I felt very bad that I was so cross with Bear. I sat outside in the sun and thought about everything that had happened and I knew I couldn’t make him stay in his room for two days.
But if I let him come out after everything I had said I would need to have a very good explanation. As it happened Duck turned up for biscuits and I explained everything to her.
“I know I am only a duck, John, but I don’t understand what it was that Bear did that was wrong.”
“He went down the street, on his own,” I said.
“Yes” said Duck, “and a friendly train driver allowed him to sit in the driver’s seat.”
“But it could have been dangerous,” I said.
“Did you tell Bear that?” Duck asked.
“No. But it is obvious.”
“It might be obvious to you but why would it be obvious to Bear?” Duck said. “Would it be alright if Bear came out of gaol for a few minutes to have some biscuits?”
“Yes. I suppose. Seeing that you are here. I will get him,” I said.
Bear was delighted to see Duck and I brought out the biscuits. The two of them sat and talked on and on and I sat and thought long and long. I was feeling a bit something. I don’t know what it was but it had something to do with me being wrong and Duck having a lot of sense. Maybe Duck is not as silly as I thought she was.
After they had had their biscuits I went and sat down and said that I wanted to explain a few things. The two of them sat, after I had cleared the top of the table and I tried to explain.
Bear sat and looked at me and Duck sat behind him but was clearly as interested as was Bear. Both of them had their eyes firmly on mine.
“Bear,” I said. “What you did yesterday by going down the street and getting in to that train was wrong. Now I know that you didn’t think it was wrong, but Duck has shown me that if it is wrong I should have told you. So it is a bit my fault.”
Duck coughed a bit and made a funny quacking noise.
“Maybe, I should have told you before so, maybe it is a little bit my fault as well.”
Duck made another funny noise but I just looked with stern eyes at her and she said nothing.
“Bear, I think that the problem is that it is dangerous for bears and ducks and children and lots of people to go wandering around willy-nilly without a care in the world and then sometimes bad things happen.”
Bear was listening and Duck moved around a bit and sat looking at her friend. She seemed to be wondering, ‘Does Bear understand?’
“But nothing bad happened,” said Bear.
“Well tell me, Bear. How did you get down to the station.? Did you walk all the way?”
“I started to walk all the way but a kind lady was pushing her baby in a perambulator…””
“What is a what ever that thing you said?” asked Duck. And I must admit I was surprised because I hadn’t heard that word for a long time..
“It’s that thing on wheels that babies are in and mothers push them around in,” Bear said.
“We call them ‘prams’ now,” I said, “or pushers.”
“And she stopped,” said Bear, annoyed that both Duck and I were surprised by his choice of words.
“And she asked me where I was going and did I need a lift. And I said yes I wouldn’t mind , thank you Ma’am but I am going to the station because I am on my way to Tasmania to see Ida May.”
“Then what happened?” asked Duck quickly because I wanted to know too.
“Then I said yes and she plonked me in the Per-ram-byou-late-er and walked down as far as ALDI. Then she lifted me out and said it was just there, and she pointed and she was right and I went there and the train was stopped and I went and asked the driver if I could just sit in the chair and pretend I wanted to go to Tasmania and he said yes but we don’t go as far as Tasmania you have to get the ferry and I thanked him and the man from the station came and then you came and got me and you were cross and I don’t know why.”
And then I picked Bear up and gave him a most humungous hug.
“Would you two friends like to go down to the lake?” I asked.
And they said yes. And we did.
And a swan came to say hello. And the sun was nearly going down.
But the problem was I hadn’t finished explaining to Bear what was wrong about some people not being as nice as the lady with the pram and the train driver. Maybe I will tell him tomorrow.