Josh’s Bear
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“Josh’s Bear,” Liahona, Apr. 1999, 6

Josh’s Bear

The day after Mother’s Day, eight-year-old Eric and his mom went to the local pharmacy to buy some medicine. Eric walked around the pharmacy while his mother purchased the medication. When they got back in the car, Eric asked if he could talk to his mom for a minute.

“Sure,” Mom said, reaching to turn the car’s key.

Eric grabbed her hand and said, “Don’t go. Can we talk right here?” Mom shifted in her seat to listen.

Eric told her about a boy in his school class named Josh.* Josh’s mother had died of cancer during the previous Christmas holidays. Ever since then, Josh was often very sad at school. Sometimes his dad even had to come and take him home from school because he couldn’t stop crying.

Mother’s Day had been very hard for Josh. He had brought a stuffed bear to school the next day and had hugged it for comfort all the time. During recess, he had taken the bear to the playground. Some of the bigger kids took Josh’s bear away from him. They teased him by throwing it back and forth, and the bear ripped apart. Eric felt bad because he knew Josh’s family might not be able to buy him another bear. While in the pharmacy, Eric had seen a bear just like Josh’s. He wanted to spend his money to buy it for Josh.

Eric and his mom went back into the pharmacy and bought the bear. Eric took it to school in his backpack the next day. Mom told Eric not to give the bear to Josh until she had made sure it was OK with their teacher. The teacher told Eric’s mother she would be glad to arrange for Eric to give the bear to Josh.

That evening, Mom asked Eric how it went. He said their teacher had asked the two of them to stay in for a few minutes while the rest of the class went to recess. She asked Josh what had happened to his bear the day before. Josh’s first words were “Eric didn’t do it.”

She said that wasn’t the reason she’d had them stay in and then explained that Eric wanted to give him another bear. The bear went from backpack to backpack for safekeeping. Eric said Josh almost cried when he gave it to him. Eric said the best feeling of all was to see Josh smile. As Josh left for the day, he gave Eric a big high-five.

Eric Jones, age 8, Oquirrh Fourth Ward, West Jordan Utah Oquirrh Stake

Illustrated by Bryan Lee Shaw

Story Time in Galilee, by Del Parson