“Once upon a time there was a little old Teddy bear. He was so old that he had lost his fur and his eyes and he was not the handsome little bear he had once been.
“The children he had played with had grown up and gone away, and so he lay in a dusty corner of the attic and made friends with the mice.”
The lady of the house decides, one day, to clean the attic. She throws the old bear in the trash. This certainly looks like the end for him. Even as trash, he isn’t any good. A bird asks him for some fur to line its nest, but he doesn’t have that much fur left. A tired kitten wants to use him for a pillow, but the old bear is hard and lumpy. He has nothing for the dog to eat.
It makes the old bear sick and miserable when some boys take him out of the trash can and toss him around like a football. But that gets him out of the trash, so his story doesn’t end there.
After one thing and another, an old lady finds the old bear, takes him home, and gives him new eyes. After this, he enjoys looking out the window, but now he can see children outside playing with their fluffy Teddy bears. He knows no child will ever want him. Was he given eyes only so he could cry?
The old lady decides she’s going to dress up the old bear and give him to the church bazaar. The Little Old Bear is sure no one will want him there, and then he will certainly end up in the trash.
Before the old lady can do anything more with the old bear, her grandson comes to visit. He has a brand new, fluffy Teddy bear. So, of course, he’s not going to be interested in the old bear. Is he?
In our interview with Hilda van Stockum’s son, John Tepper Marlin, we asked him if he had favorites among his mother’s books. He said Little Old Bear was his favorite picture book.
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