Dirty, wet, limp, dull eyed and hung by the neck from the radiator grill of the local dustcart with a length of baler twine, the big yellow teddy bear did not have much going for it.
For a short time when the bear had first been found it was proudly displayed as a trophy on the cart. There had been no malice in this act. Albert Smith the refuse man who had rescued it from a dustbin, had simply wanted to personalise his truck.
Unfortunately as the days had gone by, he and his workmates had quickly forgotten all about the bear. Despite it's prominent position on the front of the vehicle, familiarity had soon bred in the men a form of mental blindness. They saw and yet they did not see. A common enough human failing.
Rain, hail, sleet and snow had all wreaked their havoc on the yellow teddy bear in the weeks since it had been tied to the cart, not to mention the battering it took on the journey to and from the refuse tip twice a day.
Albert Smith a widower, had, unbeknown to him, an admirer. A spinster, in her middle years, who had taken a keen interest in him from the first day she had seen him going about his work in his usual no nonsense way.
The lady in question, a Miss Violet Parsons was particularly taken with what she had observed to be Albert's kindly nature and his gentle ways. Not to mention his good looks and distinguished greying hair. She liked the way he always had time for a spoken pleasantry or a smile for young and old alike. Her admiration had increased even further the day she spotted Albert rescue the yellow teddy bear from a neighbours bin and carefully tie it to the grill of his truck.
Miss Parsons a schoolteacher, would often run the risk of being late for work on a Monday morning, just so she could catch a glimpse of Albert doing his rounds. The lovely lady was quite besotted, and yet so shy and tongue-tied in his presence that she found herself quite unable to respond to his always cheery, "good morning."
Albert who had not the slightest idea that he was so ardently admired, took her silence as a sign that she perhaps felt unable to bring herself to converse with a lowly dustman. However he believed in treating everyone with the same respect whatever their background or position in life, and so he continued to be his usual self.
One Monday morning, Violet was standing beside her living room window, in happy anticipation of the dustcarts imminent appearance at the corner of her street. The day has begun kindly, and she noticed that the first crocus had opened in her small front garden. She was pleased. She saw the bright yellow flower as the first tangible sign that Winter was ending, and that Spring was in the air.
The colour yellow had also been a factor in Albert's start to the day. Not a yellow flower but a yellow teddy bear. The same hapless bear which had been tied to the grill of his truck for several weeks had chosen this particular day to make it's sad sorry state known to him. Shocked to discover the plight of the bear Albert took matters in hand.
So it was that this morning, the teddy, who had been named Trashcan, found itself sitting, in a position of honour, on the dashboard of Albert's Dustcart.
Unfortunately Trashcan's troubles were not yet over. The powerful heater above which it was seated had begun to dry the bear out. The stitching was rapidly coming apart. Trashcan was in great danger of falling apart.
As fate would have it, Trashcans dilemma was spotted by Albert just as he was pulling up outside Violet's house. Without seeming to think about the matter Albert carefully wrapped his big hands around the bear and jumped from the cab.
Violet from her position by the window was surprised to see Albert ignore her dustbin and continue on to her front door, which he began to knock.
As she opened the door Albert held the yellow bear out to her. "I wonder have you got a carrier bag I can put him in?" He asked, bending to retrieve an arm that had fallen to the ground. "He's falling to pieces."
Carefully Violet reached out and took the bear from him. She was touched by his concern and the fact that he had given the bear a gender. "I'd like to see if I can repair him," she said shyly, "look, I think your friends are waiting."
Albert turned to see his workmates staring at him open mouthed. He had a feeling that this was going to be a hard one to live down.
"Thanks for your help then Mrs...?"
Please call me Violet," she said, adding, "and it's Miss. Can you call by in a few days for the teddy bear?"
Thus began a true romance, leading to marriage and a happy life for all concerned. Even a yellow teddy bear by the name of Trashcan.