Wednesday, 18 December 2013


With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore!


'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, save one tubby mouse.
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 beds
While visions of honey pots danced in their heads.
Except one cheeky bear, too excited to sleep
Who pulled back the covers, determined to peep.


When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
The bear was too scared to see what was the matter.
The tubby mouse scampered to bear like a flash
And both of them fell on the floor with a crash.


Cheeky and Mouse were trembling and quaking.
They rushed to the window, their paws were all shaking.
They were filled full of fears and terrors and dreads
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 creatures came.
Heard him whistle and shout and call them by name.


'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 too.


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 turned round
Down the chimney came Santa with a leap and a bound.


He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
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 merry!
His cheeks were all fluffy, his nose like a berry!
His neatly-sewn mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.


'That's a bear!' hissed the mouse, 'It's not Santa Claus.'
Cheeky giggled, then whispered, 'It's Santa Paws!
He's been scoffing the mince pies, look at his tummy.
The reason he's fat is 'cos mince pies are yummy!'


He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old bear,
And they laughed when they saw him, the saucy young pair.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave them to know they had nothing to dread.


He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
He filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
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 whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But they heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
'Beary Christmas to all, and to all a good night!'


The bears opened their presents, then Cheeky and Mouse
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 sherry.)

You can listen and watch this on Youtube


Saturday, 30 November 2013

                 JACK AND THE BEARSTALK
                    by Susan Brewer

                  Oliver and his friends decide to put on their very own pantomine!
Once there was a bear called Jack
Who was really rather lazy.
He spent his days upon his back
And drove his mother crazy.
'Go to the market, said his mum
I have to have some money.
I can hear your rumbly tum
We must buy bread and honey.'
'Take the cow and sell her                                                           
Or there won't be any dinner.
Swap her for some shiny gold
Before you grow much thinner.'
Jack was sad, he liked the cow
But Daisy felt quite joyful.
With some luck and know how
She might meet a boy bull.

Jack wandered down the grassy lanes                                        
With his mum's cow to sell
He stopped to watch the puffer trains
His pals were by the well.
'My cow Daisy is for sale,
She's going cheap to you.'
Cheeky pulled poor Daisy's tail,
And laughed, 'Most cows go moo!'

'I'll buy your cow' a trader said.                                                 
He was a cunning fellow.
'I'll pay you jelly bears, two red,
three green, one black, one yellow.'
Jack wondered what his mum would say.
He knew what he'd been told.
'The bears are magic, within a day
You'll have pots of gold.'
'You stupid ted!' mum cried in shock,                                            
And threw them in the air.
'I'll have to find some goods to hock!'
But Jack could only stare,
Because the bears began to sprout.
Soon the stalks were high.
He peered up, there was no doubt -
They reached right to the sky.
'I'll climb the bearstalk,' said our Jack.                                        
'Gold must be at the top.
I hope that I'll get safely back,
Because it's such a drop.'
Up he climbed, this brave young ted,
Until his paws were sore.
He spotted an enormous head
And heard an angry roar.
'Fee Fi Fo Fare                                                                           
I smell the fur of a teddy bear.
Be him staid or be him funny
I`ll grind his stuffing to make my honey.'
Our Jack declared, 'That's very odd!'                                            
Though fear had made him blink.
'He really is a gigantic bod
And his rhyme is out of sync.'
Soon Jack saw the giant's gold
Underneath his honey store.
He grabbed it, feeling very bold.
'We'll be rich for ever more!' 
Down he scrambled with the sacks                                                
Till he could let them drop.
'Quick, mum, get the biggest axe.'
They both began to chop.
And as the bearstalk tumbled down,
And landed with a crash,
Jack told his mum, 'Please don't frown.
I've brought you heaps of cash.'
So Jack became a hero                                                               
With bears both near and far.
His credit zoomed from zero
He was a superstar.
It could have been quite tragic.
That giant was a rotter.
To his friends, though, Jack was magic,
And they called him Beary Potter.
Jack                 -       Oliver
Mother             -        Cosy
Giant                -        Mr Chad
Trader               -       BlueBell
Daisy                 -      Mustapha (Under protest)
Cheeky             -       Cheeky
Friend               -       Cheddar
Friend                -      Meredith

Thursday, 31 January 2013

(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 for  a 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?

            CAST LIST:
    (In order of appearance)

Clara                        Blancmange  
Fritz                         Macaroon
Drosselmeyer            Cheddar
Mouse                      Squeaky
Mouse King               Mousey
Prince                        Oliver
Snowflake Queen       Colette
Snowflakes                 Mothball, Minty
Sugar Plum Fairy         Grace
Mirliton                       Hudson
Chinese                       Cheeky Alfonzo
Arabian                       Peepbo
Flowers                       Russell, Azure, Choccy