Brown Bear was given to me when I was four years old by my South African Grandpa, on the birth of my baby brother.
I’m now 25, so we’ve had a relationship lasting 20 years. Aside from my family, only my best friend can boast a longer association with me.

His name came from his colour – he was originally a chestnut brown, even though now he’s more of a distinguished grey. He also has my name sewed into him from when I took him on a school trip. If you ever find him, please return him to me asap!

I don’t remember when I stopped carrying him around, or a time when he’s been particularly meaningful, he’s just always been there. He used to come on holidays with me, come to friends’ houses and now he just sits patiently waiting for me to come home.

My relationship with him is that he’s more like a pillow now – a very important pillow – that takes pride of place on my bed wherever I’m living. I don’t chat to him or anything, like I used to, but I do give him a cuddle whenever I’m feeling down or ill and he does make me feel better.

I would certainly be very sad if he disappeared. I see him now as more of a wise old sage, never saying what he thinks but having all the answers nonetheless.

When I look at him, I quite simply think: old friend. 

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