My mother had a thing for Victorian-style ornaments. I mean, hey, we had wooden garlands and lace on the tree. I still use them, hung them last night.
One of the ornaments is this 2x2.5-inch book called "The Teddybears Come to Life", and it is a horribly brutal story inside a pretty innocuous-looking little cutesy book with an adorable old-school brown bear with a red bow on the cover, and nothing else.
I've gotten into the habit now of reading the booklet amongst friends when we decorate my tree as a group every year, and it never fails to get gasps and guffaws from all my friends.
It's horrible on two fronts: The writing's fucking awful, and then it's just cruel, too.
And since I've decorated my tree alone this morning, I thought I should keep the sharing tradition alive and share it with all of you. FYI, book's made in Taiwan. The last page in the book is blank, with "Did you enjoy this story?" and space to answer. I'm tempted to fill it out sometime. Try and guess my response.
Without further ado, The Teddybears Come to Life, author unknown:
Professor Wiseman lately found
A truly wonderful compound
"With this," he cried,
"I believe I could
Put life in a stick of wood!"
Forth rushed the prof to tell his frau
Then up rose Johnny and said, "Now,
I'll take this stuff, while pa's upstairs
And try it on my teddybears."
He gave his teddybears six sips.
You should have seen the little rips!
They bounced six feet up in the air,
As lively as a real live bear.
One fellow seized Pa Wiseman's neck
And made him yell and say, "By heck!
I wish I'd let you all stay dead."
And one caught Johnny by the head.
The baby yelled to beat the band,
And Johnny's ma just said, "My land!"
And fainted dead away six times,
While teddies cut up monkey-shines.
Then out the door the rascals flew,
To find more mischief still to do.
One chased a dog, three climbed a tree.
What more they did was fun to see.
Now Johnny is a funny kid,
He knew some cookies sweet were hid
In a pantry jar, so he slipped away
And left the teddybears at play.
But teddies soon got wise, and you
Can guess how hungry they were too
[For they had already lived a week]
So they followed him and took a peek.
They pushed the door and in it flew--
Six hungry teddies flew in too.
Poor Johnny thought it was the cook,
you should've seen his frightened look.
And how those greedy little elves
Went at the goodies on those shelves!
You see, twas their first chance to do
What you've done your whole life through.
They put more on the outside than in,
They filled themselves clear to the chin,
Then spilled out what they couldn't eat.
That pantry's wreck was most complete.
And now like naughty boys they stand
To taje what cook has in her hand.
Those stars will show you mighty quick
Just what she's doing with the stick.
[So, the final picture's of all these teddybears getting beaten. Sigh. What a depressing Christmas story. Way to get into the spirit of the season, Taiwan.]