So; I tried interviewing Albert but he wouldn’t have it.   He eventually gave me this table:

My HobbiesPlaying the guitarIce skatingRiding the owl busSleepingHaving adventures
SkillsPlaying the guitarHaving adventuresSwimmingClimbingBalancing

And then he said things like “Bit busy at the moment… to meet Knot.”   “Try Dr Belina, she’s much more exciting than me.” “Voley’s got a new menu on, why don’t you try him?”

So that’s what I did, I spoke to all of the other Actuals about Albert and this is what I found.

GI told me the facts.  “Yes, I know Albert, brown bear, curly fur, about the height of a daffodil.  He’s got a round tummy, black shiny eyes and an old green faded jumper.”  “Anything else?” I ask “Yes, his bottom sticks out slightly, allowing him to perch on ledges very well.”

Not really very helpful, I mean, I know all of those things already. So, I tried Voley:

“I’ve got a new menu on you know,” said Voley to start with.

“Yes, it’s very good.” I said.  Voley looked please.  “About Albert,” I nudged.

“Hmmm, always has a good appetite and looks forward to all the new foods and plants coming up through the year, always loves a task or to lend a helping hand to any actual who needs it.   I love his guitar especially, it has a magical quality about it, always smooths out any wrinkles in the air, it does, quite a talent for music.  He could have been the best, you know, but he says he just likes to play for fun. ‘Never gets lonely with a guitar on your back,’ he says and I reckon he’s on to something there.  Must go, that table’s run out of hot acorn, let me know if I can get you something.”

And with that he bustled efficiently off to a better customer.

I decided to go deeper into the Outside and find out what others had to say about Albert:

“A kind, solid, thoughtful, comedy-bear.  Sometimes a bit cautious, sometimes a bit silly but never taking too many risks, unless he has to for his friends, loyal, beyond loyal, to be trusted with anything.”

Ah, there goes Knot.  Knot! A moment if you will.  Can you describe Albert to me.

“Quite impossible! He’s too ubiquitous.”

OK, just give me a couple of tricky things about him.

“Likes tight squeeze cuddles, just not too many.  Sometimes worries about the other Actuals but never fusses about anyone. That’s two things.”

OK, your favourite thing that he’s done tonight.

“He’s wearing his jumper on backwards to stop other Actuals sneaking up on him.  He does it from time to time.  I mean, how can you not love that?”


Our adventure starts!

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