Wendy Buss         

Josie Lee loved Angelina Angel Bear very much, but Angelina loved Josie more.  Angelina Angel Bear first arrived  at Josie’s house in the mail  on Josie’s fifth birthday as a present from her Auntie Em.As  Josie excitedly unwrapped the nobbly squashy  parcel and  tore off the gift  wrappings  to see Angelina Angel Bear  lying there, looking so cute and  pretty  in her pink and white  sparkly  dress and her gauzy wings ,gazing up at Josie through very long eyelashes  with big brown eyes  full of love and trust, Josie had clapped her hands with delight and hugged the little angel bear close to her heart . It was love at first sight and the two quickly became  best  friends.

Josie and Angelina went everywhere  and did everything together .They had tea parties in the garden, played mummies and daddies,rode in the car ,went to the pool and the beach which Angelina didn’t like very much when sand got in her eyes and a seagull who thought she was a sandwhich tried to eat her.

Best of all Angelina liked going to school with Josie and her mum on the ferry.As the ferry crossed the  bustling harbor, Angelina would peer out of the  Josie’s school bag  fascinated with  the action   …… the ferry  men  in their blue shirts throwing the rope and noisily  rattling the creaky chains to lower the ramp for people getting on and off  …The sun sparkling on the water,  the seagulls  riding along next to the ferry .The colourful sail boats dancing gracefully on the water, the big ocean liners sounding their loud horns.  Everything was a grand adventure for Angelina when she was with Josie.

At bedtime the two would cuddle up closely under the covers and Josie would share her problems and fears, her secret dreams and wishes with  Angelina.Angelina Angel Bear knew all sorts of things about Josie that only a special friend might know.Because Angelina was a little angel and very  wise whenever Josie had a problem ,Angelina seemed to know just what to do to help the little girl feel better.

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Sometimes Josie would lie awake at night afraid  of the  strange creepy night noises the bats made  as they feasted  in the big mango  tree just outside  her bedroom window . Angelina would cuddle close to Josie’s heart to sooth her  and  weave  a invisible  magical pink  angel dust blanket  around her so that Josie felt like she was wrapped up all safe and warm and cosy in giant angels wings where nothing in the world could harm her.

When Josie got cranky with her little brother Charlie who seemed to get all of mum and dads attention and made a nuisance of himself sneaking into her room and messing with her things,Angelina Angel bear  wisely understood that little Charlie didn’t mean to be a pest .He just wanted to join in the fun.So Angelina suggested to Josie that they let Charlie  join in their game of ‘mummies and daddies.’

Josie  thought this was a great idea and had great fun dressing Charlie  up in baby clothes and pushing him around the garden in the stroller with Angelina tucked in beside him and Charlie  loved pretending to be a baby. “Goo Goo Goo” he gurgled waving his fat little arms..“I want my dummy mummy” He even let Josie change his pretend nappy even though Charlie  was very proud of the fact that in real life he was a big boy now and much too grown up for nappies.

Time passed and Josie grew two shoe sizes and  moved up to the next grade at school . Sadly  more and more frequently Angelina would  find herself sitting  in the toy box waiting for Josie to come and play with her. Somedays Josie seemed to forget about her altogether .Then on Josies’s seventh birthday a new arrival came to the house that was to come between Angelina and Josie  in a big way  and change their lives forever.This someone was none other than Kenny bear a huge brown bear that Grandpa had bought for Josie on his holiday travels .

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“A big girl needs a big bear” laughed grandpa as he watched Josie try to wrap her arms around Kenny bears fat tummy .Kenny bear really was  an enormous fluffy cuddly ted almost as tall as Josie herself .Kenny was not the smartest bear on the block he had a rather silly  smirky smile stuck on his face and he never had much to say for himself .However Kenny bear had a talent for giving the biggest and cuddliest bear hugs ever and there was nothing Josie loved more than  getting lost in Kenny bear’s hugs. It wasn’t that Josie  meant to be mean to Angelina at all. She was  just like many  little kids  are as they grow older  and  different newer shinier  toys come along to play with.Josie just got  so carried away with Kenny bear that well she forgot all about Angelina.

There simply wasn’t  room for all three of them in Josies bed. Kenny bear  took Angelinas place  right next to Josie and because he took up so much space,  Angelina was squished over to the far side of the bed near the wall . Josie couldn’t even see Angelina over Kenny bears big hairy tummy and it was Kenny bear who got all the attention and all the cuddles. Angelina wished she could say to Kenny bear ‘push off hairy legs’ and use her angel magic to make him disappear altogether but she knew that angels didn’t use their powers to hurt others so Angelina just kept her feelings to herself and just grew lonelier and sadder than ever.

Then one night when Josie was wriggling around in her sleep, while Kenny bear seemed to be taking up all the blankets as usual, Angelina suddenly found herself pushed right out of bed altogether .Down she slid onto the cold hard floor under the bed.It was cold and dark and dusty under the bed . Angelina  hated  it.She tried to use her powers to send  esp messages to  tell Josie where she was but Josie was so preoccupied with Kenny bear she didn’t even realize Angelina was missing. The little angel bear lay there alone and forgotten staring up at the bedsprings.  Her lacy dress was covered with dust,her wings drooped and bad mannered cockroaches crawled over her without saying ‘excuse me’.  Angelina  was so unhappy that she thought her heart would break.

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Only in her dreams was Angelina free again. In her dreams Angelina was as free as a bird. She dreamt she was flying over the harbour swooping and diving across the sparkling water with the seagulls. She circled the ferries  and the sail  boats. She zoomed across the water right up as high as the tallest ocean liners waving to the  tiny people on the deck who waved back . Then she flew even higher right over the top of the enormous harbour bridge and under it just for fun .

In her dreams Angelina Angel bear also met up with other angel bears on earthly assignments  and they zoomed around the stars together and sat on fluffy white clouds  boogeying with the angels and  drinking heavenly honey drinks and discussing their angel bear responsibilities  and how hard it could sometimes be taking care of their humans .They gave one another  good advice and bear hugs a plenty

After such dreams Angelina would wake up feeling refreshed and comforted even though she   was still lying alone in her dark prison under the bed.Angelina  thought she might lie there forever and she discovered as angels  do that sometimes it seems that  the hardest person in the world to help is yourself.

Finally  when she had given up all hope of ever seeing the light of day again  Josie’s mum came to the rescue . “Josie Lee”  Mrs Lee declared as she surveyed the tangle of clothes and toys that seemed to cover the entire floor  and bed in Josies bedroom  “your room is a pigsty “.  .All these clothes  needing putting away  and some of these old toys have got to go…She picked up a shabby looking teddy bear and threw him carelessly into a toy box…. There is just no room in here  now that the new bear has arrived .  …. “Some of you old timers will have to be relocated” None of the toys knew what relocated meant and they were all terrified of what fate held in store for them.

The next morning   morning   after she had dropped Josie off at school armed with a vacuum cleaner   Mrs lee launched a cleaning and sorting attack on Josies room   Angelina suddenly  heard a most terrifying  whirring and growling monster   in the room which as Mrs Lee vacuumed under the bed rudely  seized on her and greedily  tried to suck her up through the hose.

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“Goodness what’s this then?” exclaimed  Mrs Lee  holding up a very bedraggled and dusty Angelina by one leg and brushing her down..  “looks like something the cat dragged in”…..Angelina  was not very impressed with being compared to a  dead mouse or a half eaten bird. You try lying under here day after day  and see how you look she pouted ina very unangel like fashion .  …

“Ah declared Mrs Lee (humans can be so cruel sometimes )  I think our Josie’s forgotten all about you,shes got a new bear now you know .   Kenny bear  you should see him she continued rapturously  hes this big and the fluffiest bear you ever did see Our Josie loves him’. plays with him all the time   …

I think shes grown out of you love  ..I think its time for you to move on and with that she tossed Angelina into the toy box and  kept on with her vacuuming.

Angelina sailed through the air and landed in the  box with a thud  She was indignant but  was so glad to be out of the dark at last  and  at least in the toy box where Josie would be sure to notice her sooner or later.From where she lay Angelina could  look across to the bed  and see Kenny bear lying there stretched out  like ‘Lord La di da’  with the bed all to himself ..She was sure  he was smirking  at her…… She knew angels had  forgiving hearts  but in that moment Angelina  forgot all her angel training  and her vows to always have kindly thoughts and hated Kenny bear with every fibre of her being  .Things went from bad to worse in the toy box as Josie’s mum continued with her clean up, finding more old toys also fated for ‘ relocation ‘ and piling them all in on top of Angelina .”Oh dear now Josie will never find me”  me she thought.

Angelina started to cry. “Hey sugar plum what’s bothering you kiddo?” said a kindly voice Through her tears Angelina looked around  to see who had spoken and  saw that  she was lying next to a rather peculiar looking old  teddy bear. This was Fossie bear. Fossie definitely looked as if he had seen better days. His  fur was coming off in patches , his stuffing was poking out of his split seams  and he only had one eye. This  senior citizen bear  was now relaxing at the bottom of the toy box thoroughly enjoying his old age retirement . “Look on the Brightside” sugarplum he told  Angelina. “ No more sticky little hands maulin ya ,no more darlings wiping their runny noses on ya and bitin off your ears . I’m telling you this is the good life relax and enjoy”  Angelina  was so glad for another bear to talk to  She broke out into sobs and  she poured her heart out to  Fossie telling him all her troubles .

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“Oh what a cry baby”Angelina looked up in astonishment  to see a Barbie doll sneering at her pityingly . Angelina looked at the Barbie doll who  was dressed in a silver dress and looked very slim and elegant except for the fact that her hair had been hacked off and her arms were covered in green felt pen. “This is the real world babe better get used to it.”said the Barbie sadly. “Once you lose your looks baby girl its  all down hill

Angelina pointed to Barbies arms “ What happened to your  …… ? “I know I know the tattoos” sniffed barbie….. “permanent  unfortunately….. You wouldn’t believe it but I used to own my own penthouse once you know .Now look at me!” “You still look good to me babe” piped up a deep voice  from the other side of the toy box.  Barbie looked away disdainfully pretending she hadn’t heard .Angelina looked around to see an action man  lying right next  to her.  His torso was all twisted and sadly he had lost one of his legs. He grinned and extended his hand to Angelina “ I’m Macho Mike  pleased to meet you fairy bear.”“ Pleased to meet you Macho Mike” said Angelina shyly.”Er what happened to your leg?” “I’ve been in one war too many , that’s what!” said the action man shaking his head sadly “Ah I’m not the man I used to be. My days of chasing babes are over sad to say. ”

The ladies don’t seem much interested in a man with one leg

Fossie turned to Angelina.“There there, kiddo” said Fossie” I know how you feel.”Fossie bear could certainly relate to Angelina’s plight for  you see in the old days, he himself  had been Josie’s mum’s  much loved favorite bear .He had been handsome, then a fine figure of a bear in his dashing blue sailor suit.He had been king of the nursery,the bear who got all the cuddles and went on all the adventures

But alas as Josie’s mum had grown up, newer brighter shinier toys had come along to replace him and  Fossie had gradually found himself lying all alone and forgotten  at the bottom of the toy box.” There there sugarplum” he told Angelina “I know how it is when someone you love doesn’t seem to love you back no more.It can hurt real bad .I know all about it but that’s how it is for us toys .Mr popularity one day, bottom of the toy box the next. You gotta take the  highs with the lows, the good with the bad.Kids grow up! Its not personal.One day suddenly they don’t need you no more and then you gotta let go see?”

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Angelina didn’t really see…. but it helped her to know Fossie really  did seem to understand  and she began to feel a bit better. ”That’s the girl” said Fossie  patting her kindly “Look  at you. You’re still young and gorgeous, not an old over the hill codger like me and Macho Mike.  You still got things to do in this world .Important things. Trust me. .your luck is gonna change now any day you will see.”

Just as Macho Mike predicted Angelina’s luck and in fact  for all of the toys in the cardboard box their luck began to change the very next day

That afternoon Mrs Lee  was ready for the final stage of her relocation plan and threw the contents of the cardboard box into a big green garbage bag  .As the toys were jostled and bumbed about  in the garbage bag , Angelina got poked in the eye by macho Mike who thought he might lose his only leg .Fossies seams got ripped even further apart and Angelina had to stuff his stuffing back inside  .The toys  fretted and worried about what was to become of them.Fossy was  convinced they were all headed to the rubbish dump to be buried alive under rusty cans and egg shells and rotten  cabbages and smelly chicken carcasses.Angelina realized  then that she would never see Josie again and thought her heart would break with sorrow.They were a very glum group indeed sitting inside that box waiting  see what fate had in store for them.

Actually it was not quite as bad as it seemed for  Mrs Lee was a most thoughtful and community minded soul in truth and the old toys  were not destined for the rubbish dump at all as they feared  but rather Mrs Lee planned to give them to a   local charity shop  so they could be recycled and  if they were lucky they might even find new homes and new owners but the toys knew nothing of this  and trembled in fear of what might lay ahead.

Later that afternoon Josie’s mum loaded the garbage bag into her car and drove down to the charity store.It was closed for the day but outside stood a huge metal bin where people could leave their donations. Puffing and sighing Mrs Lee squeezed  the bag through a shute which opened like a giant mouth to gobble them up  and then the bag slid down into the dark belly of the bin with a clunk.

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Everything was even more dark and silent inside the bin. They could no longer hear any sounds from the outside world and things were downright creepy”Well, this is it  guys” said Fossie glumly” We’re dead… gone to hell now we just wait for the giant crushers to bury us ”.

”Perhaps we’re in heaven?”said Macho Mike hopefully

“Nope” said Angelina “this is not heaven trust me guys” for she was an angel afterall and angels know all about heaven. Angelina knew that heaven was filled with bright light and laughter  and soft fluffy clouds and beautiful singing “.No this is definitely not heaven” she declared .

“Youre right there Angel cakes. . I tell you this is hell !”  said Fossie grimly .

Even though Angelina was feeling woefully sorry for herself seeing how afraid everyone was she decided to put her own troubles aside and try to cheer the others up.. “I know how about a game of eye spy?” she said brightly

Well eye spy wasn’t the easiest game to play in the dark .

”Eye spy with my little eye something beginning with b” said Angelina……

“Boring” said the bald Barbie yawning  ” “ Black” said Fossie.

Angelina clapped her hands “.Yeh thats it !  black is right. Now your turn Foss”. “Eye spy with my little eye something beginning with n ” said Fossie

“Night ?”said Macho Mike hopefully” “Nope” said Fossie “guess again.”

“I give up said Angelina .I can’t see anything!.There’s nothing to see  ”.

“That’s it Angel cakes nothing is the right answer”laughed Fossie.

It was a pretty dumb game to play in the dark   and everyone got a   fit of the giggles and it took everyone’s minds off their troubles and eventually they all drifted off to sleep .

The next morning the toys were woken with a start when the door of the charity bin was opened with a great rusty creak.Bob the volunteer handy man would empty the charity bin every morning and put the bags of goddies people had donated  just inside the back door of the sorting room at the back of the shop for the ladies to sort out when they came in.

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The ladies who  worked at the store on Wednesdays  arrived for work.At 9.30 sharp Mrs.  Annie Jenkins and Mavis Bloomfield arrived as they did each Wednesday to run the  charity store .They were volunteers who had been coming here for years. The two ladies were  good mates  and they made a good team.

One worked at the front of the shop serving the customers and the other worked out in the backroom sorting the new donations.Each week they took a turn about and this week it was Mavis Bloomfields turn to do the sorting .

Unfortunately Mavis Bloofields sorting expeditions could be quite hazardous for Mavis Bloomfield was an avid  collector of  treasures   One womans trash is another womans treasure  was her favourite saying .Sadly  Mavis Bloomfield had a problem with parting with her treasures so that her home had just kept filling up with stuff and there was less and less room in the house for herself and her  husband who threatened her with divorce if she did not reduce her collection of garden gnomes and  ornamental tortoises.Its either them garden gnomes or me  Mr Bloomfield had said putting his foor down.Mrs Bloomfield realizing her marriage was in crises chose to have a great big garage sale where she sold 48 of her garden gnomes and  most of her tortoises  and with the proceeds took her husband on a romantic second honeymoon cruise and their marriage had never been better .

Mavis settled  herself at the sorting table with a cup of tea and the radio tuned to her favorite easy listening music station and began rummaging through the bags and boxes  she was filled with great anticipation. She never knew what she was going to find in the nobbly bulging  garbage bags and boxes of donated goods People were always throwing away the most amazing things…sometimes brand new things that they just didn’t need anymore.One woman’s trash is another womans treasure was a favorite saying of Mavis  Bloomfield’s. Going through the bags and boxes was just like going on a treasure hunt.

Today Mavis Bloomfield had a few things on her mind for these were  troubled times for her family. Rachel her daughter  was going through a nasty divorce and her little granddaughter Kirsty  was missing her daddy terribly since he had moved to a new city to live with his new lady called Selma and her little

boy called Liam.  Kirsty couldn’t understand why Daddy was making a new family with Selma and Liam .It wasn’t fair.

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He was her daddy not Liams and Kirsty couldn’t understand why her daddy saw Liam all the time and only saw her on weekends . Kirsty wanted her daddy to come home.and live with her all the time .

Mavis felt very sorry  for her granddaughter . Kirsty’s mum  was working night shift and so Kirsty was coming to stay at her grandmas. Mavis planned to do something special to cheer the little girl up .Maybe they would stop by the Video  store  and Kirsty  could choose a Movie and they would order a pizza and have a pajama arty just the two of them.Mavis made a mental note to ring the video store to see if Finding  Nemo was in stock as she knew this was one of Kirstys favourite Movies

Mavis  got stuck into the sorting .Everything had to go into its own special pile There was a 20 cent bargain bin  which was a big hit with the kids looking to spend  their pocket money   and piles for clothes in all their different sizes for men and women and children  and    beside her was a big orange bin for rubbish that they couldn’t sell that would be eventually be  taken to the dump.

Mavis sorted through the first few bags and boxes but didn’t find anything terribly exciting.Eventaully she reached the green garbage bag where the toys waited nervously and  peered inside “Hmmm what have we got in here?  … she reached down into the bag and pulled out bald Barbie.” She looked at Barbie thoughtfully “Hmm nice face shame about the hair and the tattoos What to do with you ?”   then inspiration struck for mavis Bloomfield was the ultimate recycler .  “No worries we’ll fix it  what you need is a new look.”With that she put a little band around Barbies hair pushing it up in a spikey fashion and wrapped a black ribbon around her waist.  Rummaging in a drawer found a little black leather waist coat that she had saved from an over the hill toy monkey .   Then Mavis got totally carried away with her vision for barbies new look and reached for a safety pin. There you go love she said sticking the safety pin straight through Barbies nose .

Meet ‘PUNK BARBIE’ . You look so cool someone will want to buy you now for sure she said putting Barbie into the 20 cent bargain bin  . Someone will take you home  home for sure.” Luckily Barbie was made of very hard plastic and didn’t feel too much pain .She was more annoyed at being put into the bargain bin

“20 cent bargain bin?” whined Barbie in disgust ! “.I used to own my own penthouse you know”…

”You still look hot to me Babe winked Macho Mike watching her go I reckon I’d pay at least 60 cents for a date with a babe like you.”

Angelina watched in horror. She hoped Mavis wouldn’t push a safety pin through her nose.Next Mavis reached down into into the green garbage bag again and this time out came Fossie.“Well here’s a fellow whose even older than me I’d reckon .I think it might be the end of the line for you old man”.

“I know I know ,past my use by date” muttered Fossie wearily preparing to be put in the orange bin for his one way trip to the dump.Angelina heard what was happening and quickly sent up a little prayer.“Please Please don’t let Fossie go to the dump” she sobbed ”He is  my friend and he has such a kind heart he doesn’t deserve to be food for worms “                                                                                                                                                                       Page 10

As Angelina said her prayer  Just as Mavis was about to put Fossie into the big orange rubbish dump bin  magic happened .Maybe it was just the light winking off Fossies  only eye, but Mavis swore that he was winking at her .Suddenly he seemed almost alive  and instinctively she knew that there was something very special about this bear .She took him out to show Annie Lee who was minding the front of shop “Now what do you reckon about this one  luv? I was gonna toss him ,but I cant bring myself to do it.There is something special about this bear.”

“Show me that bear” demanded  Annie Lee  inspecting him closely. Little did Fossie know that in the next minute his life was about to take a dramatic turn for the better.You see Annie Jenkins knew quality when she saw it and she immediately  knew in her bones that  Fossie bear was all class. She could see though that age had not been kind to Fossie  though and he just needed a little help.

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Mavis what this bear needs is a makeover”she declared . “ I think you’re right Annie” nodded Mavis.  “Leave him to me” said Annie. Oh no thought Angelina .”Please dont put a safety pin through Fossies nose”

Annie Jenkins who also managed to always look very stylish herself  even though she was only a  pensioner was very handy with a needle and thread  and before you could say ‘before and after’  she set to work fixing Fossies split seams and patching him up .  She  replaced the missing eye.The new eye was a different colour to the eye Fossie already had which gave him a slightly hypnotized exotic look but no matter.Everybody will surely  agree  two eyes are definately  better than one.

Then Mavis  rummaged around in the store and found a little velvet red jacket and a green  waist coat  and  white pants  which were only slightly too big For Fossie but with skilful tuck here and a hem  there, Annie had them fitting perfectly in a jiffy .Then Mavis went to her odds and sods drawer out the back  and returned with a little  black velvet  bow tie and a very groovy pair of sunglasses  and handed them to Annie  who put the finishing touches  and Fossies transformation was complete.

Angelina gasped  at Fossie in amazement.She hardly recognized her old friend he looked so cool and groovy like a movie star.Fossie was a bit dazed and out of sorts with being poked and prodded and pulled this way and that but he had to admit looking down at his new outfit he didn’t look half bad . “Youre gorgeous declared Annie,” “Isn’t he just” laughed Mavis. “You’re so clever Annie” “You’re not bad yourself”   said Annie. “Gurus of style ! that’s what we are luv.”

We couldn’t  go wrong luv. this bears got star quality”  exclaimed Mavis.

“Folks  you can catch me after the show for autographs” said Fossie his sense of humour  restored and spirits lifted as he basked in the glow of his new found popularity . “Look at him smiling  he looks pretty pleased with himself” laughed Mavis “We can get $5.00 for him now I reckon More like $10 …Shall we put him in the store window  right away ?”

But there was no time for just at that moment a little old lady came into the shop.She set eyes on Fossie and she was smitten. “I say she said doesn’t that bear have an air ?Isn’t he a darling.?A bear of my own vintage ,a golden oldie just like me”  .

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She looked Fossie in the eye ”.We are kindred spirits I can tell creatures like us  just keep getting better with age .She hugged Fossie to her like a  long lost friend. “You’re coming home with me.We shall sit in front of a warm log fire  together and drink hot chocolates and eat marshmallows .We shall tell our stories and grow old together.”

The old lady took a $50 note out of her purse and handed

it to Annie saying keep the change .He is worth every cent. Annie nodded to Mavis with an I told you so expression as she put the cash in the till.Mavis Bloomfield clapped her hands triumphantly as the old lady left with Fossie tucked under her arm “.Annie Jenkins you’re a marvel lets have a cuppa to celebrate.”

Angelina was sad to see her friend go but she was so happy that Fossie was off to a good home where he would be well cared for …Fossie  bear deserved his good karma ..Angelina knew that any moment now  Mavis would be  returning to continue with  the sorting and  she took a deep breath. Any moment now it would be her turn..She knew she had to be brave. Eventually Mavis came back and resumed the sorting. She delved into the green bag once more and came up with Macho Mike. She shook her head sadly This ones been in  on the battle front too long by  the looks of him she said  I think it’s the end of the line for you  action man . Angelina watched horrified “  Oh no please don’t let macho Mike be buried alive at the garbage dump .He has been in enough wars already “

Once again as her little prayer drifted up to heavens Angelina watched amazed as Mavis Bloomfields arm stopped in midflight on route to the orange garbage dump box and instead veered like a mechanical arm to the 20 cent bin to drop Macho Mike right on top of Punk Barbie….  Macho Mike  suddenly felt like he had not only had a lucky save but all his best dreams had come true. Here was at last up close and personal with the girl of his dreams .”Hey babe whats a girl like you doin in a dump like this ?” he smiled at Barbie …. .”Yuk get off me pervert “said Barbie “wish I could oblige baby girl” said Macho Mike” but it seems that the hand of fate has brought us together  so lets stick together come on come on lets stick together he began crooning at her  “ .Secretly Angelina thought Barbie and Macho Mike might make a very good  pair  if only Barbie would not hold the fact that  Macho Mike had only one leg against him and get to know him a little better.     “Er you two do look very cute together” she ventured                             “Ha said  Macho Mike  what did I tell you ? Its destiny thats what it is You and me were meant to be .But barbie wasn’t so sure.”Nah your just not my type Macho man ”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Page 13

Finally it was  Angelinas turn “Well then what have we here” exclaimed Mavis holding her up to the light .Angelina was a bit nervous but somehow she wasn’t afraid.She looked at Mavis curiously  with her beautiful brown eyes. “What a pretty little thing you are laughed Mavis “you just need a bit of a scrub she said brushing the dust from her dress and perking up her wings .Mavis  gazed at Angelina thoughtfully and then her eyes  shone for she had had a brilliant idea. How would you like to come home with me young lady? I know someone who really needs a little angel right now.Angelina wasn’t sure what Mavis had in mind but there was a  peaceful happy feeling in her heart that going home with Mavis was exactly the right thing to do.

Macho Mike nodded at Angelina ” There you go kid he whispered I knew you would be Ok …you’ve landed on your feet for sure .She seems like a pretty kind sort  ……Angelina nodded she had a feeling Macho Mike was right .”Thanks Macho Mike  ” she whispered  ……

Mavis finished the sorting and after she had locked up out the back she picked up Angelina and headed  to  the front of the shop where Annie was getting ready to close the store. “Look what I found Annie Is this our lucky day or what?” ” She’s gorgeous said Annie sweet little thing I bet  I know a little cherub who is going to love her Are you taking her home for your granddaughter?”

“That’s the plan.” nodded Mavis “This little angel is sent from heaven, just on time I reckon.” “ Wait on luv said Annie who could never resist an opportunity for a style improvement.She rummaged in the jewellery display under the counter and came  with a little pearl bracelet which fit neatly on Angelina head ….”There you go all angels gotta have a halo … shes’s perfect.Kirsty will love her.”

Mavis drove home with Angelina  sitting on the front car seat beside her.Angelina loved riding in cars.She smiled out the window at the passing cars. A big golden Labrador in the backseat of a car went past His head out thecar window his silky ears flying in the breeze.He barked a greeting to Angelina and she waved gaily back.Angelina listened carefully as Mavis told her all about her granddaughter Kirsty.

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Angelina  didn’t quite know quite what a divorce was but she understood that it had meant that Kirsty’s daddy had gone away and this had made Kirsty very sad.Maybe Kirsty needed some special angel cuddles thought Angelina .

Angelina wasn’t very excited however about the big bath Mavis insisted on giving her in a basin filled to the top with warm soapy water .The bubbles got into her eyes and her mouth and tasted disgusting .However she did love swinging around on the clothes line afterwards when Mavis pegged her out to dry.The warm sun and a soft breeze dried out her warm curly coat her silky dress and gauzy wings.She  whizzed through the air round and round.Angels just love to fly so Angelina was having the time of her life.

Mavis clapped her hands with delight when she saw Angelina looking all fresh and clean once more.She tied a pretty pink bow around her waist and put the little pearl bracelet halo back on her head . Then Angelina was ready. ”Kirsty is gonna love you”  said Mavis.Then Mavis explained that she was going to fetch Kirsty and they needed to keep Angelina a secret for now as a special surprise for  later and with that Mavis took Angelina into one of the bedrooms and sat her on the top of of  a wardrobe and closed the door.

‘’Oh no not this again” thought Angelina.She had had enough of being shut up alone in the dark and wondered how long she would have to sit there this time.Luckily there was a small crack in the wardrobe door.Angelina  peered through it and  she was able to make out the room she was in.It seemed to be decorated in mauve there were mauve curtains at the windows and a matching mauve  cover on the bed.She could make out a little pair of running shoes  near the bed and a picture of fairies on the wall.

The room reminded her of Josies bedroom.At the thought of Josie she grew sad but this time  it was a different kind of sadness.. As Fossie had pointed out Josie didn’t mean to be unkind .Josie  had just grown up and moved on to other toys and she Angelina had needed to move on too that’s how life went sometimes

Everything  had to change. Nothing stays the same and you just had to go with the flow .Angelina thought how everything had turned out alright so far for her friends .Fossie had become a star and had moved up in the world with a new owner who was obviously besotted with him.

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Angelina hoped  Punk Barbie might and macho Mike might be getting along Ok  .It must be hard living in the world with only one leg and no one to take care of you she thought to herself sadly .

Angelina realized she had already  cried so many tears about it It seemed there were no more  tears to cry .Instead  Angelina  found herself remembering all the fun and happy times she had had with  Josie and  realized that she would keep happy memories of Josie in her heart forever. It was warm and stuffy inside the cupboard.Angelina found herself growing drowsy and soon she drifted off to sleep .

In her dreams once more Angelina found herelf  zooming across the heavens sliding down moonbeams and surrounded with her angel bear chums sitting up there on fluffy white clouds drinking heavenly honey drinks and talking about their adventures with the children they took care of.Angelina felt a little left out as she had not yet met her knew owner and only knew that she was  going to care for a little girl called Kirsty whose parents were in the middle of a divorce .

Eventually a little cherub  dressed in a beautiful rainbow gown came to sit next to her  with a big book whose pages had moving photographs …..Angelina  said the cherub “ here is someone I would like  you to meet.”

Angelina this is  your new assignment  This is Kirsty. Through the pages of the magic book Angelina could see a little dark haired girl with pig tails her face red and blotchy with crying  as she talked on the telephone to her daddy  who was living with his new lady and her little boy called Liam.Kirsty looked so sad Angelina remembered how sad she had felt when she had realised Josie had forgotten all about her and had replaced her with Kenny bear and she thought she might understand just how Kirsty felt .

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The cherub patted Angelinas hand and told her she was just the angel bear with the right experience and qualifications to look after Kirsty and help her through this difficult time . Then the cherub sprinkled angel dust on Angelina and she fell asleep on her fluffy cloud mattress .

When she awoke she was back in the dark cupboard  .She was awakened with a start when Mavis returned. Mavis came  bustling into the bedroom and through the crack in the wardrobe door  Angelina  could she she had  someone with her  It was a little girl.Angelina  recognised immediately  that this was Kirsty Mavis’ granddaughter the little girl the cherub had shown her in the magic book

Kirsty sat on the bed as Mavis began unpacking her bags when Mavis opened the wardrobe door to put clothes away Angelina got a better view of Kirsty. The little girl was wearing blue pyjamas covered in yellow sunflowers and   had long  dark  hair tied up into a pony tail  and Angelina realised  the little girl her with her face  all red and blotchy and swollen was the girl she had seen in her dream. Mavis finished the unpacking and sat down on the bed next to Kirsty.

“There we go Luv “she said kindly  “So what would you like to do before dinner?.Would you like to ring your daddy?” “No!” said Kirsty as big tears started to roll  down her cheeks… “I hate daddy.”

“There  you go possum” said Mavis cradling the little girl in her arms. “You don’t mean that. You have a good cry .Tell Nana all about it”.It made Angelinas heart sad to see the little girl so upset. She listened closely as Kirsty told her grandma  how much she hated dad’s new lady  Selma and her son Liam for stealing her daddy away and making her and her mummy sad .He was her daddy not Liams daddy and she just wanted him to come home  and live with her and mummy again.

Angelinas heart went out to the little girl for she knew exactly how it felt to love someone so much and miss them so badly.Yes Angelina thought she knew just how Kirsty was feeling.

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“There there “said  Mavis soothingly “Its hard for you I know luv but things will get better. You know how Mummy and daddy were fighting all the time. They just were’nt happy living together any more .. its better this way.  You will see daddy every second weekend and you’ll go to see him in the holidays …..Its hard now but things will get better I promise and dDaddy loves you as much as he ever did”

Suddenly Mavis  remembered Angelina waiting in the wardrobe . “Hey now” she said handing Kirsty a tissue. “Dry those soggy  peepers jeepers!. I have got someone special for you to meet.Close your eyes now possum  and hold out your hands.”Kirsty did as she  was told as Mavis took Angelina down from the wardrobe   shelf fluffed up her dress and gave her a wink and  put Angelina gently into Kirsty  waiting arms ….

Here’s a little angel sent from heaven to help cheer you up” said Mavis beaming . Kirsty felt better already . “I think I will call her Angie” said Kirsty . “Perfect. Angies a good name for an angel” said Mavis approvingly
“Do  Angel bears  like Pizza grandma ?” asked Kirsty. “ I don’t know laughed Mavis why don’t you ask her?.” “ Do you like pizzas Angie?” asked Kirsty.  Angelina  looked into Kirstys blue eyes and thought hard. She remembered the Pizzas she had shared with Josie…. Yes !  Angelina remembered Pizzas were yummy but she and Josie had not liked those  salty  slippery little black things they sometimes put on them  .Josie somehow seemed to read her thoughts.

“That’s anchovies”   cried Kirsty  “ Hey grandma  Angie loves  Pizza but not  anchovys.  “Hey  just like me. I don’t like anchovies either Angie nor onions.Do you like onions ? I hate onions yuk.” “Great” said Mavis . “Pizza with the lot, hold the anchovies and the onions. I’m starving lets go order dinner.”

Angelina had a wonderful night settling in with her new owners.Kirsty decided their Pizza dinner was also ‘Angelinas welcome to the neighbourhood party’.They ate pizza and salad and garlic bread and apple juice. After dinner they all snuggled up together on the sofa together and watched a movie.

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The movie was about a  little fish called Nemo who had got lost and  was missing his dad too . There was a big scary shark  in it called Bruce who freaked Angelina and Kirsty out,he had so many teeth …Kirsty and Angelina snuggled together and  buried their faces  so they didn’t have to watch the  scary parts. but Nemo found his daddy again so the story had a happy ending.

By the end of the movie Kirsty was almost asleep.Mavis  carried her and Angelina into the bedroom and tucked them both up into bed . “Where’s Angie?” murmured Kirsty sleepily “I want Angie grandma” “She’s right here  next to you” said Mavis. Kirsty snuggled close to Angelina and Angelina glowed with happiness. She knew she was home again at last.Angelina Angel bear had found her new assignment.

As Kirsty drifted off to sleep Angelina thought about how she could  help Kirsty have a good sleep and  help her wake up feeling better.She breathed her   Angel dust magic  into Kirsty’s dreams As Kirsty slept a little smile played on her lips For she was dreaming she was riding high on daddies shoulders in a sunny green meadow filled with  giant sunflowers. In the next moment she was having a great time having  pizza parties and   pillow fights and playing hide and seek  with a little blond haired boy who looked just like Liam.

Later in the evening Mavis went into check up on Josie.She pulled the covers up over the little girl who was sleeping peacefully with Angelina resting next to her on the pillow.Mavis Bloomfield winked  and smiled at Angelina who winked and smiled back for they both knew that Angelina Angel Bear  had found her new  assignment.

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The  End