Perry's European Adventure - 1999

Cub Reporter Perry Bear!Hello, bear friends!  In 1999, I traveled to Europe with the San Francisco Symphony.   I hope you will enjoy reading about stories and adventures!

Perry's Travels: 

All Aboard!

Cub Reporter Perry BearDear bear friends:

All aboard! In just a few days, Miss Cynthia, Dr. Steve and I leave for a trip to Europe. Thanks to computer technology and the Tri-City Herald, all my bear friends are invited to read along as Perry Tours Europe 1999.

Being a traveling teddy bear is a big responsibility. It is also a lot of fun. In the weeks to come, I will visit thirteen cities in eight European countries. As I travel from country to country, I will write stories about all my adventures.

There will be many things to see and do. We will travel on planes, trains and buses. We will brave cold winter weather. We will visit famous places. Through it all, I will be on the job. As Cub Reporter, I will use the Internet to share all my stories and adventures.

How did I come to be a traveling teddy bear? A few years ago, I was just an everyday teddy. I lived with my bear family on a bookcase in a sunny room. It was peaceful and quiet and happy. We talked and slept and told stories, just like any other bear.

One day, Miss Cynthia came into the sunny room. She asked for a volunteer, someone to be her companion on a long trip away from home. Marco waved his paw eagerly, but he was too small. Leif Bearickson said he would go, but Miss Cynthia explained that he was too large to fit in a suitcase. Rudy thought he might like to travel, but his joints were rather delicate. Bear by bear, everyone was too big or too small or too fragile except for me, Perry Bear. There was simply no one else to do the job!

At first, I was a little bit frightened. Dr. Steve and Miss Cynthia don’t travel alone; they take trips with an entire symphony orchestra.

Since 1993, Dr. Steve has served as Orchestra Physician to the San Francisco Symphony. When the orchestra travels outside the United States, Dr. Steve travels with them. Dr. Steve takes care of anyone who becomes sick so far from home. He helps make sure the musicians are well and healthy, so they can make beautiful music together.

There were so many musicians to get to know! Over 130 people travel when the San Francisco Symphony makes a concert tour.

Now that I have traveled on three Symphony tours, I am friends with everyone. It will be nice to see all my musician friends as we travel to Europe.

On tour, I use computer technology to share my travels with children around the world. About every other day, Miss Cynthia helps me write about my latest adventure. We laugh and laugh as we look at the photographs and talk about what we’ve seen and done. Soon we have finished writing our story. We select just the right photograph to send to all my bear friends.

When our story is ready, it’s time to turn to the computer! Miss Cynthia and I work closely with our laptop computer. He has a name: Baby Supercomputer.

Baby Supercomputer uses a modem to dial the telephone. He is such a smart computer! Baby calls a telephone number that connects us to the Internet. Shall I push the button? There goes our story!

It takes only a few seconds for our story and photo to travel from Europe to the computer server for the Tri-City Herald. Unlike little Baby Supercomputer, the Herald’s computer servers are very large and powerful. They live in a special room at the Tri-City Herald’s offices.

Soon my editor, Miss Sherry Emery, has received my story. She reads it very carefully. I try not to make mistakes in grammar and spelling, but sometimes they happen anyway. It’s an editor’s job to make sure the story is just right. Miss Sherry is a very good editor. She makes my stories look very good.

Miss Sherry formats my story and uploads it to the Herald’s computer server. Within just a few moments, all my bear friends can read my adventure on the World Wide Web. Sometimes my story appears on the Web just a few hours after it has happened!

Are you ready? Say "Bon Voyage!" and get ready as Perry Tours Europe, 1999.

Your bear friend,

Perry Bear Ewer

Perry's Travels: 

Lost and Found

Everything was topsy-turvy in the house on the hill!

Suitcases were scattered everywhere. Miss Cynthia moved books from one stack to another. Doctor Steve counted his pills and checked his medical equipment. Baby Supercomputer went to the Internet again and again.

Soon we would travel to Europe. It was winter. The weather would be very, very cold. There might be rain or ice or snow. Even though bear fur is very warm, I wanted to be sure I would be comfortable.

But I couldn’t find my nice warm scarf!

Alexander was reading stories to the younger bears. "Alexander!" I called. "Have you seen my nice warm scarf?"

Alexander looked down from the top of the bookcase. "Can’t say that I have, Perry dear. Have you asked Miss Cynthia?"

Miss Cynthia was mending a pair of Doctor Steve’s pants. "Miss Cynthia!" I called. She looked up from her sewing. "Have you seen my nice warm scarf?"

"Goodness, Perry," said Miss Cynthia. "Have you lost your scarf?"

"Of course not," I said, "I just can’t find it!"

Miss Cynthia poked a thread through a needle and knotted the end. "You know, last time I saw your scarf, it was in the toy box. Have you looked in there?"

Have you seen my nice warm scarf?I hurried back to the sunny room. Emily, Cokie and Marco were playing a clapping game. "Emily!" I said. "Have you seen my nice warm scarf? Miss Cynthia said it might be in the toy box."

"Let’s go look," said Emily. Marco and Cokie trailed behind us.

The toy box was very, very full. "My chicken puppet!" said Marco, as he pulled the bright yellow chicken out of the box.

"Look!" said Emily, "Here’s beautiful bracelet. I’ve never seen this before!"

Cokie reached inside the toy box. "A Santa hat!" he said. "Look at me, I’m Santa Claus!"

I leaned way, way down into the box. Everyone had found something except me. Would I find my nice warm scarf?

There was a yo-yo in the toy box. There were books in the toy box. There was a whistle in the toy box. There was everything except my nice warm scarf.

I sat down with a thump. Where could it be? I needed my nice warm scarf! Whatever would I do in the cold and rain and snow? A little tear rolled down my muzzle.

Emily patted my paw. "Don’t worry, Perry Bear, we’ll find your scarf!" She called to the other bears. Soon, I was surrounded by all fifteen of my bear brothers and sisters.

"Okay, bears," said Emily, "Perry needs to find his nice warm scarf. Does anyone know where it might be?"

Little Merri tugged at Emily’s dress. Emily looked down and smiled at our littlest bear sister. "Did Perry put his scarf away where it belongs?" Merri asked.

"Well, Perry?" said Emily. "Did you put your scarf away where it belongs?"

I thought for a moment. I smiled, a big broad Perry Bear smile. "That’s it! Thank you, Merri. My scarf is in the coat closet where it belongs! Let’s go get it!"

Perry found his nice warm scarf!The whole bear family raced to the coat closet. My scarf! My nice warm scarf was hanging right where it was supposed to be: on a little hook in the coat closet. Everyone cheered.

I tried on my scarf before all my bear brothers and sisters. I wouldn’t have to worry about the cold. I wouldn’t have to worry about the rain. I wouldn’t have to worry about the snow. I had found my nice warm scarf.

Next time, I’ll look for something where it belongs!

Perry's Travels: 

Late One Night

It was my favorite time of day. Miss Cynthia and Doctor Steve had gone to bed. The house on the hill was dim and still and quiet. In the sunny room, a small lamp glowed softly. Time for stories!Story time!

In the morning, I would leave for Europe. There would be no more bear stories until I returned. I was eager to snuggle with my bear family one last time. We would laugh and talk together. We would tell stories and recite Beary Tales.

But where was everyone?

"Alexander!" I called.

"Here I am, Perry!" answered my twin brother. "I’m here in the corner, reading a book." Alexander was reading to some of the young bears. As the oldest bear in our bear family, Alexander took care of everyone. "We’ll be there in a moment," he said.

Where was everyone else? I wanted to begin our story time! "Emily?" I asked.

"I’m on the sofa, Perry," said Emily. "I’m showing Rudy, Marco and Molly how to make a cat’s cradle." Emily was our newest big bear. She had come from another family to help take care of all the young bears. Emily knew many interesting things. "We’ll be right down, Perry Bear," she called.

Who else was missing? "Prince Hal?" I called. "Grillparzer?"

"Here we are, with Gaius Ursus," said Prince Hal. "We’re playing a game on the computer!" Prince Hal, Grillparzer and Gaius were our international bears. Each came from a foreign country to join our bear family. "Is it time for stories already?" asked Prince Hal. He scrambled down from the computer chair.

The bear family gathered for story time. Everyone settled into a comfortable spot for talking and listening. Leif Bearickson leaned against the bookcase. He gathered Cokie and Franklin onto his lap. Amerigo and Gus threw friendly arms around each other. One by one, each bear joined the group.

"Wait a minute," said Alexander. "Where are the babies?" Everyone looked around, but no one could see our littlest bear brother and bear sister. Alexander shushed the puzzled, murmuring bears.

"William! Merri!" called Alexander. "Where are you? It’s time for stories!" There was no answer.

Alexander looked at everyone. "Who was the last one to see William and Merri?" he asked. "Does anyone know where they could be?"

"I thought I saw them head into the living room!" said Marco.

"The living room!" exclaimed Alexander. "What were they doing out there? They know they’re supposed to stay with us in the sunny room. I hope they haven’t gotten lost!" said Alexander.

He jumped up and walked to the door. "Perry, Emily, will you watch the rest of the bears for a moment? I’ve got to find William and Merri."

"Let me come with you, Alex," I said. "I’ll help you find the babies. Emily can watch the other bears for a moment."

"Goodness!" grumbled Alexander as we walked down the hall. "William and Merri certainly are getting adventuresome! Just last week, Miss Cynthia found them in the kitchen. Now they’re in the living room. I don’t know what we’re going to do when you’re away, Perry Bear."

I patted my twin brother on the back. "You’ll do fine, Alex. Emily’s here to help, and there’s nothing in the house on the hill that can hurt the babies. I’ll miss all of you, though!"

"We’ll miss you too, Perry," said Alexander. "Look!" he pointed, "There they are! What on earth are they doing?"

Merri and WilliamWilliam and Merri had found our suitcases. They were standing next to my little red bag. When I traveled with Miss Cynthia, I used my little red bag to carry my scarf and my fur-brush and my bow-ties.

William had given Merri a boost. She was peeking over the side of the bag. Merri had scattered my bow-ties. William had tried on my scarf. What a mess! I had packed so carefully!

We reached the naughty little bears. "William! Merri!" scolded Alexander. "What are you doing in here? What have you done to Perry’s suitcase?"

Merri jumped down quickly. She looked startled. William looked at the ground. "We just wanted to see what was in it," he said slowly. "We’ve never seen a suitcase before!" he added.

Alexander hugged the baby bears. "Don’t you two know that you’re supposed to stay with us, in the sunny room? Little bears could get hurt out here where they don’t belong!"

"Oh, we never get to go anywhere!" burst out Merri. "It’s not fair!"

Alexander planted a kiss on the top of Merri’s head. "Right now, you get to go back to the sunny room for story time!" he said. "That’s where little bears are supposed to be. No more trips to the living room!" scolded Alexander, gently.

That night, we talked and talked and talked, almost until the sun came up. Alexander told all the best Beary tales. Franklin sang "The Teddy Bear’s Picnic." Emily showed us some Irish dance steps she’d learned from Miss Caitlin at her former home. It was a party, a true bear party.

One by one, the bears went to sleep. I talked and talked until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. "Good night, Alexander," I said, as I slid into sleep.

"Good night, Perry dear," said my twin.

The next night, I would sleep in Dublin!

Perry's Travels: 

Awake in Dublin

Zzzzzip! Miss Cynthia opened the zipper to my carry-on bag. I blinked at the sudden bright light. Yawning, I stretched my paws as far as they would go. I sat up and looked around the hotel room.

I woke up to Dublin!

I barely remembered leaving the Tri-Cities, so many hours earlier. Teddy bears are lucky. When they travel, they’re small enough to have a bed in a suitcase. Miss Cynthia made a bed for me in her carry-on bag, just before we left for our trip. While she and Doctor Steve had to travel on four different airplanes, I just took a nap!

Wake Up, Perry . . . We're In Dublin!Now we were in Dublin. I woke up quickly and looked around. Our hotel room was very large and very beautiful. There was a soft sofa and comfortable chairs. A great big bed was piled high with fluffy pillows. Tall windows framed a view of Dublin’s city streets.

I felt fresh and rested. Not like poor Miss Cynthia and Doctor Steve! They were very tired from traveling for such a long time. Doctor Steve put his feet up on the coffee table. Miss Cynthia sprawled out on the bed next to me.

"Was it a long trip, Miss Cynthia?" I asked.

"Too long!" she said, as she picked me up for a hug. "Still, we’re here now. What do you think of Dublin?"

We walked to the window and looked outside. On a flagpole, the Irish flag snapped and danced in the fresh, cold breeze. People walked briskly. They had bright pink cheeks from the wind. Everyone looked happy and jolly.

"I’ll bet people in Ireland like bears!" I said. Miss Cynthia and Doctor Steve laughed at each other over my head. "I’ll bet they do, Perry Bear," answered Miss Cynthia. "Shall we go find out? It’s time for tea!"

In the British Isles, tea time is an afternoon ritual. Between 3 and 5 o’clock—just about the time most children come home from school—the Irish, English and Scots sit down to tea. It’s a happy, friendly meal.

Doctor Steve, Miss Cynthia and I went to tea in our hotel. We settled onto a comfortable sofa, set before a crackling fire. Miss Cynthia made a seat for me on a nice soft sofa pillow. Looking around, I sniffed the good smells with my bear nose. Wood smoke, tea and sweet cakes were in the air!

Our waitress, Miss Caroline, was smiling and jolly. She had bright pink cheeks, too! "Welcome to Ireland!" she said. "Tea for three!" ordered Doctor Steve.

Tea for PerrySoon, a steaming teacup sat before me. "Milk or sugar with your tea, Perry?" asked Miss Cynthia. "Both, please!" I said eagerly. Miss Cynthia laughed as she picked up the lumps of sugar with special little silver tongs. Teddy bears like their tea very, very sweet.

I settled back into my soft cushion and sipped my tea. All around us, groups of happy people chatted as they enjoyed an afternoon snack. Many of my friends from the orchestra were there. Everyone greeted me warmly. It was nice to see so many good friends enjoying a snack.

Now it was our turn! Our tea cakes and sandwiches had arrived. First, I had a scone with Devonshire cream. A scone is like a biscuit or a muffin, but sweeter. You split it open, and spread it with jam or butter. Devonshire cream is a thick, sweetened cream. It is my favorite.

Tea sandwiches next! We chose from a large tray of tiny finger sandwiches. No crusts at tea! I sampled the smoked salmon sandwich. Miss Cynthia ate her favorite, cucumber sandwiches. Doctor Steve preferred the roast beef. Miss Cynthia poured more tea into our teacups.

Time for the sweets! Oh, it was so hard to choose. There were tiny French �clairs, filled with sweet whipped cream and frosted with chocolate. Little tarts sat next to a rainbow of sliced sweet breads. I tried a nibble of everything, even though my tummy was so full, I was straining my stitches.

As we ate, darkness fell. Outside the parlor where tea was served, a beautiful English knot garden caught the last rays of sunlight.

I leaned back, plump, full and happy. After a good night’s sleep, we would explore Dublin. I knew I would see and hear many interesting things.

But for now, I was a happy, sleepy, very full teddy bear!

Perry's Travels: 

A Writer's Bear

My first day in Ireland! It was a day for learning about books and writers and writing. In Ireland, writers and poets are very special. They are honored for what they do.

A street in DublinThe wind was cool and brisk. The breeze felt good against my fur. No need for my nice warm scarf as we set out for the Dublin Writers’ Museum. Ireland has produced many famous writers and poets. At the Dublin Writers’ Museum, we would learn about all the writers who had found a home in Dublin.

I enjoyed the walk to the museum! Miss Cynthia tucked me into a little tote bag for the trip. My head was free to look around. My paws were free to wave at boys and girls on the street.

People in Dublin like bears! Smiling, pink-cheeked men and women gave me a friendly greeting as they passed. Everyone smiled to see a little teddy bear carried down the street, backwards.

Dublin’s streets were clean and pretty. Tall buildings were made of stone or brick. Front doors were brightly painted. Small brass panels announced the shop or business that lived inside. Narrow houses had tiny front yards, set off from the sidewalk with elegant iron fences. Even in January, the grass glowed green. "Now I know why they call Ireland, ‘The Emerald Isle’!" said Miss Cynthia.

At the Dublin Writers MuseumWe had arrived! Miss Cynthia held me up to read the brass letters: Dublin Writers Museum. Inside, we removed hats and coats, and set off to learn about Ireland’s writers.

Miss Cynthia paused before every display case. "Perry, some of my favorite writers were Irish," she said. Miss Cynthia talked of James Joyce and George Bernard Shaw. Did you know that Jonathan Swift, author of "Gulliver’s Travels", was an Irishman? Many children love Mr. Swift’s tales of Lilliputians and giants and fabulous adventure. Miss Cynthia enjoyed looking at the books and pens, typewriters and desks of so many writers.

Doctor Steve and I, I’m sorry to say, were becoming a little bit bored. I began to worry! After all, when Doctor Steve becomes bored, he often decides to tease little Perry Bear. Would he dip my ear in an inkwell? I hoped that Miss Cynthia would hurry!

Suddenly, she stopped, stock-still. "Look, Perry, look here! There’s a bear here!" My little tote bag was turned around so I could see. There, inside the case, was a very old, very loved writer’s teddy bear. A bear, just like me, who lived with a writer!

Miss Cynthia read the information about the writer’s bear. The bear was a girl bear, and had belonged to writer Mary Lavin. Miss Lavin wrote elegant short stories in the earlier part of our century.

Miss Lavin’s bear was quite old. Her button eyes had long since fallen off. Her nose was rubbed and frayed, and her fur was patchy. But Miss Lavin’s bear was dressed in a long, beautiful dress. Her small scuffed paws were almost hidden by pretty ruffles. A delicate lace slip peeped from beneath the bear’s dress. I looked hard at the bear’s clothing. Emily, my bear sister, would want to hear all about Miss Lavin’s bear.

Miss Cynthia and I talked quietly, so we wouldn’t wake the elderly bear. "Perry, aren’t you excited? Until now, we’d never met another bear who was a writer’s friend! Miss Lavin kept this bear with her all her life!" said Miss Cynthia.

As we stepped outside into the sunshine and brisk breeze, I felt proud! Here was another bear who helped a writer do her job. It made me feel good.

Teddy bears aren’t just for children. As I learned today, teddy bears are also for writers.

Perry's Travels: 

Perry Hears A Noise

"How do I look?" asked Doctor Steve. He stood before the mirror, smoothing his hair. Miss Cynthia straightened his tie, then leaned close to the mirror to check her makeup.

Tonight was the first concert of the San Francisco Symphony’s European Tour—but I would not be there! I sulked as I sat among the bed pillows. I had to stay in our hotel room this evening. There would be no place for a little teddy bear at the Symphony’s first concert.

I wanted listen to the beautiful music! In the hours before the concert, the hotel thrilled with excitement. Would the orchestra play well? Snatches of music drifted from beneath closed doors as the musicians practiced one last time. Everyone hurried to dress in his or her best concert clothes.

Everyone except Perry Bear! I crossed my arms and kicked the pillow with my back paw.

Miss Cynthia sat down on the bed next to me. She patted my back. "I know, Perry. I’m sorry you can’t attend this concert, too," she said. "There will be more concerts as the tour continues. There just isn’t enough space on the bus for you this time!"

I kicked the pillow again. "It’s not fair," I said. "It isn’t very nice to have to stay home when you want to go somewhere!"

"Oh, poor Perry!" cried Miss Cynthia. She picked me up for a big teddy bear hug. "I know. But sometimes, life isn’t fair! We have to make the best of things anyway," she said.

Miss Cynthia tucked me back among the soft pillows on the bed. "Now, we are going to the concert. You’ll be just fine here in our hotel room. No one will come in except the housekeepers, coming to turn down the covers. Just be quiet while they’re here, and we’ll be back before you know it."

I settled back into my pillow. It wasn’t fair! I wanted to go to the concert, but I had to stay home. I folded my arms again, and kicked the pillow one more time.

Miss Cynthia laughed. She gave me a nice kiss. Doctor Steve waved good-bye. The door closed behind them. I was alone.

I looked around our hotel room. Baby Supercomputer dreamed quietly on top of the desk. A plump sofa and two comfortable chairs stood before the fireplace. Outside, I could hear the special music of a big city: car horns, trucks driving by, the snap-snap-snap of walking feet.

Isn’t it interesting, I said to myself, that city music sounds the same in Dublin as it does in London or in Paris or in Vienna? Not in New York City, though. I remembered how cabdrivers in New York loved to beep their car horns all the time. "New York has a city music all its own," I thought.

The city music got louder. It began to rustle. I sat up straight. That wasn’t city music! That rustling noise was coming from somewhere in our hotel room!

I looked around. Was it a mouse? Or a rat? I shivered against my pillow. What could be making that noise?

I looked at the desk. Baby Supercomputer’s lights glowed softly as he slept. I looked at the closet. Doctor Steve had left the door open, but the noise wasn’t coming from the closet.

I leaned over the edge of the bed. Maybe the noise was underneath me! My heart pounded as I lifted up the bed skirt. One, two, three—I opened my eyes to look under the bed. Whew! There was nothing there but an old dusty sock.

Just as I sat up, I heard the noise again. Rustle-rustle. Rustle-rustle. It was coming from around the corner, where Miss Cynthia had stacked her little black suitcase.

What could be in Miss Cynthia’s suitcase? I would have to check. I couldn’t let anything happen to all our traveling things. Why, my nice warm scarf and extra bow-tie were in the little black suitcase!

I rolled off the bed and tiptoed to the corner. Quietly, I poked my head around the wall. What was making that noise?

What was this? I stared at the little black suitcase. Over the side of the suitcase, two tiny back paws waved in the air. They were covered in white fur. Why, those paws looked like . . .

Thump! The back paws fell out of the suitcase. Along with the paws came the rest of a tiny white teddy bear.

"WILLIAM?" I shouted. My smallest bear brother rolled a little way from the suitcase. He sat up, shook his head and looked at me. I grabbed him in a big bear hug. "William!" I cried. "William, what are you doing here!"

"Perry? Perry!" said William. He burrowed his head into my fur. I hugged him tightly. What could have happened? How did William get into the little black suitcase?

William shook and shivered as I patted his back. Poor little bear! He must have been so frightened. Miss Cynthia didn’t know he was in the suitcase. Nobody made a nice soft bed for him, or took him for walks in the tote bag.

Oh, no! Stowaways!"Perry?" said a little voice. Oh, no! William wasn’t alone. Baby Merri’s head popped over the side of the little black suitcase. Merri was here, too!

I plopped down onto my little tail with surprise. William and Merri, our baby bears, were here in Dublin.

They’d traveled all the way in the little black suitcase, without anyone knowing. Why, they could have been lost, or hurt, or taken away to a new bear family! I was so surprised my brain didn’t want to work.

William ran back to the suitcase. "Merri, jump!" he said. Baby Merri wriggled over the side. She fell onto William, then rolled onto the floor.

The babies pulled themselves onto my lap, both talking at once: "Perry, we played ‘explorers’. Perry, it wasn’t fair. Perry, we went in the suitcase. Perry, we came to see you. Perry, we didn’t want to stay home. Perry, we wanted to go, too." I held each baby bear safe and tight under one of my front paws.

So many questions! How did William and Merri get in the suitcase? If the babies were here, what about Alexander and the other bears at home? Alexander must be very, very worried about the babies! How would I tell Alexander that William and Merri were safe? What would Miss Cynthia do when she found out?

My thoughts went around in a circle. I couldn’t think what to do next. I hugged the babies as they talked. I hugged the babies as they yawned. I hugged the babies as they fell asleep, right in my lap.

Oh, no! Stowaways! What was Perry Bear to do now?

Perry's Travels: 

Bear In Charge!

"Perry Bear," I said to myself, "it’s time to think."

I sat on the floor of our hotel room. Runaway babies William and Merri were asleep on my lap. Miss Cynthia and Doctor Steve were away at the concert. The housekeepers could come at any minute. I had to have a plan!

"What would Alexander do?" I wondered.

Alexander is my twin brother. We are the kind of twins who don’t look alike. Even though we both joined the Ewer bear family on the same day, inside, we are very different bears.

I am only a little teddy bear. There is stuffing where my brain should be. I have to work very hard to learn new things. I like to learn! It’s fun—but for most teddy bears, it’s hard work.

Alexander is very clever. He is a bear doctor, like Doctor Steve is a human doctor. Miss Cynthia says that she relies on Alexander, with such a large bear family to care for. Everyone goes to Alexander if they have a problem or a question. He is always loving and patient.

I love Alexander very much, but sometimes I’m glad I’m not a clever bear. Alexander has a lot of responsibility. If he were here, he would know what to do, right away.

I thought and thought about what Alexander might do. If he were here with two tired, scared, lost little baby bears, he would take care of the babies, first! I could imagine Alexander hugging William and hugging Merri. He would tell them that everything would be all right.

"Okay, Perry Bear," I said. "Take care of the babies, that’s the first thing." I looked down at the sleeping baby bears. William snored softly. Merri moved quietly in her sleep. For now, I thought, the babies would be okay. I would hold them very tightly. They wouldn’t run away again!

What else? Oh, how I wished Miss Cynthia would come back from the concert! She would know what to do.

"Wait a minute!" I thought. Earlier this evening I had wanted to go to the concert so badly that I had kicked the pillow with my back paw. But what if I had gone? What if the babies had come out of the suitcase, but nobody was here? They might have been truly lost!

I thought about Alexander again. How worried he must be! All the bears must be searching and searching the house on the hill, looking for the missing babies. I wished that Alexander were here. I could tell him that the babies were safe.

Maybe I could tell him! I looked up at Baby Supercomputer. Baby would help me get a message to Alexander. I could send Alexander an e-mail. He would read it, and know the babies were all right.

Oh, dear! I had never sent an e-mail all by myself. Miss Cynthia always helped me with the typing part. How would I write the message with my paws? You needed fingers to make a message on the computer.

I wiggled into a more comfortable position under the babies, still thinking. Poor Alexander! He would have to wait and worry until Miss Cynthia came home to help.

Maybe I could send a message, I thought. After all, when Doctor Steve makes a message on the computer, he only uses two fingers. Could I use my two paws just like Doctor Steve? One look at little William and Merri made up my mind. If the baby bears were brave enough to travel in the little black suitcase, Perry Bear could try to use the computer, all by himself.

I moved the sleeping babies to a nice warm place on the carpet. I pulled myself up onto the chair at the desk. "Wake up, Baby Supercomputer!" I said. "I have to send a very important message!"

Perry works hard to send a message!

I tried to remember what we did each morning when we answered my e-mail. Miss Cynthia always clicked on the little picture of a letter to send e-mail, so I clicked it, too. Look! There was the special e-mail screen. Could my little brain remember everything I had to know?

Carefully, I used my paws to tap each key. It took a long time to write my message. I could only tap one key at a time. I looked back often to check on the babies. They must have been very tired, because they were sound asleep!

Letter by letter, I typed my message to Alexander. Here is what it said:

dear alex. and bear famly:

willym and merri are ok
they were in suitcas
perry bear found them
they are here sleepng

perry bear

I looked at my message. I had worked very hard, but it didn’t look like the messages Miss Cynthia helped me write.

I heard Merri sighed in her sleep. I looked back to check on the little bears. They were fine. "First, take care of the babies," I told myself, "and then send Alexander a message that they’re okay." My e-mail letter would have to do.

I pushed the button that told Baby Supercomputer to send my message. Miss Cynthia always let me send the mail by pushing the button! The telephone line screeched and squawked as Baby connected to the Internet. Baby’s lights flashed. The message went through!

I went back to the sleeping babies. I needed to move them somewhere safe, somewhere out of the middle of the floor. I looked around. Where would be a good place?

Knock-knock! There was a rap at the door. Oh, no—the housekeeper! I jumped down next to the babies, and held them very tightly. The door opened. "Don’t make a sound!" I told myself. The babies slept on.

A pretty housekeeper in a starched gray dress came into the room. She made the bed all ready to sleep in. Pillows were plumped, full and soft. The blanket was folded down, just so. I peeped with one eye as the housekeeper put two chocolate candies on the bed. Good! She was leaving. I closed my eye and scrunched down small, next to William and Merri.

Oh, no! All of a sudden, I was in the housekeeper’s hands, moving toward the bed. She plumped my tummy and fluffed my fur just like I was a pillow! Then she settled me gently into the center of Miss Cynthia’s pillow.

Bear In Charge!But the babies? What about William and Merri? There they were, in the housekeeper’s hands. William squirmed sleepily as she fluffed his fur. I saw Merri’s eyes open, then shut again. Soon the babies had joined me on the pillow, one on either side. I squeezed them to me tightly. No baby bears would get lost while Perry Bear was in charge!

The door closed. The room was quiet once again. The babies hardly stirred. They settled back into a deep sleep, one on either side of me.

I was sleepy, too! What would Miss Cynthia think? Soon she would come back from the concert. I yawned. I hoped she would be proud of me!. I had kept the babies safe. I had made a message on the computer and sent it to Alexander.

What an evening for Perry Bear, Bear In Charge!

Perry's Travels: 

Bards and Boxty

"Can you imagine?" said Miss Cynthia to Doctor Steve. "Perry Bear took care of everything last night! He kept the babies safe, he wrote to Alexander—all by himself!" She smiled at me from over her shoulder.

It was morning and our last day in Dublin. William and Merri played together on the big bed. Miss Cynthia and Doctor Steve were getting ready for the day. I relaxed against my pillow. I had worked very hard the night before!

Miss Cynthia sat down on the bed next to me. "I am so proud of you, Perry!" she said. "Well done!" She ruffled my fur. I hid a smile beneath my paw. I was proud of me, too!

"Now," said Miss Cynthia, "what are we to do with these baby bears? We didn’t plan to bring little bears on this trip."

I looked at the baby bears. William tumbled sideways as Merri pushed against him. The babies giggled, then rolled to a stop. "Could we find a safe place for the babies to play during the day?" I asked. "They would keep each other company, if we just had someplace safe for them to stay."

"That’s a good idea, Perry" said Miss Cynthia. "What could we do to make a safe place for the babies?"

"Could we empty one of the suitcases?" I asked. "If we put a nice soft towel inside, the babies could play or sleep. There would be nothing for them to climb on, so they couldn’t get out and get lost!"

Miss Cynthia smiled. "Perry, you’ve done it!" she said. "That’s a great idea! A playpen for the baby bears. It will be just the thing."

And so it was. Soon, William and Merri were playing happily (and safely) in their own little suitcase-playpen. Miss Cynthia, Doctor Steve and I were on our way to see some last sights of Dublin.

"Where are we going today?" I asked. Once again, I was riding backward in my tote bag. "To see the Book of Kells!" called Miss Cynthia, over her shoulder.

I remembered what I had learned about the Book of Kells. It was made during the 8th century—the 700’s, AD. At that time, all Europe lived in the Dark Ages, a time when learning was scarce.

People worked too hard to grow enough food to learn to read or write. Important information about medicine and science, literature and art was forgotten, because there was no one to teach or to learn.

In Ireland, though, the light of learning stayed alive. Irish monks worked hard to preserve knowledge. Books were copied by hand and called manuscripts. The finest and most beautiful books were "illuminated". They were illustrated with beautiful drawings and pictures.

Of these, the most beautiful and ornate was the Book of Kells. Oh, it had an eventful life! Many, many monks worked for years to create the large, intricate manuscript. Each tiny picture took many days to complete.

About 300 years later, a disaster happened! In 1007, the Book of Kells was stolen from its monastery. Three months later, the Book was miraculously recovered from a bog. The gold covers were missing, but the important manuscript had not been harmed.

At the Door of Trinity CollegeToday, the Book of Kells lives at Trinity College, Dublin—and we were there! Miss Cynthia and I looked at the big front door. Students and visitors hurried in and out between one world and another.

Outside, the city pushed and rattled. Inside, the college was green and quiet. Beautiful old buildings sat surrounded by bright green grass. I leaned down to touch the grass, to see if it was real! Students hurried along quiet paths. Trinity College was a beautiful place, a quiet place of learning set in the heart of a busy city.

The Book of Kells lived in the building housing the Old Library. In the 18th century, Trinity College built a special place to house all the old books. We climbed up narrow stairs into this special room.

Is the Lawn Real?Oh! What a treat for a bear who loved books! The Old Library was a long, arched room, lined floor to ceiling with rare old books. Along each long wall, narrow niches surrounded tall windows. Each niche was filled with old leather volumes. The tallest books were at the bottom of the shelf. To reach the smallest books, you had to climb a ladder way, way to the top.

Doctor Steve said he wanted a library just like the Old Library. Miss Cynthia laughed. I looked at the long rows of books, and thought about all the work and thought that they contained. Ouch! It made my head-stuffing ache, just to think of it.

Downstairs, in a special museum, lay the Book of Kells. It was enclosed in a glass case, so visitors could lean close and see the tiny details of the illuminations. The Book was so old, and yet so beautiful.

"Perry, each day the museum’s curator turns the Book to a new page" said Miss Cynthia.

Night was falling as we left Trinity College. Doctor Steve was hungry! We decided to find a cab and visit the area of Dublin known as Temple Bar. There would be many restaurants there. Doctor Steve could have his dinner.

Dublin cabdrivers are very, very friendly. Miss Cynthia and our cabdriver chatted about books and writers and bears. "Do you know that we met another writer’s bear?" asked Miss Cynthia.

Our cabdriver let us out at the edge of the Temple Bar district. "Have a good night, luv!" called the cabdriver. Miss Cynthia watched him drive away. "Wasn’t that nice," she said. "In England, they ignore you and call you stuffy old ‘Madam’. Here, cabbies talk about books and writers and call you ‘luv’. I like Ireland!"

We walked toward a special restaurant: Gallagher’s Boxty House. We would eat traditional Irish food. "Boxty?" asked Doctor Steve. "What’s boxty?

"Don’t worry about what it is," said Miss Cynthia. "You’ll like it!" As we walked down the narrow street, Miss Cynthia sang a little rhyme:

"Boxty on the griddle,
and boxty in the pan.
If ye can't make boxty,
ye'll never get a man!"

Doctor Steve frowned. Miss Cynthia gave in. "All right, I’ll tell you. Boxty is a potato pancake. It’s grilled until it’s light and tender, and you put different fillings inside it."

"Oh, a potato pancake!" said Doctor Steve. "Good. I like potatoes." He smiled and walked with a lighter step. Boxty sounded good to me, too! There were rumbles in my plump little bear tummy.

Would you like to try boxty? There is a recipe here. It is delicious!

Gallagher’s Boxty House ahead—but look at the line! Doctor Steve squeezed between the happy, chattering people, and spoke to the host. "It’ll be an hour, he says," said Doctor Steve. "Shall we wait!"

"Sure!" said Miss Cynthia. "Let’s wait in the pub across the street." Doctor Steve left our name, and we went to the pub. In Ireland, pubs are places where people gather in the evening to have fun. It’s an adult’s place; there were no children.

Miss Cynthia stepped inside the pub. The ceiling was low and the room was dark. It was full of people laughing and chatting and smoking cigarettes. "Perry, you’re getting a real Irish experience tonight," she said.

Doctor Steve bought drinks, and we squeezed through to a clear stretch of table. Everyone was cheery and noisy. Pop music played in the background.

Miss Cynthia and Doctor Steve sipped their drinks and looked about happily. Young people sang along with the music. An older man read book and ate a sandwich. Two women talked earnestly, heads together over the table.

Miss Cynthia grabbed Doctor Steve’s coat. "Look!" she said, " A bard!" A young man had entered the pub and was walking from group to group. We listened as he spoke to the group next to us. For two pounds (about $3) the bard would recite a poem.

Miss Cynthia beckoned to the bard. She gave him two one-pound coins, and he handed her a little book of poetry. In a loud voice, he began to recite:

"The time before, the time again
I said I would, so here I am
Back from then, and then is now
I don't know why, I don't know how"

Doctor Steve looked puzzled, but Miss Cynthia was happy. "Perry," she explained, "a bard is someone who is a singer, a poet or a writer. A bard travels from place to place, entertaining and teaching with his art."

In Ireland, Miss Cynthia explained, it’s an honor to be a patron to a bard. For much of Ireland’s history, the Irish were forbidden to learn. Irish children were not allowed to go to school. Irish young people could not go to University.

During those dark years, bards helped keep Irish learning alive. They traveled from village to village, singing songs and reciting poems. Songs and poems and stories kept Irish history from being forgotten. Learning was shared, even if there were no schools.

Sometimes, traveling poets and singers and writers were "hedge teachers." During the years of English oppression, the Irish set up secret schools, called hedge schools. Classes often met right by the road, underneath a hedge! Hedge teachers traveled to teach children and adults. It was dangerous. If they were caught, they would be punished.

That’s why, Miss Cynthia explained, poets and writers and storytellers are so respected in Ireland. They had a big role in preserving the Irish people’s knowledge and history and learning.

Doctor Steve looked at his watch. "Time to eat!" he said. I was glad! I liked the pub, but my tummy-rumbles were too loud to ignore.

Soon we were seated at a long table at Gallagher's Boxty House, next to a bright warm fire. Everyone ate like a family, all together at the same table. An Irish man and two women shared one end of our table. Doctor Steve smiled as he gave our order. Lamb boxty, mixed boxty and Gallagher’s special boxty, coming right up!

Would you like to visit Gallagher's Boxty House? They are on the Web here.

I stretched out my paws as far as they would go. Sight-seeing could make you sleepy! I spooned up my boxty in between yawns. It was delicious—but I was a very tired teddy bear. The warm glow from the fire made me want to sleep. One more bite . . . and another . . . and I lay my head on Miss Cynthia’s lap.

Warm and full, I thought about our day. Bears and books, bards and boxty. I like Ireland, I thought, as my eyes slid down into sleep.

Good night, luv! Sweet dreams, Perry Bear!

Perry's Travels: 

Palaces in Madrid

"Are we in a palace, Miss Cynthia?" I asked.

Palace Hotel, MadridIt had been a long nap for Perry Bear. Hours ago, we had been in London. Miss Cynthia had made a nice soft bed in the suitcase for William, Merri and me. The baby bears and I had settled down for a good sleep. We would nap while the airplane carried us to our next destination: Madrid, Spain.

Now the suitcase was open. I rubbed my eyes, blinked, then looked again. Sunlight glowed into a round room through a large domed ceiling. Marble columns ran from the floor to the dome. All around me were soft, bright sofas and chairs, trimmed in gold. "It must be a palace!" I repeated.

"Silly Perry," said Miss Cynthia, ruffling my fur. "It’s only our hotel in Madrid!" Miss Cynthia lifted me onto a beautiful chair in the center of the bright room. "Of course," she continued, "it a way, it is a palace. We are staying at the Palace Hotel. Now, be quiet! Don’t wake the babies!"

I looked around, eagerly. We were in Spain! I wanted to see all the exciting things I’d learned about. Would there be handsome Spanish bullfighters and dashing flamenco dancers?

As we carried the luggage up to our room, I practiced my Spanish phrases over and over in my head. To say, "Hello!" in Spain, I would say, "Hola!" "Please" would be "Por favor", and "Thank you!" was "Gracias!" I was glad that all my friends in the Tri-Cities had worked so hard to help me learn words in Spanish.

Miss Cynthia and Doctor Steve unpacked quickly. We were all getting used to traveling. Everything had a place in our hotel room. Even the baby bears had learned. They knew that they had to play together safely and happily in their little black suitcase. With a quick kiss for the babies, we were off to explore Madrid for the first time.

Here we go! Doctor Steve hailed the very grand doorman. He had a tall hat and a fancy coat. "Taxi, por favor!" said Doctor Steve. The doorman waved his arm and whistled. Here came the taxicab!

On our first outing in Spain, we would visit the Palacio Real. "What’s the Palacio Real?" I asked Miss Cynthia. "Perry," she said, "we are going to visit a true palace: the house of the King of Spain!"

I watched from the taxi’s window as Miss Cynthia explained. Since 1975, Spain has been a constitutional monarchy. Spain has a king, but the Spanish people also vote and elect democratic representatives.

The people choose Spain’s Prime Minister. He is the head of the government, while the King is the symbolic ruler of the country. Today’s King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, is a strong supporter of democracy.

The Palacio Real is the official residence of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. While they live in another, more modest home most of the time, the Palacio Real is used for important state functions.

The narrow and winding streets of Madrid flew by my window. Tall houses lined each side of the street. "Look, Perry," said Miss Cynthia, "see how the houses are all white? They are whitewashed to reflect the sun. That makes them cooler inside. It can get very warm in Madrid!"

Miss Cynthia was right. Even in the middle of January, Madrid was sunny and warm. Sunshine bounced off orange tile roofs. Each house or building had many tall windows to catch the breeze. It would be good to feel the cool breeze inside a house in Madrid, I thought.

Our taxi pulled up before a large, open square. "We’re here!" said Doctor Steve. He paid the cab driver with Spanish money, called pesetas. Spanish bills were squarer than American dollars, and more brightly colored. Everything in Spain seemed cheerful, even the money.

King Felipe of Spain"Oh, look!" cried Miss Cynthia. We walked quickly to a tall, tall statue. "It is Felipe the Second," said Miss Cynthia, "One of Spain’s most powerful kings!" King Felipe ruled Spain during the last half of the 1500s, called the Age of Discovery. Spain’s mighty ships ruled the seas. Spanish explorers found many new lands. I looked carefully at the statue of such an important king.

I helped Doctor Steve buy tickets to tour the palace. "Dos!" he said, holding up two fingers. Teddy bears tour the palace for free! "Gracias!" I said. The ticket vendor, a man with a thick black mustache, smiled at me as we entered the palace grounds.

The Palacio Real sat on a hill overlooking much of Madrid. When I saw the palace itself, I caught my breath! It was big and beautiful, much too large for a little teddy bear to imagine. Miss Cynthia snapped my photograph in front of the long, long, building.

Perry visits the Palacio Real in Madrid

Soon, we traveled through the many rooms inside the palace. Doctor Steve enjoyed touring the pharmacy. Large storage jars lined the walls, all the way to the ceiling. Doctor Steve pointed out each old medical tool and device. Here, doctors for the royal family kept medical records and prepared medicines.

Miss Cynthia preferred the beautiful dining room. We stared at the long, long table. "Imagine, Perry, over 150 people can sit down to dinner at this one table!" she said.

Everyone gasped when we reached my favorite room: the throne room. The walls were covered with rich red velvet, decorated with silver embroidery. Tall gold-framed mirrors hung everywhere. I could see my reflection on three walls!

Two golden thrones stood on a raised platform. The marble statues of four lions guarded the thrones. I imagined myself, King Perry of the Bears, sitting on the throne. Could I take a ride on one of the lions? Even though they were only statues, they looked very fierce! I held more tightly to Miss Cynthia’s shoulder as we finished our tour.

All too soon, we were back in Madrid’s warm sunshine, standing in the palace courtyard. "Look!" said Miss Cynthia, "Look at the view of the city!"

Look at Madrid!We walked to arches framing the city view. The arches were fenced with iron gates that looked like little swords. I looked out over the sunny, sleepy city. Hills bore dusty green coverings. Miss Cynthia thought they might be olive trees. Orange and red tile roofs gave the view a bright air. Miss Cynthia looked and looked and looked.

Oh, no! Here came Doctor Steve. He was tired of looking at the view. He was going to tease poor little Perry Bear!

Miss Cynthia was still looking out over the city of Madrid. She hardly noticed as Doctor Steve took me from her arms. A few feet away, Doctor Steve looked back at Miss Cynthia and smiled his special "teasing" smile. "Let’s see if Perry would like to sit on a point!" he said. He lifted me up, then lowered me toward the sharp point of the sword fence.

Help! I don't want to sit on a point!"Help!" I called, "I don’t want to sit on a point!" I wriggled and squirmed to get away, just as Miss Cynthia ran to the rescue. No more looking at the view!

I rubbed my fur and frowned at Doctor Steve over Miss Cynthia’s shoulder. "Okay, you two," she scolded, "if teasing is going on, it’s time to return to the other palace!"

We walked back to the Palace Hotel in the bright afternoon sunshine. "Hola!" I said. "Buenos dias, Madrid!" As long as there weren’t any sharp points involved, I liked the Spanish city of Madrid!

Perry's Travels: 

Plazas and Paella

On the big bed in our hotel room, the baby bears played tug-of-war--with me! "Come on, Perry, this way!" said little Merri Bear, as she tugged on my paw. "Go, Perry, go this way!" said little William Bear, as he pulled hard on my other paw. Poor Perry Bear! I was the rope, pulled this way and that by the baby bears’ morning game.

It was a sunny, happy morning in Madrid. At the desk, Miss Cynthia tapped steadily on the computer keys. Doctor Steve talked on the phone. William and Merri wrestled and tumbled and pulled on my paws.

Rap-rap-rap! "Housekeeping!" called the voice at the door. Miss Cynthia opened the door to two hotel maids, here to straighten and tidy our room.

"Buenos dias! Buenos dias!" said the maids. "Buenos dias! Buenos dias!" said Miss Cynthia and Doctor Steve. William, Merri and I flopped on the bed, panting from our game.

"Here," said Miss Cynthia, "let me get these bears out of your way!" Miss Cynthia gathered us into her arms as the maids began to make the bed. It was very badly rumpled from our game of tug-of-war!

Miss Cynthia put William and Merri in their suitcase playpen. The maids smiled at me as they tossed the sheets high in the air between them. I thought hard to remember how to introduce myself. Oh, yes! Now I remembered: "Me llamo es Perry Oso!" I said.

Both maids looked at me with big, bright smiles. "Perry Oso, Perry Oso!" they said, nodding. Miss Cynthia looked at me. "Why, Perry!" she said. "I didn’t know you knew so much Spanish!" She turned to the maids and added, "Si, Perry Oso!"

The maids smiled shyly, and pointed to the baby bears. "William Oso," I said, "Merri Oso." The babies looked up when they heard their names. The maids giggled. "No, no es ‘oso’," said the tallest one, pointing to little Merri. "Es ‘oscito’!" she said, smiling.

Miss Cynthia and I looked at each other, puzzled. "’Oscito?" I asked. The maid laughed. She pointed to me, and in a deep low voice, said "Oso!" Pointing to Merri, she used a tiny, high voice to say "Oscito!"

"I understand!" said Miss Cynthia. "Perry, you’re a big bear, so you’re Perry Oso. But Merri is little, a little bear, so you say ‘oscito!’" Oscito! It meant "little bear"! Everyone nodded and smiled. We had understood!

With a pat for William Oscito and Merri Oscito, we left our hotel room for the streets of Madrid. Today we would walk to the center of Madrid: the Plaza Major.

From my tote bag, I tugged at Miss Cynthia’s hair. "Miss Cynthia," I asked, "what’s a plaza?"

"It’s a square, Perry," she said, "a big open space. More than that, the plaza is the center of the town’s life. It’s where people gather to meet, to shop, to hear speakers. The Plaza Major has been a center of Madrid for hundreds of years."

Madrid's Plaza MajorAs we walked, I looked around eagerly. It was the weekend. Happy people crowded the streets. Two young women walked by, arm-in-arm. Their long hair swung free behind them. A group of boys laughed and called as they passed. Little children in bright jackets held tightly to their parents’ hands. Everyone was going to the Plaza!

We were there! Tall buildings lined a huge, brick-lined open square. What a happy afternoon! We looked and looked. Everyone had something to see or do at the Plaza.

In one corner of the square, stamp and coin dealers were having a show. We walked between the lines of tables, looking at colorful old stamps and shiny coins.

In the center of the square, a speaker had gathered a small crowd. He stood on the rim of a fountain, to be heard. Men in long coats stood in a circle and listened gravely. Vendors sold snacks and toys and treats. Whole families, grandparents, parents and children, walked slowly around the bustling square.

What did the children do? They watched the pigeons! Hundreds of pigeons swooped and wheeled around the Plaza. Here, a little boy fed them some crusts of bread. There, a little girl ran and chased the birds high into the sky.

What was the best thing to do at the Plaza? Eat! It had been a long time since our morning meal, and now it was time for lunch. Doctor Steve led us into a nearby restaurant. We stretched and settled into our chairs, ready for some good food.

"Perry," said Miss Cynthia, "in Spain, people eat their main meal in the middle of the day. Today, we are going to try one of Spain’s most famous dishes: paella!"

"What is paella?" I asked. I looked around at the other tables, hoping to see something good to eat. My tummy was very empty!

"You’ll see!" said Miss Cynthia. "Here, have a piece of bread if you’re so hungry!"

I nibbled my bread and watched the busy restaurant. Next to us, a young family was having lunch. There was a mother and a father, and two little boys. I smiled and waved at the littlest boy. He waved back—until his mother tapped her finger on his plate. It was a sign to pay attention and eat!

Hungry Perry digs into his paella!Oh, good! Here was our waiter, with a very big dish. In it was rice, lots of rice . . . and was that the good smell of fish? Yes! With a flourish, the waiter divided up our dish of paella: a plate for Doctor Steve, a plate for Miss Cynthia, and a plate for Perry Bear. There was a big helping of saffron rice, rich with bits of vegetables and fish. Next to the rice came the shellfish: a little lobster, crayfish, and shrimp. Oh! Was that a mussel there, and some clams? Make sure there’s lots of fish for Perry Bear, I thought!

Miss Cynthia saw my hungry look. She looked at Doctor Steve, and they laughed. "Here, Perry," said Miss Cynthia, "you’re going to need your napkin today!" She tucked my napkin into my bow-tie, just as the waiter set the delicious paella in front of me.

Plazas and paella! Spain is a very nice place to visit, if you’re a little oscito!

Your oso amigo,

Perry Oso Ewer

Perry's Travels: 

Perry Meets N Sync!

The elevator doors slid open. Outside the front doors, a noisy crowd had gathered. What were all those young girls doing, looking inside the lobby of the Palace Hotel? What had happened to our quiet lobby?

I looked at Miss Cynthia. She looked at me. "Perry, what on earth is happening?"

It was the morning we were to leave Madrid. We had packed our suitcases. Miss Cynthia had straightened my bow tie. We were ready! The orchestra tour group would gather in the lobby, climb on the bus, and continue our travel through Spain.

"Is this for the Symphony?" asked Miss Cynthia. Mister Jeremy, a smiling violinist, laughed. "I wish!" he said. "No, there’s a pop group staying here. They’re called ‘N Sync’, and they’re very popular with kids all over the world. Look!" Mister Jeremy pointed to a busy group at the foot of a broad, curving marble staircase.

There were five sleepy-looking young men. One had spiked hair, one had bleached hair, and one had his hair arranged in little braids. They yawned and stretched as they waited at the foot of the stairs.

"Miss Cynthia," I asked, "could I do my fur like that?" I pointed to the musician with spiked hair. "I would be ‘pretty fly’ . . . for a white bear."

Miss Cynthia looked at Mister Jeremy over my head. "Of course not, silly bear," she said. "Where do you get such ideas?"

"Doctor Steve let me watch MTV last night," I admitted.

Miss Cynthia tried to laugh and frown at the same time. "I will have to speak to that Doctor Steve! Little bears have no business watching MTV!" she said. "Now, let’s watch the show."

Two large security men stood near the members of N Sync. A group of young girls tried to approach the band. They had CD cases and photos in their hands. The guards were good-natured, but very strict. "Are you guests at the hotel?" they asked. When the girls said, "No," they were escorted back outside the door.

Look! Two lucky girls came out of the elevator and spoke to the security guards. They were guests at the hotel, and they were about to meet N Sync! Shyly, they presented their CD cases to the members of the band. The girls giggled as each of the musicians added a signature to the CD liner. The girls beamed as they stood in front of the five musicians for a photograph.

Outside, girls and boys were chanting and singing and waving photographs and CD cases. Men with big black television cameras pushed and jostled with the noisy young people. A touring bus with large glass windows pulled to the front door. It was time for N Sync to leave.

"But Miss Cynthia," I asked, "how will they get past all those boys and girls?" "Just watch, Perry!" she answered.

We followed the band down the lobby. Two big, tall men opened the doors. With the help of the hotel’s doormen and staff, they pushed open a small space to the door of the bus. The band members looked at one another. Ready?

As N Sync reached the door, the crowd exploded. Cameras flashed. Hands waved high, reaching over the crowd toward the band. The young people cheered and screamed. N Sync pushed through the mass of excited girls and boys. Hurry! Get into the bus!

In a few moments, it was all over. The bus had pulled away. The girls and boys stood about on the sidewalks for a little while, then returned home to tell their parents about their exciting adventure.

Miss Cynthia turned to Mister Jeremy. "Well, it must be nice," she said.

The San Francisco Symphony is famous, but not as famous as N Sync. When the orchestra travels, people are excited and happy to see us—but they don’t scream and wave CDs at our bus!

Perry's Travels: 

Bears in Barcelona

William wiggled. Merri bounced. My tote bag was hardly big enough to hold three bears, especially when two of them wouldn’t stop squirming. "Settle down, William!" I said. "Merri, be still. Do you want to fall out onto your head?"

We were in Barcelona, Spain! Today, Miss Cynthia and Doctor Steve would take us for a walk through the Old Town. The little bears were so excited that they couldn’t stay still. I patted and hushed them as we walked out the door into the bright, sunny day.

Barcelona is a lovely old city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is an important seaport. Many ships stop at Barcelona’s harbor. In 1992, Barcelona was the host city for the Summer Olympic Games.

Barcelona is also the capitol of Catalonia, the northeastern region of Spain. Catalonia has it’s own language: Catalan. In Madrid, people speak Castilian Spanish, but in Barcelona, people speak Catalan. Signs in Barcelona are printed in both Castilian and Catalan. Catalan is a Romance language, similar to the language spoken in the nearby Provencal region of France. As we walked, I would listen hard to hear the differences between Catalan and the Castilian Spanish that I had learned.

We stepped out into the busy street. Cars were everywhere, speeding fast. "Be careful crossing the street, Miss Cynthia!" I said. Drivers in Barcelona were speedy and noisy. They like to beep the horn and race down the street. "I’ll be careful, Perry!" said Miss Cynthia, over her shoulder.

"Look!" said Doctor Steve. He pointed to a funny statue of a bull. We walked to see the statue up close. "Hmmm," said Miss Cynthia, "he looks like he’s thinking. Do you think this is Ferdinand, from the story book?" I thought so! Merri and William waved to the funny bull as we began our walk.

A few noisy, beeping blocks, and we had reached our first stop: the Plaça de Catalunya. In the Catalan language, "plaça" means the same as "plaza". It is a large, open space in the heart of a city. People come to the Plaça to enjoy the open, park-like setting.

The winter sunlight was bright and warm. Water splashed in a beautiful fountain. Many people sat on benches and steps. In the open center of the Plaça, children fed huge flocks of pigeons.

At the Placa"Miss Cynthia, Miss Cynthia," squealed William and Merri. "Look! Birds!" The baby bears bounced and wiggled and pointed to the flapping, hopping pigeons.

Miss Cynthia helped us out of the tote bag. "Wait here, Perry," she said, "and I’ll buy some pigeon food!" I held tightly to the baby bears. They wanted to run straight to the birds bunched in the center of the plaça.

Pigeons are very, very smart! As soon as Miss Cynthia returned with a small sack of bird food, the pigeons blew toward us. They were so big! Birds swooped and strutted all around us. I could barely see Miss Cynthia through the flapping birds. Where were the babies? William and Merri had disappeared under the mass of pigeons!

Suddenly, a long arm shot through the birds and grabbed me to safety. "Miss Cynthia!" I said, "Do you have the babies? There are so many pigeons, and they’re all so hungry!"

"Look, Perry!" she said. In her other arm, William and Merri leaned safely over the squawking, scattering pigeon herd. Whew! That was close!

Feeding the PigeonsSafe above the milling birds, it was fun to watch the pigeons. "I’m feeding the birds!" sang Merri. She tossed bird food into the air. Pigeons jumped up into the sky to snatch the tiny seeds. William laughed as he dumped bird food into a pile right on Miss Cynthia’s feet. Miss Cynthia squealed as pigeons pecked and scrabbled at her shoes. I scattered my bird food a safe distance away. "Have a nice lunch!" I said.

Miss Cynthia was breathing hard. "Goodness!" she said, "Those were greedy little pigeons, weren’t they?" We had fed the birds all our food, and it was time to resume our walk.

From the Plaça de Catalunya, we strolled a short distance down Las Ramblas, a wide, shady avenue in the heart of the Old City. Beautiful buildings, hotels, mansions and shops lined the street.

La Sirenita"Look!" pointed Miss Cynthia. "That looks familiar, doesn’t it?" We leaned forward eagerly. In a shop window sat a display for the Little Mermaid movie. "La Sirenita", read Miss Cynthia. "That must be Spanish for ‘Little Mermaid’!" Children everywhere like the same things, I thought. They just call them by different names.

"Where are we going now?" I asked, as we turned off the shady Las Ramblas toward an area of old, narrow streets. "We’re headed to the Picasso Museum, Perry," said Miss Cynthia. "It’s just past the Cathedral, in the heart of Old Town."

William, Merri and I looked around eagerly. In the square before the Cathedral, a street market attracted shoppers. Antiques, toys, and street musicians held the attention of everyone passing by. I pointed to a puppeteer, twirling beautiful Spanish dancers at the end of his strings. Merri tugged my fur and pointed out a performing dog. He balanced on his hind legs and hopped to the music played by his master.

Barcelona's cathedralThere was so much to see, we almost missed Barcelona’s Gothic cathedral! Groups of schoolchildren stood around teachers, looking at the elaborate façade and listening to tales of the cathedral’s history.

"Bears," said Miss Cynthia, "there has been a sacred building on this site since the 4th century! The Romans and the Moors built here. This building was begun in 1298, and wasn’t finished until just about a hundred years ago!" I stretched my head back to see the tall bell tower. William and Merri exclaimed at the statues lining the arched entrance. "Just imagine," I said, "this building took 700 years to complete!"

At the Picasso MuseumBack to our walk! The streets narrowed, tall walls nearly meeting in the sky above us. "Perry," said Doctor Steve, "many of these buildings are mansions from the 14th century." Doctor Steve and I looked at the tall old buildings, and wondered what it would have been like to walk this street 600 years ago. Would there be carts and dogs and busy, rushing people? I closed my eyes and pretended it was long ago. It was easy to pretend among all those old buildings!

Our last stop: the Picasso Museum. Pablo Picasso was a towering Spanish-born artist of the 20th century. When he was a teenager, his family moved to Barcelona. Picasso studied art in Barcelona for several years.

Barcelona’s Picasso Museum had many examples of Picasso’s early work. Even as a young boy of 10 or 11, Pablo Picasso had a rare talent. His sketches and studies showed what a great artist he was, even when he was very young. Barcelona was very proud that Picasso had made his home here. The Picasso Museum showed Picasso’s work over his long lifetime. I was very impressed!

It had been a long, happy day in Barcelona. We left the museum for the long walk back to the hotel. William and Merri napped in the bottom of the tote bag. I yawned and stretched. I was tired from all I’d seen and heard.

"Miss Cynthia," I asked, "do you think there will ever be a Perry Bear Museum?" She looked at Doctor Steve and laughed. "Well, Perry, I don’t know about that," she said. "Still, you never know! Just keep working on your stories and adventures!"

Maybe there will be a Perry Bear Museum, I thought, sleepily. I will have to write and write and write!

Perry's Travels: 

Cafe in Toulouse

"Shhhh!" said Miss Cynthia. "Doctor Steve is sleeping!"

I rubbed my eyes and sat up in bed. Now I remembered! We were in Toulouse, a city on the Garonne River in Southern France. I had never visited Toulouse before. I was eager to walk around and see the sights.

Miss Cynthia sat at a little desk, working with Baby Supercomputer. Doctor Steve coughed quietly in his sleep. Baby bears William and Merri sprawled together, fast asleep. Miss Cynthia and I were the only ones awake in the smoky early-morning light.

"Come here, Perry," whispered Miss Cynthia. "Look what’s happening in the square!"

The Place du CapitoleOur hotel room looked out over the Place du Capitole, site of the city’s municipal buildings. I went to the window and peeped around the drape.

"It must be market day!" I said. Trucks and cars circled into the square, unloading flats and cases and boxes. Men worked to put up tables and awnings. Their breath puffed out in the cold morning air. The square sizzled with good-natured activity.

"Shall we go see?" asked Miss Cynthia. "I think everyone here will sleep for awhile longer, don’t you?" Quietly, we found our outdoor clothes: a nice warm coat for Miss Cynthia, and a nice warm scarf for Perry Bear.

Maestro Michael!No tote bag today! Miss Cynthia and I would be arm-in-arm for our first adventure in France. The sun peeped brightly over the Place du Capitole. The early-morning air was cold and brisk; I was glad to have my nice warm scarf so early in the morning.

"Look!" said Miss Cynthia, "There’s Maestro Michael!" I leaned closer to see the poster in the shop window. Yes, there it was: a poster advertising the Symphony’s performance later that night. The Symphony would perform at the Theatre du Capitole, right here on the square.

"Maestro Michael looks very impressive," I said. I liked traveling with Michael Tilson Thomas. Even though he was a very famous conductor, he always had a smile and a kind word for everyone.

The Organic MarketWe turned and looked at the commotion in the center of the square. Long rows of stands ran the length of the square. As we watched, people came from all directions to visit the market. Miss Cynthia looked at me. "Shall we go see what everyone is selling?" she asked.

"Look! There’s a sign!" I said, as we crossed the street into the square. "’Marché Bio’" read Miss Cynthia. "That means ‘Organic Market’! You’ll like this, Perry—there’s nothing like French vegetables."

Beautiful French VegetablesMiss Cynthia was right! We moved from stall to stall, looking at the bright heaps of colorful vegetables. Tiny tender carrots, rosy round beets, fragrant onions and bright green cabbages glowed in the morning light.

"Bonjour, bonjour!" said the stall keepers. "Bonjour" is French for "Hello!" or "Good day!" Miss Cynthia was happy to practice her French. As we walked, she introduced me to everyone as her friend, "Perry Ours." That’s my name in French: Perry Ours Ewer, because "ours" is French for "bear".

Oh, the smells! There was fresh bread, hot and steaming. Look! A honey stand! I spent several minutes looking at the golden jars of honey, each flavored with nectar from a different type of flower.

French applesWe paused by a stand selling French apples. "Our friends in the Tri-Cities will want to know about apples in France," said Miss Cynthia. Our hometown in Washington State grows many kinds of apples.

We walked up and down the bustling market. Students from the nearby university tucked long baguettes of bread beneath their arms. Housewives haggled with stall keepers over plump round cheeses. A merry Jamaican sold French sailors’ jerseys. He chatted in English with Miss Cynthia.

"Perry, I’m cold," said Miss Cynthia. "Let’s find a café; and get something hot to drink!" In France, everyone enjoys watching the world from a sidewalk café. We crossed the street and entered a dark, cozy café.

Perry enjoys a French cafe"Bonjour," said Miss Cynthia. In French, she ordered coffee for herself and a nice hot chocolate for me. The waiter looked at us oddly. I suppose he’d never seen a traveling teddy bear before!

Soon our piping-hot drinks sat before us. I warmed my nose in the steam from my hot chocolate.

Miss Cynthia raised her coffee mug: "Salud!" she said. "Welcome to France, Perry Bear!"

Perry's Travels: 

What's the Same?

It had been a busy week for Doctor Steve. Many members of the orchestra had come down with the flu. Now Miss Cynthia had it, too. She coughed and shivered underneath the covers. Merri, William and I sat on the side of Miss Cynthia's bed. Merri leaned close to me. "Will Miss Cynthia be all right?" she whispered.

"Of course, Merri!" I said. "Miss Cynthia is sick, but Doctor Steve is taking good care of her. She just needs a few days to rest."

Miss Cynthia put out a hand to give Merri Bear a little pat. "Don't worry, Merri," she croaked. "I'll be better soon. I just need to rest! You and William and Perry are being such good friends. Thank you for keeping me company!"

Miss Cynthia rolled over and shut her eyes. Soon, she was asleep again.

In the past few days, we had traveled from Toulouse to Paris, and from Paris to Amsterdam. Miss Cynthia and many members of our tour group had been sick the whole time.

It's not easy to be sick when you are traveling. Just when you want to go to bed and rest, you have to get dressed and get on an airplane. For the Symphony musicians, things were even worse. They had to play their instruments when they would rather rest. Having the flu was very hard on everyone on the Symphony tour.

"Perry!" whispered William. "When do we get to go outside and see things?"

"Not until Miss Cynthia is better, William," I said. "We have to stay inside where it is warm, so Miss Cynthia can get well."

"But I'm bored!" said William. "I want to do something!" He made a little bounce on the blankets. Merri leaned over. "Shhh, William!" she said.

I knew I had to entertain the little bears. "Let's talk! I think if we speak quietly, we won't wake Miss Cynthia. Why don't we talk about our travels?"

"Okay, Perry Bear!" said Merri. "What should we talk about?"

"Well, how about all the things that are the same? What do children in Europe do the same as children in the United States?"

"Oh, I know one!" said William. "Toys! Toys are the same!"

William was right. In every country we'd visited, Miss Cynthia and I looked in all the toy stores. We wanted to know what European children liked to play with. Most of the time, the toys were the same as those found in American toy stores.

"Let's see," I said. "What toys have we seen that are the same?"

"Legos!" said William. "Barbie!" said Merri. "Power Rangers!" I added.

Children in Europe and in the United States enjoy Legos and Barbies and Power Rangers. What other favorite toys had we seen? Sega and Nintendo video games. Teletubbies and Playmobile people. Fisher Price toys for little children. Hot Wheels race cars. Tamagotchi and Gigapet virtual pets. We'd seen toys from "It's a Bug's Life", a popular Disney movie, in Ireland, England, Spain and France. Of course, children everywhere love teddy bears!

"I know one," said Merri. "Kids like to dress the same!"

"You're right, Merri!" I said. Children in Europe wear the same kinds of clothes as children in the United States.

In Spain, schoolchildren like to wear athletic clothing. Spanish kids wear a T-shirt and long, loose sweatpants with stripes down the side. Stylish French kids like narrow dark blue jeans with a bell-bottom. You're cool if your pants are just a little bit too long! Cargo pants with big pockets on the side are popular everywhere. Girls pair them with a baby-tee that fits nicely. On their feet? European kids, like American kids, wear Nike sneakers.

"What about movies?" William said. American movies are everywhere! "You've Got Mail" and "It's A Bug's Life" were playing all over Europe-in foreign languages, of course!

I thought hard. What was a favorite with kids that was the same everywhere? "I've got it!" I said. "William, Merri, I'm thinking of something that is the same all over the world. It is a place you go. Sometimes you find toys there, but mostly you find things to eat. Can you guess?"

William and Merri looked at each other, puzzled. "Okay," I said, "here's another hint. It's red and yellow and has a clown . . .."

"McDonalds!" said the little bears.

William and Merri were right! Even though the menu is in another language, you can always get hamburgers, french fries and soft drinks at a McDonalds.

McDonalds' restaurants are popular with kids all over the world. They are also popular with teddy bears!

Your bear friend,

Perry Bear Ewer

Perry's Travels: 

A Doll Hospital

We're home, safe and well. Time to tell my last travel story!

"Looks like Perry needs a bear doctor," said Doctor Steve.

Miss Cynthia looked at me closely over her plate of Wienerschnitzel and potatoes. "Goodness," she said, "I think you're right! Perry, what has happened to your nose?"

What had happened to my nose? What hadn't happened to me on our tour of Europe? First, baby William and little Merri had stowed away in the suitcase. Then Doctor Steve and Miss Cynthia got the flu. My travel letters had been delayed, and all my bear friends had been worried about us.

It had been a long ten days, waiting for our human family to recover. From Amsterdam to Hamburg, Frankfurt to Brussels, our poor humans coughed and shivered and ached. I was glad William and Merri had stowed away. The babies and I had lots of fun, playing games together and looking out windows in our hotel room.

Now, we were in Vienna, the last stop on our tour. Miss Cynthia was better, and Doctor Steve was his old self again.

Why, only that morning he had been teasing me! Miss Cynthia was in the shower. Doctor Steve didn't have anything to do. Look out, Perry Bear!

Suddenly, I was lifted away from the game of tag I was playing with William and Merri. "Perry," said Doctor Steve, "you don't want to play tag! You want to pretend to be a bat, and hang upside down by your toes!"

"No, Doctor Steve, no!" I cried. "I don't want to be a bat and hang upside down by my toes!"

Doctor Steve ignored me. He took me to a machine on the wall. You put your trousers inside, and the machine presses them while you sleep. Gently, Doctor Steve pushed my back paws into the top of the pants presser. Oh, no! I was hanging upside down, just like a bat.

William and Merri giggled. "Perry," said Merri, "you look funny." William and Merri looked funny, too. They were upside down, just like everything else.

The shower door opened, and Miss Cynthia stepped out. "Perry doesn't want to be a bear anymore," said Doctor Steve. "He wants to be a bat. Look! He's hanging by his toes, just like a bat!"

"Oh, no!" Miss Cynthia said as she rescued me. "It looks like Doctor Steve is feeling better! I think we should go see some of the sights of Vienna." Miss Cynthia gave me a hug and plumped the stuffing in my back paws. A quick wrap of my nice warm scarf, and we were off to explore Vienna.

That morning, we walked the center of the old city. On the Kartnerstrasse, Miss Cynthia admired the pastries and pretty candies in the shop windows. Viennese people love to drink coffee and eat little sweets, but they do so much walking that they don't have to watch their weight. "Oh, if only!" said Miss Cynthia.

We visited the beautiful cathedral in the center of Vienna: Stephansdom, or St. Stephan's Cathedral. It was built about 800 years ago, and took more than 300 years to complete. Inside the cathedral, I waved to the famous "window looker" under the pulpit, a carving of a man looking out of a window. Imagine! Stonemasons of the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries carved the window looker, and all the other beautiful decorations of Stephansdom, out of hard rock.

Outside the cathedral, long lines of horse carriages waited. Tourists and travelers could take a ride through the streets of Vienna. It would be like living in another time! I patted the nearest horse. He was wearing a blanket as a coat against the cold. He needed it! I was happy to have my nice warm scarf in the cold air.

On our way to lunch, we passed Mozart's house. It looked very small and plain for such a famous composer. Mozart lived in Vienna for many years. His memory was everywhere: Mozart candies, Mozart pastries, even the house where he lived! Miss Cynthia reminded me that Mozart had a funeral inside Stephansdom before being buried in a pauper's grave. His beautiful music still lightens the heart of all the world.

Now, over lunch, Doctor Steve said I needed to go to a bear doctor! I grabbed my nose with both my paws. I poked at it. From the inside, it felt just fine. I couldn't feel anything wrong.

Miss Cynthia lifted me into her lap. "Let's have a look, Perry," she said. She patted my nose gently, pushing the fur aside here and there.

"I'm afraid Doctor Steve is right," she said. "Perry, your nose has split in two places! It must have been all the travel, and rough-housing with the baby bears. You definitely need a new nose!"

I didn't want a new nose! I didn't want to go to the bear doctor! I grabbed my nose in my paws. "No, no, NO!" I said, loudly.

Miss Cynthia looked at Doctor Steve. She hugged me tightly. "I know just the thing," she said. "Perry, how would you like to visit the place where Grillparzer came to join our bear family? It's a shop called De Puppendoktor"

I looked up, still clutching my nose. "Grillparzer?" I asked. What was Miss Cynthia talking about? Grillparzer was one of my bear brothers, and he came from Austria. Goodness! I had forgotten Grillparzer came from Vienna! He would never forgive me if I didn't visit his old home. "Okay," I said, "but I'm not going to the bear doctor." I kept hold of my nose, good and tight.

Miss Cynthia laughed and set me in my place. "Fine, Perry, we'll go right after lunch - if you can finish eating and hold your nose at the same time."

I managed. The Wienerschnitzel was delicious! Wienerschnitzel is veal pounded very thin, and coated with a crispy fried batter. I ate my lunch and held my nose the whole time. No bear doctor for Perry Bear!

A few blocks away, we arrived at Der Puppendoktor. It was a tiny little shop, no bigger than the average American bathroom. It was full of dolls! Miss Cynthia, Doctor Steve and I went in and looked at all the beautiful dolls. Tall dolls, short dolls, baby dolls, boy dolls, lady dolls, and many old, valuable dolls. The dolls were dressed in beautiful clothes. Their hair was curled and shiny. They smiled at me, and I waved a friendly greeting, one paw still on my nose.

Miss Cynthia pointed to a tiny chair. A doll in a red dress sat there. "Look, Perry," said Miss Cynthia, "that is the exact chair where Grillparzer sat when I adopted him. I was visiting the shop, and looked in his eyes, and nothing would do but that he come home with me and join the bear family." I looked around and tried to remember everything. Grillparzer would want to know all about his earliest home!

A little counter stood in a corner, in front of a workroom that opened out behind the shop. Look! Dolls and bears sat lined up on the workroom shelves. They weren't pretty and shiny like the other dolls, but they smiled and waved anyway. Some needed hair. Others were missing noses or feet or arms. Some of the bears had lost their stuffing, or their button eyes. They were all happy and cheerful, though.

"Hello!" called Miss Cynthia. From the workroom, a pretty young woman appeared. "Hello!" the shopgirl said. She had a warm smile as she looked at me. "Do we have someone who needs some help?"

Miss Cynthia introduced me. "This is my good friend Perry Bear. He is a reporter from the United States." I shook hands and said "How do you do?"

"Perry is a bit nervous about visiting you," said Miss Cynthia. "As you can see, his nose has a little problem. There are two splits in it, and the stuffing is coming out!"

The pretty shopgirl smiled at me. She looked closer. "May I?" she asked, as she pushed away my paw. "Oh, my!" she said, as she examined my nose. "This isn't good, but it will be very easy to fix."

I looked around. What was this place? I thought bear doctors were scary and frightening. Instead, this was a happy room, full of smiling dolls and bears.

"Yes, Perry," said Miss Cynthia, "this is a doll hospital. That's what 'Puppendoktor' means in German. We found Grillparzer here, and after the tour, I'd to send you back here to have your nose fixed. What do you think?"

The shopgirl picked me up and hugged me. "It will be fun, Perry Bear. As you see, there are many dolls and bears to talk to. We will take good care of you when we give you a new nose."

She carried me to a long wall. "Look!" she said, "you will be in good company." She pointed to many letters, newspaper clippings and magazine articles, all about dolls and bears who had visited Der Puppendoktor. One of the bears was a television star on German television! Others had come from Australia, Japan, and the United States. Many children had written to thank the bear doctors for the good care their friends had received.

"Well?" asked Miss Cynthia. "We can't leave you here just yet - we have to go home first. Then you'll have to visit some of your bear friends in school, and write a few newspaper stories. When everything is ready, we'll send you straight to Der Puppendoktor. You'll visit with all the dolls and bears as your nose is repaired. Then they will send you straight home."

"What do you think?" asked Miss Cynthia again. I looked around. The shopgirl seemed very nice, and I could tell she liked bears, too. The dolls and bears smiled at me, encouragingly. One saucy doll winked at me. Think of the stories I could learn from so many dolls and bears!

"I'll do it!" I said. Everyone smiled.

In the days that followed, we made our way home. There were many long plane flights, and we grew very tired. We had been gone for an entire month! After a long trip, everyone likes to rest for a little while.

Except, Perry Bear will be returning to Vienna soon, this time for a new nose!

Your bear friend,

Perry Bear Ewer

Perry's Travels: 

Try Boxty!

Would you like to try Boxty, too?  Here is a recipe for these Irish potato griddle cakes, from the Edibilia archives:


Categories: Irish, Vegetables
Servings: 8

1/2 lb Raw potato
1/2 lb Mashed potato
1/2 lb Plain flour
1 Egg
Salt and pepper

Grate raw potatoes and mix with the cooked mashed potatoes. Add salt, pepper and flour. Beat egg and add to mixture with just enough milk to make a batter that will drop from a spoon.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a hot griddle or frying pan. Cook over a moderate heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Serve with a tart apple sauce: or as part of an Ulster Fry, with fried bacon, fried sausage, fried eggs, fried black pudding, fried bread, fried soda bread...

Perry's Travels: