A Writer's Bear

My first day in Ireland! It was a day for learning about books and writers and writing. In Ireland, writers and poets are very special. They are honored for what they do.

A street in DublinThe wind was cool and brisk. The breeze felt good against my fur. No need for my nice warm scarf as we set out for the Dublin Writers’ Museum. Ireland has produced many famous writers and poets. At the Dublin Writers’ Museum, we would learn about all the writers who had found a home in Dublin.

I enjoyed the walk to the museum! Miss Cynthia tucked me into a little tote bag for the trip. My head was free to look around. My paws were free to wave at boys and girls on the street.

People in Dublin like bears! Smiling, pink-cheeked men and women gave me a friendly greeting as they passed. Everyone smiled to see a little teddy bear carried down the street, backwards.

Dublin’s streets were clean and pretty. Tall buildings were made of stone or brick. Front doors were brightly painted. Small brass panels announced the shop or business that lived inside. Narrow houses had tiny front yards, set off from the sidewalk with elegant iron fences. Even in January, the grass glowed green. "Now I know why they call Ireland, ‘The Emerald Isle’!" said Miss Cynthia.

At the Dublin Writers MuseumWe had arrived! Miss Cynthia held me up to read the brass letters: Dublin Writers Museum. Inside, we removed hats and coats, and set off to learn about Ireland’s writers.

Miss Cynthia paused before every display case. "Perry, some of my favorite writers were Irish," she said. Miss Cynthia talked of James Joyce and George Bernard Shaw. Did you know that Jonathan Swift, author of "Gulliver’s Travels", was an Irishman? Many children love Mr. Swift’s tales of Lilliputians and giants and fabulous adventure. Miss Cynthia enjoyed looking at the books and pens, typewriters and desks of so many writers.

Doctor Steve and I, I’m sorry to say, were becoming a little bit bored. I began to worry! After all, when Doctor Steve becomes bored, he often decides to tease little Perry Bear. Would he dip my ear in an inkwell? I hoped that Miss Cynthia would hurry!

Suddenly, she stopped, stock-still. "Look, Perry, look here! There’s a bear here!" My little tote bag was turned around so I could see. There, inside the case, was a very old, very loved writer’s teddy bear. A bear, just like me, who lived with a writer!

Miss Cynthia read the information about the writer’s bear. The bear was a girl bear, and had belonged to writer Mary Lavin. Miss Lavin wrote elegant short stories in the earlier part of our century.

Miss Lavin’s bear was quite old. Her button eyes had long since fallen off. Her nose was rubbed and frayed, and her fur was patchy. But Miss Lavin’s bear was dressed in a long, beautiful dress. Her small scuffed paws were almost hidden by pretty ruffles. A delicate lace slip peeped from beneath the bear’s dress. I looked hard at the bear’s clothing. Emily, my bear sister, would want to hear all about Miss Lavin’s bear.

Miss Cynthia and I talked quietly, so we wouldn’t wake the elderly bear. "Perry, aren’t you excited? Until now, we’d never met another bear who was a writer’s friend! Miss Lavin kept this bear with her all her life!" said Miss Cynthia.

As we stepped outside into the sunshine and brisk breeze, I felt proud! Here was another bear who helped a writer do her job. It made me feel good.

Teddy bears aren’t just for children. As I learned today, teddy bears are also for writers.

Perry's Travels: