Minnie loved the big stuffed brown bear the moment she set her eyes on it in the toy shop, downtown. She was literally on a serious mission to buy a gift for her one-year-old niece, Sofia. She was glad that she found one.
The kid was energetic and on the move the moment she opened lovely hazel eyes in the morning. She would smile divinely, at her pa and ma and would try to jump off the cradle bed.
From the moment she got up till the moment she slept, Sofia went about like a top that forgot to stop spinning. Her parents found her a handful, yet loved her pranks and her quick, agile movements, sometimes crawling and at times wobbly walking. After a leisurely breakfast, she would visit the John Howard Park at the corner of the street with her dad and mom. Her mom would bring colorful pictures of flowers and animals and Sofia would squeal looking at the various animals exhibited on her small desk.
Minnie lived in a different town. On a weekend, She drove down from Raleigh to Atlanta arriving at her brother‘s house by nightfall.
After parking the car in the drive way, she walked in with the large teddy bear in her arms. Sofia spotted her from the living room and jumped off her small chair and walked at an incredible speed to her aunt. Minnie knelt down and took the sweet kid into her arms putting the cute teddy down. Sofia ignored her aunt and squealed at the brown bear by her side. She pounced on it and caught it with ease. She mumbled “Darby”, a name she must have heard on the TV.
Days have changed their color and quality for Sofia and her parents with the arrival of Darby. Sofia would take him to bed and cover him with a blanket if it was cold. Together, they would listen to her mom’s fairy tales; go to places like the Aquarium or Museum. They were inseparable.
When Sofia progressed to become the first grader in the elementary school, she carried Darby to school for a while. Then, she left him to rest on her cute bed because the boys in school started playing rough with her fluffy friend.
Darby was her closest friend. Sofia shared her pain and pleasure with him. When she won first place in the math competition during her fifth grade, she was overjoyed. Her parents were thrilled and hugged and kissed her. She shared her dreams for the future with Darby on that night.
“Darby, I am going to become a Math professor just like my dad. You wait and watch.”
Then, there was Aunt Minnie’s wedding during summer. It happened on the tenth of February, the Teddy bear day. What a coincidence! Sofia was excited.
She got a gift for her aunt and got it packed in a shiny wrapper. Armed with her fine gift, she joined her parents to go to Minnie’s marriage at Raleigh, N.C. by road.
Sofia had a lovely time during wedding and later, at the reception. She went up to the newlyweds, Minnie and Ralph.
“Ralph darling, this is Sofia, my beautiful niece.”
“Hi, Sofia, how are you? Have you enjoyed the wedding cake?”
The ten-year-old smiled sweetly at him and said, “yes, very much. Thank you.”
And then she said to Minnie, “Aunt Minnie, I got something for you.”
“Oh, really! What’s it love?”
Sofia handed the carefully packed gift to Minnie.
Minnie looked at it and smiled at the caption, “To Aunt Minnie with love.” Then she opened the box and exclaimed in joy.
“What a lovely gift!”
A fluffy brown teddy bear half fell out of the box. Minnie took it into her hands and mollycoddled it, much to the amusement of Ralph.
“Aunt Minnie! you remember Darby, the little friend that you gave me? I wanted you to have a similar one.”
“Oh, how sweet of you Sofia darling. I love your gift on this special day, and I am going to keep it”
“You can give it to your daughter.”
Ralph smiled at Sofia’s suggestion.
“Oh, that’s a brilliant idea! I will surely do that, “said Minnie, hugging her niece.
The wedding guests admired little Sofia’s thoughtful gift. Children among them demanded teddy bears of their own from their parents much to the latter’s’ amusement.
Word count: 728
Prompt: Image of a teddy bear.
Written for Cubby’s Writing 4 kids contest February, 2021.
Won third place honor in the above contest. Thank you Cubby.