The Care Bears
The Confidence Secret
Hector slowly took off the shoes of Bright Heart, revealing his bare feet. The raccoon, held by Confidence and Champ, wrapped his toes with a worried look as he watched the boy sit on his legs.
In fact, the raccoon did not know how he had been persuaded to do that. Treat Heart had left the group some time before, and had not participated in that game. The raccoon had been curious to know what the boy meant when asked if they could "play that game". The bears and cousins, in the great majority, loved to play, in such a way that Bright Heart wanted to participate. In the end he was the first one chosen for feel tickled, because that was the game.
- Are you ready? - Hector asked mockingly.
- Of course not! - exclaimed the raccoon inventor - That's not what I thought you were going to do!
- Let’s just say this is one of Hector's favorite games - said Champ with a wink - And lets be frank, sports fan, we've played that before.
- I thought you were more serious - Confidence said - You mean that play tickling was it already part of your amusements?
- Sometimes we do - said the sportsman - There are many games we play, and one of them, although not one of the most usual, is play tickles. I mean, except for Aqua Bear, Lonesomeheart, Redemption, Shimmers, who pretty much live for it...
- Sufficient explanations - Hector said with an impatient smile - Otherwise we'll never start the game.
And without saying anything else, he ran his fingers over Bright Heart's soles, which screamed at the tickling sensation, trying to protect himself from the boy's nimble fingers, which quickly drummed across the sole of the raccoon's feet.
- Hahaha! No! Stohohohop! - he shouted, laughing.
- Oh no! I'm sure you can endure more than that - the boy replied, increasing the intensity of his tickling and grabbing the inventor's toes to tickle them.
- Hahaha! Nohoho, stohohohop! Let gohohoho of my arms... Hahaha! - begged Bright Heart for Champ and Confidence.
- Why would we do that? Are not you having fun? - asked the first.
- Not to mention that if we drop your arms, it will not be good business for you - said the fox maliciously.
- Hahaha! And hehehe why hehehe?
The raccoon was already choking with laughter, as he was not accustomed to feeling to tickles in your feet.
- I think we'd better show him, Confidence - Champ said with a wink - You agree with me, Hector?
- I agree with you, Champ - the boy replied - Go ahead.
And a second later the two sportsmen dropped the arms of Bright Heart, which was only held by the legs. But the raccoon did not stay calm, as the tickling continued and he saw when his two friends walked to their feet and began to tickle their soles with Hector.
- Nohohohoho!!! - cried the raccoon with the intensity of tickling even greater.
- We warn you - said the boy - Now behave or it will be worse.
That boy's mockery was too much for the inventor. How could he behave? He could only laugh and try to break free. Besides, with three ticklers in their soles, there was no way to defend them, all areas were being sensitized at the same time and uninterrupted.
But the best defense is sometimes the attack, and the raccoon knows that. Struggling to sit up, he grabbed Hector from behind, and quickly stuffed his hands under his shirt, beginning to tickle the boy's belly. Hector started to laugh at that feeling, and had to stop tickling Bright Heart's feet to try to defend himself.
- Hey! Do not dohohoho this... Hahaha! - Hector shouted, trying to grab the arms of the raccoon, who was still laughing at the tickles he was receiving from Champ and Confidence.
When they saw the boy screaming helplessly, the two sportsmen decided that they would change their "victim." They let go of Bright Heart's feet and grabbed Hector's legs, removing off his shoes and socks and exposing the boy's white, well-groomed feet. Champ grabbed the young man's right foot and began to rub his fingers into the arch of the sole, while Confidence preferred the toes area on his left foot, having fun with that play.
Surely if any of them had known Confidence before she reached the Kingdom of Caring, they would not recognize her now. She was enjoying the play, smiling and enjoying what was going on. Of course she always knew what fun was, but since she was a kid she had always been focused on learning to fight, and that was always her main and only fun. Even their your courtship with Love Heart was not so hot, full of hugs and kisses, like an regular dating, but somewhat distant, dating from the character of the two, for they were both stubborn and serious and had difficulty coping with the feelings of others, and especially with their own. They were accustomed to fighting against their enemies, not to forgive and respect them. But since she had come to the Kingdom of Caring, she learned that she could be serious and at the same time have fun with games, and that charmed her a lot.
So focused was she thinking about it that she did not even notice that Champ had stopped tickling Hector and Bright Heart was letting him go. Immediately the boy jumped over the female fennec, grabbing her feet and beginning to tickle them, while the bear held one arm and the raccoon the other, taking advantage to please her armpits as well.
- Nohohoho! - she shouted - Stohohohop!
- No way, you tickled me and Hector, now it's your turn - Bright Heart said, smiling.
- Not to mention you're a little fennec and deserve a punishment for it - Champ said.
- Hahaha! I'm nohohohot a littlehehehehefennec! Hahaha! - she exclaimed.
- You are, besides being a very nice person - said Hector - You're like your name, confident in everything you do and think. So you'll trust that we'll tickle you a lot.
- That's right, now we're going to have fun – the bear athlete agreed.
Confidence was laughing, but he was enjoying himself. Once again. This was another sensation she had almost never had before, the body contact other than during a karate fight. After all, as good in karate as she was, she had rarely hugged or touched anyone without being to fight, punch or kick. But now it was different, she was being touched by someone who loved her and was just playing with her.
If it was a normal case, the fox knew very well how to defend himself, and could push the three friends away and end them with his martial strokes. But that was not a fight, and they were not enemies. So now, too, she was exercising the calm of not fighting, which she rarely did.
Happiness, jokes, playing, fun, laughing, tickling, not fighting, having friends who usually did not lose their cool in every conversation they had. All this was new in Confidence's life, and she loved it. Even her calm reaction to the frustrated attempt to use the Stare was something new to her. Although she had learned to protect who needed her help, she had never known she could do it and at the same time have fun without having to fight. And also that it was not necessary to lead a life of permanent tension to the next battle, she could have fun and be prepared at the same time.
After a few minutes of being tickled by her tickling, in which she did everything to protect her feet and armpits, she realized that the raccoon had grabbed Champ and started tickling the bear as Hector ran to help catch that new "victim." It was the chance for the fox to shrink and protect herself if they wanted to tickle him again, and she just laughed at herself, of happiness. Then she began to remember how his life was and how everything was different now, wishing his friends could be there and learn what she was learning...
Friday, February 12, 1993. Grimpen, Canada...
The sun was beginning to shine, but the cold was still intense, since it had snowed the day before and the forest was still covered by the white mantle. This scene and the cold were an invitation to stay in bed, sleeping under the blankets, especially for Anger Heart Fox, who did not like the cold.
But that was no problem for Confidence Heart. Whether it was cold or hot, she liked to train. She would wake up early and spend the morning training karate on her own, or occasionally with her boyfriend Love Heart, as was the case that day.
- Let's go! Come on! See if you can knock me down - the green bear shrieked in mockery.
Confidence frowned at her boyfriend. In the previous blow, he had defended himself with the wooden stick he held, since the bear was very good at fighting with sword and batons. Now she needed to recover what he had lost.
- Do you think that will distract me? - she asked - Take that!
And with a powerful kick, she tried to reach the stomach of Love Heart, who again defended himself with his stick and hit his girlfriend's knee.
The scene was violent, and surely an unsuspecting observer would think it was a real fight, not a training. But such a situation was common to both. After all, since they were children they were trained to be excellent fighters in the combat of evil, using their magical abilities to further increase their physical and mental abilities.
Confidence limped off, while Love Heart laughed at that.
- I think I got your Achilles heel - he teased, laughing.
- That's not funny - said the fox, running his hand over his aching knee.
- So my little fennec did not like being hampered in your coup? - asked the bear with mockery.
- I told you not to call me a little fennec!
And with a somersault, she knocked over her boyfriend to the ground and stood over him, grabbing his arms and twisting them back as he screamed in pain.
- Who is the little fennec now? - asked Confidence calmly.
- Arghh! All right, all right! It's not you! - cried the bear - Let me go, please!
The fennec smiled at that and released her boyfriend, who rolled away, massaging his arms. Confidence looked at Love Heart for a few seconds.
- I hope I didn't hurt you much - she said.
- You ripped my shirt - the green bear snarled, seeing one of the sleeves of his torn garment - And I like that shirt...
- That's why I change clothes to train. You can’t fight karate in a blouse and long pants.
- Are you going to continue training?
- No, I'm going to have breakfast. I continue with the training after.
Confidence Heart, Love Heart and her other friends lived in a small cottage in the middle of the forest, near the town of Grimpen, Canada. It had been about ten years since they moved there, after many wanderings and adventures, and the fact that they lived in the forest near the city was the way they arranged to have peace and to help humans in the most necessary moments.
The city was founded in the early 20th century by a young businessman named Anthony Lear, which had the help of many friends, rich or not, in order to fulfill his wish. Lear had died a few months before the arrival of the Terada family, which was the true name of the Confidence's family, so they did not meet this excellent lord who would surely be an ally to them.
It had been Sage Hart who had decided to settle there, mainly to give a better education to her daughter, Sweet Heart Pegasus, and to have a place to call home. But there were other reasons as well. His adopted children, although always fighting for good and order, did not have the recognition of the police forces and, in view of the laws, acted in an illegal way. Often they had to flee quickly when the police arrived, especially when they left their enemies heavily injured or even killed after a fight. Sage Heart was sure that was bad, and that their children should use magic primarily for self-defense, not to attack opponents during a fight.
There was another fact, too, which surprised them all. From a few years earlier, they began to hear stories of another group of bears and cousins like them, who helped humans, especially children. Since these rumors began to grow stronger, Sage Heart had begun to suspect that it was the bears that would help him deal with the great evil approaching. This had been told to him by the Great Wishing Star, on the same night he had been transformed from human to bear. Since that night, he had always tried to find out more about it, and felt the moment of the meeting approaching.
Sage Heart had been born human, not bear, so he taught his foster children to live as humans while training them in magic and fights. So they all wore clothes, shoes, electronic gadgets, ate meat and industrialized foods, and had all the other defects and qualities a human had. And that included the feelings. As much as the old man and his wife, Life Heart Unicorn, tried to keep the peace in their home, their children often lived in quarrels with each other, although they loved each other as brothers and in their own way. The only ones who never fought were Sweet Heart, Guidance Heart and Calm Heart Lynx. Love Heart also acted correctly in his actions, but he was a little stubborn and sometimes very demanding, which sometimes disrupted him in the accomplishment of his missions.
Confidence, on the other hand, was overconfident and was a bit cheeky and sarcastic, but the karate helped her control those traits. The fennec quickly turned to where he had left his usual clothes. She loved dressing like a modern girl in a long-sleeved blouse and jeans pants. It was her way of being, showing how brave and independent she was. Her intention now was to change clothes into breakfast, but when she saw that Love Heart was still in the room, she turned to him and asked him out.
- And why should I leave? - he asked - You know we have a coat of hair that hides very well what we should not show.
- Of course I know! - shouted Confident - But I don't want change clothes near to you. Get out now!
- I'm not leaving. If you want to change your clothes, you'll do it in front of me.
- You better get away with it, if not... - she said in a threatening tone.
- If not what? - asked the bear, with a mischievous grin.
- Hey! Do you want to shut up? There are people trying to sleep here! - shouted Anger Heart, whose room was next to the practice room - Every day is the same! You come to train and wake me up! You have nothing better to do, no?
- Shut up, Alex! - cried Defiant Heart Badger, who was coming down the hallway and heard his friend's cry, which also had the name Alexander - It's past eight in the morning, and you're still in bed. At least Confidence and Love Heart are doing something more than you, lazy.
Defiant Heart and Anger Heart were rivals within the group, and the taunt of the badger was enough for the other to jump out of bed and open the door violently.
- What? Me, lazy?!? - asked the fox - Now you'll see who you're dealing with, you idiot!
And he ran toward the badger, who prepared to fight. Love Heart, standing in the doorway of the training room, rushed to hold the two opponents and avoid a physical aggression for the umpteenth time. That was when Confidence took advantage of it and closed the door, locking himself inside the room.
Confidence smiled wryly at the thought of how strange his family was. Each one was a different animal, all with their defects of conduct and fighting qualities. She knew she had flaws. When she fought, she generally did not admit to giving up, and often did not realize the danger was running. But it was her way of being, and she liked it. But deep down, she had an immense curiosity to find out more about her origins. What she knew was that Sage heart, while still the human Koran, had encountered her during a trip through Africa, and she was crying a lot and had a frightened expression, as if something very bad had happened. How had she been there and who were her parents? This was her real curiosity.
To slow down such thoughts a little, she liked to train karate. She knew how to fight since she was a child, and when she learned magic, she specialized in wind magic, but in a very special way. She used it to amplify his blows and their power, besides having a characteristic fight and difficult to follow. It was a powerful and deadly weapon, for she had killed a thief during a fight, from so many punches which hit the opponent's head and chest. It was not something she was proud of, but she knew no other way to fight evil, and if she had to kill to help someone innocent, she would.
As soon as she took off her kimono and ran out of clothes, the female fennec looked at herself in the mirror and wondered once again what the symbol of her belly was for. Everyone in his group had individual symbols, but nobody knew their use. According to Sage Heart, the Great Wishing Star explained that this symbol would be used to do good, but the old bear also had no idea how to do it.
Confidence shook her head to clear those thoughts and began to dress. She could not wait to have breakfast and go back to training. Despite the endless discussions between Anger Heart and Defiant Heart, in which the Passion Heart Wolverine sometimes joined, it was the best time of day, and the quiet one too. There she could talk to Guidance, with Calm Heart and Snowy Heart, who were generally the quietest of the group and those who dealt best with magic, especially Snowy Heart, who only was not considered a true shaman by the others because by the coexistence they saw that he was far from that. Also in the breakfast she was with Crafty Heart Coyote, who had the bad habit of flirting with most of the men in the group, which was a problem for the relationship between Confidence and Love Heart.
In fact, who first noticed that the fennec and the bear were in love was Crafty, who noticed the girl's jealousy of his friend. Then it was Love Heart himself who noticed this, and decided to ask Confidence in dating, but she, independent as her was, was slow to accept the request, and even after that, they still had a relationship more of friends than of boyfriends. But at least there was one more reason for the fennec to fight in the battles.
Already dressed and with her hair tied in braids, the girl unlocked the door and left the training room. In the corridor was still the fight between Defiant and Anger, with the badger being held by Crafty and Passion, and the red fox by Snowy and Love Heart, while Calm Heart and Guidance tried to cool everyone's spirits.
- You're a coward! - Anger shouted - Come here and I'll get you!
- That's what I'm going to do as soon as I get my hands on you, you baggy one - Defiant replied in equal measure.
- Stop it, please - the lynx said - It will not lead to anything, you two any shouting and fighting with each other...
- Not to mention that Sage will be very saddened by all this - said Guidance.
- Of course we'll stop, but as soon as I punch this idiot in the face! - replied Anger.
- Lazy! - retorted the badger.
Confidence watched all this in silence. That was when she heard with her excellent hearing someone approaching down the hall.
- Attention! Sweet Heart is coming! - the fennec shouted.
At the same time the two fighters stopped fighting, and all quickly recovered. The young pegasus was too young and pure to see anything like that, which is why everyone avoided having arguments or fighting in front of the young cub. Soon she appeared, bouncing and curious as ever.
- Hello, everyone - she said in her childish voice - What was going on here?
- Anything! - they all answered in unison.
- Well, then all right - said the young pegasus, with a twinkle of her angel wings - Dad asked if you all could go and talk to him.
- Now? - asked Anger Heart - What about my breakfast?
- No one told you to get up late, lazy - Defiant said mockingly, to take an elbow from Guidance Heart as a rebuke.
- Yes, now, at once - replied the smiling girl - It seems to be very important. Come on!
Anger Heart shrugged in an unfriendly acceptance, but along with the others, followed the little girl. It was not only he who was bothered, since Confidence also thought that she would be without breakfast.
- Certainly it is some important mission, and one more day without breakfast - she thought to herself, rolling her eyes.
Sage Heart was in his office, where he usually commanded the missions of the godchildren. After all, even transferring the group's lead to Love Heart, he was still considered the founder of the group and liked to help them as much as he could, through his experience. At his side at that moment was Life Heart, bending over the table, but as soon as the young’s entered both the bear and the unicorn stood up and looked at each of them smiling. The old bear had great affection for all, since in spite of him having saved the lives of the young, in fact they are that they have saved his.
- My children, you can congratulate me - he began, smiling as he stood up - We finally succeeded in our search.
- You swear you got it? - Love Heart asked, surprised.
- How did you do, have you spoken to them? - asked Anger Heart - Can we join them now?
- You could go there with a one-way ticket, so we do not bother you anymore - taunted Defiant Heart with a giggle.
- Is there any bear or cute cousin there that's available? - inquired Crafty languidly.
- Calm down, my friends, he'll tell us, but I feel it's very good - Snowy said calmly.
- It was easier than I could imagine - Sage explained slowly - I actually knew what to do, but I was so intent on finding a way to contact them that I did not even remember using teleportation spells.
- You mean, instead of contacting them, did you go there, Sage? - asked Guidance Heart, looking surprised.
- No, I have not been yet, but I know the magic that can open a portal straight to the place where they live.
- But we don’t even know where and how they live... - interrupted Sweet Heart.
- But with all our spells together, we can create a portal strong enough for our envoy to reach them - said Snowy Heart with a smile, since he also knew a little of that magic.
- Exactly - agreed Sage - The combined magic of all of us gives us this opportunity to unite our forces and thoughts to open a magical portal that will send one of us through the magical realities to the right place.
- I've never heard of it - said Defiant Heart in surprise.
- There are many things you've never heard of, you idiot - said Anger Heart, taking an elbow from Guidance Heart as a rebuke.
- Actually it's an unusual magic, and I only remembered it now, after much thinking - said the old bear - But I called you all here because I want to choose which of you will go on this mission...
- I will! - they shouted in unison, glancing at each other quickly.
- No, I will - Love Heart complained - I'm the oldest and most experienced of all of you.
- No, I'm going, because I'm the bravest - interrupted Passion Heart.
- No, I want to go, to stay away from that loose fox - Defiant Heart said.
- And I for the same reason, idiot - replied Anger Heart.
And a few seconds later, everyone was arguing about it, since practically nobody gave in. Everyone wanted to go for some reason, mainly because they felt useful with that mission. It was useless for Life Heart and Guidance Heart to try ask to speak to calm the moods.
- Stop! - Sage Heart shouted in a firm tone, imposing respect - I'm glad to see that everyone wants to come and help us, but the portal only allows one of us to pass - he continued more calmly.
- Why do not you try your luck on the toothpick? - asked Sweet Heart, who was quiet and amused by the adults' quarrel - The one who pulls out the biggest toothpick is the one who will go on the mission.
Everyone looked at each other in surprise at that suggestion, and with a bit of shame because fought in front of the little pegasus. But her advice was worth following, so that quick Life Heart prepared nine toothpicks of different sizes for her foster children.
- Let it be in luck, then - said the unicorn female as she handed out the toothpicks - And then, have you all taken yours? So let's see who will go.
Everyone began to compare the size of their toothpicks with anxiety. But they could not hide their surprise when Confidence had the biggest toothpick in her hands, and she herself could not believe it for a few seconds, looking at her hands with a broad smile on her face.
- Wow! - she shouted happily.
- Well, Confidence, you're who will go on this mission - Sage Heart said, with a smile on his face.
Guidance congratulated her friend, as did the Calm Heart, but the others left mumbling down the corridor, with the exception of Love Heart, who waited there. When he saw that only his father, stepmother, and girlfriend were in the room, he looked at the fennec and said,
- I believe you'll not go on that mission and you will pass it on to me, correct?
- How can I'll not? - exclaimed the fennec fox - Of course I will.
- Yeah, but you're my girlfriend...
- You don't own me, and doesn't give me orders - Confidence said seriously - I'm going on this mission, and you're not going to stop me.
- But... But... I'm a male bear, and you are a... A...
- Are you going to be sexist now? What do you think of that, Sage?
The old bear looked at his adopted son and said seriously,
- It's not fair that you want to stop her to leave, only because she is your girlfriend and also being female. If she wants to go, respect her desire.
- Of course it's my wish. When do I leave? - asked the female fennec with a victorious air.
- As soon as you want and you're ready.
- I'm going to have my coffee and pack my things, then - she said, stepping out of the room, unable to contain your animation.
Yes, after all she had won what she considered a competition with her teammates. She would go on that adventure, something she really enjoyed doing. She did not like the monotony, to live a calm life, but to have adventures, sports, everything that made her move. On the other hand, deep down she knew that she would be sad to stay away from her family and especially her boyfriend, even though she did not want to look like a helpless young woman for Love Heart.
Quick as the wind, Confidence drank his breakfast and ran to his room, where he began to pack his things in a backpack. She didn't want to take many things, and she wanted nothing to be missed. So she placed her kimono, two changes of clothes, two socks, a pair of gloves, a toothbrush, a comb, a photograph of her adoptive family, a compass, a soap, a diary notebook, and a pen. With all these things in his backpack, she closed the bedroom door and headed for Sage's office, which was still there.
- Are you ready? - asked the old bear with some surprise - I thought you wait until tomorrow...
- No, if I can do it today - replied the young fennec, excitedly - Sage, can I ask you something?
- Of course yes.
- You care for Love Heart by me? I think he didn't like it that I didn't pass on that mission to him...
- I didn't like it - said the bear himself, entering the room - Honestly, I thought you'd trust me more and give me that mission.
- The question is not to trust or not, and yes...
- The question is about trusting, yes - interrupted Love Heart - You think I think you're a helpless girl who always needs me to help you! Do you want me to tell you the truth?
- I want!
- I find it even - said the bear with a little shame, lowering his voice and blushing - Deep down I know that beneath of this "armor", you are a very nice and loving person. And I really love you for it.
- I think you're looking for something that does not exist - Confidence said with extreme certainty - I know very well who I am. And I love you too.
- Do you really know that? - Sage asked didactically - I also thought this, until everything changed...
- You two can rest easy, I know very well who I am - told the fennec with great pride, looking at Love Heart, who shrugged.
- Well, if I can't persuade you to give up this trip, I can at least wish you good luck - he said with a smile.
And they both hugged each other tightly, as if sealing that each one would wait for the other. At that moment, Confidence had to hold on to not cry, she did not want to show weakness to her boyfriend.
- I love you, Confidence - he said - And I'll wait for you.
- I love you too - she agreed with difficulty, releasing herself from the embrace.
- I'll call the others to say goodbye, and together we'll form the necessary magic.
And so saying, Love Heart left the office, leaving Confidence and Sage Heart alone. The old bear went to one of the walls and pushed aside a painting, revealing a small safe box. After handling the lock tightly, he opened the door and revealed its contents. There were family documents, photos, the deed of the house and his money, which he used to support his family. When he was human, he was able to raise a good sum, but now he only had a few thousand dollars in his hands. He did not usually open the safe door near his sons, but he did not mind the presence of the fennec fox beside his. Taking a small bundle of bills, he counted them one by one in silence, and locked the door again.
- Confidence, there are a thousand dollars here - he said, handing the packet of money to the young fennec - I believe that where you are going you will not need it, but take it in case of emergency.
- But Sage, you don't have to do this... - she said embarrassed.
- Please, that way I'll be calmer - he interrupted with a smile – And I also wanted to say you something.
- Then say it.
- When you get there, before you get in touch with this unknown group, watch your actions a bit so they can be imitated. Do not tell the truth right away to them, as they may not accept that we want to join them and that we have magical powers. Make up a story, and it's only when you find allies within them that you reveal the truth, okay?
- Of course - said Confidence.
- Oh, one more thing - continued the old bear - I know how much you want to find out about your story and about the history of your brothers. And I want it, too. So, if there you have that chance, do not hesitate to try.
- You didn't have to say that, Sage - she said, embracing her foster father.
Shortly afterwards the others entered the office, some of them still upset for not being on that mission. But everyone said good-bye to Confidence, before they formed a circle around it. Sage Heart then began to recite magic words, asking everyone to concentrate on giving more power to him. Soon a light began to form around the group, and it grew stronger and stronger, until a kind of portal opened in front of the fennec fighter.
Confidence knew it was his passage to go. And for a second she looked at her friends and her adoptive father before walking to the doorway. An intense light enveloped her, and for a moment she had to close her eyes because she could not bear to look. The light was too strong. A loud roar of wind, lightning, thunder, fire, and explosions enveloped her and made her sensitive ears ache as she continued to take unsteady steps. Suddenly, the noise stopped, and everything fell silent.
The female fennec didn't open his eyes, but he had also not stopped walking. She could not hear anything for a second, but she felt as if the sun was beating on his face. A little bird's song reached her audition, and little by little she opened her eyes, marveling at what she saw.
From the cold winter of Canada, she was suddenly in the middle of a forest, unlike anything she had ever seen in her life. The grass was covered with four-leaf clovers, the soil was a mixture of earth and clouds, the trees were plump, showy, beautiful, and with heart-shaped leaves, flowers abounded everywhere. The air was clean, and it was good to feel him.. If paradise really existed, it was in that place. Little birds were singing happily, and a stream of clear, clean water flowed happily alongside Confidence.
The fox stood for a few minutes looking around, gaping at the beauty of the place, before walking out. She did not know where she was going, but she wanted to explore the surroundings and knew she was going to go somewhere. Not to mention that she wanted to find where to spend the night. Even because she had not brought a sleeping bag, cutlery, and a tent, something she'd forgotten about in her excitement. But the fluffy ground was inviting to sleep directly on him. It was as if the young woman was stepping on a giant pillow. As he passed an apple tree, he took one of the fruits and experienced it. It had a different taste, much sweeter and yummy than an ordinary apple. Continuing to walk slowly, looking around, soon she heard voices in the distance, and advancing cautiously among the bushes and trees, came to the edge of a clearing, where she found who she wanted.
After all, her mission was to find the other group of bears and cousins she and her friends had heard about earlier. And there they were, or at least a part of them, arranging what looked like a great outdoor party.
Concealed so that no one would notice it, the fox stood there looking at that group, which animatedly did its work without complaining or fighting. With his excellent audition, Confidence focused on a young pink bear and a yellow pig, who were bringing dishes to a large wooden table ever installed in the clearing.
- Enthusiastic for the party, Cheer? - the pig asked with a big smile on his lips.
- Of course, after all, Birthday Bear, Playful Heart and Funshine Bear are excellent at organizing parties - replied the pink bear.
- Hey! Can you guys help me out here, girls? - asked another female bear, beige fur and pink and purple hair, who tried to tie some party balloons in a tree.
- I'll help you, True Heart - a lion said amiably, coming along the same path.
Other bears and cousins were busy arranging the table, tying ornaments and party balloons in the trees. An old bear, looking about 60 years old, She set the sweets on the table, while a couple of cubs helped her with this task. The little pink bear held a cookie in her hand and sniffed.
- Grams, this looks delicious - she said.
- Can we have a cookie, please? - asked the little blue bear.
- Yes, but as long as it's just one - said the old bear with a big smile of affection on her lips.
The little female bear was about to snatch her cookie when a mischievous monkey emerged from the treetop shading the table, and, hanging its tail, took the candy from the girl's hands and quickly returned to the branch.
- Playful! - cried the girl - That's not fair.
- I just want to eat a cookie - he said in a friendly way - What harm is in this?
- But you need not have taken the cookie from Hugs - said a blue dog, who approached - That's ugly, very ugly.
- Oh, Loyal, go find your bones buried, or roll in the mud to amuse yourself, and leave me with my amusements... - mocked the mocking monkey, while still smiling, and returned the candy to the little pink bear.
From his makeshift hiding place, Confidence accompanied everything with great interest. In addition to everything she had seen, she was even more astonished now, for she was seeing a large family united. Each of them, with their differences, tolerated the other and did not argue. They really loved each other. And this was something new for the fennec, which always grew up in a competitive environment to see who the best was. Only in battles did his group usually join in a common goal, but otherwise, they always argued, rarely sitting down all to talk amicably.
But with those bears, that was the rule, the love and the companionship. If one day the saying "one for all, all for one" had made sense to Confidence, it was at that moment that she saw for the first time the group to whom she should somehow join. The problem was knowing how.
Fortunately, the fox was not easy to give up, as his name already said, and so she watched the bears and cousins at that picnic, how they acted, how they talked, who their leaders were, and their customs. At the end of the day she saw that the bears had said good-bye and left, but the so-called cousins stayed in the forest, and following them she reached the small village where they lived.
Determined to stay close to them to study how to approach, Confidence set up camp in a safe and near place. Without a sleeping bag, but taking advantage of the softness of the floor, she just stretched out her kimono and lay down, using one of his changes of clothes as a blanket, and quickly fell asleep under that beautiful mantle of stars that formed in the sky.
The next morning the fox awoke at dawn. It was only when she got up that she realized she also had no matches to make fire or groceries for breakfast.
- This is for me to learn not to hurry... - she told herself reproachfully.
Fortunately, fruits abounded around her, and soon she had eaten some cherries and an apple to fill her stomach. After that, he packed his things in his backpack, for he did not want to leave anything behind that revealed his presence there, and went to watch the little village where the cousins of the bears lived. No one had awakened yet, and so Confidence had decided to do something else.
Quickly the fox headed for the nearby creek, and there arriving, began to take off the clothes. Since no one had woken up, no one would have seen her taking a shower. After removing all the clothes, but still covered with the skins and hair, the young fennec threw herself into the water, then stripped naked. Upon entering the creek, she realized that the water was not cold, but of a hot temperature, excellent for bathing. Taking the soap she had placed in her backpack, the young woman washed herself thoroughly, as well as washing her clothes and socks, which she hung in a nearby bush. Only close to getting out of the bath did she remember that she had not taken any towel to dry.
- And now? - she asked herself again, as she stepped out of the water and cowered on the bank, not to be fully exposed.
Going to her backpack again, she grabbed her karate kimono and wiped herself with it, something Confidence did not like very much, but she had no choice. Leaving her fighting garment also hung in the next bush to dry, she covered herself with her natural skins again and took a short-sleeved blouse and pants. He was going to start dressing them when he realized something interesting.
If she learned from childhood to dress like a human, even though she did not need because of your natural coat, that group of bears did not have that habit. Some even wore some sort of clothing, such as coats, caps and even shoes, but the vast majority wore only their natural fur. If Confidence wanted to enter better with the group, not wearing human clothes was already the first step, because it would avoid too many explanations. For a few moments she wondered if she would do this or if it was better to wear her clothes, but decided on the first option, and after overcoming the initial shame of not getting dressed, she became accustomed to walking only with her natural coats, which had a very beautiful color.
Of course this took a few days, days she also used to watch the other bears, without them noticing. Contrary to what the young woman thought, they also quarreled, argued, and had powerful enemies who wanted the destruction of that family, but their love and feelings were always stronger than all this, something that surprised the fennec more and more.
She saw that they wore different objects, had cars made of cloud, embraced each other to show happiness, and some even had some sense of passion for others in the group. Another thing she saw and found interesting was that they also had those symbols in their belly, and they seemed to know what it was and how to use it.
For more than three weeks, she had followed up as much as possible the lives of those she was supposed to join without raising much suspicion, being that she took the time to invent a story for her life and to refine it to the maximum extent possible, to tell when she was asked where she came from and how she got there. All she needed was the opportunity for her to introduce herself to the clan.
This soon appeared. One morning she noticed that in the village of the cousins were gathered Braveheart Lion, Noble Heart Horse (which she had already perceived to be one of the leaders) and the bears Grumpy, Friend and Secret, talking about something from the Forest of Feelings, which It the name of the place. They spoke excitedly and loudly enough for the female fennec to hear with their audition.
- So I can count on you at the family reunion today? - Noble asked for Braveheart - You know this is very important to us...
- Of course you can - said the lion majestically - Though I am busy with the children on earth, I can have that afternoon to preside over the Care Bears Family meeting.
- Presiding over the meeting? - Tenderheart asked, surprised - I thought I would do that.
- Well, the leader presides over a meeting, and that's me - said Braveheart.
- No, it's me, I'm leader - Tenderheart said again.
It was when Secret raised his hand as if asking for the word, and made some incomprehensible signals toward Noble Heart. Confidence did not understand what it meant because she was far away, but soon she realized that even those who were together in Secret had not understood him.
- That's not working, Secret - said Friend Bear with a giggle - Tell me what you mean.
And the bear of secrets, as it was dubbed, whispered in Friend's ear, which smiled and turned to the others saying:
- He just wants to say that since Nobleheart is the eldest and the founder of the Care Bears Cousins clan, he heads the meeting along with True Heart.
- I wanted to know when I'm going to chair a meeting - Grumpy complained with scowling face, as always - I think I have the competence to do that.
- It's not a question of competence - Nobleheart said softly - It's a matter of dealing with the situation.
- And having competence is what? - Grumpy questioned angrily.
- "This one and Anger Heart would certainly get along very well" - thought the fox, laughing at the scene and wondering what the grumpy bear's meeting with her brother Anger Heart would look like. But then she shook her head, and decided it was time to introduce herself. She had already hidden her backpack where she could, at a next picnic, pick her up without arousing suspicion. And taking into account that one of the founders and the principals of the group were there, it was a good time to finally approach, sure that everything would work out. Still, even with that thought, she could not help but feel a chill in her belly.
The small group was still talking excitedly about their plans for that afternoon, when Secret Bear noticed that a stranger female was slowly approaching them. As it was his habit to say nothing, he took Friend's arm and tried to get his attention.
- Not now, Secret - said the bear, without paying attention to your friend, and returning to the subject.
But the bear of the secrets did not give up catching the attention of the others, and grabbing the arm of Friend Bear, took his head and turned it to the side where it came to the stranger.
- Hey! - Friend Bear complained – Damn it Secret, want to break my ne...
That was when he too saw the approach of that girl he had never seen before. Now everyone had noticed her, and they were silent, surprised and following with their eyes.
- Who will she be? - Tenderheart asked - I've never seen her before...
- And it's a Care Bear Cousin - Braveheart said - There's no question about that.
- Of course there's no doubt about it - Grumpy said irritably - But what species is hers?
- A fox fennec - replied Noble - As she comes here, I think our doubts will be answered quickly.
And with that, he stepped forward, toward the approaching young woman.
- Hi, my dear, who are you? - asked the horse, with a smile on his face.
- My name is Confidence Heart, and you?
- I am Noble Heart Horse, and these here are Braveheart Lion, Grumpy Bear, Tenderheart Bear, Secret Bear and Friend Bear. And this is the Forest of Feelings.
- Nice to meet you - the fennec said, struggling not to reveal that she already knew all this - You are Care Bears and Care Bears Cousins, are not you?
- Just like you! - Tenderheart replied cheerfully - Or don't you know who you it is?
- Actually, I didn't really know until some time ago.
Noble stepped closer to Confidence and smiled.
- How did you get here? Certainly not the way we do, for I would know... Where did you come from?
- From Canada - the female fennec replied sadly - I lived with my older brother in a house in west of the country. We were very happy, although we were different, he a human and I a fennec, but we got along very well... Until one day he... He died in an accident...
- He died in an accident? - Braveheart asked in surprise - But what happened to him?
Confidence was an excellent actress, and to stop the conversation, she pretended she would start crying if she continued to speak, feigning a sob of emotion. That was enough for Tenderheart to elbow in Braveheart, rebuking him for his indiscreet question.
- I'm sorry for what happened to you - Noble said, putting his hand on Confidence's shoulder - But what did you do next? And how did you get here?
- After my brother died, I didn't know what to do - continued the fox, inventing her story - So I decided to leave where I lived, not to be sadder for my brother's lack. I wandered for several months through the country until one night when, tired, hungry and cold, the Great Wishing Star appeared before me, as she introduced herself to me...
- Did the Great Wishing Star appear to you?!? - Friend Bear exclaimed in shock.
- That's a privilege for a few! - Noble Heart commented, also admired - And what she said to him?
- She revealed to me that I was a Care Bear Cousin, and that I should join you in the place where you lived. So a portal of light opened before me, and the Great Wishing Star told me to pass through it. When I did, I came to stop here, and I think it's the most beautiful place in the world.
- Surely the Forest of Feelings is one of the most beautiful places, just like Care-a-Lot - pondered Noble - That's where the bears live, and I too, with my wife True Heart Bear - he explained, seeing the fox's surprised face - When did you get here?
- A few days ago - Confidence replied again - But I've only been able to find them today. And I'm very happy about that - she added, being that she was truly happy to be able to finally approach them.
- Welcome, then - said Friend Bear, approaching with a smile on his lips - I'm sure you'll be very happy here.
- Come with us so we can introduce you to the others - Noble Heart said, nodding to the fennec fox.
Confidence was feeling very different, it was something she had never felt before and could not even explain. Maybe it was happiness, excitement, or affection. The fact was that it seemed that his heart had warmed up with the words of the new friends. Without hesitation, she followed the horse to the cloud car that was standing nearby. As soon as he got into in the vehicle, Noble Heart started the car and took off for the bears' village through the midst of the clouds, flying.
- Wow! This is cool! - she exclaimed, as soon as she saw herself flying in the air.
- Have not you flown before? - asked Noble with a smile.
- This way not. After all, it's the birds and planes that fly, not cars.
- This one's flying. Buckle up and hold on.
Looking around, the fennec could see the great forest, the rivers, the mountains, and all that his eye could see. It was a beautiful place, the words could not describe. All she could do was enjoy the scenery and the explosion of new sensations she was feeling. That was when she realized that Friend, Secret and Grumpy were in another cloud car, right behind them.
- We'll have a meeting in the afternoon, all the residents of the Kingdom of Caring - Noble Heart explained - It's a great time for you to introduce yourself to everyone, and you will see that it will be most welcome.
- Thank you - said the young woman, smiling.
- May I ask how your brother died? Or would you rather not touch that point...
Confidence knew that this point needed to be clarified, and she had prepared very well for any possible questions that might come. Looking sad, she explained that one night her brother had been run over in the street next to the house where they lived, and he died at once.
- I could not even attend the funeral, or else I would be captured like a wild animal... - she said sadly, realizing that she was a really good actress - So I moved, not to remember what had happened.
- I'm sorry for what happened - Noble Heart said sadly - I promise we will not talk about it until you feel recovered.
Moments later, the forest had been replaced by a large cloud, but different from normal clouds. It seemed like a cloud of dreams, where anything can happen. It was there that bears' village was, it was Care-a-Lot. The village was not as small as Confidence thought, having many houses and public buildings.
- Wow! This is incredible! - exclaimed the fox - How many bears live here?
- Besides the 11 care bears cousins who live in the forest, there are 28 residents here - the horse replied as he landed the cloud car beside others of the same model - I'll introduce you to them this afternoon, but first I want you to meet my wife True Heart.
Confidence did not know what to feel or think. The sidewalks of the place were rainbows, the houses were made of solid clouds of love, and the trees grew in the cloud itself as if they were on earth. There was an amusement park for adults and children, and little birds danced happily alongside little stars and little hearts flying from here and there.
The horse quickly led the new inhabitant of the Kingdom of Caring to the residence where he lived with True Heart. His wife was busy making lunch and a little of the house service, since in the afternoon she would have the meeting of the bears and she could not miss.
- True, we arrived - the female bear heard her husband's voice as he opened the door.
- Ah, Noble, you have managed to find Forest Ranger Jaguar to invite you to the meeting... - she began, as she entered the room and saw that there was an unknown fox there.
- No, I could not find him, and you know how Forest Ranger is - Noble Heart replied with a smile, adding - True Heart, this is Confidence Heart Fennec.
The female bear stared steadily at the fennec fox, so the young woman felt even uncomfortable. But deep down it was True Heart who was uncomfortable. There was something familiar about that young woman, terribly familiar, and something unusual in her eyes which made Confidence seem suspicious, in the eyes of the bear.
- Nice to meet you, Confidence - True Heart began with a little coldness - Where did you come from?
- I lived on earth, and... - Confidence told that invented story again, just as she'd told Noble before, doing her best to be sad, moved, and upset about his supposed past. When she finished, she could see that the horse was also sad to hear it, but the female bear looked a little suspicious, which was not good.
- If what counts is really true, I'm sorry for what happened to you, and let's not deal with it any more - said True Heart dryly - What about your biological parents?"
- Guys, is lunch ready? - Grumpy asked as he entered the room - The meeting it will start soon, and we're still here.
- Grumpy is right, my dear - Noble nodded seriously, not liking that question from his wife to the newcomer girl - Besides we can leave to ask more questions for Confidence at the time of the meeting.
Saved by the bell. That's how the fox felt when Grumpy cut off the conversation. Of all that Confidence thought, she did not think a story for his parents, or an excuse not to know about it. This interruption would serve for her to think about it quietly.
The fennec fox had lunch with Noble, True and Grumpy, and during the meal they said little about the new inhabitant of the Kingdom of Caring. In fact, she even preferred it, because she loved the food. Crafty and Sweet Heart could cook very well, but their food did not reach the feet of the one that the fennec ate now, so well made and delicious it was. Besides, nothing was made with meat, only with vegetables, dairy products, pasta and sweets. This detail that they had not eaten any flesh had escaped her when she watched over the bears.
Shortly after lunch, the founders took Confidence to the Hall of Hearts, a large heart-shaped building in the middle of the village. It was here that the meetings of the bears and cousins were held. And as Braveheart, Tenderheart, Friend Bear, and Secret Bear were already there, surely the rumor that a new friend had appeared had spread to the others, as they all looked at the young woman curiously as she entered through the door.
- Come with me and sit by my side - Noble Heart said softly to the female fennec.
Going to the headboard of a large heart-shaped table, Noble took the central position, with True sitting on the right and Confidence on the left. Tenderheart and Braveheart argued a little to see who would sit next to the fennec, but they realized Grumpy had already sat there. Beside True Heart sat Grams Bear, who stared deeply at the fennec, with the same feeling True Heart had moments before. The others also sat down, staring at the new companion with welcoming, curious smiles. When all were seated, the horse stood up and began to speak.
- My sons, we are once again meeting here to deal with our goals of combating evil and caring for all - he said - I must say that I am happy for the work we are all doing, especially Amigo Bear, who ends up being the only of us who carries out missions in countries which do not speak English. But everyone is to be congratulated, because even with the increase of the missions in the last years, we always carry them out.
- Well, if this is happening, it's because we know how to set up our missions - Tenderheart said with a smile - Not to mention that the children we help also help us spread love.
- And besides, we have Cubot's support in handing out the chores - said a raccoon across the table.
- Speaking of which, why is not he here? - a pink elephant asked.
- Oh, you know how Cubot is shy, Lotsa. Not to mention that he is not ready to attend these meetings.
- It would be good for him to be here, since this meeting will be special - Noble said - I don't need to tell you why, everyone is already seeing why.
And looking at the newcomer, he turned again to the others and continued:
- Our lives are always surprising, because with each passing day new adventures happen. But I must confess that today my surprise was more than gigantic. It's good that this is for a good thing, because a new friend is always something good. That's why I want to introduce you to Confidence Heart Fennec.
- Welcome, Confidence Heart - they all said in unison, showing happiness and surprise, which made her blush with embarrassment, something she had never felt before.
- We hope you're welcome here with us - said a green female bear.
- Make yourself at home now - said another bear, yellow.
And everyone in the room said something of welcome to Confidence, who heard everything with a big smile on her lips, ever more surprised by the sympathy and friendship of those bears and cousins who had barely heard of her.
- I'm very happy to know that I can be considered your friend - she finally said - You can be sure that I'm enjoying it.
- Why, we love to make friends and cultivate them - said a young pink bear, who introduced herself as Love-a-Lot, Tenderheart's girlfriend.
- That is most important for a Care Bear, having friendships with many people and being able to help them - said Friend Bear - And you can be considered our new friend.
- Además de que ustedes una mujer joven y bella (Besides you're a very pretty young woman) - said another bear in Spanish, who had introduced himself as Amigo Bear, the Care Bears' interpreter.
- What? - Confidence asked without understanding a word the other had said.
- Just that you're a very pretty young woman - Amigo Bear repeated in English, with a smile on his face.
- How did you get here? - asked a young lamb named Gentle Heart.
The fox then recounted the story he had invented, and each time he counted, she improved the details a little more. Everyone was surprised when she said she had won her tummy symbol from the Great Wishing Star itself, not from Nobleheart, True Heart or Tenderheart, who also had the gift of giving the symbol to any new member of the Care Bears Family. And for obvious reasons, Confidence would not tell her that it was Sage Heart who had given her his symbol.
Little by little each bear and cousin asked a question for Confidence, like what she liked to eat, what she thought of Care-a-Lot, how she had come here, how she lived on earth, what her favorite word, among other things. When they learned that she supposedly had a brother, they wanted to know what had happened to him, but Nobleheart quickly gave them the impression that it was not a subject to be touched. It was a taboo, as were various subjects among the bears themselves. But when it was True Heart's turn to ask a question, she decided to repeat the same question she had asked before and she had no answer.
- Tell me, my dear, what happened to your biological parents? - asked the matriarch bear, with a gleam of mistrust deep in her eyes.
- I never heard of my real parents, and my foster parents died shortly after I was adopted by them - she replied, having to lie in pieces - I was raised by this brother, he was the only family I had ...
Deep down, Confidence was saddened that she did not know what had really happened to her biological parents, not even knowing who they were, their names, and why they left her behind. A tear formed in her eyes, but she held herself so she would not cry. Noble stared at his wife seriously, as if he was very upset. After a few seconds in silence, it was Bedtime Bear's turn to ask something to the fox, yawning, for he was sleeping by day.
- What do you enjoy doing the most?... - he asked, falling asleep shortly after.
- It certainly not to sleep like him - joked Funshine Bear.
- Well, what I like to do most is to practice martial arts - said the female fennec - I'm very good at karate and therefore, poor of him who strive with me.
That was a surprise to everyone, since there were few bears and cousins who practiced some kind of martial art or knew how to fight without being with the Stare. And the fact that Confidence was good at it shocked them all even more.
- Besides fighting, what else do you do? - asked Aqua Bear - I, for example, when I'm not on mission or training, I love to go swimming and...
- And play tickling with Lonesomeheart, Redemption and Shimmers - Playful Heart added maliciously, making everyone laugh.
- Well, since everyone likes to tease me, saying I only think of tickling, I change my question - said the sea bear mischievously - What do you think about tickling friends?
Confidence's eyes widened in surprise at this question, since this was a subject she had never thought of before.
- Honestly I do not know - she replied with a giggle - I've never been tickled or tickled anyone before. This is really a subject for which I do not have an answer...
- Well it's good even if you have not - said the monkey with a wink - Aqua, Lonesome and Redemption are obsessed with tickling, and they just want to find out your weaknesses and then tickle you for weeks without respite.
- You also do not have to overdo Playful Heart. We are not so obsessed with tickling others up to that point... Well... Maybe a little... But surely we would wait a little longer to do this with the newbie...
Everyone laughed at that sincere comment made by Aqua, including the fighter herself, who actually thought it was just a Playful Heart joke.
- Well, I guess I'll beware to not showing my weaknesses - she said calmly, winking at the dolphin bear - That way, you'll never get a chance to torture me with tickles. Next question?
It was Shimmeringstar Bear's turn to ask. He had been silent most of the time, staring in the direction of the desert fox, listening to her answers and observing her attitudes, since he had felt something different about her. But not sentimentally, in fact magically. It was as if Confidence was hiding some sort of inner magic, which was reacting lightly to the swordsman's magic. But he decided not to ask anything about it, not to make the newcomer reveal something she might not be ready to expose to others.
- What would you do to protect Care Bear Family in case it is being threatened by a mortal danger? - he asked curiously - Are you ready to work in groups with all the other bears and cousins, risking your life to save your friends?
- Of course, I'll do whatever it takes to protect you - she said confidently, looking into Shimmers' eyes, which smiled slightly and nodded, demonstrating that she liked the answer.
- And back to Aqua's original question, what do you do when you're not fighting? - Bright Heart asked curiously - For example, when I'm not inventing, I like to watch serials and movies on television. And you?
- I only fight, I have no other amusements.
- Never play, then?
- The fight it's enough for me. Besides that through it I can play too.
- And what do you fight so hard for, girl? - asked Noble Heart, with a surprised smile and raised eyebrows.
- Where I lived, I participated several times in karate competitions, and I won first with a lot of advantage every time - Confidence said, and that was true - I love to train the fight, to exercise, to eat well, to get up early...
- So you're a sportswoman. Do you have the strength to challenge me?
Who asked this question was a bear with tangerine-colored fur, dressed in a red coat and a strip of the same color on his head. Its symbol was a trophy, and in its expression there was something of challenge and competition. He was just a teenager close to turning eighteen.
- In fact, I think it will be very interesting in the next "Fair of the Caring" see Champ, Swift Heart and Confidence competing for the first place - Bright Heart commented.
- You know that in a lot of sports I can’t reach Champ, just in the race - Swift Heart Rabbit commented with a smile and a cheery ear - I want to see Champ win Confidence in karate, and she win Champ in baseball.
- You're right, that would be an interesting thing to see - said Cheer Bear, who took Champ's hand and smiled at him, showing everyone there was more than a simple friendship between the two.
Confidence grinned defiantly at the sportsman.
- Well, I accept your challenge - she said - I think we're going to get on very well.
- I think so too, a fan of the sport - agreed Champ with a smile - But more important than winning is competing, always remember that.
The fox smiled at that, finally finding someone who liked sports as much as she did, and he was as confident of winning as she was. Here was a big challenge for the young fennec to win. Glancing back at Champ, she smiled and said,
- I'm very happy to meet you, Champ Bear.
- And I say the same, Confidence Heart... - he began, smiling.
- "Confidence. Confidence Heart! Hello! Are you listening to me?"...
Confidence heard Hector's voice right behind her and it was as if she had been pulled out of a dream or daydream, returning to reality and turning toward her friends. The boy and Bright Heart still held Champ, who was snorting on the floor with the laugh of tickling.
- What happened? - she asked, smiling.
- What world were you in? - asked the raccoon - We had to call you several times for you to hear us.
- I was just thinking, remembering some things that have happened in my life - she explained - Sometimes you can lose yourself in memories and reflections.
- A pity you did not help us in the tickling in Champ - Hector joked - And he was enjoying it very much...
Upon hearing this, the bear pulled his legs away from the two friends, and flinched to protect the body.
- That's because Bright Heart did not want to play - the sportsman said, still panting -But I thank Confidence for not helping them.
- Well, I should have, because you three have tickled me - the female fennec said with a big smile - But I'm going to give a teaspoon to the poor little bear who not can withstand tickle.
- Hey! - Champ complained with a smile on his face as they all laughed at that. That's when Hector looked at his wristwatch and saw that it was almost 4 p.m.
- Oh my God! It's too late, I need to go home - the boy said - Or my father will suspect I was with you.
- What's the problem? - Bright Heart asked.
- Let’s just say my father doesn't like you very much.
- Don't like? How can he not like it? Everybody likes.
- Even No Heart? - Champ questioned ironically, causing the raccoon to think for a moment.
- We're going to take him home, Hector - Confidence said, standing up.
- It was a pleasure to meet you, Bright Heart - the boy said goodbye after putting on his socks and shoes and picking up the school bag that was in the corner of the room.
- I say the same, Hector - the raccoon said excitedly, shaking his new friend's hand.
A little later the two sportsmen and the boy went out on the street. It was with surprise that they saw Grumpy bringing the car of the teenagers, repaired.
- Now you don't have to use my car any more, I fixed yours - said the Grumpy bear seriously - I hope you take good care of him, Champ, and do not do pirouettes. Where's my car?
- In the parking lot next to the observatory - Champ said, picking up the car keys from the teenagers.
- You didn't knock and you didn't even play at the wheel, do you? - Grumpy questioned more seriously than before.
- Oh, well... I mean... - stammered the sportsman.
- What did you do with my car?!? - Grumpy demanded, his dark blue fur turning purple with anger.
- Now is not the time, Grumpy - Confidence interrupted, pushing Champ and Hector for into the vehicle - Another time you two can talk about traffic laws, and the like. C'mon Champ!
And without wasting time, the bear started the car and left without a word, leaving the blue bear unmoved and unresponsive.
- How can he do that? - he asked himself.
- Relax Grumpy, in the background Champ is a good driver and he must have done nothing wrong in his car - said Bright Heart, who received a questioning look from his friend, which made him complete - Or rather, almost nothing...
The path that Champ followed to earth was much shorter than he had done in the morning, in order to save time. This trip it took only three minutes, and it was much more radical than the previous trip, and for all that Confidence had done in the company of his friend during that mission.
In order not to lose time, this time the car was parked in front of the gate of the boy's house, who jumped from the vehicle and looked at his two friends.
- I loved meet the Kingdom of Caring - he said - I don't know how to thank you.
- How about that challenge of kicking the ball 100 times for goal? - Champ joked with a wink.
- When you want, and if I score more than 50 goals then you'll have an hour of tickling - the boy replied maliciously, making Champ blush - Seriously, I don't know how to thank you.
- No need to thank us - said Confidence - And we'll see each other again tomorrow. Or don't you want us to talk to your friends?
- Of course I want. Although I think it will not solve much...
- Go to work, trust us - the fennec said with the utmost certainty of the world - Now go home, or your father will come and he will find us here.
After the three of them said goodbye, the boy ran into his house, while Champ and Confidence departed with the cloud car back to Care-a-Lot. They did not even realize that there was an old man sitting on one of the benches in the square in front of Hector's house, and that he slept deeply...
Frank woke up with his own snort and choked on his saliva. In fact, his mouth was dry, and soon he took a sip of water that he carried in a bottle. It was then that he realized that the day was ending.
- Damn it! - he exclaimed disappointed that he had slept in his wake.
Looking at Calvin's house, he saw that some lights were already on. If anything had happened, he lost while he was asleep, but what could he do? He had grown tired of hiding behind the thickets, and as he sat down to rest for a while, he drifted off to sleep.
But if your mission went awry that day, there was still to know if Jason had gotten anything in Batovi, where he should have already arrived and be consolidating himself in the station staff, where he would stay to carry out his orders...