13 Feb / Unemployed and naked
‘How do you get a job as a booksale bear?’ Scruffy Bear asked. ‘That looks like right proper fun.’
‘It’s not all fun and games,’ Curly Bear warned. ‘You have to work long hours, and make sure you’re always looking good and smart. You need the proper T-shirt too.’
Scruffy looked downcast for a moment, and Curly felt a bit mean. He knew Scruffy only had a plaid tie to his name. He’d been unemployed for a while now, and it was hard to get by when you didn’t have the money for upkeep.
‘Why don’t you lend him yours?’ Fluffy asked. ‘He could try it out, and you could teach him a few ropes.’
Curly tried to say the word no, but Scuffy looked at him with such enthusiasm shining from his normally beady eyes, that he couldn’t.
‘Here,’ he said instead, pulling his T-shirt over his head and handing it across. ‘It should be about your size.’
Curly tried not to wince as Scruffy pulled the shirt down. It fitted perfectly. Better than it fitted him.
‘Now you’ve got to take a posture,’ Curly said. ‘Try putting your paw out here, and make the book look like it’s nice to touch.’
‘Oh, that’s good,’ Scruffy said as he tried it out. His head was pulling a little bit higher; his chest puffing out a little bit further. ‘This feels real natural.’
He did look good. Curly felt a tug of fear at the thought. Was his job really that easy?
‘You’re a natural,’ Fluffy said with a short nod of approval. ‘I think you’ll do well.’
‘You’ve had a try,’ Curly said. ‘But now I need to go back to work.’
Fluffy and Scruffy stared at him.
‘You can’t work here,’ Scruffy said. ‘You’re naked.’
Curly work with a start, his breath coming in short, hard pants. It was the same nightmare again. As he turned over in bed and tried to get back to sleep he wondered where it came from. A fear of unemployment, or a fear of nudity?