Teddy Smaug stood on the bed in the middle of the night while Princess Bree slept. It was his job to guard the greatest treasure on Earth, the future ruler of a family, the future queen of a household, the future mother of the heirs to the kingdom. Teddy Smaug smiled as he guarded the priceless princess, and a wisp of smoke escaped his smile and left a curl in the air.
A cute curl of smoke, as it should be, in case Princess Bree woke unexpectedly, and saw it. “Has to be cute, so I don’t scare the princess. Always have to make the princess happy.”
Teddy Smaug was so proud to have been reborn to such a purpose.True, he was no longer a giant, armored dragon, with razor sharp talons, and teeth. True no one looked at him and cringed in fear, or prayed to escape his wrath with their lives. But he was OK with that.
“I’m a fire-breathing teddy bear.” His black circle eyes searched the darkness for any threats to the princess. “The knight of the realm.” He studied the floor all around the bed, moving carefully to not wake the princess. “A beloved hero.” He gazed upon Princess Bree. “Protector of the future of the kingdom.”
It was nice to be huggable. To be the one the princess picked up, and hugged when she was happy, and laughing. To hear the stories the princess told of all the things that made her happy. “I’ll never tell your secrets to anyone, Princess. Though they torture me, or flay my soft, fuzzy hide from my tiny body.”
It was a gift from the Universe when the princess was sad, and picked him up, and hugged him, and buried her face in his tummy, and cried her heart out. “I know. Oh, how I know how hard it is to grow up in this nasty world. And I will always be here when you need me. To protect you. And keep you safe from all the dragons, and the black knights.”
He returned to his post beside the pillow on which she rested her head. He blew a smoke ring to make sure his flames were ready if he should need them. He carefully checked each of his tiny claws. “That cat has nothing on me! Ha!” He did have to admit, though, it was certainly tough to let the cat throw him around, and claw away at him. “The things I have to do to remain hidden, so the king and queen won’t notice me.” That was the unspoken law of the guardian of the princess. He must remain hidden, unnoticed by his charge, and by the king and queen. He must be invisible to them. Just a fuzzy, cuddly, little girl’s teddy bear.
It was only as the princess grew, both in stature, and in age, that he could reveal himself. It would take years, but he knew from the long history of the Teddy Bear Knights of the Realm, all Teddy Bears wound up beloved protectors, and friends, of the princesses they defended with their lives. Teddy Smaug looked forward to the day when he was old, maybe with an eye missing, or glued on, with carefully added stitches to close his busted seams here and there. And maybe even a patch. All signs of a successful knighthood. And always, such bears were the most loved of all by their Princesses.
And when the princess became a queen, he would be able to pass on the torch of knighthood to another Teddy Bear Knight who would protect the next princess in the family.
No. Teddy Smaug was not a fierce and mighty dragon any more. He was a beloved Teddy Bear Knight. And he spent that night, as he spent all nights, watching over the most priceless, hidden treasure of the King and Queen. The Princess Bree.