A stowaway orphan from deepest darkest Peru was discovered in a train station in London wandering alone with a battered suitcase. He was wearing an old hat, spectacles and a rumpled duffle coat. On his suitcase was a note that read, “Please look after this orphan. Thank you.”
“I arrived in this country as a stowaway on a boat and survived primarily by eating marmalade,” he explained. “My parents died in a devastating earthquake in Peru. I was taken in and raised by my Aunt Lucy and my Uncle Pastuzo. My Uncle gave me this old hat to wear when he went to live in a retirement home in Lima.”
The Brown family found him sitting alone on his tattered suitcase in the train station. “No-one can understand his Peruvian name Pastuso, so we decided to call him Paddington after the railway station where we found him. We agreed to adopt him because he is always polite and kindhearted. Paddington inflicts hard stares on those who incur his disapproval and has an endless capacity for innocently getting into trouble, but he tries very hard to get things right,” Mrs. Brown explained.
“We live near the Portobello Road market, where Paddington is respected by the shopkeepers for driving a hard bargain but when he gets annoyed with someone, he often gives them one of his special ‘hard stares’ taught to him by his Aunt Lucy, which causes them to become flushed and embarrassed,” she added.
Paddington explained that he is very happy with his adoptive parents. “Mrs. Brown says that in London everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in. I think she must be right because although I don’t look like anyone else, I really do feel at home. I’ll never be like other people, but that’s all right, because I’m a bear.”
Paddington Bear is a fictional character in children’s literature. He first appeared in 1958 and has been featured in more than twenty books written by Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum and other artists. Paddington was featured on postage stamps in 1994 and 2006 and in 2014 a balloon was introduced in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A movie about him was released in 2014 and a sequel is currently under consideration. In order to promote the movie 50 statues of Paddington were placed around London, close to museums and parks. All proceeds from the sale of the statues went to charity.
Judith Land, Adoptee
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