CLASS BEAR

Class Bear 2

A preschool magazine has published a teacher’s note
about Mr. Huggy, the class bear. She sends him home
with a different child each day; they also take Mr. Huggy’s
diary, for a parent to write a page detailing activities
of the ursine guest—a nice idea for reading readiness,

though I see it asking for trouble: “All right, I’ll write
in the book—Mr. Huggy can watch me getting drunk!”
But I really like the idea of a class bear. Does this mean,
after 30 years of marriage, I downgrade human contact?
Of course not. But think about dogs, for instance:

what spouse could you tie up outside the market,
to whimper while watching the door, greeting you
with the canine equivalent of awe at the Second Coming?
In the evening, alone with you at home, he looks with sad eyes
that say: “I love you so much—what a tragedy

that we are different species.” Meanwhile, why can’t my office
have a Mr. Huggy? He’d be there when we need consoling,
ready to be squeezed when the world gets hard and humiliating,
and every night a lucky colleague, each in our turn,
takes Mr. Huggy home.

Drawing by Joseph Yeomans

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