One of my favorite characters when I was a kid was Paddington Bear. He first appeared in 1958 and has been featured in more than twenty books written by Michael Bond. He also got a new movie a couple years ago, simply called Paddington and a bit of an update to his look which I rather liked because he looked more like a real little bear. This depiction is of the newer, limited edition movie version of the bear by Steiff because I wish I had him, but unfortunately didn’t purchase it in time. So I figured a doodlewash was the next best thing.
I had about ten of the Paddington Bear books when I was a kid and my mom recently sent them back home with me in her ongoing effort to declutter her house of my childhood “treasures.” These books were wonderful, but the best part is how it all begins when a little bear arrives as a stowaway coming from “Darkest Peru”, sent by his Aunt Lucy. With only a note that reads, “Please look after this bear. Thank you.” He’s taken in by the Brown family and the adventures begin. But seriously, who could say no to this little guy if you found him with that note around his neck?
There were so many things I learned from Paddington when I was young. Paddington messes things up a lot, but no matter what adventure he finds himself in, he always comes out on top and in a way that everyone can laugh about. Best of all, when he gets annoyed with someone, he often gives them one of his special “hard stares” (taught to him by Aunt Lucy), which causes them to become flushed and embarrassed. This later helped me survive a stint in corporate America and is truly wonderful advice really. Thanks, Aunt Lucy!
Though I haven’t read the books again that I took back from Texas with me, I love having them. They are like little trophies from a time when I would get lost in worlds that had animals and weren’t so serious and disturbing. And later in life, when I finally made it to Paddington Station in London, I have to admit looking around very carefully. Just in case, there was a little bear waiting there, sent from a faraway place, who just needed someone nice to look after him.