Story: Monty is Made

Monty has been many places. He’s a special monkey, not made to swing about in the forest but to spend time with the children he loves and who love him. Children from all over the world hold Monty in their hands, bury their heads in his soft fur when they cry, and dance with him while they laugh. That’s the great thing about Monty. Whether you’re at the top of the world or struggling to keep yourself together in it, he’s always there to help you, providing a shoulder to cry on or a song perfect for clapping along. He’s there for every child, not always in person, because there are only so many places a monkey can be at once, but in spirit. Whether you are angry, sad, confused, frustrated or lonely, Monty is there for you. He never judges or tells you that you are not good enough because Monty knows every child is precious. Monty exists to put his arm around you and give you love in the loneliest of places, light in the darkest of tunnels.

Sadly, Monty sometimes gets low. When light-hearted children go through difficult times, he sometimes struggles to keep smiling. One day, Monty decided to take a trip back to where he was made, many years ago. Monty hoped to regain the light which once shined so easily from him, before he got weighed down by all the pain which existed in the world.
Monty was made in no ordinary bear workshop. He was lovingly stitched together by a young girl in a tree-house when she was feeling down and wanted some time alone to think. Picking up the needle and thread her Nan had given to her when she was younger, the girl carefully created Monty. First she made his long dangly arms. Then she made his plump body. Finally, she sewed together his head, making sure to give him big ears so he could always hear everyone’s problems, and a wide smile to light up everybody’s day. When she was nearly finished, just before sewing up Monty’s front, she placed a pendant left to her by her Nan into Monty’s body. The pendant was located exactly where Monty’s heart would be, if he were a real monkey. The girl’s Nan had been a very loving woman, always lending a sympathetic ear to her granddaughter, even if she’d been naughty and got a scolding off her mum and dad. So the girl thought it only fitting that her beautiful new teddy had something of her Nan as his heart. The girl sewed a zip onto Monty’s front so that she could always have a look at the pendant. Then she placed the final stich and Monty’s eyes opened as he came to life.
No human being is perfect. We all have bad thoughts. Sometimes we are sad, sometimes we are angry and want to hurt people’s feelings. But there are moments in which we can achieve a perfect feeling. Moments when all the bad thoughts and negativity fall away and all we feel is an intense love for all the living things in the world, and an intense happiness at being alive. The girl didn’t know it at the time, but in making Monty while thinking of her Nan with love, she weaved into the little monkey this special goodness which resides in every being. And as this feeling never left her all the while she was weaving Monty, she created in Monty something no one had ever created before, a living thing which was capable of only love and empathy, a living thing which could never have negative feelings towards anyone, because he could see the goodness inside every soul, even behind the hard exterior which they may display at times.

One day, the girl decided that she could not keep Monty to herself forever, as he was a special teddy who could bring happiness to the whole world, not just her. So she wrapped Monty’s long arms around the branch which extended from the tree-house up into the sky, and told him to swing off in search of any child who needed his help.

Being Monty can be hard work. As he empathized with all those who were down and struggling, sometimes it felt as if Monty had the weight of the world on his shoulders. Often, he would see a child smile and the weight would be lifted for a while. After this, Monty would be able to fulfil his deepest desire again, sharing his smile and happiness to make others happy. This cycle could only last so long. So Monty walked back to the place where he had been made long ago, to try and rekindle his spirit’s spark. He had lived for a long time in the tree-house. He gave comfort to the young girl whenever she needed it.

When Monty returned to the tree-house after his journey into the world, the girl had left. Now, only her family lived in the house. Walking back down the garden path and then swinging himself up into the tree-house, Monty slumped against the wall and took a deep breath, overwhelmed by memories. Monty had many memories of the girl who created him. Together, they had laughed and joked. She had poured her heart out to him. Monty closed his eyes and felt the warmth she had brought to his heart return.

With a start, Monty realised that someone was climbing into the tree-house. Opening his eyes he saw a young boy enter. The young boy had a similar face and smile to the girl who had made Monty, and Monty realised with a start that this must be her brother. Monty had been told a lot about her brother by his maker, but she had never let Monty see him, because she had wanted to keep Monty all to herself. This had given Monty a strange sorrow inside, because he was unable to help the girl’s younger brother, as he had helped her. In remembering this, Monty felt purpose return to him. The purpose and function which only he had, to give hope to children everywhere.

The young boy started at the sight of Monty, who lay motionless against the tree-house wall. He moved slowly towards Monty and picked him up in his arms. Feeling Monty, he felt the hard metal hidden in the soft fur. Opening the zip which his older sister had sewn, the boy found the pendant which she had placed in Monty all those years ago. When her Nan had given her the pendant, it had been shaped like a flower. Now the pendant was the mirror image of the teddy the boy held in his hands. He looked at the two with amazement as he compared them, the pendant and the teddy.

For a long time the boy studied the objects. However, in taking the pendant out Monty, the boy had taken the breath out of Monty’s body. Now Monty was just a teddy, a beautiful teddy, but a teddy nonetheless. The pendant was still alive though, warmer than it should have been in the boy’s hand. Monty still existed, but for now he was a spirit without a being.
Despite how much he liked the look of Monty and the pendant, the boy felt guilty about keeping something which was not his. He left them both in the tree-house. The boy felt another child must have placed Monty in the tree-house (for no teddy bear could move on its own) and returned daily to see if someone reclaimed Monty. But no one came. Finally, after Monty had been in the tree-house for a week, the boy decided to take him, and the pendant, to the charity shop near where he lived, in the hope that a young child would find Monty and take him home for their own.

Leaving the shop the boy felt strange, as if he had left something behind in the shop which he could not do without. Shaking his head he wandered home, stopping to say hello to his friend Joe who was dragged into the shop moaning by his mum.