If yOu Go oUT iN thE WoOds ToDAy

You're in for a big surprise. That's how the song goes, isn't it?

Were you ever creeped out by that tune? I always was. I just never knew why till HE came into my life. It was my 3rd birthday when Tufty was bought for me.  My parents had given him to me and said "Here, a new Stuffy for you, tiger. He'll be your best friend and keep you safe at night."  I couldn't pronounce Stuffy, though, and Tufty became his name. 

I didn't know stuffed animals weren't supposed to talk. I mean, Teddy Ruxpin did, right? My parents chuckled sometimes watching me hold conversations with Tufty...kids will be kids, after all. And when Tufty suggested I ask for Teddybear pajamas, complete with hood and tufted ears?  Aaaaaw, so cute....

Then that fateful day came around, for the first time. The song never told you what day it was. But I know...well...it depends where you are from...there are ALOT of TeddyBears after all.  If they all disappeared on the same day, it'd be noticed. They have chapters, scattered around.  Don't look at me that way! I'm not crazy!  First of June, around here. That's the day. The day we sing to our children about. The day Tufty would sing about for a solid week before it came.

Did my parents notice my red eyes and lack of sleep that week? No...too busy washing the car, making sandwiches for book club, watching Lost on TV... That and Tufty made it quite clear what would happen if I told.  Graphically clear. My dog Samson...he never did a thing to anyone...he was still a puppy. I think Tufty was jealous. I spent too much time with him. I still hear him scratching at my window sometimes... yes, my window. Samson was hung from the tree in the backyard, and I had the privilege of seeing his eyes pop from his sockets as he scrabbled desperately against the glass.  And Tufty sang his song, smiling at me.

I was five years old when I was asked to go to the picnic the first time. Probably because that was the time when my parents stopped checking in on me in the middle of the night. He woke me up, and told me to follow him. I walked it seemed like forever till he asked me to pick him up, in front of a house. I knew the house, it belonged to a teen girl who used to babysit in the neighborhood. She'd lost a bit of business when she began dying her hair black, and wearing dog  collars. But she still smiled at us kids when she saw us on the street. Tufty told me to knock on her window.  I should have said no. The look of surprise on her face, and concern...I should have said no...Her parents were gone for the weekend. She came out to take me home. And the whole damn time she got dressed and ready, Tufty sang THAT GODDAMN SONG!

Tufty directed me...I was lost, I had moved to a new house, and I was sleepwalking. That was the story...now I didn't know where I was. She of course offered to backtrack with me when I didn't remember my phone number.  I told her I lived near the park. I swear, I didn't know then why Tufty wanted her. I didn't! 

In the park, I walked along with her...I could hear it clear as day.

"If you go out in the woods today...

you're in for a big surprise...

If you go out in the woods today

you better go in disguise..."

It was then I heard her humming along....she could hear it too? She didn't seem concerned at first, but I saw her frown deepen, and her step falter as she began to look around. Glowing, beady eyes appeared all around as the song grew louder, and what had sounded cheerful before began to sound gravelly, growlly, and...well...just plain evil. I begged Tufty to stop singing...it was scaring me. He scratched me across the face with claws that had not been there a moment ago. "Sing, little bear, sing...or you'll join her. Sing! Or else you'll join your little doggy!"

I sang...I sang as she screamed. I sang as she begged me to save her...they gagged her and trussed her up, an apple in her mouth, and god forgive me, I was relieved that she didn't scream any more...the look in her eyes though, the pain in her face as the flames rose...

The song is wrong in one aspect...the Teddy Bear's picnic is at night, and lasts till 6 am.  And noone collects them at the end. They just go home...and those who know the truth? For it isn't just me. Each chapter picks one. Just one.  The song was written by one, I'm sure. One brave soul that tried to tell everyone before he was disposed of at the age of 11.  For that's how long you have, until you're no longer small enough, or cute enough to bring the next year's offering... That's how long you have before they kill your family and pin it on you. 



CASE FILE #542111112o

Subject had to be sedated. Schizophrenia and a psychotic break suspected.  Tragic at such a young age. One abnormality considering this patient's macabre fantasy is that the subject's teddy bear still sits on the shelf. Any attempt to remove him has caused extreme anxiety in the patient, to the point where sedation is nigh impossible. For this reason, the bear remains. Sometimes, we will hold it, and try to talk to it to illustrate the patient's delusions. Attempts to have the patient hold it or interact with it are met with fear and loathing.

This case intrigues me, and I will have to see what might happen if I remove  the bear while the patient sleeps.  It's a cute thing, really. If the patient responds favourably, I may just give it to my little girl.

----------------------------------------------------------Dr. Emmanuel Goldstein

The End

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