Six year old Barbara came home from school, rushed up to her bedroom and threw her backpack down on her bed. Immediately, she took out her homework. She went over to her desk and sat down. She pulled out her homework and completed it quickly, but made sure that she made no mistakes. She knew that her mother would be in to see it soon.
“Imagine that,” thought Barbara’s favourite teddy bear, Puggles to himself. “Ever since she got that computer for Christmas, she never plays with me anymore. She doesn’t even say hello to me, either!”
“Well, hello,” said Barbara’s mother, walking into her bedroom. “How’s the homework coming?”
“It’s all done,” said Barbara, proudly. “Here, take a look.”
Barbara’s mother took the extended notebook from her daughter and looked it over.
“Good girl!” she exclaimed. “Now, you can play with your computer.”
“Oh good!” said Barbara, excitedly.
“Oh yeah!” thought Puggles. “She loves that computer more than she loves me!”
“Would you like a snack?” Mother asked.
“Sure,” said Barbara, already engrossed in her game.
Barbara’s mother turned to leave her room. She noticed Puggles sitting on the shelf, beside Barbara’s favourite reading books.
“Oh poor Puggles!” exclaimed Mother, picking Puggles up and stroking him. “I bet you feel really left out. It seems that these days Barbara has eyes only for her computer.”
She set Puggles back up onto the shelf. As she did, she thought she noticed a very sad and very lonely look on Puggles’ face.
“I must be imagining things,” said Mother. “Teddy bears don’t have feelings.”
“I do too,” thought Puggles. “I have lots of feelings! I’m lonely!”
For two whole weeks, Barbara never once took Puggles down from his shelf nor did she even say hello to him.
“All I want is a little hug!” cried Puggles to himself. “Would it really hurt Barbara to give me just one little hug?”
One day, Barbara was playing on her computer. She came over to the bookshelf where Puggles was sitting and took a book off the shelf. Puggles noticed that the book was the owner’s manual for her computer. Not once did she even blink an eye at Puggles!
“This is terrible!” cried Puggles. “Am I going to have to sit on this shelf forever? Has she totally forgotten all about me?”
Day in and day out, Puggles watched Barbara play on her computer, every evening after school. He did not like that computer and wished that she had never gotten one. This one day, however, Barbara’s face looked flush. She looked sick.
“Oh poor Barbara!” exclaimed Puggles. “She’s sick. I bet she has the flu.”
Despite her sickness, Barbara went straight to her computer.
“That’s no fair,” said Puggles. “Whenever she got sick before, she would always want me first!”
Barbara’s mother came into the bedroom and looked at her daughter.
“Barbara, are you sick?” asked Mother. “You look awfully pale.”
“Well, I do feel a little sick,” admitted Barbara.
“Come on then,” said Mother. “Let’s get you into bed.”
Mother reached over and helped Barbara turn off her computer. Then she helped Barbara into her warm cotton pajama’s and helped her into bed.
“You’re burning up with a fever!” exclaimed Mother, worriedly. “You poor little girl. I’ll go downstairs and get you a drink of juice and an aspirin.”
“Mommy,” said Barbara.
“Yes honey, what is it?” asked Mother.
“Could you give me Puggles?” Barbara asked. “I need him!”
“Why sure I could,” said Mother, taking Puggles down from the shelf.
Barbara hugged Puggles tightly.
“Oh Barbara!” exclaimed Puggles, happily. “I love you so much!”
“What was that you said?” Mother asked Barbara.
“I didn’t say anything,” said Barbara. “It was Puggles. He said he loves me!”