They say to save the best till last, so here he is. Introducing Bear number 3...Mr Grizzly Bear, my partner, Colin.
Squirrel has been sent on her way by Spectacled Bear to build her own house for the winter. She's very determined, but the snow is closing in fast. Whilst trying to lift herself out of a panic of impending doom, Grizzly Bear spots the Squirrel-in-need and launches himself in her direction with a very serious look on his face indeed.
Colin spots when I'm in need of help, especially when I'm too afraid to ask for it. He'll throw himself into any task with his game face on.
Making this book would have been so much harder without his willingness to stay up late into the night sharing his photoshop wisdom, being chief technical support on filming and computer equipment, and giving honest feedback on my drawings. As well as making me thousands of cups of tea. I am so grateful.
But as Grizzly Bear approaches, Squirrel is terrified of the unfamiliar bear.
When Colin and I first met, I fell for him very quickly. He was so wonderful to me. He treated me like a queen and openly expressed his affection. It was all amazing. Too amazing.
I couldn't believe that a flighty Squirrel like me was deserving of such an awesome Grizzly Bear. I doubted his love for me and pushed him away. I focussed on his quirks and imperfections, when really I was afraid to let him truly love me, for the flawed person that I am.
Soon, Squirrel realises that appearances are deceptive. She sees that Grizzly Bear just wants to make a friend. She also sees that he wants to help her, even though she's an imperfect Squirrel. Grizzly Bear sees past her flighty flaws and is inspired to help her overcome them.
After a while, I realised what it really meant to be human, and how to love another human: We're all imperfect. We're all the same. We just want to be one-with.
His quirks are my quirks. His weirds are my weirds. Grizzly Bear or Squirrel, it doesn't matter. Deep down we're the same. We just have to choose to love each other for exactly who we are.
So I chose to fully love Colin, for exactly who he is. And I chose to believe that he loved me back.
Grizzly Bear helps Squirrel build her house, and they become great friends. Helping Squirrel makes Grizzly Bear really happy.
Colin actually helped me decorate my whole flat before I moved in with him and rented it out, which made me super happy. And seeing me happy makes him super happy. It's a win win win.
I never used to believe Colin when he'd tell me he actually enjoyed helping me. But now I choose to believe it. And it has brought us so much closer together. Because I know that he helps me because he loves me. What more could a Squirrel hope for?