I alighted at Paddington station and bought a cookie from the stand. White chocolate and raspberry, crunchy and crumbly and casting delightful smells from its snug paper bag.
Before I could walk and enjoy my treat I spied a teddy bear sitting alone and forgotten against a pillar and decided I would do my good deed and take him to lost property.
No sooner did I feel his soft fur in my hand than he squirmed and twitched his felt nose and said: “Are you new to London?”
“No,” I lied.
“Fibber!” he waved a scolding paw at me. “For a small piece of that biscuit I will tell you how to find the best inn in the city. The best bath, the best bed, the best breakfast. You’ll never have a more satisfying night.”
“And if I offered you a large piece?” I teased.
“Ah, well that’s different,” the bear scratched his nose. “Then I would tell you the name of a song. You have not heard it yet, but it will inspire you. You will know your life’s path and what you want in the world, never again to walk in doubt.”
I considered for a moment.
“Tell me bear,” I said. “Say I was to split this cookie and offer you half?”
“For half that crunchy treat I will introduce you to the man that will make you wealthy and successful for life and tell you how to wind your words and assure his friendship.”
Oats and raspberry wafted at my nose.
“And if I gave you the whole cookie?”
The bear smiled. “I would show you a good tree to sit under.”