Ah me, ah my. Dear officers, I’m afraid my precious items have been absconded with. I believe the robbers did the crime—yawn—while I was not awake.

It happened like this. I had taken my chair beside the fire. A green armchair with golden trim. Quite a lovely spot to sit in. It always helps me drift off to Dreamland. Perhaps the thieves knew how comfy my chair is. They tiptoed around me, stuffing their pouches and pockets with my trinkets and tokens. Oh, I could rip them apart limb from limb! (I am, of course, a bear.) But I shall let anger wear me out. I will find myself dozing off in your constable station if I’m not careful.

The criminals must have also found it easy to sneak around me, due to the rug, and fireplace, and radio. My rug, covered in purple flowers, is laid out on the floorboards and muffles sound completely. I do not know what it is made of. But my grandmother said it is the kind of rug that occupies the most pleasant rooms in the world. I suppose she did not consider how it might benefit thieves in the middle of the night. Oh, well.

The charming fireplace, of course, crackles gently and with consistency. It might easily cover up whispers of, “Over there!” and “Good job casing the joint, Paulie!” Whatever other sounds they made would definitely be masked by the radio. Before I slip off to my chair, I like to turn the robin’s egg-blue unit to a station that exclusively plays 1930's love songs. If I were not filing a police report right now, I’d say my evenings are those of endless comfort!

I must confess, if the robbers were here in front of me right now, I would likely eat them up! But then I remember I’m still full from the tea, muffins, and jelly I had on the chairside table before I went to sleep. So I think I would only eat half of them. Or perhaps I'd eat half of each person.

I know what you are thinking. You are wondering, “What could a bear possibly own that’s so valuable to make half a dozen thieves risk being mauled from a bear dozing off in the middle of the room, unmistakable in his blue pale nightshirt and jaunty, bright red sleeping cap?” I will tell you. It is not my nature to discuss this topic. I would like to maintain the image people have of me, as a simple, country bear who sleeps in a humble cottage with plain walls and wooden window lattices. But there are more than just lattices visible inside that main room window square. There are a trio of jewel-toned, slender vases.

These are not just any vases. These vases have been appraised by a Sotheby’s expert. They determined that these objects arrived in my home from far-away antiquity. Further review would be needed to nail the region of their origin. But I’ve been told that together, they would fetch, easily, half a million dollars. These are the vases I believe the thieves traveled here for, and what I'm missing tonight.

How did a bear like me come by these treasures? I rather wouldn’t explain, more than I once had an altercation in a clearing with some Saudi oil magnates on vacation, and was feeling quite peckish. Suffice to say it was all rather sordid.

My greater regret is, of course, laying them out on the windowsill, not hidden away, but out in the open for every passerby to see. I think when you are an apex predator, and also a sleepy sort of fella, it is easy to become complacent. You think, “You are a bear that lives in a house and sleeps by a fire, what would happen to you that’s bad?” Pride before the fall, and all that.

There is one more question you are likely asking yourself: what about the cat? Is he capable of thought and speech like I am? If so, could he be in on it? Or is he a victim, like myself? These are all questions that I also have. The cat has never spoken to me. Until tonight, I thought he was an ordinary housecat, who added to the coziness of the room. However, looking back I recall he has spent a great deal of time with his back turned to me, and many nights gazing at my vases.

This, officers, is a line of inquiry I must take upon myself. I trust you understand my meaning.


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