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There you go, Benji.
Hello, I'm Alex. I was just putting Benji Bear to bed.
Is your teddy ready for bed?
Good. In tonight's bedtime story, Arthur the teddy bear loves bedtime.
The story is called Bedtime Without Arthur,
by Jessica Meserve.
Bella has a bear. A very special bear, called Arthur.
He is as brave as a knight. He is as strong as ten elephants.
And he does karate.
When Bella sleeps, Arthur is busy.
He guards the bed and keeps away monsters
that come sneaking from the shadows.
Safe in her bed, Bella dreams of her favourite things,
like rainbows and rainforests.
One morning, Arthur was worn out from so much karate.
Bella made him his favourite breakfast of toast and honey
and then tucked him up snug in bed.
That evening, when the moon had risen full and white,
Bella went to her room, to give Arthur a slice of pizza for supper.
Bella pulled back the quilt and...
He was gone. Bella searched and searched.
Bella's mum looked upstairs.
Bella's dad looked downstairs.
Bella's brother Finlay looked worried.
None of them could find Arthur anywhere.
Mum said, "We'll find him tomorrow."
Dad said, "He'll turn up."
Finlay said, "Sorry."
But Bella didn't believe them. Her lip trembled as she climbed into bed.
Bella couldn't sleep.
She was sure there were monsters watching and waiting.
Bella squeezed her eyes tight shut.
She fell asleep, dreaming of fire-breathing dragons,
slugs and grizzly bears.
In the morning, Bella was exhausted.
She couldn't juggle. Even the ice cream didn't cheer her up.
And at bedtime, there was still no sign of Arthur.
The wind began to blow and howl. Bella woke with a start.
She saw things looming and scratching at the glass.
Bella leapt out of bed and ran as fast as she could
across the hallway into her brother's room.
Finlay was sound asleep.
Bella began climbing into his cot.
Peeking from under the blanket, she saw the tip of a soft, furry nose.
It was Arthur!
Bella was so happy to see him.
But she was very angry with her brother for taking him.
She grabbed Arthur and started back to her room.
Left all alone, Finlay was afraid.
"Monsters!" he cried.
Bella pretended not to listen.
"Serves him right!" she thought, as she reached the door.
Bella looked back at her brother.
She saw Finlay's eyes wide and full of tears.
And her anger melted away.
Bella realised that Finlay needed Arthur more than she did.
Finlay wasn't nearly as strong and brave as she was.
Bella took Arthur back to Finlay and tucked them both up in bed.
"Don't be scared, Finlay. Arthur will look after you."
Bella felt braver and braver with each step she took back to her room.
When at last she climbed into bed, Bella felt as brave as a knight.
All the monsters shook with fear and fizzled into nothing.
That night, Bella slept long and deep,
and dreamt of all her favourite things.
And so did Finlay.
Well, it's time for you to go to sleep, Benji.
And for you too. Night-night.
Hope you have wonderful dreams, just like Bella and Finlay.
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