They don’t explain replace-ability when they make us. They just say that we’ll find homes, some better than others, and then it’s up to us to do our job well. To love them and comfort them when they need us. You know them, you’re probably one of them. I was made 3 years ago by Granny Thatcher. She makes a lot of us for the kids in the village. Once we’re made, Grandpa Thatcher gives us all nice places on the shelf in his store (he calls it ‘Toys from Grandpa’) and we wait to be taken away by one of the other humans. I was hardly on the shelf for two days before I got a home. I remember watching the other bear’s jealous faces with some satisfaction as they watched me leave with Timmy. I feel in love with Timmy the second he walked in through the door. How could you not love the cute little six-year-old blue-eyed brown-haired boy? He didn’t let go of me that entire first evening and when night fell, he held me close and I slept my most peaceful sleep yet. The next morning, he told me he had to go to school but he promised he’d come back in the evening and we’d play together. As promised, come 5pm, Timmy was back and we spent another amazing day together. Things were going great for me, Timmy loved me more than any of his other toys and I was also most loyal to him. I resisted all temptations of his mother’s sweet perfume and always loved Timmy most. Days became months and the happy house remained relatively unchanged. Other toys came and went but I was always alpha-toy with Timmy. He’d bring his friends over at times, to show me off to them. I’d put up my best smile to make Timmy proud and they’d all go ‘oooh, so cute’. Timmy was very possessive about me and he never allowed any of his other friends to play with me, they could look but that was it. I didn’t mind this, it actually made me feel more special. The years went by and Timmy and I remained best friends. Last week was Timmy’s ninth birthday, his parent’s got him a new G I Joe doll. It’s a funny looking thing actually, very tiny with no hug-ability at all. At least, that’s what I thought. Unfortunately, Timmy didn’t think the same. He played with Joe the entire day and only reluctantly put him aside at night. When I got ready for my hug that night, I felt something had changed. He didn’t hold me the way he used to. There was something different about the way he looked at me. I now realise that the look was of boredom. He’d finally had enough of me, enough of my love. It didn’t matter to him that he was still and always will be alpha-human for me. The next night, Timmy gave me a hug and put me on top of his toy chest next to Reptar, the dinosaur Timmy had once loved. Reptar looked at me with such sympathetic eyes that I at once knew it was over for now. Joe took my place with Timmy that night. He’s been doing it every night since then. Like I said, they didn’t tell me about replace-ability when they made me so this was quite a shock. I don’t know what to make of it all. Perhaps this is just a temporary thing, perhaps I’ll be Timmy’s alpha-toy again someday. Till that happens, I’ll just sit here next to Reptar, with my hungry heart, my arms wide open and continue loving Timmy as alpha-human.

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