Reading Sundays: SHADES OF UNREALITY (Part 3) a short story by Cynthia Sally Haggard

But the bears I’d seen were black or brown, and were large, muscly, fearsome creatures. This thing was not only the wrong color, it was—stuffed. Like that strange cat, no muscle nor sinew rippled below its skin. It appeared padded with something, mayhap down feathers, and its stuffing made it strangely docile, even sweet-natured.

Then it came to me. These must be Pouppées, the toys of a Royal child. Soon he would come toddling into the room. Perhaps my scribe wanted me to meet him, for I have a large experience of children, being the mother of thirteen.

The toy bear continued to speak.

“Why would it be a problem if Roomba and Scooba bestir themselves to present their case? You say they’ll become too uppish, but you don’t have to contend with them, our companion does.”

He must be talking about the children that own these toys. What were their names? I always pride myself on my ability to remember the little one’s names, they get so upset if one forgets them. But Roomba and Scooba? What strange names to bestow on children. Poor little things.

But the bear hadn’t finished. What a talkative toy he was…[Continued next week.]