Damn You, Paddington Bear

Sunday morning, the boy sits in the second pew with his family. Stephen is next to him. They each have coloring books, and he is trying to stay inside the lines while Stephen is trying to draw bears on his. A speaker is at the podium saying things the boy does not understand or care about.

The family in the first pew also has small children. The oldest girl goes to Primary with the boy each Sunday. The boy peeks over the pew at her. She is looking at a book about Paddington Bear. She turns the page, and here is Paddington in a playroom that is a disaster—toys and boots and jackets everywhere.

The girl sets the book down on the floor in front of her, stands up tall, points down at the page and bellows, “Damn you, Paddington Bear! You clean up this room this instant before I kick your butt!”

The speaker suddenly stops. The mother in the front pew shifts her infant to her husband and bolts across the pew to grab her daughter’s arm. They hustle for the side door.

The boy looks at his mother who has lowered her head, shakes it side to side, and tries to suppress an audible laugh.

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