A Children's book about new friendship and getting over being shy.
Morgan Small was very shy. She always had been. The kids at school didn’t like Morgan, because she never talked or played with them at recess. She wanted to, oh, how she wished she could, but she was so afraid, she never knew what to say . Morgan was five and a half, and had no brothers or sisters to play with, she was an only child. So, Morgan spent most of her time reading or playing with her toys. Morgan had a beautiful room, full of lovely colors and all kinds of neat things to play with. Morgan’s parents did everything they could to make Morgan happy, and she was...but something was missing. Morgan needed a friend.
One day after school Morgan seemed very upset. Morgan’s mother arrived to pick her up from school and found her alone on the front steps of the school, sobbing.
“What’s wrong, sweetie?” Morgan’s mother asked her as she helped Morgan into the car.
Morgan replied, hiccuping, “I...I...had to talk in front of the class today, and I was afraid to, and everyone laughed at me!” Morgan buried her face in her hands, mortified as she remembered how the awful kids at school had cackled at her when it came her turn for show and tell and she froze with stage fright and stuttered before finally running out of the classroom. Miss Mooney her teacher had been very understanding, and excused Morgan from the assignment, but Morgan was so embarrassed for the rest of the day that she couldn’t think of anything but the vicious laughter of her peers. The cafeteria had even served grilled cheese sandwiches, one of Morgan’s favorite lunches, but she barely touched her food.
When they got home, Morgan ran straight to her room and shut the door. She was sick of being so shy, she thought. She wished she could take a giant eraser and smear out this horrible day. As she was sulking on her bed, she heard a knock at her door.
“May I come in, honey?” Morgan’s mother asked softly.
“Yes.” Morgan wiped at her face, smearing the last of her tears away from her eyes.
“Why don’t we go out, sweetie, let’s get your spirits up. You wanna go to the toy store?”
Morgan brightened. She nodded her head and walked over to where her mother was standing, and let her give her a big hug.
“It’ll be okay sweetheart, everyone has bad days. Now, come on let’s go, I don’t want to get stuck in traffic.”
Tiny Tim’s Toy Shop was right downtown, in the center of the bustling city, and Morgan always loved the trips there, because of all of the interesting things she knew she would see. People crossing the street hurriedly in their work clothes, fancy cars with shiny brightly colored paint, and displays of all sorts of interesting things in shop windows.
After what seemed like ages, Morgan finally saw the brightly colored letters adorning the sign on top of the gigantic toy store, welcoming them as they arrived in the parking lot. Tiny Tim’s was hardly tiny, as it was a two story building, full of every kind of treasure any little boy or girl could possibly hope for. Barbie dolls and puzzles and games galore, the shelves along the walls of the store were filled to the top with toys of every sort. In the center of the store was a large winding staircase that was painted like a candy cane, with red velvet steps that reminded Morgan of Santa Claus’s suit.
They even hung Christmas lights around the store year round, making it even more gleeful. Morgan loved to wander around for hours, searching for the perfect addition to her toy collection.
Morgan looked around the glorious store in awe, anticipating what sort of lovely toy she might find. The sounds of joyous laughter from children echoed throughout the vast room, and everything smelled fresh and new, with a hint of sweetness. There was a cotton candy stand that served the delectable treat fresh, right there in the store, in sparkling clouds of pink, purple or blue. Upstairs, there was the doll shop, which was where Morgan usually ventured. Her favorite dolls were always from the shelf in the back. So, deciding that she might try her luck there once more, Morgan made her way up the colorful candy cane staircase and into the beautifully decorated room where the girls’ toys were kept. There was a man wearing a tuxedo and a top hat below the staircase seated at a Grand Piano, playing a happy little tune, and he beamed up at Morgan and winked as she waved down to him on her way up the stairs.
The doll shop was lit up brightly and shades of pink and purple adorned the packages of the loveliest dolls Morgan had ever seen. The shelves were full of them. Baby dolls, Barbie dolls, Life size dolls, Porcelain dolls with pretty ringlets, even dolls that talked! Morgan wandered through the aisles, admiring all the different toys, when she realized something. She was alone.
“Mommy?” Morgan whispered, afraid.
There was no reply. Morgan had been so excited to find a new toy that she had lost track of her mother! She peeked around the corners of the aisles, hoping that her mother was maybe only a few steps behind her, but only the faces of strangers peered back at her. Morgan started to panic. She had never been lost before. The toy store was so big, what if she never found her mother? What if she got locked in couldn’t get out? How would she eat? She liked cotton candy, but she was sure she didn’t want to eat it for supper. Morgan was very frightened. She knew it would be smart to ask someone in the store for help finding her mother, but she was so shy, she was afraid. Her thoughts raced as she found her way back downstairs again and paced through the aisles, hoping she might find her mother. No luck. Tears welled up in Morgans eyes, but she wiped them away, embarrassed. She didn’t want anyone to know she was lost. People were looking at her with puzzled expressions, and she knew they were only trying to help, but she didn’t want to talk to any strangers, she just wanted to find her mother. Scared and exhausted from her searching, Morgan found a corner on the floor next to some cuddly stuffed animals, and sat down. What was she going to do? If only she hadn’t wandered off so far she could be safe and sound with mommy right now. Morgan cried and cried, hiccuping and sobbing there in the corner, hidden away from sight.
“I can help you, if you let me.” Morgan looked around for where the voice was coming from, but there was no one around.
“It’s me...shhh...right here...down here..” Morgan looked down and saw that the voice was coming from a teddy bear! She rubbed her eyes, confused.
“Yes, I can talk...we can all talk. But only when we really have to. Grown ups can’t hear us, just special little boys and girls, like you.”
“Like me?” Morgan was astounded to be having a conversation with a stuffed bear.
“Yep, like you.” The bear smiled and cuddled into her, his soft fur tickling Morgan’s arm. She giggled. “You don’t have to be afraid...I’ll help you. Why don’t you ask someone to page your mom from the front desk?”
“I...I’m afraid to talk to strangers.”
“Well you’re talkin’ to me...” the bear nudged Morgan playfully.
“But you’re a bear, not a person.”
“Well I’m a strange-bear. But not anymore...the name’s Benny.” The friendly little bear stuck out his fluffy paw and Morgan shook it.
“My name’s Morgan.”
“See? That’s not so hard...now we’re not strangers anymore. It’s just the same with people.”
“No it’s not, people are much much bigger.” insisted Morgan.
“Well how do you think I feel? I’m not even a foot tall! But I’m talking to you. See...I can’t just talk to anyone either. Most people don’t believe that toys can talk, and they think that they’re crazy if they hear us, usually only kids believe, so it’s hard for me to talk to strangers too.” The little bear let out a sigh and looked up at Morgan knowingly. “But you have no reason to be shy, you’re a real person and a pretty girl. Anyone would love to talk to you.” Morgan smiled.
“But mommy told me not to talk to strangers, ‘cus they can be dangerous.” persisted Morgan.
“Well, that’s true, she’s smart. But not ALL strangers are bad. You just have to trust your instincts.
“My in-Stinks?” Morgan furrowed her brow, confused.
“Your instincts, your feelings. If something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. But right now, do you feel scared talking to me?”
“Well good, then I’m not a scary stranger. Talking to people is easy, really...you just have to practice with people you know and trust, like friends.”
“But I don’t have any friends. Just mommy...and now she’s gone and I can’t find her.” Morgan sobbed, bowing her head.
“I’ll be your friend.” said Benny, patting her on the back.
“Really?” Morgan looked up, grateful.
“Sure. We’ll help each other. But first...we have to find your mommy.”
“But I’ve looked all over, and I can’t find her.” Morgan protested.
“Well that’s where I come in. Here, pick me up.” Morgan obeyed. “Now, you don’t have to be afraid, because you’ll have me with you, but we need to go ask the lady at the front desk to have your mother paged over the speakers. I know it’s scary, but trust me, you’ll be fine.” Benny patted Morgan reassuringly. Morgan squeezed Benny close, and took a deep breath. She knew he was right, but she couldn’t help but be afraid. There was a friendly looking older woman wearing a pinstripe uniform in red and white, stacking some boxes nearby, and Morgan walked slowly up to her, her heart beating fast. Swallowing hard, and putting on her bravest face, Morgan tapped the woman on the shoulder.
“Excuse me...miss...I’m lost. I need to find my mommy.” Morgan spoke in almost a whisper. The woman looked very sweet. She smiled at Morgan and knelt down.
“Awww, well aren’t you just a doll? We’ll find your mommy, no problem sweetie, what’s her name?” she asked.
“Leslie Small. My name’s Morgan.” Morgan said, a little louder this time, more assured of herself.
“Well it’s a pleasure to meet you Morgan, my name is Sandy. Come with me honey, we’ll go page your momma.” The kind woman offered her hand to Morgan and Morgan took it, gratefully. Sandy led Morgan, who was still clutching Benny tightly, to a checkout booth near the front of the store where she paged Mrs Small over the loud speaker. Seconds later, Morgan’s mother came rushing up, looking very relieved.
“Honey, baby, I have been frantic...I paged you twice...didn’t you hear?” Morgan shook her head, no...she was so frightened before she hadn’t thought to listen. “Oh, but look at you, you brave little thing, you...you knew what to do!” Mrs Small hugged her daughter proudly, and looked down at her, noticing the bear Morgan was clutching. “Who’s this? Did you pick out a toy?”
“This is Benny. He’s going to be my new friend. I HAVE to take him home.” Morgan held Benny up to her mother for inspection, all the while Benny stayed silent, playing stiff.
“Well, he’s adorable. Of course we’ll take him home.” When Mrs. Small turned around again, leading them to the checkout counter, Benny gave Morgan a wink. Morgan was overjoyed to have found such a wonderful new friend.
Benny and Morgan had lots of adventures after that day, and Morgan, with the help of her furry friend, finally got over her shyness. But even though she wasn’t shy any more she still took Benny everywhere. . . just as a reminder that with a little courage and support, she could do anything.