The Care Bears The Confidence Secret 3rd Part Chapter 30
The afternoon was already beginning to fall when the Songfellow Strum show ended. As Frank and Warren continued talking and reliving good times, all the spectators went out to enjoy the rest of the fair, which meant playing a lot in the toys the carebears had set up. One of the most disputed was the roller coaster, where Emilio was in the first seat of the first trolley, waiting for the other passengers to enter. He loved that kind of toy, because it was the closest he had to fly a real plane without taking his feet off the ground. That's why the Brazilian pilot was anxiously waiting while Cozy Heart and Gentle Heart helped the others to embark when he saw Fred sitting next to him. - Oh no, you do not - said Emilio, rolling his eyes - Find another seat, I've had to put up with your bad mood the whole trip and the show... - Go find another seat, I like to go ahead - the secretary replied buckling his seatbelt and belching - I think the last donut made me sick... - After all you've eaten today, you could only gain a tummy ache. Have you tried to go into the Book of Records as the biggest eater? - Shut up, I owe you no satisfaction! - Hey! You two never stop? - screamed Grumpy Bear sitting in the back seat - Not even Braveheart and Tenderheart argue as much as you do! How about just seize the toy? I built it myself, and I assure you it is quite safe. Fred and Emilio just glanced at each other quickly, but before they could say anything, the trolleys reached the top of the roller coaster, before descending the tracks at high speed, making loops, camel humps, twists and turns. As the blue bear shrieked with excitement, the Brazilian pilot was silent, taking advantage of the changes of slope as if he were in the cabin of his helicopter, but Fred screamed in pure fear, feeling his stomach wrap and his eyes fogged, until the inevitable occurred. In a certain swift turn, near the end of the circuit, Frank's private secretary no longer endured the nausea, and launched a strong vomit that flew in all directions, practically soaking Emilio and Grumpy. Finally the strollers stopped at the boarding platform, where Fred continued vomiting while the Brazilian and the bear cleaned without saying anything. Cozy, Gentle and Funshine were waiting on the platform, and when they saw it, they twisted their noses in disgust. - Wow, what happened? - asked the playful bear. - I think... That the last donut... Did not fall well... Arghh! - Fred mumbled, still vomiting. - He spent all day eating like a starving man, but the fault it was the last donut - Emilio said with a wink. - Shut up, Emilio - said the secretary, leaving dizzy from the toy. - Maybe now he learns to control the gluttony a bit - Gentle Heart commented with a giggle before looking at Emilio and Grumpy - Are you two alright? - Yes, until it was fun - Grumpy said, his face serious - Just do not put that guy in the first seat next time. Now I'm going to wash myself to get the goop off me. - At least you're not the only one full of leftover donuts, cotton candy, love's apple, assorted pies, and Fred's stomach fluid - Emilio concluded with a wink before he and the bear went to a nearby bathroom to clean themselves. Meanwhile, James walked slowly through Care-a-Lot, observing every detail of the place and not ceasing to be amazed by the beauty of that colorful world above the clouds. - How beautiful this place is - he said at one point, with Lotsa Heart Elephant and Daydream Bear by his side - I've traveled in many countries, I've met some lovely places, but I've never found such an incredible place. - We can tell by the glitter of your eyes how excited you are - said the female bear, smiling - If the children are already thrilled and happy to know Care-a-Lot, we can imagine what that means to an adult. - Especially since most adults do not cultivate their inner child - the elephant added quietly - Usually adults can’t find time to see and hear about the simple, beautiful, and magical things that surround them. Without this sense of childlike naivety, the world becomes a sad, competitive place where feelings have no place to exist. - I never thought of it that way - the human said thoughtfully - I think I need to cultivate my inner child better, especially now that I have known them. - Well... You're right - Daydream replied with a giggle - We can feel what you have inside your heart because that is our gift and our work, and you really seem a little out of your inner child. - But you're not far from meeting her again, otherwise you would not have believed in Champ and would not have come to the Annual Caring Fair - Lotsa Heart concluded with a wink and swept his trumpet. James liked to hear this, feeling happy to learn new things and experience long-forgotten sensations. That's when Cheer Bear showed up. - Hello, everyone - she said in her easy, expansive way - Anyone see Champ around? True Heart wants to talk to him, and I can’t find him... - No, we have not seen him since the Songfellow Strum show - the elephant replied. - Maybe he's preparing some surprise for you - Daydream commented with a friendly smile - Or wanting to get away from True Heart's quarrel because he brought adult humans to Care-a-Lot. - By the way, I'm not seeing Hector either - James said, looking around - Where are they? ***** Slowly Champ opened the sports gym door and looked around to see if anyone was there. - C'mon! - he said, making sure the place was empty. - Wow! - shouted Emily - What a beautiful place! - I just do not understand what we're doing here - Tumi said. - Oh, do not worry about it, brother - Tami said - We came here to have some fun. - That's right, we came here to have fun - Hector agreed, smiling. - But will not that bring us trouble? - Julian asked worriedly. - Are you sure no one's going to be annoyed that we're here? - Carlos asked fearfully. - Of course not, you are our friends and we are bringing you to know our favorite place - Confidence replied. Both the fox and the sports bear had invited the six children to visit the Care-a-Lot sports gym, although the place was closed and unoccupied that day. - And what sports do you practice here? - Hector asked curiously - Certainly you play football... - Not really - said Champ with a shy smile - Here we use for basketball, volleyball, handball and gymnastics. - Gymnastics? What types of gymnastics? - Emily asked. - Of various kinds. Usually I come here to practice weightlifting. - That's why you have strong muscles, despite being so low - Tumi commented with a giggle - What about you, Confidence? What do you like to do here? - I like to practice karate - Confidence said, setting herself up defensively with a sly grin on her face - This is my favorite sport, and I spend hours and hours training. - Do you practice karate? - Hector questioned, surprised - So that's why you knocked out my father that day! - How come she knocked your father out, Hector? - Carlos asked curiously. - I had my reasons, but that does not matter now - Confidence interrupted, not wanting to get into the subject - This is where Champ and I spent our free time, he practicing weightlifting and I training karate. - So you fight karate? - Julian asked cheerfully - Cool, I also fight and I'm a brown belt. What is your belt? - I am black belt and instructor, although I do not use the colors of the belts to mark the degree of specialization of the students - said the fighter, noticing the confused look of other children - It turns out that in karate, as in most martial arts many instructors use different colored belts, such as white, yellow, red, orange, green, purple and brown, to demonstrate students' progress by giving them the black belt when they achieve maximum balance and perfection in the use of blows and strength, qualifying as a great fighter and able to teach martial arts. But some instructors, like me, prefer to use only the white and black belts to differentiate students and teachers, respectively. - That sounds interesting - Emily said with a small smile before looking at Julian - And I did not know you practiced martial arts, Julian. - I've been training since I was six, but I do not think I'm a good fighter - said his friend with a sheepish smile - Besides, I'm afraid the older boys will find that I know how to fight and try to quarrel with me. Many people think that fight karate means being a bully, but it's totally the opposite. - You're right, fight karate has nothing to do with being a bully - Confidence agreed with a smile - Karate helps you focus more on your goals, less your ego, more tolerance for your neighbor. And whether or not you're a good fighter... Well, we can try it now. How about the best of three? - Ah... Well... - Julian said thoughtfully - But we do not have a kimono. - But do you really need a kimono to fight? - Carlos asked with a mischievous tone - Jackie Chan does not wear a kimono in most movies. - Carlos is right, the lack of clothes is not an appropriate excuse. C'mon, Julian! - said the fennec in an encouraging tone, and the boy finally agreed, taking off his shoes to climb on the mat - Okay, now it's only necessary that the others also take their shoes out in a sign of respect so that we can fight. This comment was made for the other five children, who quickly took off shoes and socks and sat around the mat along with Champ, watching as the fox and the Canadian boy prepared for the fight. - I bet Julian wins - Emily said, enthusiastic about her friend. - I think it will be Confidence - Hector said with a small smile. The fennec and the boy stood in front of each other and bowed respectfully, while the others waited expectantly for what would happen. It was Confidence who took the first kick, trying to hit Julian on the knee, but the boy swerved and grabbed the fox by the right arm, trying to knock her down. However, the fighter managed to keep her balance, and with a quick movement turned Julian's arm, forcing him to kneel to ease the pain. - I already got one - she teased, pulling away and tidying her hair. The boy was silent, swinging his arm to ease the pain as they walked away. When the fight resumed, it was Julian who attacked and tried to reach Confidence with two kicks in the chest. But the fennec leaned back, avoiding being hit, taking advantage and grabbing the boy's raised right leg before kicking his left shin, making him fall to the floor, completely unbalanced. - Hey! - he complained, feeling some pain - This blow is not karate! - In my specialty, it's - said the fennec with a mischievous smile - You still want to try the last? I've already won by number of points... - Of course I do - he said, putting himself into the fighting position. Once again the two stood face to face, and Confidence jumped in Julian's direction, but the boy swerved and managed to avoid the blow, at the same time as he stuck an elbow into fennec's back. The fighter was not shaken, and with a quick movement, grabbed the left leg of her opponent and made him unbalanced. With a quick kick in the calf of the right leg, the fennec made the boy fall on his belly, and she quickly sat on top of him and pinned him, grabbing him by the wrists and using his legs to keep him from kicking or trying to get up. - This is not a karate blow! - Julian demanded, frowning - That's not fair, you have to fight the right way! - But I have already said that in my specialization this is a valid blow - replied the fox with a wry smile - And since you are angry, I will cheer you up. Saying this, she began to rub her long, hairy tail into the soles of the boy's feet, which whirled around trying to loosen up and not laughing at the ticklishness. - Hehehey! Nohoho, stohohohop it! - he shouted, unable to control his laughter, and trying to pull his hands and feet away from Confidence - Lehehehet me gohohoho! Stohohohop! - Oh, but why would I let you go? - the fennec teased in a sweet voice, while the other children laughed at the scene - You're so cute laughing, and I want to see how you're going to get rid of it. After all, I know very well how to arrest my opponents during a fight... - But you do not know how to arrest the friends of your adversaries as well - she heard Champ say, just as she felt her feet gripped by the sporting bear and Hector. - And since we're Julian's friends, we will not let you tickle him in that way, and not get punished either - added the Brazilian boy, just as he and Champ began to tickle the fennec's soles. - Nohohoho! Stohohohop! - exclaimed the fox, who, trying to defend herself, eventually let Julian escape. - Thank you friends - he said with a smile, grabbing Confidence from the front and beginning to scratch the fighter's armpits - Now little fennec, you'll get what you deserve. - Stohohohop thihihihis! I cahahahan nohohot stahahahand! - she begged, laughing desperately. - Ah, but you're so fond of tickling - Champ joked, whispering in her ear - And you look pretty cute laughing. - And you do not know all about karate? - Hector asked mischievously - Why do not you try to break free now? - Confidence can’t do it alone, but we can help it. Hector, Julian, and Champ were surprised to hear Emily say that. And even more surprised when she, Tumi, Tami, and Carlos jumped on top of all three, beginning to tickle their feet, armpits, and ribs, forcing them to release Confidence. - Nohohoho! - shouted Champ, trying to free himself from Tumi's hands. - Stohohohop! - asked Hector, who was stuck in the armpits by Carlos. - Yohohohou'll behehehe sohohohorry! - said Julian, while had Tami and Emily tickling his feet before he rose and began to tickles the Caribbean girl's armpits. Immediately the six children, the bear and the fennec found themselves engaged in a little war of tickling, and for a few minutes they had fun with that joke, until little by little they were stopping, gasping and laughing. - That was very nice - Tumi said, shrinking with a smile on his face. - It's true, I've never played like that before - Emily added, smiling. - It's a shame the day is running out - Carlos said in a sad tone, looking out the window and watching the sun go down into the horizon of clouds - I wish this day would not end ever. - Neither do I - Confidence confessed with a sad expression - That must have been the happiest day of my life. - And I wish I could practice karate with you more often - Julian told to fennec -Especially because you're the coolest instructor I've ever met - But that's no problem, whenever you want to train with me, just call me. After all, that's what friends are for. And I think we're all friends here now. - Even we living so far apart? - Tami asked in surprise. - There's no problem in the distance, sports fans - Champ said, standing up happily - You can write letters to each other, meet at the next Annual Caring Fair, call... - But Tami and I live on an island, and there are no post offices or telephones there - Tumi said, frowning. - That's no problem, we'll help you all to exchange letters - Confidence said with a grin - The Annual Caring Fair is meant for children around the world to become friends and learn to live with differences. And since Goodluck Bear is always coming and going on the island, he can certainly help us too. - Besides, just because there are no mailmen or phones where you live, that does not mean we can’t be friends - Carlos said amiably, putting his hand on the Caribbean boy's shoulder. - And then, sports fans, do you wish to be friends? - Champ asked cheerfully and encouragingly. - Yes!!! - went to the unison response of the six children, running to embrace the bear and the fennec as a form of gratitude for what they did. - That's very cool - Confidence said at the end of the hug - Now let's go back to the party and enjoy the toys a bit more. Quickly everyone put on their shoes and followed the fennec out of the gym, where Hector was the last to put the shoes back, staying behind with Champ. - And then, Hector? Is having fun? - asked the bear. - Yes, that was the happiest day of my life - the boy replied with a broad smile on his lips, but with a concerned glow in his eyes - I wanted to stay in Care-a-Lot longer... II-I can sleep in your house, Champ? Those last words were uttered with a totally different pitch of voice, almost in a desperate tone that made the athlete bear, already accustomed to dealing with the feelings of human children, to realize that something was wrong. - Hector... I can't let you sleep here without the consent of your father - the sportsman said cautiously - By the way, how did you convince him to let you come? After all, from what his friends told me before, Calvin had punished him and was not leaving you leaving the house, just to study. - Champ, I... It's just that I... - the boy stammered as he blanched with fear - It's just that I... II-I did not tell him about the Fair... For a moment, Champ stared at Hector seriously. - You mean he does not know you're here? - asked the bear in a low voice and worried - Hector, one of the rules to participate in the Annual Caring Fair is that parents or guardians know where the children are! If you came without telling him, then... Tell me the truth, Hector! You've come prepared with that backpack full of clothes to run away from home, have not you? Tears streamed from the young man's eyes as he thought about what he should do. His friendship with Champ and the loving way he treated him made he see that the truth was the best way out. - I'm sorry, Champ, but I did not know what to do - said the boy, beginning to cry - I'm so scared of Dad, of being tortured and beaten again by him... He does not love me, he never loved me! Champ, please do not take me back! I'll do whatever you want, but do not let Calvin hit me again! The bear stood paralyzed for a few seconds, before taking a deep breath and shaking his head, trying to absorb what was occurring. - My Great Wishing Star, I do not know what to do... - he murmured scratching his chin thoughtfully - All right, Hector, I'll try to help you, but you'll have to tell me exactly what your father did to you and what he told you, so I can act the right way. - All right, I'll tell you. Just do not take me back, please! - Come with me, let's talk in a quieter place, where you can tell me everything - Champ said, leading Hector into the locker rooms of the gym, where they could have that conversation, the most difficult of their lives, uninterrupted. ***** It was time for farewell. Goodluck Bear would take Tumi and Tami back home, while Tenderheart would take Ralph, Carlos and Andre. Already Amigo Bear would take Emily and Julian. Next to them were Confidence, Love-a-Lot, Cheer Bear, Warren, Frank and Jason, and the latter would return by Emilio's helicopter. - Are you sure you really want to leave your electric train here, Mr. Ralph? - asked Cheer Bear to Ralph maliciously - You know that Playful Heart is capable of destroying them in less than a week. - No, I trust my little friend monkey here will take good care of my models - the old man replied with a small smile - Besides, I have many others to have fun at home, and I also want you to keep a memory of me, after all, it may be that I'm not here next year... - You're still young, Ralph, do not think like that - Tenderheart said encouragingly - You'll certainly be attending the Annual Caring Fair for many, many years. - Maybe so, but after eighty, it's hard to make long-term plans. Mr. Frank must know what I'm talking about... - Yes, I understand perfectly, even because I am 90 years old - said the old businessman with a wink - But I am a stubborn old man and I always make long-term plans, because I still have a lot to do and especially now that I have found my best friends. In response, Cheer Bear grinned and hugged Frank amicably. Meanwhile, Confidence said goodbye to the children. - You're all very nice - she said as she hugged Carlos, Tumi, Tami, Emily, and Julian -And I'm so glad to have met you - I think we can all say the same - the Brazilian boy replied - I love meeting you all. Promise that we will not lose touch? - Yes, we promise we will always write to each other - Tami said with a smile - Thankfully Goodluck agreed to help us... - It will be a great pleasure to help them maintain their friendship - said the lucky bear with a broad smile, parking a cloud car near the group - But it's getting late now and it's time for Tumi and Tami to go home. - The same goes for Emily and Julian - said Amigo Bear, also approaching with a cloud car - I promised your parents that you'd be back at dusk. - Too bad Hector is not here to say goodbye - Emily said sadly - Where is he? - What about Champ? - Tumi asked - I wanted to say goodbye to him, and collect the promise he made to go play baseball with me in the valley. - You can be sure that he will - said Confidence with a wink - Maybe that's why Champ and Hector are not here, since he promised the boy that he would defend 100 kicks to the goal and must be fulfilling his promise. - Yeah, maybe that's it - Tami agreed - Well, I guess now is the time for us to go. Until next time, guys! Quickly Tumi and Tami boarded the cloud car of Goodluck Bear and headed toward the island, while Amigo Bear took Emily and Julian back to Salt Saint Marie. Only Carlos remained standing next to Confidence, but soon he saw Tenderheart, Love-a-Lot, Ralph, and Andre approaching. - Well, Carlos, I hope you had fun - the brown bear said amiably - But now it's time for you to go home. - Oh, but can't we stay a little bit longer? - asked the boy with a sad look - I want to ride a roller coaster once more. - Unfortunately not, son - Andre said slowly - You know that tomorrow I have to get up early to go to work. But I'm sure Tenderheart and Love-a-Lot will be able to bring it back here in the future. - Surely you're all invited to the next Annual Caring Fair, especially Ralph and his electric trains - said Love-a-Lot with a wink to the old man. - And I will come with the greatest pleasure, if possible - Ralph said, shaking hands with the pink bear, and then Confidence - It was a great pleasure to meet you. Until next time. Carlos quickly embraced Love-a-Lot and also Confidence, before heading for the cloud car along with André and Ralph, with Tenderheart already at the wheel. With one last wave, the vehicle took off and took the three of them away while the others just stared. Only then did the fennec and the Romantic Bear join the group of Frank, James, Emilio, Elizabeth, Cheer Bear, and Warren. - There seems to be only you now - said the fighter with a wink - Are you leaving too? - Are you trying to drive them out of the Kingdom of Caring? - Cheer Bear questioned in a provocative tone - You could go together and so give us peace... - We'll leave as soon as Fred is better - Emilio said, not noticing the harsh exchange of glances between Cheer and Confidence - He's still in the infirmary with a stomach ache after having eaten like a glutton. - If you want to make Fred go bad, you just have to clog him with food or show him blood - James said with a chuckle - But soon he'll be fine and we'll be able to leave. And I confess that today was the most incredible day of my life. - Of all of us - Elizabeth corrected quickly - I can't wait to tell Christy that I finally met your friends Care Bears. - And I wish this day was never over - Frank confessed, his eyes filled with tears - The day passed so fast that I could not make the most of it to be with you... So many years looking for... - But that's no problem, Frank - said Grams Bear happily, approaching the old friend - Why do not you stay here for a few days? I invite you to be my guest. - Are you serious? Can I stay for a few days at your house? - Of course yes! I have plenty of space at home for one or two special guests. Besides, there are so many things we both need to talk about... - But what about the company? I can't just... - Ah, yes, you can - Elizabeth interrupted sharply - You have not taken a vacation for twenty years, Mr. Frank, and I think a week away from adventure and close to your great friends would do you good. - And I can take over the company, with the help of Elizabeth, Jason and Christy - James added with a small smile - Only you sign the paperwork and put me in as acting president of B & H. - Well, then, I accept Flower's invitation... I mean, from Grams Bear - Frank said cheerfully, looking like a child - Come along with me, Elizabeth and James, let's get the paperwork for interim presidency. Quickly the old businessman, his replacement and the secretary of the presidency wrote a letter to the shareholders informing that Frank would be absent for a week of the company's command. He had not felt so enthusiastic in a long time, and his joy was evident in his broad smile and quick, anxious gestures. - You two look like you were great friends, right Grams Bear? - asked Love-a-Lot to the old woman at one point - He seems to know a lot about us, how did he know us? - That is a long and sad story, my dear - said the old lady with a smile - Maybe by the end of his visit we can tell you all. At least Frank will want that, no doubt. Moments later, the businessman returned to his friends, accompanied by Elizabeth and James, who had a paper written and signed by the old man and directed to the shareholders of B & H. - With that document, James can legally assume the presidency on an interim basis while I take a few days off - Frank said with a small smile - I just ask Emilio to come back here tomorrow and bring on my bags and Fred's too. - Fred's, too? - asked the Brazilian pilot with a surprised look - Are you thinking he will be here, too? - Even if he did not want to, he's my private secretary. But knowing Fred well as I know him, I know he will not hesitate to stay here to greet me. Also, I think it will be a very interesting experience for him, and it might help him better control his feelings and his impulsiveness. - I just hope Care Bear Family will support Fred's temper - Elizabeth commented maliciously - And that annoying sound on his cell phone, too. - Ah, that will not be a problem, after all we've gotten used to Grumpy Bear's bad mood - said Love-a-Lot playfully - Just let Fred not eat all of the Kingdom of Caring's food supply and everything will be all right. Everyone laughed at that remark, before Elizabeth, James, Emilio, and Jason said good-bye to Frank, Warren, Love-a-Lot, Cheer Bear, Confidence, and Grams Bear, and headed for the chopper. The Brazilian pilot just waited for his three passengers to come in to turn on the rotors and, after reaching sufficient rotation, take off with the Super Puma into the night sky. The force of the wind caused by the helicopter almost made the bears and cousins fall to the ground, but all were able to continue standing and watch the aircraft move away. Suddenly, Fred came out screaming and gesturing with his arms, coming from the direction of Redemptionheart's house, which ran after the human as fast as she could. - Hey! Emilio, you bastard! Do not leave me here! - shouted the young man in a desperate tone, imagining that he had been left behind - You will see when I get you, your son of a... - Stop that, Fred, Emilio did not leave anyone behind - Frank said quietly, approaching his secretary, who stared at him in amazement - Tomorrow he'll come back with our things so we spend an interesting week with our friends bears and cousins. - What?!? You can only be kidding, Mr. Frank! What's the story of spending a week here? - Why, we're all entitled to a vacation, including myself - the old man said with a wink -Besides, I thought you would enjoy this experience... - And why do you think... Ah! I... - Fred rolled his eyes and fell on the floor, being quickly attended by Redemption. - I told you not to run like that, especially after taking two liters of whey - the bear doctor said seriously - Now I'll have to take you back to the clinic. Love-a-Lot, could you give me a hand? - Of course, come, Mr. Fred - said the pink bear, helping the human to stand and walk toward the doctor's house, dizzy from the medication. - This Fred is a figure - Warren said with a laugh, before turning to the old businessman - I'm very happy to see you here, Uncle Frank, and I hope you have not been angry with me and Daddy for not telling you the truth before... - Of course I'm not angry at you - Frank said with a broad smile and a strong hug to his nephew - I just wanted to understand why Trevor acted that way... But tell me one thing, how are you leaving? The musician gave a wink before a long, mellow whistle, and at the same time a magic train, also made of clouds, appeared from the clouds, parking in front of Warren. - Wow! This is amazing! - Frank exclaimed as he stared at that strange mode of transportation - Now I understand what Champ meant you had a cloud train. - And that's how I travel the world, on my private flying train - said Warren, taking on the role of Songfellow Strum again - That's how I can fly anywhere in the world and sing my song, just like Care Bear Family...
Imagine there's no heaven It's easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you
You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will be as one…
And as he sang, Songfellow Strum said goodbye to everyone, boarded his magic train, and with a loud whistle of the locomotive, rose to the skies to the next place in need of love and amusement. Wherever went, there would be Warren Heartom, following in the footsteps of his bears friends and his Uncle Frank, teaching the value of peace, love, and caring. ***** There was a long silence after Hector finished telling his story to Champ, and the bear was visibly shocked by the attitude Calvin had had with his son. It’s okay that he already knew the chemist was not treating the boy well, but he could never expect the adult to go so far as to torture the child just to get information about Care Bear Family. Besides, the sports bear could feel the pain and anger in Hector's heart for what had happened, but mostly the fear the boy felt of having to return home and face his father once more. - Poor boy... - the athlete murmured in an emotional tone, rubbing amicably on Hector's back - I'm sorry for what happened, for not helping you when you needed it most... - It's all right, it's not your fault - the boy replied, wiping away his tears and trying to control himself - But what are you going to do now, Champ? Are you going to take me back to my father?... - No, certainly not! I could never do that, even more after what you told me! - shouted the bear, holding Hector's hand and staring deeply at him - Heavens, I can't believe Calvin had the guts to mistreat him! How can a parent have the courage to do this to his own child? Tears began to flow from Champ's eyes, uncomfortable in the face of everything Hector had told him. Never before had the sportsman been in a similar situation where the child he was assisting begged not to return home because would surely be tortured by father. In fact, the athlete, who had always wanted to have his father by his side, could not understand how a father could hurt a child out of hatred of his friends. That was inconceivable to Champ. For a few seconds they were silent again, the boy watching the bear's emotional reaction. - AA-Are you all right, Champ? - Hector inquired cautiously. - YY-Yes, I just... - Champ tried to answer, but his voice did not leave his lips, and in an impulsive gesture he hugged Hector tightly, nestling the boy in his chest as if that could protect him from all evil of the world - I just do not want to see you suffer... Finally Hector collapsed in tears, feeling protected and snuggled in the arms of the sportsman. It was a strange sensation, the same kind of sensation he had before with Calvin as he hugged him to comfort him. But since he'd been tortured by his father, he had not been able to feel it, only now wrapped in Champ's strong arms. - I promise no one will ever hurt you again, sports fan - the bear murmured in the boy's ears - No matter how, I will not allow Calvin or anyone else to harm you, even if it means an intervention like Care Bear Family has never done before. - So you're going to help me? - asked the boy, looking up - But what will the other bears and cousins think of it? - I do not know, we've never had a situation like this before. But no matter what they think, I will not let you go back to Calvin being totally out of balance as he is... Come with me, we'll talk to the others. Hector was a little concerned to hear this, for he feared the reaction of the other members of Care Bear Family and that they would force him back home. However, Champ seemed so confident and determined that everything would work out, that the Brazilian soon calmed down and followed the sporting bear to the Caring Hall, where they met with Noble Heart and asked the horse to call an urgent meeting between all the bears and cousins. Although surprised at the unusual request of the sportsman, the patriarch realized that it was something really serious, and about an hour later all the bears and cousins were gathered in Caring Hall after taking the guests of the Annual Fair back to their homes. The only one not present, according to custom, was Forest Ranger Jaguar, which had not been located, besides Grams Bear, Hugs and Tugs, who were preparing accommodations for Frank and Fred, also not present at the time. Also Sky-Heart Bear was not present because he took Longbow Wolf back home and would come back very late. - I just hope this meeting is not for an freak reason - mumbled True Heart, with her arms folded and facing her cousin - The time that we will lose here could be used to dismantle the tents and toys of the Fair. Not to mention that we are all tired, hungry and sleepy. - In that I am obliged to agree with True heart - Noble Heart said in a much calmer, more friendly tone - Do you want to share with us the reason why you asked to call an emergency meeting, Champ? Champ was standing in front of all his friends, with a serious look and a determined stance, with Hector at his side feeling a little embarrassed to be there, in the center of the room, surrounded by the other bears and cousins. - It's a very important reason - said the sportsman seriously - I think you all know that my last mission as an apprentice was to help Hector regain his confidence in being a good sportsman, and perhaps most of you already know that Hector's father, Calvin, hates Care Bear Family and threatened Confidence and I a few weeks ago... - Stop talking and get to the point, Champ - grumbled Grumpy, getting the support of several of the people present - Or are you trying to show results just to boast? - You should have waited until tomorrow for that - Braveheart said gruffly - And need not have kept Hector here, you should have taken him back. - Are you going to let me talk or do you want to continue to offend me? - Champ shouted irritably, making everyone present in silence - I did not call you here to brag about my mission, but because Hector just told me that he was tortured by Calvin because he was our friend, and that is afraid to come home and be mistreated again! - What? - Noble Heart exclaimed, rising to his feet with a shocked expression as everyone in the audience began to murmur with surprise at the athlete's words - Explain that Champ. What happened? - After our first meeting with Calvin, when he threatened us with a gun and Confidence hit him so we could escape... - Confidence assaulted a human? - True Heart asked with wide eyes - But this is very serious and could mean your expulsion from Care Bear Family! - Did not you hear what Champ just said? - the fennec retorted, gritting her teeth - Calvin threatened us with a gun, he was going to kill us! Would you rather we had both died? Besides, there was no time to use the Stare against him! - And since when do you know how to use Stare? - the matriarch inquired in a provocative way, which made many of those present laugh at it. - Order! Order! - Noble Heart asked quickly, glaring at his wife - We're not here to talk about Confidence, but about Hector. Go on with your story, Champ. - Thank you, Noble - said Champ with a small smile, taking a deep breath to calm down - After our first meeting with Calvin, he forbade Hector to talk to us and vowed that his son would regret it if he disregarded his resolve. But Hector here was brave and disobeyed his father because he is our friend and understands that we only do well to people. Unfortunately Calvin discovered that he had disobeyed him, so he kept Hector as his prisoner for three days, torturing him in various ways so that he would never feel like meeting us again! Hector managed to escape, with the help of his school friends, to come to the Annual Caring Fair, but he does not want to go home because he's afraid of what his father will do to him. We can’t leave things this way, we need to intervene in this situation! The sportsman was silent, staring at his friends, and especially at Noble and True, expecting a reaction from them. It was precisely the horse that was the first to manifest, approaching Hector. - Is it true what Champ is saying? - the patriarch questioned carefully, receiving an affirmative signal from the boy - I know it can be something painful for you to tell us, but what did your father do exactly with you, Hector? - HH-He hit the belt several times on my back and my butt - the boy said, lifting his shirt and showing one or two tiny marks that were still on his skin - And he... He gagged me and tied me to the bed and... And he tickled my feet until I peed my pants... And told me that I would regret it if I saw you again... Please, I do not want to go home and be tortured again! Help me! Most of the bears and cousins looked at each other with a pitiful look and began muttering to each other to support the boy stay in Care-a-Lot. Also Noble Heart had that same expression, while smiling amicably for Hector. - This is a situation we've never had before - the horse confessed thoughtfully before looking at his wife - What do you think, True Heart? Should we make an intervention? - Of course not, that's not necessary - replied the female bear with a frown on her face - You know it's perfectly normal for parents to tickle their children, and some fathers also hit disobedient sons. - Hey! Did not you hear what Hector said? - Champ questioned irritably - Calvin was not playing with him or educating him with spanking, but torturing him! He had to endure being stuck for hours without stopping while his father threatened him! - But that's no excuse for intervention on our part! You yourself know that some of our members like to tickle each other for days and weeks on end. I myself had been kidnapped, tied up and tickled by Redemptionheart without any mercy, until my ribs cracked with laughter. - But this is a different case, True Heart - the medical bear said in a surprised tone - I would not have the heart to tickle someone, let alone a child, trying to change him mind about something. - So what did you try to do to me, when you wanted me to feel the worst person in the world, just because you were jealous that I'm the most popular female bear in Care Bear Family? - said the matriarch, standing up and facing the doctor - I'm sure if you could, you would do the same to Hector just for the pleasure of seeing him suffer, laughing in your hands! - But Redemption would do it for fun, while Calvin did it out of sheer evil - Shimmers interrupted quickly - And I do not think you're acting so differently from him, Mama. - Maybe because I'm really thinking like him, and because I do not see any reason to intervene in this situation! It is Champ's obligation to solve this problem. We have to take our missions to the end, do not leave them in half! If it was not for this troublemaker fox... - You called me what? - Confidence gritted his teeth - I'm not a troublemaker! - Of course you are! If you had not hit Calvin, if you'd tried to talk to him, he might not have done it to Hector. It's your fault! - You're being unfair True Heart - Champ complained - Calvin was going to kill us... - Have you never been threatened before? You look like two crying babies! And I repeat that I see no reason to intervene in this story... And after all, what do you think you are doing here?!? That last question had been addressed to Frank, who had entered the Caring Hall a few minutes earlier and was leaning against the wall near the door, listening to the discussion in silence, though he knew that because of his large stature his presence would certainly not go unnoticed. - This is an exclusive meeting of Care Bear Family members - True Heart continued, staring at the old businessman angrily - You have no right to be present. Get out before we have to get you out! Frank frowned and just adjusted himself in his position, folding his arms and looking at the female bear with a defiant air. - Let me remind you that bear and cousins meetings in Bearville were open to all people who wished to participate, including humans - the old man said calmly - And we could also express our opinions if we wanted to. I thought the Care Bear Family, being as fair as I was told, would follow this precept... - But this is not Bearville, Frank! - shouted the matriarch - And you're only here because Grams Bear invited you to stay, but do not think that gives you the right to meddle in our affairs! - I'm old enough to know when I'm intruding on something or not. But if you want me to really intrude on something, maybe I can tell everyone what happened on that day, March 16, 1943... It was an immense daring of the old man, defying True Heart like that. But it was the reaction of the female bear that made everyone really shock. She immediately paled at those words, standing motionless and with a frightened look toward Frank. For a few seconds she remained in deep silence, only to sigh. - All right, I agree we should intervene... - she said dumbly, turning to her husband - Make the vote, Noble. - That's very strange - Braveheart murmured to Tenderheart - What kind of influence does Frank Heartom have on True Heart? - It really is very strange - agreed the brown bear - True Heart from the beginning did not act the way we expected it to, but it changed very quickly from just hearing Mr. Frank mention that date... What happened between the two? In a way that's what all the bears and cousins were wondering, but Noble Heart quickly took the floor, trying to stop further questioning and interruptions so as not to embarrass his wife. - Very well, then we will vote - said the horse - Only Care Bear Family members. Raise the hands to those who are in favor of Hector's stay in the Kingdom of Caring. Virtually everyone raised their hands, including True Heart reluctantly and a little unfriendly. Seeing that, the boy could barely contain his joy and relief. - I think the decision was unanimous - said the patriarch with a small smile - Hector will stay in the Kingdom of Caring under Champ's tutelage until we have a definitive solution to his case. - That Cool! - Hector cheerfully shouted, giving a strong hug to the sports bear and also in Confidence - I do not know how to thank them! - How about you let Redemption kidnap you and tickle you for several hours? - True Heart suggested very maliciously - That would be a great way to make sure you made the right choice... - True! What got into you, anyway? - Champ shouted, frowning at her cousin - We never demanded anything for someone to live in the Kingdom of Caring, just to respect our customs and love our neighbors! Why do you want to see Hector suffer? - But he would not be suffering, he would just be going through an initiation to live with us. Besides, I'd love to see him laugh and beg for us to stop tickles - the founding bear stared so fixedly and maliciously at Hector that it made him cringe with fear behind the sportsman - What do you think, Redemption? Is not it worth doing with him? - Oh... well, I... - the doctor's brow blushed with shimmer in her eyes, so much so that Aqua Bear and Lonesomeheart, who knew her well, soon realized that her friend's tickler instincts had been aroused. - Well, I think True Heart is correct - Cheer Bear suddenly said with a wry smile - Hector should be tickled for several hours by the Care Bear Family if he really wants to stay here. - I can't believe you're saying that, Cheer! - Champ exclaimed in a surprised tone - You think this is funny? - Yes I think. After all Hector will laugh a lot as he is tickled by Redemption, and at least so I will not need to share his attention with one more person! Enough you be paying attention to this... Little fox... Confidence! - Do you want to see who the little fox is, by any chance? - shouted the fennec fighter, having to control not to break up the pink bear. - Enough! - Noble Heart shouted in command tone - No more arguments, Hector will be in the Kingdom of Caring under Champ's tutelage, and he will not have to undergo any kind of initiation or torture. I give this meeting closed. And saying this, the horse got up from his chair and went alone to his house, leaving True Heart behind. The beige female bear sat in silence, just looking coldly at Champ, Confidence, and Hector, who were still celebrating the outcome of the meeting along with Bright Heart, Treat Heart, and others. Suddenly she felt a strong hand rest on his shoulder, and she heard Frank's low voice murmuring in her ear. - I'm not here to disturb anyone's life, much less upset the peace that rules here - he began, as the bear turned toward him - But you can be sure that if you do anything against Champ, Confidence and Hector, I will keep my promise and tell everyone what happened in San Martin that day. You got it? - Do not threaten me, Frank Heartom, you do not know what I'm capable of - said True Heart in a hollow tone before getting out of the human's hands and pulling away from the Caring Hall and going to sit on a nearby mound of clouds. For a few minutes she sat there, alone and in silence, her chin resting on her hands, feeling totally disheartened. Noble Heart, Champ, Confidence, Frank! They could not do this to her, they could not defy her authority as founder of the Care Bears! She needed to do something to show who the boss was, she wanted... Revenge! It was when True Heart saw Redemption pass by herself a few feet from where she was, and she had an idea, getting up and running after the medical bear. - Redemption, wait! - she called as the multicolored bear turned to see who was calling her and waited for the matriarch to arrive - I need to talk to you, and maybe I'll ask for your help. - And what do you want my help for, True Heart? - Redemption asked with a curious look - You really do not want me to kidnap and torture Hector with tickles, do not you? - Well... To tell you the truth, I want to - True Heart confessed with a malicious glance as the medical bear widened her eyes at this - C’mon; I know very well that you would love to tickle Hector for hours and hours nonstop. And I would love to see Champ and Confidence desperate for not being able to rescue him. - BB-But True Heart, I... - Nothing "but", I just want you to say "yes, I'll help you". And if it serves as a stimulus, I promise I will protect her from any attempt by Noble, Champ or any other to report her to the rest of Care Bear Family, and... Well, maybe I can even forgive what you did to me by canceling your negative notes on your stock report. The action report was a document that each member of the Family had, and where the infractions committed by each were recorded, and in certain cases, such as several notes followed or a serious fault, could result in the suspension or even expulsion of the bear or cousin of group activities. Now Redemption was really thinking, because that interested her a lot. Have her negative records erased, be forgiven and protected by True Heart, and still have the chance to make tickle tortures on a little boy, something she had never done before. For a few seconds, the medical bear was silent, until she smiled a little smile and squeezed the matriarch's hand firmly. - All right, you convinced me - she said excitedly - You can be sure that he will have a very cheerful and laughing day ahead of him. - Great! - exclaimed True Heart in sheer ecstasy of wicked joy - Come, let's combine what to do, and maybe call Cheer Bear to help us too, since she was the only one who supported us... And the two walked amicably in the direction of Redemptionheart's doctor's office. What neither of them realized was that Confidence, who was heading for her house and happened to pass by where they were standing, heard the last words spoken by the two bears, becoming a little suspicious that they were up to something. But despite her good hearing, the fennec could not hear anything else, and she was too tired to talk to Champ about it that night. - "Okay, I'll tell him tomorrow" - she thought to herself, before resuming her way to rest.