Abigail always knew that something was different about her. She felt it from the pink pads of her paws, right through to the curls of blonde fur on her ears. She hadn’t always felt like this. In fact she couldn’t remember feeling much at all but then in a hazy, strange way, she became aware of a tingling in her paws, a twitching of her nose.
Abigail started to think about life outside the shop a lot. At night she sat on the shelf at the side of the window, behind the big box of dinosaurs, looking out onto the street and watching the cars drive by with their bright yellow headlights. Sometimes people, big and small, walked by. But she never saw any bears. Not one.
The first thing that Abigail noticed about being outside was that it was wet. Very wet. She’d often seen the rain on the shop window. The water used to slide down the glass and over the pavement, but she hadn’t realised how cold it would feel on her fur! Shivering she shrank up against the bricks under the window. Perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea after all. Pulling out the orange scarf she wrapped it around her, it was very long and she tripped as it wound itself around her paws.
Abigail stood in the hall. She was very wet, covered in paper and very tired. The polar bear had already disappeared. A light clicked on at the end of the house.
Abigail woke up very slowly. She was warm and comfy and she stretched out her paws lazily, wriggling them against a soft blanket. Opening her eyes all she could see was a fuzzy yellow haze. Where was she?
Sitting on a cushion, Abigail looked out of the window kicking her paws hard against the table. She was very annoyed. Just when she’d found a house with another real bear, a very rude tiger had appeared. She sniffed loudly, what had he said? That he didn’t think she was stripy enough, as if that mattered. And that she couldn’t bounce. Wouldn’t bounce, she corrected herself, she was sure she could bounce very well if she wanted to.
Abigail hummed happily to herself. She was making a cheese and tomato sandwich and carefully placing the top piece of bread onto it, she looked at it critically. It was very tall and she squashed it down hard. Red tomato oozed out of the side but it smelt delicious. Licking her paws, she climbed back up onto the chair and opened the fridge again. Was there any chocolate cake left?h
Abigail sat by the window. With a sigh she raised her paws straight up in the air, then back down again. She twisted round and looked over the cushion through the arm of the wicker chair. It was impossible to sit still. With a loud sniff, she kicked the cushion aside and clambered up.
Licking her lips, Abigail crept quietly away into the shop. Perhaps she’d go to the cafe, they might have something interesting to eat. Behind her Patrick sat on the floor, his head in his paws. With a sigh he picked up the torch and shone it towards the door.