by Jennifer Reynolds
(Milton, Washington, USA)
"Ubby," said Pat. "I'm starting school tomorrow and Mom said that I have to stop sucking my thumb." Pat hugged Ubby and put his thumb in his mouth.
"Uh - oh," thought Ubby. "He sucks his thumb when he holds me. I'll have to stop him doing that or his Mom will get rid of me."
Mom looked around the bedroom door. "Time to get ready for bed," she said. Pat put Ubby on his pillow. "I'll be back in a minute," he said.
Ubby looked around the room. Where could he hide?
Pat came back to his room, and put on his pajamas
Pat looked at his bed. "Where's Ubby?" He jerked up his pillow. No Ubby. He pulled the covers back on his bed. Where is he? He looked under the bed. "Oh there you are." He reached under the bed, and pulled out a big white sock.
He looked in his drawers and pulled out all his clothes. No Ubby. He looked on top of the lamp. He'd found Ubby up there a couple of times. He could be in the toy chest. Maybe Ubby wanted to visit with some of the other toys. No, not there. Pat turned and saw a shadow on the curtains. He pulled them back. "Ubby!" but it was the cat.
"Oh," said Pat. "Ubby knows I'm going to school and he wants to go with me, so I'll bet he's in my school bag." He opened his closet door, picked up his bag and said, "Come on out Ubby, I know you're in there." Nothing. He opened his bag and all he saw was his school stuff. He pulled out all his shoes, and looked in them. No Ubby.
Mom came in to say goodnight. "I can't find Ubby, Mom," said Pat. "I can't go to bed without Ubby."
Mom looked at his room. "When you clean up this mess you'll probably find him. You have to go to bed now as you need a good night's sleep. You have school tomorrow." And she gave Pat a kiss.
Pat got into bed and pulled the covers over his head. "I've had Ubby since I was a baby," thought Pat. "Ubby's my best friend." Pat wrapped his arms around himself. "He helps me chose what I want for breakfast. He likes to ride on my bicycle with me, even when he falls off. When he fell into the bathtub, he didn't like that at all, especially when Mom hung him up by his ears with clothes pins so he could drip dry. I tell Ubby all my secrets." Pat thought about some of the secrets. "He doesn't tell on me when I don't clean my teeth the way I should; when I ride too far on my bicycle; when I read my book under the covers with my flashlight, when I'm supposed to be asleep. He never tells my secrets."
Pat suddenly sat up in bed. "He's hiding so I can't hold him and then suck my thumb."
"I'll stop sucking my thumb Ubby, if you'll just come back," he said loudly. "When I hold you, jump out of my arms if I start sucking my thumb."
Ubby was listening, "That sounds like a good plan," he thought.
Pat finally went to sleep and Ubby crawled slowly up onto the bed and sat on the pillow next to his head. The next morning Mom came in to wake Pat up to go to school. Pat opened his eyes and saw Ubby right next to his nose. "Ubby," he said. "Mom did you find him?"
"No," said Mom. "He was there when I came in."
"How did he get there?" said Pat. "He wasn't there when I went to sleep."
"Well he found you," said Mom.
Pat got ready for school and before he left, he picked Ubby up and looked him in his eyes. "It's hard to stop a habit, but I won't suck my thumb anymore, because I don't want to lose you. Please don't run away again." He gave Ubby a big hug and put him on his pillow.