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Titanic: Survival of a Teddy Bear “And where are we going for this ‘perfect vacation’?” “The Titanic- it’s an unsinkable ship!” “Can I bring Teddy?” Claire inquired. That’s me- Teddy the Teddy Bear. I was a present from her aunt in Switzerland. Brown mohair “fur”, black leather “eyes”, and light brown suede “feet”. The best of the best. “Can I? Can I?” “Of course! We can’t just leave him here.” That was Claire’s over-enthusiastic, over-reacting dad, Mike. Little Claire was already running-wobbling- up the stairs towards me. Her parents, the Bings, were trying to decide what to pack for the vacation. Then I heard Alice, her big sister, moan. “Can’t two-year-olds be reasonable?!?”

A few days later, we were at the docks. From the moment we saw the cruise liner, Claire was terrified. Everyone said the size frightened her. Little did we know, she had developed an uncannily accurate sixth sense for trouble. It was time for me to go to work, and after a tight squeeze, we boarded the Titanic. As soon as we stumbled into our first class cabin, our mouths hit the floor. Marble sinks, granite counters, and travertine showers gleamed, momentarily blinding us. Down pillows and plush sofas sank at the slightest touch. That’s when we realized the impossible- we were on a floating heaven. The cruise itself was almost as majestic as the ship itself. The best part was that I saw everything, since Claire insisted on carrying me around. The shows, shops and saloons were stunning, and even though I didn’t eat, I found my mouth watering for the roasted duck.

One night, when Claire went to sleep, there was a bang from the right side of the ship. I knew that only I could hear it, with my super-sensitive ears, so I rolled out of bed in an attempt to raise the alarm. Before I hit the floor, Claire was bawling. Everyone woke, and since we were all up (and partly because he was over-reacting) Mike took us all on a midnight stroll. Claire’s mom, Barb, was holding Claire the whole time- she was starting to hyperventilate. That’s when we saw deckhands dashing towards the lifeboats. In a flurry of motion, Mike had Barb’s jacket and hat on, and was nudging us towards the lifeboats. He threw in Claire, Alice, and Barb, then jumped in himself. After a few others had joined us, the sailor lowered the boat. Mike’s disguise had worked! The most bizarre thing was that as soon as the lifeboat had cleared the ship, Claire became calm and leaned onto Alice. An

hour later, we saw the ship go down. Thankfully, Alice and Claire had managed to fall asleep, and they didn’t hear the cries of the remaining passengers. Today I am a piece of history, in a glass case in Washington D.C. Not a day goes by that I don’t mourn Claire, Barb, Mike, and Alice. They are the only true family I have ever known. To these people at the Smithsonian, I am an artifact. I’m deprived of love and care, unlike when I belonged to Claire. But when all is said and done, it’s because of Mike I am still here. A piece of my heart will always belong to the hero Mike Bing.

Titanic: Survival of a Teddy Bear