Oliver is a fifteen inch high Merrythought teddy bear with lots of attitude. He lives in deepest Essex with Sue, who is a writer, and family. Here in this blog he shares his thoughts, his adventures and his rather odd take on life. As bears are not very good at spelling, Sue has translated his diaries into readable English and occasionally adds her own comments
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore!
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all
through the house
Not a creature was stirring, save one tubby
The stockings were hung by each teddy bear,
In hopes that kind Santa soon would be there.
The teddies were nestled all snug in their
While visions of honey pots danced in their
Except one cheeky bear, too excited to sleep
Who pulled back the covers, determined to
When out on the roof there arose such a
The bear was too scared to see what was the
The tubby mouse scampered to bear like a flash
And both of them fell on the floor with a
Cheeky and Mouse were trembling and quaking.
They rushed to the window, their paws were all
They were filled full of fears and terrors and
Till they saw some strange creatures with
things on their heads!
The creatures pulled Santa along on a sled
The pair knew it was Santa - he was dressed
all in red.
They listened as Santa and the strange
Heard him whistle and shout and call them by
'Now Nelly! Now Bunny!
Now Dolly and Doggy!
On Lumpy! On, Gertie!
On, Neddy and Froggy!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!'
All of the teddies were sleeping in bed,
So only the mouse and the green cheeky ted
Saw the strange creatures as higher they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys and Santa Claus
And then in a twinkling they heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As the mouse and the cheeky bear quickly
Down the chimney came Santa with a leap and a
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
Goodies and honey pots spilled from his sack.
His eyes how they twinkled! His laughter, how
His cheeks were all fluffy, his nose like a
His neatly-sewn mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the
'That's a bear!' hissed the mouse, 'It's not
Cheeky giggled, then whispered, 'It's Santa
He's been scoffing the mince pies, look at his
The reason he's fat is 'cos mince pies are
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old
And they laughed when they saw him, the saucy
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave them to know they had nothing to
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his
He filled all the stockings, then turned with
And laying his paw aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a
And away they all flew like the down of a
But they heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out
'Beary Christmas to all, and to all a good
The bears opened their presents, then Cheeky
Told of the visitor who came to their house.
And the mouse confided, full of good cheer,
'I saw a Steiff button in Santa's ear.'
(Where was Rudolph, you ask, with his nose
bright and merry?
I'm sorry to tell you, but he found Santa's
(The pictures look better if you hum the music as you browse!)
It was Oliver's idea, of course. Last Christmas he had watched the Nutcracker ballet on television, and was sure that his blog readers would enjoy seeing it performed by bears. Auditions were held in the conservatory as it has a tiled floor perfect for dancing. It is also conveniently near the kitchen - bears need a lot of 'sustenance'.First to be cast was Oliver, because, as he said, the ballet was his idea and he wanted to play the handsome Prince. When Cheddar pointed out that the Prince needed boots, Oliver replied that his friend Paddington owed him a favour, so he was sure he’d lend his, then magnanimously offered to lend Cheddar his best jacket so that he could play the part of Drosselmeyer.
Grace said that she was going to be Sugar Plum, because she was the only one with a pink dress. No-one dared argue, though several muttered that they thought the Sugar Plum Fairy should be small and dainty. ‘And not a fat Sugar Lump’, whispered Cheeky to Choccy, 'she'll be more like the Sugar Plump Fairy'. Grace ignored him and rushed off to borrow a tiara. Macaroon was Fritz because he is a growly bear so was ideal for playing a grumpy brother, Blancmange was everyone’s choice for Clara because she is so sweet-natured (she was horrified when she heard she had to hit Mousey over the head with a shoe, till it was explained it was only acting), while cute little Mothball was overwhelmed when he was chosen to be a Snowflake, as he is the hug’s newest and youngest member, and is very shy. Rehearsals were held regularly, and I was really surprised by the dedication of the furry little dancers. I was also surprised at how many of the boys wanted to wear tutus......
It’s sad that you were unable to see the dancing - Hudson’s pirouettes and Russell’s arabesques stole the show - but perhaps these photos I took at the performance will help you to visualise it in your imagination....
Clara and her brother Fritz are excitedly decorating the Christmas tree, ready fora party.
One of the guests is Drosselmeyer, a strange person with magical powers. He gives Clara a wooden nutcracker in the shape of a soldier.
Fritz is so jealous that, to Clara's horror, he stamps on the nutcracker and breaks it. Drosselmeyer tells her he will mend it, and she goes off to bed.
Later that night, Clara creeps downstairs in her nightie to find her nutcracker. She doesn't notice the little mouse.
Suddenly, the Mouse King appears, and Clara is frightened. To her amazement, the nutcracker turns into a handsome Prince, but the mice attack him. Clara throws her shoe at the mouse king and frightens him off.
The Prince takes Clara on a magical sleigh ride, to the land of snowflakes.
They meet the Queen of the Snowflakes, and she and her friends dance for Clara and the Prince.
Clara and the Prince continue their journey to the Land of Sweets, where they are welcomed by the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Arabian and Chinese dancers perform for Clara and the Prince.
The Mirlitons perform too.
They are enchanted by the Waltz of the Flowers.
The dainty Sugar Plum Fairy gracefully dances.
Suddenly, Clara is whisked back to her home - was it all a dream?