The Care Bears
The Confidence Secret
- It's today... - Hector murmured cheerfully as he set up a small backpack with his favorite clothes and toys.
The sun was still rising, and practically all over the world the vast majority of people took to sleeping until later, tired of an intense week of work. But it was not the case with some privileged children, who were about to live the greatest adventure of their lives.
This was not the case with Calvin, who had already eaten his breakfast and tried to focus his reading on a newspaper, after another sleepless night worried about Hector's future and the relationship between them. He and his son were farther apart than ever, and perhaps they may never return to the way they were before. He no longer trusted his son, and the boy was afraid and angry with his father. And all this because of those damn Care Bears!
They were to blame for all that! If they had not appeared again in the life of the Kayson family, surely Hector would not have been influenced by these stupid creatures, and Calvin would not have taken such drastic measures. How could he explain to the boy that all he had done it was of love? Surely his son would never really understand his motives, and this saddened the father greatly, reinforcing his conviction that bears and cousins were a plague that had to somehow be wiped out, and he would devote his whole life to it.
The chemist was almost finishing his breakfast when he heard the sound of something breaking, followed by the buzzer. Curious about what was happening, he attended the communicator as he headed for the door.
- Quem é (Who is)? - he asked quickly, opening the door and seeing a vase of flowers on the floor with an old soccer ball on the side.
- "Senhor Calvin, é o Pedro, amigo de Hector" ("Mr. Calvin, it's Pedro, Hector's friend") - he heard the voice of a boy on the other end of the line - "Será que o senhor pode devolver nossa bola" ("Can you give us back our ball")?
Calvin gave an angry grunt, taking the ball and heading for the gate, where Osvaldo, Pedro, Paulo, Gustavo, and Julio were waiting for him.
- Ah, obrigado por nos devolver a bola, senhor Ca... (Oh, thank you for giving us back the ball, Mr. Ca...) - the first one began in an excited tone, before the adult interrupted him.
- Em primeiro lugar, eu quero saber quem chutou a bola e quebrou meus vasos de flores (First of all, I want to know who kicked the ball and broke my flower pots)! - he said irritably - O que vocês pensam que estão fazendo? Vocês deveriam jogar bola apenas no campinho do fim da rua, e não na porta de minha casa (What do you guys think they're doing? You should play ball only in the field at the end of the street, not at the door of my house)!
The boys stared at each other in dismay, since they had never seen Calvin so angry, which confirmed what Hector had told them about his father.
- DD-Desculpe senhor Calvin (SS-Sorry, Mr. Calvin)... - Pedro said, shaking - EE-Eu apenas peguei a bola e dei um chute forte para mostrar que chuto melhor que Hector... O senhor vai contar para meus pais sobre isso (II-I just took the ball and kicked it hard to show that I kick better than Hector... Are you going to tell my parents about this)?
- Claro que sim, alguém tem que pagar os meus vasos quebrados! Além disso, Hector está de castigo e não pode jogar futebol com vocês hoje, por isso é melhor que vocês vão brincar em outro lugar! Aqui está a bola, e agora saiam daqui (Of course, someone has to pay for my broken pots! Also, Hector is grounded and can't play football with you today, so you better play somewhere else! Here's the ball, and now get out of here)!
Saying this, the adult threw the ball into Pedro's hands and slammed the gate in front of the boys, who quickly ran to the soccer field they used to play.
- Será que Hector conseguiu sair (Will Hector managed out)? - Osvaldo asked in a worried tone - Nós nem tivemos tempo para agir (We did not even have time to act)...
- Com certeza ele conseguiu (He certainly did) - Julio said with a smile - Ele mesmo nos disse que só precisava de alguns momentos para pular a janela de seu quarto e correr até a porta dos fundos, saltando o muro atrás da garagem (He told us he needed only a few moments to jump out of his bedroom window and run to the back door, jumping the wall behind the garage).
Hector had indeed done this, and now he was already running down the sidewalk toward the square in front of the train station, where he had gone to meet Champ and Confidence. With every step he took, he felt more and more free from his father's influence, and it was with great joy that he saw the sporting bear and the fennec fighter already waiting for him with a cloud car.
Champ and Confidence parked the car under a tree, a little way away from the square to try not to attract unwanted attention, and now they paced as they waited. That's when they saw the boy running in his direction.
- Good to see you, Hector - the fennec exclaimed happily, hugging the boy - Champ told me what Calvin did to you. I felt so angry at him!...
- We were really worried about you - Champ said, hugging his friend - But since you're here, then we can go to the Annual Caring Fair, right?
- Of course, nothing would stop me from going with you, not even my father - the boy replied cheerfully.
- But he knows where you're going, does not he? - Confidence frowned.
The boy hesitated a little, not answering the question, which made Confidence and Champ look at each other worried and curious, especially when they saw the big backpack that the boy had on his back.
- What about this backpack, what's in it, sport fan? - asked the bear earnestly - Answer me, or we will not take you to the Kingdom of Caring.
- NN-Nothing, just a few things for the trip - Hector replied with a frightened look, swallowing hard before he could speak.
- Well... If that's all, then it's all right - Confidence said with a thoughtful look, demonstrating that neither she nor Champ believed the boy's words - Now we'd better go, or we'll be late.
The three of them boarded the cloud car, and the bear took the driver's seat, the fennec sat in the passenger seat, and the boy sat in the backseat. After everyone tightened their seatbelts, the sportsman started the car and took off, heading to the neighboring city, where they would meet the others.
Slowly a 1992 chrome gray BMW entered through the parking lot of the modest airport of the city of Rio Claro, parking near the main gate. Despite its pompous name, the place was only for recreation and air-taxi flights, as the unpaved small runway prevented commercial use by airlines. Frank, Elizabeth, James, and Fred got out of the car, heading quickly to the hangar and aircraft parking area, where a white Aerospatiale Super Puma helicopter with B & H Company insignia stood out.
- So you complain when I say the rich are eccentric - Fred said wryly - A gigantic helicopter lost in an airport so small and without passengers...
- Do not forget the helicopter is of your own boss - Elizabeth interrupted with a sulky expression - And if I were Mr. Frank, I'd fired you a long time ago.
- If you were Mr. Frank, I would have resigned on the first day of service - the secretary replied rudely - You're just a boring old woman...
- Hey! You two stop it - James said in a conciliatory tone - The Super Puma is used to transport committees and guests from the board of directors in Brazil, with 10 seats, a minibar and individual radio channels.
- Besides that your two turbines and their operating ceiling are great for a trip like we're going to make today - Frank added with a little smile - I just hope there's a firm place to land when we get there.
- You're the pilot of the helicopter, Frank? - James asked curiously.
- No, despite having permission to do so. Today I prefer to use a pilot with more experience. He should be around here...
Suddenly, the door of the Super Puma's cargo bay opened, popping up the head of a smiling blond man.
- Good Morning! - he said excitedly, at the same moment that Fred gave a cry and began to throw insults.
- You bastard! What do you think you are doing? - he shouted, making a scandal - You want to freak me out, idiot?
- In spite of our differences, I would not go so far - said the blond man, coming out covered with oil from the small compartment - And I was checking the oil and hydraulic fluid levels.
- And went into the tubing to check the levels? - Elizabeth asked, looking at the dirty figure of the newcomer.
- No, I just dropped a can of lubricating oil on my head.
- Have not you learned that lubricating oil can only be used on machines? - mocked Fred with a wink - Although you live with chewing gum in the mouth, which is made from petroleum...
- And you're very annoying, worse than the Brazilian politicians - said the blond man - If I earned ten dollars more in wages to bear their bullshit every time we meet, I would have bought Mr. Frank's B & H.
- Apparently Fred and our new friend like to argue a lot - Elizabeth pondered wryly.
- Actually, Emilio and Fred do not get along very well - Frank said, crossing his arms - Elizabeth, this is Emilio Duarte Neves, our main pilot in Brazil. He kindly was willing to take us to our destination and keep the secret.
- Secret? - asked Elizabeth.
- Exactly, we will have to maintain maximum discretion about this trip - James explained quickly - No one can know where we're going.
- But what kind of event is that, anyway? - Fred questioned with surprised look - A Mafia party, a meeting with Pablo Escobar, brothel?...
- Pervertido (Pervert) - Emilio murmured.
- It's a very special event, and soon you'll understand why - explained the old businessman, looking at his watch and then at the sky - And I see our guides are arriving on time.
Suddenly everyone saw a flying vehicle approaching them swiftly, and Fred, Elizabeth, and Emilio looked at each other gaped, as it was a cloud car, occupied for a tangerine bear, a fennec desert fox, and a human boy. The secretary, the old woman, and the pilot were all the more surprised when the occupants of that vehicle, after landing, walked directly to Frank, demonstrating familiarity.
- How are you, Mr. Frank? - asked the bear cheerfully - Eager to meet the Kingdom of Caring?
- More than I could put into words - replied the old man, smiling and shaking hands with that little friend and then the fox - And how about you, Hector, how are you?
- A lot happier now than before - the boy said with a small smile - I spent the entire week of punishment, because Daddy found out all about us...
- But he did not do you any harm, did he? - Frank wanted to know, worried - Because if he did, I swear I'll personally take care of Calvin putting his head in place.
- Relax, Frank, now is not the time to treat it - interrupted the bear amicably - It's time to have fun at the Annual Caring Fair!
- Wait a minute, I do not understand anything! - shouted Fred energetically after a few moments of shock - What is this Annual Caring Fair? And what are these creatures, for God's sake?
- The boy's name is Hector Kayson, and the others are Champ Bear and Confidence Heart Fennec - Frank retorted slowly - And both are members of Care Bear Family.
- Care Bear Family?!? - Elizabeth gasped - You mean that whole story that Dawson and Christy told me about being aided during a summer camp, it was true?!?
- You bet, Elizabeth - the old man said with a grin, turning to the trio of sportsmen - Actually, this is Elizabeth Jannie, our secretary-general. That's Emilio Duarte Neves, helicopter pilot at B & H, and this is my personal secretary Fred Ainstée.
- Pleased to meet you, sports fans - Champ said cheerfully, and looking at the old woman with curiosity - You mean Christy, the girl we help with summer camp, is your niece?
- Yes she is! My God, I can’t believe you're real yet! - said the old woman in an astonished tone and with a broad smile on her face - I always thought they had invented all that history just to mock me... Who would say that there really is a group of bears that lives in the sky, moves around cars clouds and like to help people? And this little boy?
- I'm going to the party too - Hector said, blushing with embarrassment - I've been before in the place where they live, it's very beautiful.
- I can't wait to see this place - Frank commented, his eyes lost on the horizon, but then coming back to himself - So, can we continue?
- Of course yes! - Champ replied, getting into the cloud car - Come on, sports fans! Let's go to the Kingdom of Caring!
Quickly Confidence and Hector also climbed into the cloud car, while Frank, Elizabeth, Emilio, Fred and James took their seats in the helicopter. The sporting bear waited for the Brazilian pilot to turn on the engines of the aircraft and prepare the takeoff, before both vehicles departed, heading toward the clouds.
- So, Mr. Frank, how did you meet these strange beings? - the personal secretary wanted to know - And what story is that they live in the clouds? Are they angels disguised of colored animals?
- It's a long story, and I will not have time to tell it now - the old man replied calmly - And they are not angels, though they protect and help people in danger and live in a special dimension in the clouds.
- If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I'd think you're crazy... - Fred muttered, shaking his head before turning to Emilio - And you, do not you think it's strange to be following a cloud car, guided by a living teddy bear to a totally crazy place?
- I'm just a pilot - Emilio said without even looking sideways - Besides, why do not you shut up? You was going to do a great favor to humanity and to all of us!...
Frank laughed at that and looked at James, who had a camera in his hand, while Elizabeth stared out the window. The three of them looked youthful and eager, barely able to wait to get to the destination, guided by that cloud car drive for Champ, who was constantly looking back to make sure his human friends were still in sight.
- It looks as if everything is going well - said the athlete at one point - Will they like for Care-a-Lot?
- And some human no longer likes to meet Care-a-Lot? - said Confidence maliciously - Myself, I'm a cousin of the bears, I love that place! And humans like it even more, is not it, Hector?
- Surely they'll all love it, just like the others who go to the Fair - the boy said cheerfully.
- That's it, Hector! - said the fox with a big smile - I'm just wondering what the others will think when we get there with this aircraft following us...
- I'm thinking about it, too, but I do not think anyone's going to make trouble. After all, the Annual Caring Fair is just about making friends, and that's what the five on that helicopter want - Champ concluded cheerfully, though he felt a little cold in his belly thinking about what Noble Heart and True Heart would say when reviewing Frank after so long time.
Cheer Bear paced back and forth without hiding her anxiety and excitement. She was the one who received the humans for the big fair, and even though she had done it several times, she always got nervous when one more of these events happened. Thankfully, as well as being what she most liked to do, she had Love-a-Lot, Wish Bear and Treat Heart by her side, all ready to welcome the guests.
Meanwhile, the others were putting the finishing touches on the toys, game stalls, sweets, and the gymkhana being prepared. Harmony was testing the sound system with the help of Noble Heart and Braveheart, while Bright Heart and Q-Bot helped Grumpy fix a last-minute problem on the roller coaster and carousel. Aqua, Lonesome and Shimmers took care of helping Grams Bear set up the candy stalls, and Funshine and Playful Heart were pretending to help finish the gymkhana stall right next door just to steal some sweets.
- I'm so anxious today - Cheer Bear commented at one point - I just hope everything works out this time.
- As if you never been a master of ceremonies - joked Treat Heart - Have you forgotten that you organized the Care-a-Lot Parade a few years ago?
- Yes, of course I remember, and Beastly almost ruined everything with that guided car, remember that too?
- Stay calm, this time nothing's going to go wrong - Wish Bear commented with a grin - I wished it this morning, and I asked Goodluck Bear to hand out four leaf clovers for Care-a-Lot just for a guarantee.
- And speaking of our lucky friend, see him there! - Love-a-Lot pointed to the sky.
Several cloud cars appeared in the sky approaching Care-a-Lot, and the first to land was just the vehicle where they were Goodluck, Tumi and Tami. The two indigenous children were very happy, since it was the first time they left the valley, the first time they flew, the first time they came to Care-a-Lot, and it was their first time to attend a party along with Care Bear Family. For that very reason, as soon as the cloud car parked its occupants jumped out.
- Tumi! Tami! It's good to see you here - said Love-a-Lot, approaching and hugging the two children - You look very handsome in that dress, Tami. And you're also cute with this Hawaiian shirt, Tumi...
- Finally you two came to see our house, the Kingdom of Caring - commented Cheer Bear, hugging the couple of brothers - I hope you two enjoy.
- And why would not we? - the boy asked cheerfully.
- That was the most fun ride I've ever had - the girl added with a big smile - Thank you for having invited us.
- You're welcome, it's a shame that Perfect and Polite could not come too... - Goodluck said with a small, wistful smile, before shaking his head and leaving his misery aside - But alright, there will always be other times to that they participate with us in the Fair.
In the meantime, another cloud car parked right next door, having as occupants Amigo Bear, Emily and Julian. The two children were frightened and excited at the same time when they stepped on the clouds for the first time.
- Y entonces, mis amigos? ¿Qué crees (And then, my friends? What did you think)? - asked the polyglot bear with a small smile on his lips.
- Muy bueno, pero también muy espeluznante (Very cool but also very scary) - Julian replied, taking some hesitant steps - ¡Es como caminar en un cojín gigante (It's like walking on a giant cushion)!
- Hey! I did not understand anything you said - Emily said in an upset tone - Can you speak in my language?
- I did not understand anything either - said Tumi, listening to the conversation of the three newcomers - Amigo Bear is speaking in these strange tongues just to confuse us.
- I'm sorry, I like to speak Spanish so much!... - said the bear with an embarrassed expression - I asked my friends Emily and Julian what they thought of the trip. By the way, Emily and Julian, these here are Goodluck Bear, Love-a-Lot Bear and Treat Heart Pig, and our friends Tumi and Tami. Y creo que no hay necesidad de presentarlas Cheer Bear (And I do not think I need to introduce Cheer Bear to you two).
- Glad to see you again, Cheer! - exclaimed cheerfully Emily, hugging the pink bear in a special way - How are you?
- Fine and you? - replied the pink bear - And Julian, how are you?
- Very happy, Cheer, thank you - said the boy, his eyes bright.
Tumi approached Julian and looked him over, while Tami did the same with Emily.
- You're very handsome - the little Caribbean girl said to her new friend - I've never seen anyone with such dark skin.
- Thank you, your skin color is also very beautiful - the young black girl replied with a surprised smile.
- Why are you so dark and he so clear? - Tumi asked, pointing at Julian - He never played in the sun to tan?
- Of course I play in the sun, and I'm well tan - answered the young Latin - Have not you ever seen children like us?
- No, the island where we all live has the same skin color - Tami explained, smiling - It's the first time we've left our village.
- Do you live on an island? How cool! - exclaimed Julian - Emily and I are neighbors and we live in Canada.
- Where do they live? - asked the Caribbean boy.
- Canada, it's a country long way from where you live - Goodluck said with a little smile at the two Caribbean children before turning to the Canadian duo - And welcome to the Kingdom of Caring, too! Surely everyone will have a lot of fun today and... Hey! See, it's Jason!
The lucky bear was aiming enthusiastically towards a cloud car that had just descended, with Tenderheart at the wheel and a boy at his side, plus three adults in the backseat. Even so it was a slightly larger vehicle than normal, about the size of a pickup truck. And among those three adults, Goodluck quickly recognized the boy who many years ago, during a mission, had become the first human to visit Care Bear Family in the Kingdom of Caring.
- Bem vindos ao Reino do Carinho (Welcome to the Kingdom of Caring)! - said the bear leader as he got out of the car, being followed quickly by Carlos and Jason, while Ralph and André hesitated to get out of the car - Vamos lá, não vai acontecer nada com vocês (C'mon, nothing is going to happen to you)!
- Você tem certeza absoluta disso (Are you quite sure of that)? - asked the stationmaster in a trembling voice - Nós estamos em uma nuvem (We're in a cloud)!
- Fique tranquilo, André (Relax, Andre) - Jason said with a smile, remembering the sensation of stepping on the clouds - Eu já fiz isso antes e ainda estou vivo, lembra-se (I've done this before, and I'm still alive, remember)?
- Oh my God, what an indescribable feeling! - exclaimed the old man as he got out of the car - Você precisa experimentar isso, André! É como se nós estivéssemos andando em uma cama elástica ou com molas nos pés (You must experience this, André! It is as if we are walking on a trampoline or with springs on our feet).
- Pois então aproveite bastante sua cama elástica de nuvens (Then enjoy your trampoline of clouds) - said the railroader, crossing his arms - Eu não vou descer desse carro sem a presença de meu advogado, de um geólogo e um meteorologista (I will not get out of this car without the presence of my lawyer, a geologist, and a meteorologist)...
- Deixe de firulas André, você está fazendo papel de idiota (Stop disturbing, Andre, you're playing the fool) - Jason said, just as he and Ralph grabbed his friend by the arms and dragged him out of the car like a wild bull.
Size was the scandal the adult human was making that soon most of the bears, cousins, and children present gathered to watch the scene, trying to stifle their laughter. That's when Noble Heart and Redemptionheart approached.
- What's going on here, Tenderheart? - asked the horse with a surprised look - Who are the adults and why is that man screaming so much?
- His name is Andre, and he's afraid of falling out of the cloud - said the brown bear with a timid look - I'm sorry I did not tell you about the adults before, but Carlos would only come if his father could come along, and I could not help but invite Mr. Ralph and Jason too...
- It's all right, I know you've always been sensible and would not bring those adults in if there was not a reason. But we must calm Mr. Andre. Can you handle it, Redemption?
- Of course I do, I always have natural tranquilizers for emergencies like this - the doctor bear replied with a broad smile - I just need the help of an interpreter, since I do not speak that language...
- Yo me ofrezco para esta tarea (I offer myself for this task) - Amigo Bear said animatedly - Come with me, Redemption, let's calm this man!
While the medical bear and the polyglot bear were going to help Ralph calm André, Tenderheart took Jason and Carlos to the other bears and cousins, who had no difficulty in recognizing the old friend and quickly began to embrace him.
- How are you? - asked the boy, hugging his furry friends one by one - I missed you all...
- We too, Jason - said Goodluck, shaking the man's hand - You really have grown up, you do not even look like that frightened and sad little boy who came here with his sister and Friend Bear and Secret Bear...
- So you're the famous Jason, our first visitor - commented Noble with a smile - It's a pleasure to meet you personally, everyone says of your courage and your sister Kim's to help Care Bear Family. I'm Noble Heart Horse.
- I'm happy to finally meet you - Jason said excitedly, shaking the patriarch's hand -Braveheart, Friend and Secret talked a lot about you and True Heart Bear during our adventure. I hope to meet your wife today too, since I always wanted to know who the so-called founders of the Family were.
- You'll get your chance soon, and I think she'll be very happy to meet you, too. But how did Tenderheart find him?
- When I went to invite Carlos, Andre, and Ralph to the Caring Fair - explained the brown bear - And somehow Jason's the one who's been looking for us.
While the young bear leader explained the situation to the others, Carlos instinctively approached Tumi, Tami, Emily and Julian, and a bond of friendship quickly emerged between the five children, although they came from different countries and cultures, which cheered the bears and cousins, since the Annual Caring Fair was precisely to provide situations like that. Only the boy's father had to calm down, which Redemptionheart seemed to be able to do.
- Você promete que as nuvens não se desfarão aos meus pés, nem que eu irei cair daqui (Do you promise that the clouds will not melt at my feet, nor that I will fall from here)? - he asked again, holding the hand of the medical bear - Eu tenho esposa e filho para cuidar (I have a wife and son to care)...
- Yes, I promise nothing bad will happen to you - replied the multicolored bear calmly, using all her experience in medical care to calm the human, being translated by Amigo Bear - See your friends, they are all already walking normally through the clouds. Do not you want to try it too?
With his legs trembling, Andre finally agreed and got out of the cloud car, walking with some difficulty on the smooth surface of the clouds. But after ten paces, his eyes glowed like a child's.
- Isso é incrível (This is amazing)! - he exclaimed finally, receiving the applause of his friends and especially his son for demonstrated courage - É uma pena que Helena não pôde vir conosco, ela iria adorar isso (It's a shame Helena could not come with us, she would love that).
- Bem que a Tia Linda podia ter marcado seu chá de bebê para outro dia (Aunt Linda might have marked her baby shower for another day) - Carlos said sadly - Eu queria que Mamãe estivesse aqui (I wish Mama were here)...
- E só minha companhia não basta para você (And only my company is not enough for you)?
- Claro que sim, eu estou muito feliz de estarmos juntos aqui (Of course, I'm very happy to be here) - Carlos concluded, giving his father a tight hug.
- Well, if everyone is willing, we can take a little walk for you all to meet Care-a-Lot! - Cheer Bear said cheerfully - Come with me! I will be your guide, and I am sure you all will enjoy it very much.
Champ, Confidence, and Hector remained silent most of the time, with the bear and the fox just watching the boy's sad expression. Certainly he was acting very differently from the usual, because he was quiet, with his head down and even with a frightened glint in his eyes, and seeing this bothers the two athletes very much.
- Is everything okay with you, sports fan? - inquired Champ amicably - We are here, in case you want to talk about what your father did to you...
- I still can't believe Calvin went to the point of torturing his own son! - said the fighter with much anger - But when I get him, I swear...
- You will not do anything to Calvin - Champ interrupted energetically - We're not here to punch and kick anyone, at most we'll use our Stare. Also, hurting Calvin will not make Hector feel better.
- Well, I do not care what happens to him... - the boy murmured, with a cold gleam in his eyes - I'd rather be an orphan than have a crazy father like Calvin.
Both Champ and Confidence looked at each other in surprise as they heard Hector's words, and watched him for a moment in silence. Meanwhile, the boy just stared at the helicopter following in the distance.
- They must be so happy and anxious... - Hector said to his friends.
- And you were not like that when you first came here? - Confidence smiled - Flying to the Kingdom of Caring is a lot more fun than going through a portal of light, just like it took me to the Forest of Feelings.
- For me it was the reverse - said Champ calmly - I always wanted to know the earth, the world of humans, and when Noble finally took me on my first mission, I could not even control my anxiety. It's been so long...
Meanwhile, in the helicopter, everyone was looking forward to what would happen. Emilio drove in silence, ignoring the taunts and complaints of Fred, who was already impatient at the delay. James and Elizabeth were talking like children, looking at the surrounding clouds and imagining a thousand shapes for them. Only Frank remained silent, staring out the window, wondering what surprises his friends bears and cousins, especially Champ and Confidence, had prepared for him. And as calm as he wanted to appear, surely the old man was the most anxious of all, for he felt youthful and refreshed after 50 years.
- “And then, sports fans, are having fun?” - Champ's voice came on the radio at one point – “Prepare, we will cross the barrier of reality that divides the dimensions of the Kingdom of Caring and the rest of the world”.
- I must have crossed that barrier this morning - Fred said wryly - And the only thing I know is that we've been following this UFO half an hour ago and...
- Shut up Fred, or I'll play you out the window myself! - Elizabeth interrupted irritably - You're complaining from the moment we left. Can’t you stay silent for two minutes?
- Where and when will we cross this barrier, Champ? - Emilio asked with curiosity, checking the instruments on board - And most importantly, how will we know that we also cross this obstacle?
- Because you'll see... Now! - shouted the bear.
And for a fraction of a second a strong light surrounded both the cloud car and the helicopter, and before the eyes of all came something that could only be paradise. It was the most beautiful and amazing place any of them had ever seen. There was a great plain made of white and pink clouds, dotted with empty spaces where it was possible to see the surface of the earth far below. A river of clear, shimmering waters cut through the clouds and flowed into a great blue sea that disappeared on the horizon, with bridges and rainbow-colored roads leading to Care-a-Lot, with its colorful streets and small friendly and cozy houses.
That place could only be a dream, a true utopia. This was the impression that Frank, Elizabeth, Fred, James, and Emilio had of Care-a-Lot when they saw it rise through the clouds. The five of them were silent, gaping. James photographed as much as he could while Elizabeth began to cry with happiness. Even Fred and Emilio fell silent and smiled in amazement. As for Frank, he could not even blink.
- I would not believe it if I did not see it... - the old man murmured, finally breaking the silence - It's prettier than I could imagine.
- There really are no words to describe this place - the vice president agreed cheerfully - Have they ever had a problem with some pressurized jumbo passing by the clouds?
- "Fortunately not, even though they are often very close to us" - said Champ on the radio - "The sky is full of shortcuts, which we use to reach the farthest reaches of the world in our cloud cars quickly. And every now and then some plane goes the other way, though we're never noticed".
- And how can we find these shortcuts? - Emilio asked curiously - If they are as common as you say, it should not be difficult.
- "Just fly to West-Southwest, three thousand meters high, and wish to meet us as you were doing now, that the portal automatically opens. Otherwise, nothing happens".
- So that's the secret, to wish at the right time to find the Kingdom of Caring - Frank said thoughtfully, wiping away a tear of joy - Well, where will we land?
- Are you saying you want to get this Super Puma down on that cloud? - shouted Fred, looking at the boss - You're going to kill us, yes!
- "You do not have to worry, the surface is very solid and will carry the weight of the helicopter" - said the athlete bear with a giggle - "Follow me, I'll take them to the parking lot of the cloud cars, where you can go down calmly".
- That makes me so much calmer... - Fred said sarcastically.
Calvin glanced at his watch and saw that it was nearly nine o'clock in the morning, and Hector had not left the bedroom yet. Okay, after all that had happened that week between the two, the adult did not expect his son really wanted to be around him. But the silence that came from the bedroom began to worry the chemist, who hesitated a moment or two to try to talk to Hector, and knocked lightly on the door and entered the room, only to find the bed unmade, the window open and the place totally turned, with some clothes and toys missing. It was clear that the boy was no longer there.
Looking out the window, he saw no one and called for his son without answer. Leaping into the garden, Calvin ran after Hector's tracks on the grass until he found the back door barely locked and the lock broken into.
- Hector... - Calvin murmured, looking desperate to realize that his son was no longer there – Oh não! Hector (Oh no! Hector)!!!
Only Champ and Confidence had not yet returned from all the bears and cousins who had left in the morning, something that had begun to worry Cheer Bear. It was true that Sky-Heart had not returned either, but deep down it did not matter to the pink bear, who wanted to know why her boyfriend and that stupid fennec had not yet returned.
Meanwhile, Tumi, Tami, Emily, Julian, and Carlos were already amusing themselves with the other children in toys and game stalls, while Andre, Jason, and Tenderheart helped Ralph assemble a small model of trains he had brought for fun the kids. It was when the noise of an aircraft caught the attention of everyone, who quickly saw a white helicopter approaching the parking lot of the cloud cars, following the car where they were Champ and Confidence. No sooner had the sportsman turned the car off and was surrounded by his friends, and Noble Heart was the first to call him.
- What's going on here, Champ? - Noble asked worriedly - Who are they?
- It's all right, Noble, they're friends - the athlete replied - I invited them to come to the Fair along with Hector.
- They just did not fit in the cloud car - Confidence added with a smile - You're going to love meeting them.
- Not if they're boring like you... - Cheer Bear murmured maliciously as her boyfriend stared at her with a serious, disgusted expression.
Slowly the helicopter landed on Care-a-Lot's cloud and rainbow surface, which was surprising given the size and weight of the aircraft. Virtually the entire Care Bear Family and all visitors were eagerly waiting to know who the passengers were, when True Heart appeared more irritated than a swarm of bees.
- What the hell is this? - she shouted, posting in front of the husband and his cousin, hands on their hips and clapping her feet on the floor - What do you guys think they're doing, you irresponsible?
- They're just visitors... - Champ began.
- Visitors? And since when can adults visit the Annual Caring Fair? - asked the beige bear, approaching the sportsman like an enraged mother - You're almost 18 years old, and you act like an irresponsible one!
- How so irresponsible? - said the athlete bear, frowning - Just because I invited some adult humans to come and meet Care-a-Lot?!?
- Tenderheart also brought some adults with him, and that seemed to me a very responsible attitude - interrupted Noble, trying to calm his wife - Do not be so harsh with Champ, surely he must have had his reasons for acting like this...
- I do not approve of Tenderheart's attitude, much less yours, Noble! - she said fiercely - That's why they act that way, because they know you'll protect them! It was always like this, you always protected them every time they went wrong. From what I see my authority here is not worth anything, since everyone does what they want!
- It's not like that either, you're being unfair, True Heart - replied seriously Confidence - Everyone has always respected you, and there is no problem with adult humans taking part in the Annual Caring Fair.
- And you have no right to intrude on that!
- Please, True Heart, you're exaggerating - the horse said in a low, embarrassed tone - You're giving a real mocked to everyone...
It was when the helicopter door opened, and the first passenger quickly got off the plane, causing Noble Heart's eyes to widen in surprise. However, True Heart was so angry that she did not even notice it.
- You mean I'm giving a mocked?!? - she cried, gritting her teeth - You should be on my side, not against me! I'm being realistic! Who guarantees me that these adults will not cause us problems?
- You used to trust us more when we lived in San Martin - the female bear heard a low voice say those words behind her - I did not imagine fifty years had changed your personality so much...
That voice! It was all well that it was something older and slower than before, but it could only belong to one person. True Heart swallowed hard before turning around to face Frank, who had already gotten off the helicopter and looked at her with his arms folded, looking rather disappointed.
- FF-Frank! - the matriarch murmured in a surprised tone, her lips trembling with fear - Is really you?
- Yes, just a little more bald and wrinkled compared to the last time we met - the old man replied slowly - And it's been many years... Almost as many as a lifetime.
For a few seconds all the bears and cousins were silent, as were Elizabeth, Fred, and Emilio, looking at the patriarchs, then at Frank, amazed at the intimacy in which the businessman treated the couple of founders. And that silence deepened in the face of the frightened expressions of Noble Heart and True Heart compared to the calm and curious gaze of the human.
- I did not expect a princely reception, but at least a little more warmth from old friends so dear... - Frank teased after a few seconds - The way you're acting, it seems we're not welcome.
- Well... Yes... I mean, you're welcome to the Kingdom of Caring - Noble said, unsure of what to do - It's just that we did not wait for your visit after such a long time...
- Will not you introduce your friend? - Braveheart Lion asked gently and with a curious look - After all, it seems like you've known each other for a long time.
- A lot longer than you can imagine - Frank said with a friendly smile - My name is Frank Heartom, and these are my Vice President James, our secretary Elizabeth, my personal secretary Fred, and the pilot Emilio.
- If you all are Frank's friends, you may consider yourself our friends, too - Noble said, a little more calmly, recovering from the extreme emotion he had felt, then looking at the other bears and cousins - Frank is an old friend of mine and True Heart , from the time when we were all still living in Paradise Valley.
- You lived with us in the valley? - Proud Heart asked with a surprised look.
- Yes, and I remember all of you when you were just cubs - the old businessman said politely - We were close friends, but then fate separated us and I went to the United States to become a billionaire.
- Of course, now I recognize you! - exclaimed Shimmers, his eyes widening - You are Mr. Frank Heartom, President of the B & H Company, and owner of the largest conglomerate of logistic companies in the world!
- And an ardent defender against whaling and dolphin - Aqua added with a big smile, since that was a subject of great interest - But why did you split up? And how did you know Champ and Confidence?
- Ah, it was a lucky move, sports fan - said the sporting bear trying to sidestep the subject - He saw our cloud car as we helped Hector, and he came to us to talk. That's when I invited him to come to the Fair.
- And what exactly did you talk about? - True Heart asked worriedly, finally breaking her silence.
- About old times, if you understand me - was Frank's enigmatic response to the female bear, which seemed to grow pale under the fur.
At that moment Grams Bear, who was approaching the newcomers along with his grandchildren, stopped in surprise in front of Frank, eyes wide and tearful as he recognized him. The same happened with the old businessman, who stood there staring at the old female bear and feeling his heart beating with emotion.
- Flower... - he murmured, as if he did not believe it.
- Frank... - she said with a wide smile.
And immediately he knelt down and gave a big silent hug in Grams Bear, both crying with joy. Frank had never imagined that he would ever meet the female bear he considered his second mother, and Flower had never thought she would see again the human she had known since he was a baby. There was no need for words, both knew very well what they felt and just stood there, hugging and crying with happiness.
For a minute they all stared at the scene of the two old men embracing and reliving an old friendship. Taking advantage of the distraction, True Heart approached Champ and gave him a tug on the ear.
- Hey! - he complained - What is it?
- I'll talk to you later - the female bear said sharply.
Frank and Flower broke loose with a laugh of joy after so many years without seeing each other, when the old man looked around.
- Why are they all here? - he asked in a lively voice - Is not this a party? Let's enjoy it then, and then we can talk more!
And that's what they really did, moving quickly toward the Annual Caring Fair, for that was certainly the best opportunity there was for making friends or reviving friendships. Only True Heart and Cheer Bear were left behind.
- He'll bring trouble... - the matriarch murmured worriedly.
- Why do you say that? - asked the young female bear - Frank is a bad person?
- No, on the contrary, he is one of the kindest human beings I have ever met... But it will still bring trouble - she concluded, before leaving the young pink bear pensive and curious.