Conversations with Christopher: Theodora Growls

(Once more Christopher sits in a chair facing a small girl holding her stuffed bear.)

Christopher: This Monday I’ll be talking with, uh, Theodora Bear. Hello, Grace. (He gies the bear a once over.) I think I’m supposed to talk to your companion, but she seems like the silent type.

Grace: Don’t worry. I’ll just turn her crank and tell you what’s she’s saying. It may just sound like growls, but Theodora always means something.

Christopher: Uh…

Grace: This cranks of hers is part of why our story is called Wind Me Up, One More Time. (Grace starts turning the small device sticking out of Theodora’s back.)

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: She says you smell dangerous. You’d better not hurt me. Theodora may be only a stuffed bear, but she’s from a mighty assemblyline of stuffed bears going back a great hunter.

Christopher: Really?

Grace: Yeah. According to Nathalie, a hunter called Theodora once battled a bear which attacked her village. Theodora killed the bear, only to find she had a cub. Theodora took the cub in and raised her herself. A toymaker in Verity, that’s our town, made a stuffed bear, which she called Theodora’s Bear. This is where you get the name ‘teddy bear’ from.

Christopher: Is that true? I catch glimpses of our scribbler’s thoughts. From what I’ve seen, that’s not accurate.

(A red curtain appears behind Christopher and Grace.)

Me: Actually, Teddy Roosevelt once refused to kill a young bear. Someone designed a toy bear afterwards, calling it Teddy’s bear. The toy was a hit.

Grace: Well, I like Nathalie’s story. It’s nice, isn’t it? Wait, Theodora has something to say. (She turns to crank.)

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: She says if I believe something is true, it’s true for Theodora. This is the way of not only stuffed animals and their children, but of all toys. What was that? (She twists at her bear’s back.)

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: The toys that she’s met, anyway.

Christopher: Have you met a lot of other toys?

Theodora: (after Grace twists) Growwr.

Grace: In our story, Theodora spends a lot of time with Carrot Monster. That’s Heidi’s stuffed rabbit. And there’s also Leif, Rolf, and Alf, the three nisse Heather takes home.
Quartz: (his voice coming from behind the red curtain) Those three had names? The rascals never told me!

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Theodora says you never asked. Besides they might not have told you. A name is something a toy’s child gives him. Whether she says the name out loud or not is up to the child.

Quartz: Cheeky bear. Cheeky old geezers.

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Theodora isn’t sure if the nisse even had names when they met you, Quartz. They only happened, the names Leif, Rolf, and Alf, in the draft our scribbler is writing now.

Christopher: For Camp NaNoWriMo?

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Uh huh. Theodora says she’s finding out all sorts of this in this draft she didn’t know.

Christopher: Are you happy with how the draft is going?

Theodora: Growwr.

Grace: Sometimes our scribbler doesn’t get Theodora’s voice or growl right, but she will. Theodora will keep growling at her until she gets it right.

Quartz: You tell ‘er, sister!

Theodora: Growwr.

Me…(sighs)

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