Monday, 22 April 2013

Bub


Harry and Bub were on guard. Bub wasn't much good at being a lookout because one of his eyes was hanging by a thread, so Harry did the looking. If he saw anyone dangerous, it was Bub's job to do the guarding while Harry ran and called for Dad.

Dad always said that Bub was the bravest bear he'd ever stood on guard with and Harry thought so too. Bub never got frightened, or tried to hide and he was the best at staying absolutely quiet and still so the monsters couldn't get him.

Harry copied him as much as possible but sometimes, when the whole world was dark and quiet, he was glad to know Dad was there to run to. Every time he ran to Dad, Dad said they should wait and let Bub fix the problems. After a few minutes they'd go to Harry's room together and, sure enough, Bub had fought off the bad guys again.

Tonight, Harry knew there were particularly bad guys out there because he'd seen them on the TV. He'd never known about Orks before, but they were big and really mean and he wasn't sure that Bub could handle them by himself. After all, Orks had kidnapped Sam and Frodo when adults were around, so how could Bub fight them off when he was even smaller than Harry?

Harry huddled protectively around Bub, holding one of his paws very tight and trying to look in all directions at once. There were dark corners everywhere and they kept getting bigger and bigger.

“Are you scared?” Harry whispered to Bub. “I'm not scared if you're not scared.”

Bub didn't say anything at all. He wasn't much of a conversationalist. Dad said that was because his ears were all torn up, so he couldn't hear anything Harry said. He could still be a strong protector though, even without ears and only one eye. Dad said that as long as Bub was loved, he'd have something worth fighting for and he'd keep Harry safe, so Harry loved Bub as much as he possibly could and Bub kept him safe every single night.

Harry was telling a little lie. He knew Bub wouldn't be scared because nothing would ever scare Bub. But Harry was a tiny bit scared. He snuggled as far down under the duvet as he could until only his eyes were peeping out into the shadows. He didn't dare close his eyes but he kept as still as possible. So still that the Orks couldn't even see him breathing.

He tried very hard to be absolutely still, but every now and then there was a noise that startled him. He would turn and look and then he had to start being still all over again.

Bub stared with his one eye into the darkness, as calm as ever. Harry and Bub had watched the TV together, but Bub hadn't been at all surprised to learn about the Orks, and they didn't seem to bother him now.

As Harry lay there he thought about how very old Bub was, at least as old as Dad, and how many bad guys he'd defeated. Maybe Bub wasn't scared because he'd already beaten the Orks before.

Harry had never beaten the Orks.

If he had a big sword, or arrows, or an axe, then maybe he could help Bub fight them off, but Dad said he didn't want weapons in the house. Even the pirate cutlasses had to be kept in the garage. He and Bub hadn't been pirates for a while because it was too cold to play outside. They had been ninjas quite a lot over the last few weeks and he was getting really good at sneaking through the house and attacking Dad.

Dad was getting faster as well. At first he hadn't been able to hear Harry and Bub at all, but nowadays he could hear them from the next room, and sometimes managed to duck out of the way. One time, he had even tickled Harry! But Harry was going to get him tomorrow. He had a plan. Bub was going to act as decoy and he would run behind the door and when Dad came through he would jump over the door and karate chop Dad.

And then he would teleport to the roof and he would be an alien ninja invader. And then he would, he would...

Bub gazed forward stoically with his one fixed eye, while the other twisted gently on its piece of thread. Harry was safe for another night.