I’m Only Human [Extended]


Bear hug by Jacob Stack

Need a hug?

Bring it in.

Mark at Jam Art Prints, writes:

To celebrate a fresh delivery of Donegal artist Jacob Stack‘s signed prints after a long wait due to all the Covid malarkey, we’ve a Bear Hug print to giveaway.

For your chance to win this A4 signed print, please share your memories of a favourite childhood teddy (and where is it now?).

Lines must close on Friday at 9am.

Jam Art Prints

The Jam Art Prints competition runs here every second Thursday

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20 thoughts on “I’m Only Human [Extended]

  1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

    My favorite teddy was a funny wee duck I called cheechee, he was a gift from my big brother who was my ultimate hero as a child, I used to mope around tragically in his jumpers when he went off sailing until he came home with a little gift, a shell from Bermuda, or on one occasion cheechee. Cheechee is now sitting pride of place on my daughter’s play mat grey and one eyed, he used to be bright blue but already a firm favorite.

  2. paul

    my favourite teddy never had a name, he was just mine. Or rather, he was my sisters and then became mine when she moved onto bigger things. He came to me missing an eye and some fur and (as I would find out much later) his props like a soft heart and toy chair. I never carried him with me really, he’d usually stay in bed or put up on a shelf to keep an eye on me but I’d give him a little squeeze when passing by. He’d be hidden when we had visitors younger than me, I’d greet them and then quietly slip upstairs to pop him under a pillow or into a cupboard and then return downstairs to play.

    When my own son was born, I wanted to pass him down but he’d spent, like most teddys, some time in the attic and it wouldn’t have been safe. But I dug for a few hours around in my parents attic to find him, overcoming my own claustrophobia in the process (that was 3 hours of genuine, gripping terror) and a few days of gently washing, repairing, de-moulding, re-stuffing to bring him back up to spec and he now overlooks my sons play area upstairs. He still puts up with some abuse as only a two year old can dole out but it’s nice to have him back where he belongs.

  3. Paulus

    My first teddy was Bunny; a barely three-dimensional rabbit. His physique was like that of an unlucky animal playing a cameo role in a Roadrunner cartoon who’d had the misfortune to be run over by a steamroller, and was now just beginning to regain his original bulk. His body was completely the wrong shape for a rabbit, but he had long floppy ears and a puff-ball tail. His eyes were very large glassy discs which, appropriately, gave him a rabbit-in-the-headlights stare. As we grew older together, the stress of cohabiting with a small boy caused Bunny to lose his eyes, ears and tail, thereby robbing him of his rabbity characteristics. Like many of his genus, his original colour was white – surely the world’s most inappropriate colour for a child’s fluffy toy? However, regular contact with every aspect of his environment gradually changed this to a light grey. I’m uncertain as to his demise: I suspect that as I eventually began to lose interest, his discoloured, featureless body was simply spirited away. But for several years, Bunny was my most constant and loyal companion.

    Bunny was almost certainly my first toy as he was brought in to Holles Street hospital by an uncle immediately after my birth; which coincidently was on this very day back in nineteen-hundred-and-frozen-to-death!

  4. just millie

    So, this isn’t my story and it’s not my teddy but it’s a wonderful story all the same.

    My brother, not much of a teddy fan, loved his Blankie. Until the day he met Forty-Foot-Drop, a wee brown fuzzy duck with a neon orange beak and feet. Where the name came from, I have no idea, but it stuck, in large part because my brother has always had an unconventional sense of humour and every time he heard someone say the words Forty-Foot-Drop, he would exlode into uncontrollable and highly contagious giggles. It was something of a family joke to blame anything that went wrong in the house on this poor duck. And for a while, FFD was his favourite of all soft comforts, coming everywhere with him. Eventually he did tire of the duck, finally returning to his first love, Blankie. But not for long, as he soon grew out of all those childish things and became more interested in assuring us all how grown up he was now anyways.

  5. Slightly Bemused

    This is not about a bear either, nor about my childhood. More my childish adulthood, but a child does enter at the end.

    I was sent one time to a Serbian speaking country. To greet me, the team had set out a few local drinks, as well as coffee. As the boss was in a meeting he instructed the rest to go ahead and he would join us later. So drinks are poured into nicely large shot glasses, and raised in a toast to this new arrival. They all said variations of nostrovia, gzuar, cheers, and so on. So I raised mine back and said ‘Sláinte!’ and took my first sip of fiery loza. As I lowered the glass I found I was staring at an array of puzzled faces.
    ‘Baby elephants?’ one asked quizzically. Apparently ‘slon’ means elephant in Serbian, and ‘slonica’ is a little baby elephant. The boss finally arrives to his confusion of toasts being ‘To Baby Elephants!’
    Roll on to the end of my time there, and as a going away present I was given a little stuffed pink elephant, with a squeaker in its left ear. Naturally it was called Sláinte and until very recently I enjoyed the memories it evoked from my mantel near to my rain stick.
    A few months ago due to troubles in her own home, my neighbours niece had to stay with her. At only 5 (it was her 6th birthday when Little Slightly and I rode the bouncy castle in the dark). The poor little mite was lonely and upset, and away from all things familiar. So I gave her Sláinte to cheer her up, telling her the story of how she came to me. She hugged the little pink bundle tightly, and my neighbour has not yet forgiven me for showing her where the squeaker was.
    After Little Slightly arrived, my neighbour and her niece adopted her. She tells me that Sláinte has pride of place on the little girls bedside unit, and is held as stories are read to her in bed.

    Thankfully the troubles seem to be resolving, but she still stays over regularly, and Little Slightly is asked to read her a story, and it is accompanied by a silly pink fluffy toy, and interspersed with squeaks.

  6. Cú Chulainn

    I do have a poignant teddy bear, in this case a koala bear, story to share, but I’ve no hope to get it posted tonight.. such is the current pressure of work.. if it’s not rude to ask; who won last week’s prize..? Asking for a friend..

  7. Cathal Farrell

    I was about 6 and hopeless at playing football, so as punishment the PE teacher sent me to join the girls who were sewing and knitting instead. I learned to knit and knit my own little blue teddy bear. I think I called it tiny the bear.

  8. Cú Chulainn

    A long time ago now, in a time before easy jet travel, when Australia was a very long way away. My dad worked for an airline and traveled the world. I must have been 5 when he returned from Sydney one time. My little sister was two. He brought us back two koala teddy bears a soft cuddly one for my sister and a hard solid and scratchy one for me. We had never seen teddy bears like this before. I can still remember the smell of the koalas which was totally exotic to our Dublin noses.

    I didn’t really like my koala. It was hard and smelly with wirery hair and hard plastic hands and feet. So, like many an older sibling, I swapped those koalas, taking the soft cuddly one for myself.

    Within a year our dad had died and we had very little to remember him by. I swapped the teddies back, as my little sister needed the soft one more than I, and fell in love with that hard koala. My little sister missed the hard koala and so we agreed to swap the koala teddies on a fairly constant basis for the next decade. Each being happy with the koala we had and happy our sibling had the one they needed.

    And then more death, and moving away and growing up. We still remember those koalas and how we shared them.

    1. galaxiapolizia

      Aww bless, that’s really sweet…!

      The immortal story…

      kindness and love always find a way…!

      Winner right there, Bodge…!

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