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And There Is Pope

Chapter III - New Days Dawning


"Pain, rain, rain, its too much for this bear to bear" mutters Honey as she stands on the tips of her feet looking out onto the street. "It's cold, wet and miserable and I'm tired of all of this" she further complains. Pope interrupts his casual conversation with Putty to turn and answer the remarks of Honey and soothe the boredom of the group of little ones in and around the wagon. He moves to the edge of the couch, propping himself against the arm, his paws upraised toward the twitching bunch before him. His low deep voice speaks out, "so, you complain of our Mother's preparation for Spring? You complain of her thirst being quenched, for the seeds to drink, the trees to imbibe? Shame, that you question the ritual of our world being reborn again each year. True, sometimes it overdoes, but never without a keen reason. Too much, too much. There is never too much. When there is drought, the earth is slowing down, preparing to rid itself of over abundance of growth, which in turn will die, yes, even burn at times. When too much rain falls, she rejects the overflow, allowing it to fill her furrows, drain away, carrying away the debris of past growth to cleanse the rivers and creeks. Human reasoning for complaining is that they build their abodes in nature's way, blocking her means of natural ways of clearing the land for the new year. You on the other hand, can only benefit from the seasons. Soon, the sun, warmth, new growth shall burst forth known as Spring. This is but a short period of inconvenience for you. Time will teach you patience and I will teach you knowledge."

The new year has indeed begun with drenching rains causing the days and weeks to seem to drag on. January, February, March lag in their movement, heavy with wetness, the days dim with gray, the moisture seeping into the bones of not only the master, but Pope, as he too feels its aching fingers. The clouded mist he foresaw at the end of last year was in fact the dreary days we have experienced now. The ball of mist that revolved in that hazy cloud is clearing, slowly, the sun pushing away the dark corners, backlighting it, revealing the silhouettes within it. One appears at the start of February when the master returns from his day of work, to share with all that it has ended, but not to worry, things will be better and the Creator will provide as he has always done. Pope does not worry, he knows deep within that the house of love and joy will prevail and go on. His trip to the park with names on stones only seems to reinforce his determination to throw off any self doubt. Pope knows that these are times when only the master can work within himself to find the answers.

The storms of March pass now, the sun warming the rich earth. The brilliant pallet of colors only Mother Nature can mix fills the small garden. The master has worked hard preparing the small enclosure for the coming summer. A place of green coolness, bubbling water, an umbrella of clear blue sky, pots of sweetly scented swords of color. Here Pope appreciates the birds as they flit from flower to flower. Here they belong, adding sight and sound to this protected garden of solace. The master brings all out to see and enjoy. Pope is given his own garden chair and even Putty lounges on a new settee. Two additions to the group this year that they have not seen in four. Cinnamon and Pewter, long eared bunnies, join in the warmth of the patio. Pope gazes at the master, noticing that as he sets the lines of age are coming into his face, but yet, a sense of relief of any uneasiness or apprehension because as the master looks about the garden, he is remembering other times when he was not alone. He is at ease now, the aching sadness has seemed to fade, accepting the softness of aging, that solitude is not just being alone, but appreciating the quiet times, the gift of friendship he knows, the satisfaction that his plans are set.

Pope knows that whatever happens, it will not exclude him or the little ones. Pope also knows that as the master prepares to celebrate the rebirth of his Creator, he is going to celebrate his own rebirth too and shall see a new heart enter his life. Pope will show him a broken heart can love again. His memories of the past shall be lovingly remembered, not achingly longed for. Pope knows the day will come when he will greet a new one into the group that the master has picked out in a store. From a window perhaps, with love and devotion for his new joy to receive, even perhaps to someday carry on the knowledge of the secret life of the stuffie, but until then -THERE WILL ALWAYS BE POPE.


The Pope stories have been contributed to us by a talented author who prefers to remain anonymous. We did not write them, but even our own blasé Bears admire this hauntingly Byronic Pope Bear very much and would like one day to meet him. Write in to La Parola if you would like to see there always be more Pope.

© La Parola and anonymous, May 1995

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