“Remember, Abby, hold tight to your dream-bear while you fall asleep and he’ll keep all the bad dreams away.”
The little red-haired girl nodded, smiled sleepily, and clutched tighter to the purple and pink striped teddy bear in her arms. Her mother kissed her forehead and tucked Abby into bed.
“She okay?” Joe asked when his wife joined him in the living room.
“Yes, she’s fine. She has her bear. I’m glad she’s still young enough to believe in the ‘dream-bear’ idea.”
“Me, too. It would’ve helped me if my mom had told me that my teddy bear was a protector who watched over me to keep bad dreams out,” he said, pulling Jessica close. “You’re a good mom.”
In the bedroom down the hall, the pink and purple striped teddy bear squirmed from Abby’s arms, taking up a guard position on her pillow. Abby’s curly copper hair tickled the bear’s legs, but she was used to it, now.
A gray bunny hopped down onto the bed from the toy net above Abby’s bed. A stuffed baseball bat fell down, landing in front of the rabbit. The rabbit waved its thanks to the softball bear up above before delivering the bat to the dream-bear.
The bear picked up the bat, swinging it a few times to loosen stiff stitching and the bunny snuggled up to Abby, keeping the child from fussing in her sleep.
All night the bear guarded the sleeping girl, only using her weapon twice to knock away lurking nightmares. When the sun poked its first rays into the gray morning, the bear took her usual place in Abby’s arms and the rabbit tumbled to the floor, waiting to be picked up and tossed back into the net.
“Mommy?” Abby called for her mother. “Is it time to wake up yet?”
Jessica sleepily opened the bedroom door and scooped up her daughter. “Did you sleep alright?”
“Yep. PiPle kept all the bad dreams away. I love PiPle.”