Sad Bear


Sally Grindley

Sad Bear never smiled. It didn't matter what he did or where he went or who he was with, he never, ever smiled. When Susie took him out with her he didn't smile. When the other toys played games at night he didn't smile. Even when someone tickled his tummy he didn't smile. He just looked sad.

Sad Bear wanted to smile. Oh! How he wanted to smile. But he couldn't. Whoever had stitched his mouth at the toy factory had stitched a stiff straight black line. Try as he might, Sad Bear couldn't make the corners turn up.

When no one else was looking, Sad Bear would sit in front of the mirror and stare at himself and try and try and try to make his smile work.

He told himself funny jokes, but he couldn't smile.

He tickled his chin with a feather, but he couldn't smile.

He pulled ugly faces at himself, but he couldn't smile.

The other toys thought he was a misery. And when he sat staring at himself in the mirror they thought he was vain.

Until one day Dungaree Bear saw tears running down his face and asked him what the matter was.

"I'm unhappy because I can't smile even when I'm very happy,' said Sad Bear. "My mouth is stitched too tight."

When Dungaree Bear heard this, she gathered the other toys around her and told them Sad Bear's story.

"We must help him," she said.

That night, when Sad Bear was fast asleep, Dungaree Bear and Moon Bear tiptoed over to him with a needle and a reel of black cotton. Very, very gently, being careful not to wake him, they stitched two stitches one end of his mouth and another two stitches the other end of his mouth.

When Sad Bear woke up in the morning, he felt different. He thought he felt his mouth twitch. He thought he felt a smile coming when he saw the sun was shining. He rushed over to the mirror and saw that something about his face had changed.

"I look happy," he thought.

"I look happy," he said.

A big smile broke across his face.

"I am happy," he yelled.

And he was never sad again.