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                                                               HURSHAL LOST
                                                                      M. C. Arvanitis
On their way home from vacation Anthony’s family stopped at
a motel for the night. Anthony hugged his teddy bear, Hurshal,
as he fell asleep in the motel bed. He was still asleep when Mom
carried him to the car early the next morning. He slept all the
way home.
"Wake up, we are home,” Mom called as they drove into their
driveway. Anthony was glad. Hurshal and he didn't like to ride
in cars for such a long time. He reached for Hurshal. His teddy
bear wasn't there. He looked on the floor -- No Hurshal!  
"I can't find Hurshal," he shouted.
“Oh he has to be here somewhere.” Dad looked all over in
the car. “But I don’t see him in the car anywhere.”
Anthony started to cry. Where was Hurshal? Mom took his
hand. “Don’t worry. We’ll find your bear. He’s probably
packed away in the luggage somewhere. We’ll look when we get
everything in the house.” But when all the suitcases and Anthony’s
back pack were emptied Hurshal was nowhere to be found.
Mom looked at Dad. "Honey, didn't you get Hurshal from
the motel?"
"I thought you picked him up,”  Dad answered.
Anthony shouted, "You left Hurshal at the motel?"
“Now calm down, I’ll call the hotel and see if they
found him.” When Dad clicked off his cell phone he smiled. “Good
news. The desk clerk said they found Hurshal and would mail
him home right away.” 
Anthony ran out to wait on the curb by the mailbox. Soon
Dad sat down beside him. "Hurshal won't be here for a couple
of days, you know. It takes time to mail a package somewhere."
"But Hurshal can't sleep without me,” Anthony sobbed.  
Daddy handed Anthony his new blue bear Grandma had given him
for Christmas. "Will this bear do until Hurshal gets home?"
"No!" Anthony threw the bear on the ground and stamped his
foot. "I want Hurshal."
"I'm sorry but you will have to do without Hurshal for a
couple of days,” Dad said.
That night Anthony couldn't sleep even when Mom rocked him.
"Let’s talk about Hurshal," Mom said. "What do you like about him?"
"I like the way he smells, and his raggedy ears and his
wrinkly nose."
Mom pulled Anthony’s nose and laughed, “Just like yours?”
She put Anthony into his bed and pulled the quilt up to his chin.
"Think happy thoughts about Hurshal and you'll be asleep before
you know it." Mom was right. Anthony thought of Hurshal and went
directly to sleep.
Two days later when the package came Anthony tore off the
paper. Under the paper was a shoebox. He was afraid to lift the
lid. What if it was someone else’s bear in the box?
"Open the box,” laughed Mom. Slowly Anthony lifted the lid. 
His bear looked up at him with his teddy bear smile. He hugged
Hurshal. "I'll never let you get lost again," he promised. And he
never did.
** (Note from author: Hurshal is a true story that happened to my grandson when he was a preschooler.)

C 2011 by M.C. Arvanitis (If using this story please leave comment.)
This story is free and may be shared so long as author is given credit.

To make Hurshal, the teddy bear, cut out two bears shaped as in the example.  Use felt and let the child choose 
the color he or she wishes.  Glue on felt eyes, nose, and a strip of red yarn to make mouth.  You can add felt 
buttons also if child wishes.  When all is dried, place the pieces together, and glue around the edges of the 
neck, arms, body and legs. (don't glue above ears.) When dry punch holes around the edges and let child sew 
the bear together with yarn from bottom of ears, weaving the yarn  under and over. (save enough to go up 
over the ears and head.) Do not tie the yarn yet. Carefully stuff the bear with cotton pushing it into the arms 
and legs. Let the child decide if his/her bear is a fat bear with lots of cotton or a skinny bear with less cotton. 
When stuffed close the top of the bear, glue edges, and continue to sew, Tie the left over yarn into a neat bow 
at the top .. or if the child doesn't want a bow tie it tight and clip off the left over. You can also make a neck
bow by placing yarn or ribbon around its neck. Now have the child choose a name for the bear. The more 
choices the child has in making the bear, the more the bear will belong to him/her. Some of my students 
kept their bears until they were grown.