Wednesday, April 28, 2021

How Samatva Got His Name

A very long time ago, maybe about four years, Osito Nayan looked up from his exploration of the floor to find some new faces at home.  There was a tall fellow who towered above him.  He was carrying a little brown bear.  “This is for you,” he said to Nayan.

The fellow was so tall and Nayan was so shy that he forgot to say, “Thank you”.  The bear, however, was just the right size and quickly slipped his paw into Nayan’s hand.  “How nice to meet you,” he said.  “Can I see your territory?”  His voice was not at all gruff or growly as Nayan had imagined.  It had the sound of melted chocolate.  His paw was soft and warm.

So Bear and Nayan happily set off, to see the train tracks and other exciting things that were strewn about the house.  Nayan wondered where the tall fellow had come from.  

“America?”  volunteered Bear.  But Nayan felt he might have come  from other exciting places, perhaps near Serbia?  Or Croatia…?  “Probably Slovenia,” said Bear who seemed to know all about these things.  And that seemed to be about right.

Bear soon became an important part of Nayan’s life.  They woke up together to discuss Plans for the Day.  

They ate breakfast together.  Bear introduced Nayan to the importance of licking a spoonful of honey with some ginger in it.  “Keeps the throat in good order,” he muttered.  

“Yes, I haven’t had a sore throat for days now..” said Nayan.

They had other meals together too.  Bear usually ate three fish- one green, one yellow and one orange, as those were his favourite colours.

“Orange is my favourite colour too,” said Nayan.

Bear needed a name so Nayan looked into the book he was reading.  It was by Richard Scarry and it showed a great big bear called Kenny.  So Bear was named Kenny Bear.

Kenny Bear and Nayan discussed the great mysteries of the world.  Like how so many exciting countries ended with ‘ia’-

“Serbia,” said Nayan.

“Croatia”, said Kenny Bear.

“Slovakia,” said Nayan.

“Slovenia,” said Kenny Bear (though perhaps they spell it Slovenja).  Kenny Bear knew all about these things.

“California..?” asked Nayan.

“Hmm,” said Kenny Bear.  “It’s not a real country though it could be one.”

“India,” said Kenny Bear, “is also a very exciting country.”

“Hmmm, yes of course,” said Nayan.

Now Osito Nayan had grown much bigger and was already going to preschool.  He missed Kenny Bear but he made other friends in school.  One of them was a little toddler called Samatva.

“Mummy, can Samatva stay with us?” Nayan asked one day.

“No, I don’t think so.  Samatva is so little; he will miss his family and they will miss him,” Mummy replied.

“Well, do you think we could get another baby called Samatva?”

But Mummy said there were no babies coming along the way.

“Do you think we could order one from Santa?”

“No, I don’t think elves can make babies.”

“But what can we do, Mummy?  I really want a Samatva at home.”

It seemed to be an enormous problem.  But Mummy looked around, the way Mummies sometimes do.  And then she came up with a solution the way Mummies somehow do.

“How about we change Kenny Bear’s name?”  she asked.  “I think he has outgrown ‘Kenny’ and ‘Samatva’ is a much nicer name.”

“How is it much nicer, Mummy?”

“It has a lovely meaning- it means treating everyone and everything equally.”

“Hmmm… It also has a nice sound,” said Nayan.

“I agree,” said a little voice that reminded everyone of drippy chocolate.  “A Bear has the right to choose his name.”

“I love this Samatva best of all, I don’t need another one!” said Osito Nayan giving his bear a hug.  “He always agrees with me.”

“Yes,” said Samatva, hugging him back.

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