Rosie Harvey writes a Gothic version of The Teddy Bears’ Picnic!

The Teddy Bears’ Picnic

If you go down in the woods today

You’re sure of a big surprise…

The dark canopy of the woods closes around you, and as you delve deeper you realise the brooding shadows on your nocturnal bedroom walls are more than simple figments of your imagination. Your eyes flash past the hanging tendrils of dolls’ luscious locks and the glass eyes of teddy-bears-past. A trail of stuffing leads you closer and closer to the darkness where you know your fate rests and the claws lie in waiting. The putrid scent of moulding fur and saliva stains brings you irresistibly, uncontrollably, monstrously closer. If promises of a thrilling adolescence brought you here, there’s no telling where it will lead you…


If you go down in the woods today

You’d better go in disguise!

A forgotten silver slipper trips you up – another child too old for such trivial things, yet still too young to tidy up after themselves… Some of your hair gets caught on the rough bark of a gnarly twisted hazel, so that you too have fallen victim to the woods. A distant cackling refocuses your hypnotised attention back to the journey – an Odyssey if ever you knew one. As you start back on your travels, you begin to feel…more at home? The alluring silks and piles of tiny, unwanted clothes become more prolific and entice you ever closer…closer…closer… The blast of noise from the plastic train set surprises you, almost as if it were a fog horn cutting through the depths of your subconscious. You feel it now. They are here.


For every bear that ever there was

Will gather there for certain.

You feel a gentle tug at your paw. You look down to your left and see the angelically demonic eyes glaring, gazing at you. The child leads you, pulling at your fur, well-worn and weathered by years of service to The Children, and takes you to the freshly preserved Crayola pentacle. Four other children sit, waiting, the incessant need for toy blood evident in their immortal eyes. Mother comes to bring the tea, a luxurious concoction of milk teeth and her children’s own tears, set out in delicately chipped teacups. The Children stand. You are drawn in until, by their unchanging eyes, you are centred in the points of the sacred star. All at once, slowly at first, then faster, the pulling begins, and true darkness descends.

Today’s the day the teddy bears are the picnic

Rosie Harvey, Year 13