I was born and mostly raised in the Bear’s Cookie Den in the tiny seaside
village of Seal Rock, Oregon. Big Schlepp and I enjoyed the company
of hundreds of other bears. Together we watched the people come and
go through the little bakery and coffee shop. We’d see all kinds
of tourists and wonder where they came from and where they were going.
Sometimes they’d buy a bear, usually for an obnoxious child who pestered
them until he or she got what they wanted. Big Schlepp and I were lucky
that we didn’t fall into their clutches.
Often it was cold and foggy with hardly any
people at all. But in September it could be gloriously sunny and
warm. Yet it was on an unusually foggy morning in September that
Big Schlepp almost was taken away.
On that day two humans came in to the Cookie Den. The lady really like
us a lot. I could tell. Actually, she liked Big Schlepp. The
man said she should buy him, but she said something like, “I can’t buy
everything I like.” And she placed Big Schlepp back beside me on the shelf.
I could feel his disappointment but was secretly
relieved he wasn’t leaving me. I had never given this much thought
before and felt disturbed by it for days. I realized the day would
most likely come when one of us would be left behind. Being so alike
and having the same aspiration and goal to be loved and cared for in a
nice home had given us a deep bond in our long hours of silence.
As I had so dreaded, that day came, a damp,
dreary, and cold day the next December. It didn’t happen as I had
expected. I thought I would see who took Big Schlepp and paid for
him and hoped it would be an adult. Instead, the store keeper took
Big Schlepp from my side and I watched as she placed him in a big box,
tucked a bag of chocolate chip cookies in beside him, and sealed it.
Oh God, how I wondered and worried back then what his fate had been.
We were both alone and I didn’t know where Big Schlepp had gone.
It seemed an eternity passed that I sat on
my shelf alone and only occasionally would someone show a slight interest
Then one day about a month later, the storekeeper
came to my shelf holding a small box and then she put me inside and closed
the box. I was frightened. Where was I being sent and to whom?
After being jostled about for days, someone opened the lid to my box.
Suddenly, I was looking up into the face of a man. My first reaction
was relief–to be out of that box.. Then I recognized him as the man
who had been with the lady that day in the store, when she almost
bought Big Schlepp. I was so confused. That day in September
he had hardly noticed me at all nor had the lady for that matter.
After the man gently picked me up with an
expression of surprise and appreciation, I could look around at my surroundings.
It was then that I saw the most beautiful
thing I have ever seen. Big Schlepp was sitting across the room looking
contented as could be.
You see, the man, whose name was Karl, had
remembered Big Schlepp from September and bought him for Christmas for
his lady. Then the lady, whose name was Caro, bought me for Karl’s
birthday. I had really underestimated her. She had remembered
me all that time.
I looked around for her but she wasn’t around.
She was taking care of her mother who was sick in someplace called South
Carolina. Caro wanted me to be there for his birthday even if she
couldn’t. I felt very important and took my new responsibility very
Karl set me up next to Big Schlepp and we
talked long into the night. We had a lot of catching up to do.
I didn't know it then, but adventure
was waiting for me right around the corner.
Sometimes its necessary to use code names.
Try this spreadsheet to see what your code
Check out the SchleppCam
here. Photos update often, so come back and see what TS is doing.
Just this spring Schlepp got to go to
Washington, DC. Because there was so much work to do, he didn't have
very much time to sightsee. Even so, one afternoon he had an hour
to go into the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. Read
his story and see his pictures here but be sure to also visit the Smithsonian's
website to see their pictures and learn more about aviation, flight,
and space travel.
In June Schepp got a vacation to Santa Fe,
New Mexico. Learn all about New Mexico here.