The Cattless Market
Pip the squirrel, shouted up at my bedroom window, “Hey! Henrietta, I’m off to the cattle market, do you want to come along? It’s a long walk so grab your basket and I’ll hitch a ride.”
I shouted back, “Ok Pip, I’m on my way.”
mmmm … I don’t need a wash as I smell sweet, a bear should never wash everyday! Or my fur will fall fall out!
“Right Pip, I’m locking up, now we’re ready to go.”
“You’ve got very long legs Henrietta” said Pip. “I know” said Henrietta, “I was built for speed! It won’t take us long to reach the market”
“Well, Henrietta, we got here really quickly!” Said Pip. “But there are no animals” I replied. “Only humans! Oh, and a few dogs! Let’s go in, it could be exciting! Forget that, let’s take the shortcut and hop over the hedge!”
“Hold on tight Pip, 1, 2, 3, jump!“
“Lovely soft landing’ said Pip, “get off my head you silly squirrel! And release my ears!” Henrietta squealed. “Sorry” said Pip, “but you did jump rather high,”
“Let’s investigate Pip! The humans have lots of interesting stalls, I need new shoes and a dress, and you need a waistcoat Pip to keep you warm”. “Oh, yes please” said Pip.
Henrietta looked at everything curiously whilst Pip stayed in his basket. “There’s a waistcoat that will fit me Henrietta and look, the other lady on the next stall has clothes and shoes which will fit you”. Pip tried the waistcoat and he looked very smart. Henrietta tried on a red dress and matching shoes and she looked very pretty.
Henrietta (whispered Pip) “How are we going to pay for our new clothes?”
“Watch and learn Pip! Watch and learn!”
“Excuse me Madam, how much is your tiniest of waistcoats for my little squirrel friend Pip? He feels the cold terribly and this will keep him warm.” said Henrietta.
“I’ve never met a bear who speaks and does their own shopping” said the lady.
“I am not an ordinary bear”, said Henrietta, “I am an extraordinary bear, Pip has 2 acorns he could swap for your waistcoat”.
“I think that will be perfect,” said the lady, “thank you very much”.
“Thank you Henrietta”, said Pip, he loved his new waistcoat.
Henrietta moved along to the next stall where she saw a lovely new dress and shoes. “But you don’t have any money, Henrietta,” said Pip.
“Hello Madam” said Henrietta, “how much are the red dress and shoes please? My name is Henrietta and I like to dress up but because I am a bear I don’t have any human money. My feet are very sore as I ran a long way to the cattle market with my friend Pip in my basket. We thought it was a cattle market but there are no cows only humans with stalls, selling nice things. I would very much like your red shoes and dress but I can only swap my basket to pay for them, but if I do that then Pip will not be able to ride back in my basket and as he is a very tiny squirrel I need to take care of him and get him home safely.”
The lady looked at Henrietta and wondered what she could do to help Her buy the shoes and dress. Henrietta smiled sweetly.
“My goodness”, said the lady, “you only have 2 teeth! I tell you what I can do, if you model some of the children’s clothes for me I will let you have the dress and shoes as payment for your help, how does that sound to you?”
“YES PLEASE!” said Henrietta
Henrietta modelled all of the children’s clothes for the lady, and the lady sold all of the clothing thanks to Henrietta’s help. No one had ever seen a bear modelling and smiling before and everyone gathered around in curiosity to look at Henrietta.
The lady wrapped up Henrietta’s new clothing and Henrietta put it carefully into her basket with Pip sitting on top of it. The lady also gave Henrietta and Pip a bag of crisps and sweets to enjoy on their way back home.
“What a wonderful afternoon Henrietta”, said Pip.
“You now see what I mean by Watch and learn! little Pip“
“Oh yes Henrietta, you are truly an extraordinary and very kind old bear” said Pip, smiling from ear to ear.
Copyright Ann Harwood, My Old Teddy Bear.