from Willunga and Wirrabara, from Darwin and Davenport. Some even came from the other side of the world! They came on bicycles and rollerblades, in cars, buses and aeroplanes. Sometimes they walked.
The more honey he ate, the more he changed. Ted the Middling became Ted the Mighty. He conducted honey tours and wrote honey recipe books. He sang songs with his band called, ‘Honey For Jam’. He even had his own television show. With honey in his tummy nothing was impossible to Ted.
Now, when he climbs into bed and has his last spoonful of honey for the day, he licks his lips and smiles his biggest smile and reminds himself, “I was born to eat honey!”
( (*) Ted’s mum knew about Psalm 119:103 and Psalm 81:16 and a lot more where they came from!