Once upon a time, two friends lived in a small town called Artistry Village. One was called Swan, and the other was called Bear.
Swan was six years old, while Bear was a little younger at five and a half years old. Swan was a beautiful and graceful little creature, who always wore her best clothes around town. Her favourite was a white tunic with feathers attached to them.
Bear, though he had a droopy little mouth and looked sad most of the time, was actually a very happy creature. His favourite colour was blue and he loved wearing his little denim overalls.
Artistry Village was a small village deep in the middle of the woods in Victoria. In it lay a few cottages that always served up a good hearty meal and full-bodied coffee to anyone who dropped by. Except for helping out with the dishes and always wearing a smile on their faces, they could eat to their heart’s content and stay for as long as they liked.
Swan and Bear loved going into one of these cottages. Their favourite was Mr Tib’s Tea House, which stood beside a small lake and had a weeping willow by the river bank. Because they were too young for coffee, they always had hot chocolate and a warm doughnut.
One afternoon as they entered Mr Tib’s Tea House, they saw the words SWAN & BEAR printed in bold wooden blocks. It hung above their favourite corner of the room, where they always sat facing the large bay windows that looked out onto the lake.
“Look, Bear! There’s a sign with our names on it!” exclaimed Swan to her friend excitedly. Bear turned to look around, but could not see anything because he was too short and round.
“What do you think it means?” Swan continued.
“It means that you and I will always be together.” His cute little mouth was covered with sugar dusting, and he continued to eat his doughnut in delight.
“Is that true?” Swan asked. “Even when we’ve grown up and gone separate ways and have different friends and have different lives?”
“Yes,” Bear replied. “Even then, because after everything that has happened, this cottage would always be here waiting for us.”
And they drank their hot chocolate without talking further, happy at the thought of coming back again. Dusting off the sugar from their mouths, they helped Mrs Tibs with the dishes and went outside to play by the lake as the evening sun began to set.