Courage is the reward we receive when we have worked through our fears.

Julie Swope

Excerpts from The Bear Who Waited

There are fifty-two seconds of silence before I am embraced by two hands. YAY, the woman picked me. I am soooooo happy! But as quickly, I am wrapped in white crinkly paper and dropped into a dark space. I have butterflies in my tummy. I am scared, soooooo scared. I remember what Ozzie owl taught me; when you feel butterflies in your tummy, identify it as fear. slowly breathe deeply in and out five times. You'll be able to think clearer and won't panic.I breathe deeply and think clearly. I am moving but to where?

Am I forever doomed to be a toy on a shelf for people to look at, occasionly pick up, only to be put down again? Am I never to have a  life of of my own? Am I never to love or be loved? Am I destined to scream silently? Am I always to remain invisible? And when I ask why, what I have done? Ozzi owl's voice echoes in my mind; you have done nothing wrong. Your parents were in a bad situation when you were born. They gave you to the toyshop hoping you'd have a chance for a better life.