Travel Schlepp Goes to England and Meets a Friend

After we were done with work in Amsterdam, we flew to England.  We had lots of wonderful travels, and I'll tell you about them elsewhere.  But here I want to let my English friend William tell you his story. 

Willie’s Adventure

My name is William, Bear of Yarmouth.  Yarmouth is 
a small village on the Isle of Wight in the south of 
England where I was created and where I’d spent all of 
my  time, before meeting Master Karl and his lady, 
Caroline,  and, of course, Schlepp, Bear of Oregon, USA, with whom I believe you are well acquainted. 

By way of introduction, I’ll recant a brief history of 
how I came into contact with your friends. 

I was given to understand from the very beginning 
that my purpose was to reside at The George, an ancient 
and venerable lodging establishment in Yarmouth.  Thus, 
I was early on fitted with a navy sweater embroidered, 
The George Hotel, Yarmouth, I.O.W. and was assigned 
to inhabit Room Ten, a lovely wood paneled room with 
two tall casement windows overlooking the sound and 
with a comfortable wooden deck so guests could take the sun in relative privacy.  From my given position in the 
center of the huge soft bed in Room Ten I could enjoy the sight of hourly ferry boats coming and going, bringing 
visitors to our famous island. 

I was given to understand that any guest of Room 
Ten could choose to purchase me, but I wasn’t concerned that this would occur as I’d been a resident of Room Ten for a very long time and seen many guests arrive and 
depart, without so much as inquiring as to the cost of 
purchasing me.  I believe this occurred, in part, because 
The George is so well-respected and costly that its 
patrons tend to be, well, somewhat of an advanced age 
apparently without need for accumulating a small bear. 
Usually, the lady of the party upon catching first glimpse 
of me might politely mummer, “charming.”  The 
gentlemen usually just move me from the bed onto a side 
table without comment.  Generally, the English are very 
favorably disposed toward stuffed bears, even if their 
appreciation tends to be somewhat reserved in nature. 

I don’t mean to imply that I was unhappy with my 
circumstances as I had seen on the tele (or T.V. as you 
Americans say) scenes of rampaging youngsters dragging 
behind dilapidated stuffed bears who looked not at all 
pleased with their circumstances. 

So, it was with the calm of long experience that I 
heard a key in the door of Room Ten and saw a gentleman enter carrying several travel bags.  I did note his neat, but fairly long ponytail - something I’ve not seen before in Room Ten.  Closely behind him followed a silver haired lady, looking much more in keeping with my customary visitors.  She was also carrying several items of luggage which she dropped with obvious relief.  (It’s a bit of a climb up to Room Ten.).  Of course, she immediately began to examine the room – as one would certainly 
expect.  However, her first words were a bit of a surprise in their enthusiasm.  “Wow!!,” she exclaimed.  “This is 
totally COOL.”  Now, I must admit it was a rather 
inclement day (as is often the case on the I.O.W.), but I 
didn’t really  feel that Room Ten was particularly chilly. 
Of course, I was wearing my sweater, so perhaps I’d 
grown accustomed to the temperature. 

 In any event, it was immediately apparent that these 
visitors were NOT English and I quickly realized that 
these must be Americans.  I was rather excited by this. 
You see, these were my first American visitors.  Oh I’d 
seen Americans on the tele and heard the maids talking 
about their exuberant natures and generous practices of 
handing out our pound coinage as if it they were not real 
money.  So I watched with considerable interest as the 
two explored the room and deck (despite the drizzle), 
exclaiming periodically over each of Room Ten’s many 
good features.  I was glad they were pleased with Room 
Ten, but not surprised, as it is a lovely place. 

When the lady, Caroline, turned her attention toward 
me with an exclamation, “Look Karl, a teddy bear!!!!”  I 
was somewhat startled by her enthusiasm and by the 
gentleman’s response, which seemed equally excited.  I 
wondered, "Don’t they have stuffed bears in America?" 

The answer to my question was quick to arrive when, 
much to MY amazement, out of the gentleman’s travel bag hopped the furriest, fattest stuffed bear I’ve ever 
encountered.  He, who I quickly learned was named 
Schlepp (a name almost as odd as he appeared), seemed to jump right at me (I believe Master Karl actually did the 
placement).  I must admit to some alarm when the furry 
one threw his arm around me and began to query me so 
rapidly that I had no opportunity to respond. 

 The lady, Caroline, seemed very pleased that, 
“Schlepp has a friend” as she put it.  Having never had a 
“friend” I found this comment a bit odd.  In any event, the 
gentlemen expressed his need to have a short lay down 
after the rigors of travel, while the lady indicated her 
desire to settle down in the downstairs reading room with her book and a cold drink.  Off she went and, much to my surprise, when the gentleman, (who Schlepp had already 
informed me was named “Karl”) stretched out on the bed, he took particular care not to dislodge me and my new 
“friend”.  I thought that was rather endearing and showed lovely sensibilities--especially for an American. 

Whilst Master Karl napped and Caroline was off 
reading downstairs with her cool drink, my new “friend” 
proceeded to regale me with the most outrageous series 
of adventure stories.  Now, I will admit that I was 
warming up to the bear somewhat as he seemed to 
possess such youthful delight and, though only slightly 
larger than me, insisted on calling me “Wee Willie.”  I 
was torn between amusement and mild irritation at his 
familiarity, but couldn’t resist the lure of his story telling 
abilities, which I must say were quite enjoyable. 

As matters progressed I did find myself wondering if 
this wild and wooly bear was totally in touch with reality. 
It became quickly apparent that he actually believed the 
fantastic stories he was recounting, in which he always 
figured quite prominently, whether on a gondola in Venice or perched upon a giant marble statue in Vienna. 

At one point it became apparent that he was fascinated by my sweater--to the extent that he brashly insisted trying it on his own furry person.  I thought it fit him rather well, but he insisted it was much too small.  I hesitated to ask him any questions for fear that he’d go off on another wild tangent about his adventures, but I was curious to know if perhaps stuffed bears in America are all unclothed.  He cheerfully confirmed my suspicions in that regard, telling me that most of the bears he knew were “just too furry for sweaters.”  He also explained that he lives in New Mexico, which is a southwestern state in America where it is mostly quite warm and sunny and even in winter, he informed me, Karl and “Caro” (as he called the lady, Caroline) kept their home quite warm and cozy. 

With considerable relief I was able to reclaim my 
sweater just as Master Karl began to stir from his nap. 
Upon rising, he pulled out a small computer from his 
travel case, followed by an unusual looking camera.  I 
quickly discerned that somehow the camera and 
computer were connected and, quick as you please, he 
was enjoying beautiful photographs of various English 
scenes, into which the bear, Schlepp of Oregon, actually 
did figure rather prominently.  I began to wonder to 
myself, Could some of those wild stories actually be true? 
No, I thought. I’m becoming infected with American 
enthusiasm.  The next thing you know I’ll be seeing 
cowboys and Indians on my bed.   

(Must stop now as my typist, the lady, Caroline, herself, 
informs me she must do her clerical work.  She promises 
me we’ll get on with the story quite soon.  I can’t wait to 
tell you about what happened when Caroline returned to 
Room Ten and made the telephone inquiry at the front 
desk which I’d thought never to hear and which would 
change my world entirely.) 

Chapter 2 continues Willie's story.