A long way away from wherever it is that you live right now, there once was a tiny little cottage at the end of a long and winding trail, deep inside a forest of tall and tangled trees.
Inside this cottage there lived a family of misfit bears. There was an enormous polar bear, a gigantic grizzly bear, a huge black bear, and even a teeny tiny Koala bear.
As everybody who knows anything about bears will tell you, koalas aren’t REAL bears. This koala was even less real-er than the others, for it was actually a little girl. Though not a real bear, the little girl had many excellent bear-like qualities.
She could dance just like a real dancing-bear. She could wrestle just like a real wrestling-bear. Also she was cranky when she woke up in the mornings, just like a real bear!
But best of all, like any real bear, she liked bear-hugs. The bears would hug her right back, though not at full bear-strength (they didn’t want to break her). Those bears loved the little girl as much as if she was a real little bear.
Even though she always cheated at cards.
The little girl felt more at home with those bears than she’d ever felt before and she enjoyed playing with them all year long.
Then one day, the first fall of snow painted the forest in white and announced to the world that winter was beginning.
The bears began to yawn. As everybody who knows anything about bears will tell you, bears sleep ALL through the winter.
The little girl did not feel sleepy. As everybody who knows anything about little girls will tell you, they DON’T sleep all through winter (unless it is night time, of course). The bears worried that the little girl would be lonely while they slept all winter.
So before they went to sleep, the bears gave her a present. They said “We will be asleep for a while. You may feel a lack of bear in your life. Open this if you feel lonely before we wake up.”
The bears each carefully hugged the little girl good night, and then they all went to sleep. As soon as they were snoring, the little girl felt terribly alone.
The little girl opened her present. It was a TEDDY BEAR. As everybody who knows anything about teddy bears will tell you, teddy bears have many excellent bear-like qualities, but they aren’t real bears.
Teddy Bears don’t need to sleep all winter (in fact they don’t sleep at all). So the teddy bear could keep the little girl company until the other bears woke up in the spring.
And best of all, teddy bears like bear-hugs. The little girl loved that teddy bear as much as if he were a real little bear.