Perry Hears A Noise

"How do I look?" asked Doctor Steve. He stood before the mirror, smoothing his hair. Miss Cynthia straightened his tie, then leaned close to the mirror to check her makeup.

Tonight was the first concert of the San Francisco Symphony’s European Tour—but I would not be there! I sulked as I sat among the bed pillows. I had to stay in our hotel room this evening. There would be no place for a little teddy bear at the Symphony’s first concert.

I wanted listen to the beautiful music! In the hours before the concert, the hotel thrilled with excitement. Would the orchestra play well? Snatches of music drifted from beneath closed doors as the musicians practiced one last time. Everyone hurried to dress in his or her best concert clothes.

Everyone except Perry Bear! I crossed my arms and kicked the pillow with my back paw.

Miss Cynthia sat down on the bed next to me. She patted my back. "I know, Perry. I’m sorry you can’t attend this concert, too," she said. "There will be more concerts as the tour continues. There just isn’t enough space on the bus for you this time!"

I kicked the pillow again. "It’s not fair," I said. "It isn’t very nice to have to stay home when you want to go somewhere!"

"Oh, poor Perry!" cried Miss Cynthia. She picked me up for a big teddy bear hug. "I know. But sometimes, life isn’t fair! We have to make the best of things anyway," she said.

Miss Cynthia tucked me back among the soft pillows on the bed. "Now, we are going to the concert. You’ll be just fine here in our hotel room. No one will come in except the housekeepers, coming to turn down the covers. Just be quiet while they’re here, and we’ll be back before you know it."

I settled back into my pillow. It wasn’t fair! I wanted to go to the concert, but I had to stay home. I folded my arms again, and kicked the pillow one more time.

Miss Cynthia laughed. She gave me a nice kiss. Doctor Steve waved good-bye. The door closed behind them. I was alone.

I looked around our hotel room. Baby Supercomputer dreamed quietly on top of the desk. A plump sofa and two comfortable chairs stood before the fireplace. Outside, I could hear the special music of a big city: car horns, trucks driving by, the snap-snap-snap of walking feet.

Isn’t it interesting, I said to myself, that city music sounds the same in Dublin as it does in London or in Paris or in Vienna? Not in New York City, though. I remembered how cabdrivers in New York loved to beep their car horns all the time. "New York has a city music all its own," I thought.

The city music got louder. It began to rustle. I sat up straight. That wasn’t city music! That rustling noise was coming from somewhere in our hotel room!

I looked around. Was it a mouse? Or a rat? I shivered against my pillow. What could be making that noise?

I looked at the desk. Baby Supercomputer’s lights glowed softly as he slept. I looked at the closet. Doctor Steve had left the door open, but the noise wasn’t coming from the closet.

I leaned over the edge of the bed. Maybe the noise was underneath me! My heart pounded as I lifted up the bed skirt. One, two, three—I opened my eyes to look under the bed. Whew! There was nothing there but an old dusty sock.

Just as I sat up, I heard the noise again. Rustle-rustle. Rustle-rustle. It was coming from around the corner, where Miss Cynthia had stacked her little black suitcase.

What could be in Miss Cynthia’s suitcase? I would have to check. I couldn’t let anything happen to all our traveling things. Why, my nice warm scarf and extra bow-tie were in the little black suitcase!

I rolled off the bed and tiptoed to the corner. Quietly, I poked my head around the wall. What was making that noise?

What was this? I stared at the little black suitcase. Over the side of the suitcase, two tiny back paws waved in the air. They were covered in white fur. Why, those paws looked like . . .

Thump! The back paws fell out of the suitcase. Along with the paws came the rest of a tiny white teddy bear.

"WILLIAM?" I shouted. My smallest bear brother rolled a little way from the suitcase. He sat up, shook his head and looked at me. I grabbed him in a big bear hug. "William!" I cried. "William, what are you doing here!"

"Perry? Perry!" said William. He burrowed his head into my fur. I hugged him tightly. What could have happened? How did William get into the little black suitcase?

William shook and shivered as I patted his back. Poor little bear! He must have been so frightened. Miss Cynthia didn’t know he was in the suitcase. Nobody made a nice soft bed for him, or took him for walks in the tote bag.

Oh, no! Stowaways!"Perry?" said a little voice. Oh, no! William wasn’t alone. Baby Merri’s head popped over the side of the little black suitcase. Merri was here, too!

I plopped down onto my little tail with surprise. William and Merri, our baby bears, were here in Dublin.

They’d traveled all the way in the little black suitcase, without anyone knowing. Why, they could have been lost, or hurt, or taken away to a new bear family! I was so surprised my brain didn’t want to work.

William ran back to the suitcase. "Merri, jump!" he said. Baby Merri wriggled over the side. She fell onto William, then rolled onto the floor.

The babies pulled themselves onto my lap, both talking at once: "Perry, we played ‘explorers’. Perry, it wasn’t fair. Perry, we went in the suitcase. Perry, we came to see you. Perry, we didn’t want to stay home. Perry, we wanted to go, too." I held each baby bear safe and tight under one of my front paws.

So many questions! How did William and Merri get in the suitcase? If the babies were here, what about Alexander and the other bears at home? Alexander must be very, very worried about the babies! How would I tell Alexander that William and Merri were safe? What would Miss Cynthia do when she found out?

My thoughts went around in a circle. I couldn’t think what to do next. I hugged the babies as they talked. I hugged the babies as they yawned. I hugged the babies as they fell asleep, right in my lap.

Oh, no! Stowaways! What was Perry Bear to do now?

Perry's Travels: