Ernie and Theo go on a bear (and lion) hunt

Theo had been sat alone under his favourite lamp post. If he was honest, Theo was quite glad of the peace. It was a very busy period for Ernie and Theo’s and he was enjoying a bit of time to himself. He was just closing his eyes when he saw Ernie prancing and dancing along the pavement with a stick in his mouth. “Ah well, it was nice while it lasted” he said to himself.

“Yeo Theo,” Ernie said “how’s things?”

“Hi Ernie, I am a bit tired to be honest,” Theo replied. “Our markets and fairs are coming thick and fast just now. We are also developing ideas for new products. The humans help out but there’s no escape when your name’s over the door.”

Ernie didn’t get too involved in planning or product development but he knew what Theo meant. He’d been exhausted after the Clog Market and Great Harwood Country Fair. Meeting his mates and sampling treats is much tougher than people think.

“You’ll be proud of me,” Ernie said with a big beam on his face. “I’ve been on our website to find out where our next market is.”

If Theo hadn’t been lying down he would have fallen over. Ernie didn’t tell fibs but his memory wasn’t the best so he asked his friend for more details.

“We’re at the Fire Fighters’ Memorial Trust Summer Fete at Bolton Cricket Club on 3rd June,” Ernie announced.

Theo was impressed. Ernie didn’t often visit the website. When he did, it was usually to look at the pictures of his mates or browse the bandanas, treat jars and other pet accessories on show there. Ernie had no idea what the Fire Fighters’ Memorial Trust was, so he asked his clever friend.

“It helps us remember brave fire fighters who lost their lives doing their job,” Theo patiently explained. “For example, it holds a remembrance service every year and records each lost fire fighter’s name on a memorial in London. The fete will raise money to help do their work - and Ernie and Theo’s will be donating some pet accessories to the Trust for a raffle”

“That is wonderful. I am so looking forward to it,” Ernie said. “What will there be at the fete Theo?”

Theo said there’d be cheese and wine tasting; face painting, fire engines, food stalls and freak shakes; craft stalls; paintballing; Lofty the Lion, Blaze the Bear - and lots, lots more.

Ernie suddenly looked worried. “I don’t think I will be able to go the fete now Theo” he said.

Theo looked puzzled. “Why not?” he asked. “You said you were looking forward to it just now!”

“Well,” Ernie replied “I didn’t know there were going to be lions and bears there Theo. They might gobble me up and then I won’t be able to do the cheese tasting or anything!”

Theo roared with laughter. “Lofty and Blaze are pretend lions and bears Ernie. They won’t hurt you.”

Ernie still wasn’t really sure Lofty and Blaze wouldn’t be real but he knew that Theo knew everything. He had one more question for his best mate though.

“Are you going too?” he asked.  Ernie knew that if Theo went he would look after him if Lofty and Blaze were real after all.

“Well, yes I am, I just hope the fire engines won’t be practising. You know how much I hate water!” Theo replied.      

Ernie suddenly felt brave. “I tell you what Theo. If you keep me safe from Lofty and Blaze I’ll make sure the fire engines don’t wet you,” he said.

Theo wasn’t sure Ernie could stop him from getting wet but he said that sounded like a deal.

“I’ll see you on Sunday then Ernie,” Theo said to his little mate. But before he’d finished his sentence, Ernie had spotted a pigeon landing near the hedge and was in full pursuit.

“Yeo, Theo. I’ll be there,” as he raced after his prey. Theo knew Ernie never did or ever will catch any bird, bee or squirrel he chased. But he didn’t have the heart to tell Ernie – and knew it wouldn’t make any difference if he did!


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