Short Story – The Lost Toy

Daily Prompt: The Sincerest Form of Flattery

by michelle w. on February 3, 2014

Publish a post in the style of a favorite author/blogger or photographer.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us COPIES.

I was going to post my version of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, written in the style of Neil Gaiman. He has an amazing talent for putting an odd spin on some of the classics, or using classic characters in his stories. His book, Coraline and Other Stories, has some great examples of this in it.

But anyway, my telling of the Three Billy Goats Gruff (from the troll’s point of view) is currently written down on loads of odd bits of paper. But I will type it up – and maybe finish it – one day.

So for now I’ve chosen my favourite childhood author, Enid Blyton. My favourite books were Tales of Toyland, The Magic Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair.

The Lost Toy

Berty Bear landed with a thump on the pavement. “Wait!” he shouted, running after his little boy, Josh.

But it was too crowded and everyone was so tall. Berty got stuck under people’s feet; he was kicked along the ground, and then chased by a dog. In the end he couldn’t take it anymore. He ran into the shadows and hid.

He began to cry. Just a few minutes before, he’d been tucked neatly under Josh’s arm as he skipped down the street. Berty always went shopping with Josh and his mother. But today they had spent too much time looking at all the pretty things to buy in the supermarket, and were running late.

Nan and granddad would be coming for tea at “5 o’clock sharp,” mother had said.

As they walked down the street, the bus turned the corner. Josh’s mother grabbed his arm and started to run, pulling him along. Berty had bounced right out of his grip.

So there he was, hiding under a dustbin lid in an alley. The world was big and scary without Josh around.

“What are you doing under there?” came a voice from inside the bin.

It was a scruffy-looking black cat. “Please don’t chase me, I’m hiding,” whimpered the bear. “I’ve been kicked, stepped on, and chased by a dog.”

“Yuck, dogs! I hate dogs,” hissed the cat.

“We have one at home, but Josh’s mother shuts him out so he doesn’t chew us up,” said Berty.

“Who’s Josh?” asked the cat, jumping down from the bin.

“He’s my little boy. He lost me,” said Berty sadly.

“Are you sure he didn’t just throw you away?” asked the cat weaving between the bins. “I see loads of stuff thrown away by humans over the years, including toys.”

“No no! He just dropped me,” said Berty angrily, “I want to go home.”

He sat on the bin lid and stared at his feet. The cat crept over. Looping around him, he pawed and sniffed him. “You don’t smell like rubbish. You’re not ripped or broken?” he purred.

“No I am not!” said Berty. “Josh looks after me well. I’m his favourite.”

“Well then he’ll be back,” said the cat, sitting back and cleaning his paws. “I’ve seen those annoying little children squeal and shriek when they don’t get what they want. If you really are his favourite, his parents will have to come back for you.”

“Really?” said Berty, looking up.

“Yes. That’s what parents are for – so I’ve heard. Now…” purred the cat, getting up. “We take you back to where you were lost. That’s the first place they’ll look.”

Berty followed the cat out of the alley slowly. The crowds had died down now and there were barely any cars on the road. “Come on bear, I’ll protect you,” purred the cat.

“From what?” squeaked Berty, who was beginning to feel worried.

“You know there are other children out there. Those who see something they like and just take it!” growled the cat turning back to him. “I’ve seen it. Horrible little things just picking up what they want, sometimes stealing from other children too.”

Berty was terrified. What if another child picked him up – the wrong child? Then he’d never get home. But he wasn’t sure he trusted this cat. He was better than a dog at least. But he seemed sneaky and not-so-nice.

“Why are you helping me?” asked Berty, catching up to the cat.

“Well, when those humans come to get you, they’ll see helpless skinny little me, and hopefully I’ll get a meal out of it,” said the cat, looking around. “Is this the spot?”

“I think it was a little bit fur… ” started Berty, suddenly hearing a familiar voice.

He dropped to the ground. “What are you doing bear?” hissed the cat. “Is that your human or not?”

“Yes, but there not supposed to know that were alive,” whispered Berty.

He’d been in such a panic earlier that he’d forgotten and chased Josh down the street. What would an observant passer-by have thought, seeing a teddy bear running down the street?

Berty grabbed the cat’s tail to keep him quiet. But it had the opposite effect. The cat howled in pain, clawing the bear.

“Look! Over there! It’s Berty!” shouted Josh, running over and picking him up, shooing the cat away.

“Oh and look. He’s got a little friend,” said his mother, walking up behind him. “Come on kitty cat. What are you doing out here all alone?”

The cat turned away, flicking his tale. Silly humans. He was looking for food, not a group of humans – with a child too!

“I suppose I could hang around for a while, get a bite to eat,” he thought to himself, allowing Josh’s mother to pick him up. “It is getting a bit chilly out here.”


6 thoughts on “Short Story – The Lost Toy

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