THE OLDEST, SMALLEST house you can imagine was about to be knocked down.
All the things that once made the house nice and cosy had been thrown outside and piled up in the front garden, from the soft springy bed the owners slept in to the old wooden floorboards they used to walk on...and even, surely by some mistake, a little brown teddy bear. He was trapped amongst all the other unwanted things and couldn't move.
Then one day, a very, very cold day, something fell from the sky...a little snowflake. It landed on the teddy bear's little nose and was then followed by many more. He began to feel cold, very cold indeed. More and more snow fell.
The little bear was now so cold that his nose started turning blue; so cold that his brown fur started turning grey.
He was cold, unloved and all alone in the world and felt very, very sad.
Winter finally passed and the weather became warmer. Then, one beautiful spring day, a little girl was playing near the old house when she spotted the grey bear in the pile of unwanted things. He was like no other bear she had ever seen and she pulled him out from where he was trapped. She dusted him down and lifted him high in the sky to look at him.
"A grey bear with a blue nose." she remarked. "How strange!"
The teddy bear wanted to cry. He thought she didn't like him and would throw him back with the other unwanted things.
"He's lovely," the little girl continued and she fell completely in love with him. She ran home as fast as her little legs would carry her to see if her grandma could patch him up, as a lot of his stuffing had fallen out and he was very much in need of repair.
She looked on as her grandma replaced his stuffing and patched up his holes. His stitches had started showing where the fur had worn away but the little girl thought he looked perfect.
It was cosy and warm in the little girl's house and the bear now felt cosy and warm in his heart. However, his nose was still blue and his fur still grey and they would never return to brown.
He was unique amongst teddy bears.
The little girl gave him a great big hug. She loved him more than anything else in the world...
....her little, grey, blue-nosed...