Barbara Keeling gets a little frisky for Valentine’s Day!

(here the Bears can be seen coming out of hibernation and still in cuddly mode)

Ahhhh Literati!  

From the warmth and comfort of the towers that are A Word with You Press in Moscow I am drinking beer and eating Oreos (they’re not just for breakfast!) and sorting through the stories that are piling up for our contest A Dozen Roses from a Single Thorn: A Valentine’s Day Contest.  

Here is a sweet story by the even sweeter Barbara Keeling, her entry into the contest:


By Barb Keeling

Of all the stuffed animals we have as kids I would guess the Teddy Bear is close to the top of the list as a favorite. They become super pals. Mine was a basic medium size brown bear called Frisky Bear. I might have been about six when he joined our family. It seems like I made sure he was involved in nearly everything I did until I was a teenager.

Frisky Bear was my first best friend. He was who I played with, had tea with, got mad at, told my deepest secrets to, cried with, slept with and I didn’t go many places without him. I even put him in my bicycle basket when I went out for a ride. If it was cold I had a little wool hat I slipped over his ears and a tiny scarf to tie around his neck. When I went roller-skating I would just hold tight to one of his arms and away we would go.

Besides being my best friend, he was part of my sleeping routine. Going to bed with out my Frisky Bear would be un-heard of. I once pulled the waist band elastic cord out of the PJ bottoms I was wearing and tied Frisky Bear to my waist. I was sleeping on the couch and wanted to make sure when Daddy moved me to my real bed that night, Frisky Bear would come with me. He made the trip just fine.

The fact that I still remember this little bear with such fondness in spite of my now old age and leaky memory means he was indeed important to my life.

As years went by, Frisky Bear’s place in my heart changed but he still was part of my life as he sat on my bookshelf.

One Saturday a nice man that always mowed mother and daddy’s lawn was there working. He had his 3 year old daughter with him. He took her everywhere, for he didn’t want to miss a moment of her life. Mother had heard that the little girl had cancer, but it was only a rumor. The youngster didn’t have anything to play with while she waited for her dad to finish his work.

Mother suggested I give the little girl something of mine that had special meaning to me. “That way you will remember giving the gift,” mother pointed out.  The fact that I still recall this gift given, means Mother was so right.

I gave the little girl my Frisky Bear. She beamed with delight and squeezed him tightly into her arms. He had provided me with so much love and now he could do the same for this little girl. She died a few months later. I always wondered if they buried the bear with her. I hoped they did so she would have Frisky Bear forever.













7 thoughts on “Barbara Keeling gets a little frisky for Valentine’s Day!

  1. Michael Stang says:

    Barbara, you are so dear, what a wonderful story. My own bear came to me just before I entered the nightmare world of child research for speech stutter. Don’t think I could have survived without him. All black with white eyes, he stood by me until the end. Thank you for a great memory.

  2. Parisianne Modert says:

    “Frisky Bear” is the loving story of a childhood bear passed on to a young girl dying of cancer. There is a lovely reference of Frisky Bear going to Heaven with the deceased girl to keep her company. The tender love and growing up made for a very heart felt story that I enjoyed in quality and emotions.

  3. Diane Cresswell says:

    I remember my brothers and sister having a teddy bear, and of course my sons and later my granddaughters had theirs’. For me… I never had one. I can’t miss something that I never had, but your story at this moment puts me in a place to wish that I had had one. How glorious a memory, and what a gift to pass on. Your story carries a lovely message – love is not meant to be contained… and in giving it… it can move to another who needs it more. A gift beyond measure.

  4. barbkeeling says:

    Thank you for feeling the love shared bear story. Diane how sad to have not had a bear. Appreciate everyones nice comments to my heart touching but simple story. It made me cry to write it even though it was nearly 70 years ago. Interesting what memory does when events roam back into our soul.

  5. Ken Weene says:

    I must admit I found this tale uncomfortable. I think it has to do with the rumor reference. Clearly it was true if the girl died so soon after. Sorry to be a grinch, but this memory doesn’t ring true because one has to believe that the mother suggested the particular gift to give. I can’t imagine a young child giving her transitional object to a relative stranger without prompting.

  6. Kristine Rose Grant says:

    This reminds me of the movie, “Pay it Forward”, I found the story endearing. How would it be if all children were as nurturing, caring, and kind?

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