The story of YY the Bear. It deals with the subject of goals – or aims, something recently added to the syllabus for young children.
YY was made in a bear factory in Oregon in America. They made small bears, large bears and many in between sized bears, YY was one of the largest, he was as big as a small child. Uncle Humphrey and Aunt Saskia fell in love with him almost as soon as they saw him. He seemed to follow them around the shop with his eyes saying : ‘Take me to your niece in the UK.’
‘I just love this one,’ said Aunt Saskia, ‘he’s really got soul.’
The shop assistant smiled back. ‘All our bears have something about them, but we aren’t allowed to say they’ve got ‘soul’, as it upsets some people, but what we do is we give each bear a ‘goal’, not a soul, but a goal, you see? Look, it’s tied round his neck. This bear’s goal is to ‘Make a child happy every day’.
Aunt Saskia put on her glasses and peered at the label. ‘Ah, so it is. I like that. Come and see this one Humphrey!’
Obedient to his wife, Humphrey crossed the store, holding a small brown bear with a label tied round its neck. Saskia told him about YY and the ‘goal’.
‘Say, that’s real nice, but I like this one too and it would fit in a suitcase,’ said Humphrey. Saskia’s brow ruffled. ‘Yes, it is kind of cute, but Rosie might already have a bear that size. It’s rather ordinary and what’s its ‘goal’? Let’s have a look.
‘To be a very good bear,’ Aunt Saskia read out. ‘Oh no, that’s really boring. Oh, no, we can’t have a bear who just wants to be good and nothing else. You’ve got to put out to others in this life. You’ve got to make an effort!
‘But it’s only a bear,’ said Uncle Humphrey, ‘and it is rather large. They might not let it come on the ship! It takes up the space of a real person!’
‘Just to let them try and stop him coming!’ said Saskia, determined. ‘I want Rosie to get a present from us that she will never forget. This bear fills the bill.’
Uncle Humphrey did his famous shoulder lift and big sigh. ‘Humph’, he said, nothing more. Aunt Saskia got out her cheque-book and paid for the bear.
On the ship the bear sat next to Aunt Saskia. Children were forever coming over to stroke him, or even to hug him.
‘What’s his name?’ they would ask.
‘Oh, he doesn’t have a name yet,’ she would reply.
‘Why?’ each child would say.
Aunt Saskia would explain all about her niece Rosie. Every child who came along wanted to know the bear’s name. Uncle Humphrey began to humph.
‘Why? Why? Why do children always ask ‘Why’, why?
Aunt Saskia sat up straight, as the idea hit her between the eyes.
‘I know we’ll just call him YY, until Rosie gets him then she can decide on his name!’
Uncle Humph humphed once more, but it was a smiling humph, not a bothered humph.
YY made many children happy on the journey over to England and that made Aunt Saskia happy as she loved children, but had none of her own.
When Rosie saw YY, she gave him a great big hug and asked what his name was. Aunt Saskia had planned what she was going to say, so that Rosie could choose a name for him, but Uncle Humphrey being a little absent-minded just said ‘He’s called YY and everyone loves him.’ and he made a sort of apologetic but happy humph, towards Aunt Saskia, and that was that.
He is YY and he makes children happy (and quite a lot of big people too!).