Buster was a teddy bear. A broken teddy bear. Poor Buster!
His right leg was torn off. His left arm was hanging by a thread. The stuffing was sticking out through a worn spot on his back. And one eye was missing. Poor Buster!
BUT...Buster was still smiling. He was smiling because someone loved him and he was happy.
That someone was a little girl named Susie. Every night she carried Buster to bed with her. And she hugged him real tight.
'I love Buster', Susie told her mother. 'I'm not afraid of the dark when Buster is with me.'
All day long, wherever she went, Susie dragged Buster along with her.
They went to the playground together. They went down the slide together. And they went way up high in the swings together.
Susie and Buster played in the sandbox, and in the little plastic swimming pool in the back yard.
When they got dirty, Buster was put in with the laundry while Susie was in the bathtub.
Being so busy, and keeping so clean, was wearing him out. Now he was a broken bear. Poor Buster!
When Buster's leg fell off, Susie took him to her mother.
'Buster is broken', Susie said sadly. 'Can we take him to the doctor?'
Susie's mother looked at Buster and then she smiled. 'He's in pretty bad shape, but I think we can fix him', she said. Then she got out her sewing basket.
Susie watched as her mother sewed Buster's leg back on. Next she sewed his arm in place and found a black button to replace his missing eye.
Then she cut a small patch of brown cotton and sewed a patch over the worn spot on Buster's back. Such a lot of stitches for one little bear. Poor Buster! But Buster didn't cry.
When her mother had Buster all fixed, Susie took him and hugged him real tight.
'Can we take the stitches out when Buster heals?' Susie asked. 'Like the stitches I had in my leg?'
'Teddy Bears don't heal like people do', Mother said. 'But we can cover up the stitches so no one will see them.'
'With bandages'? Susie asked.
'Something better', Mother said. 'You take Buster for a nap. When you wake up, I'll have something waiting for him.'
Susie carried Buster to her room. She placed him on the bed very carefully and lay down beside him.
After their nap, Susie took Buster and went to find her mother. Mother covered all of Buster's stitches and gave him back to Susie.
Buster was wearing a new pair of short pants and a little jacket. And he was smiling just like he always did.
'Now he's happy', said Susie. 'He's not broken anymore and his stitches are all covered up. He looks like new but he's still my old Buster.'
Copyright 1999, F. Herridge
Used during Public Library Storytime, 1999
Published in Canadian Stories, Apr/May 2004
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