Rain pelted down in a region that craved the life giving wetness. Drought had been a huge problem in the central region of South Africa for many years and farmers would be overjoyed with this downpour. Many of local people would welcome the rain with open arms and be thankful for the break from the incessant dry heat. The recent days of 36 to 40 degrees Celsius had been taking their toll on the populace. However, not everybody welcomed the rain. While the coolness in the air was welcome, the heavy deluge of wetness was not.

The homeless and destitute were among that number. Many of them had their only possessions soaked and, as a result of the wetness, destroyed. Cardboard boxes that were sleeping mats were soggy and ruined. Blankets, which provided the only protection during the night were soaked through and would take a long time to dry out. Huge puddles of water were created from the cloud burst and many were awoken from their sleep with a start.

A small child, who had made the area in a local spruit (cemented river bed) underneath a bridge his home was in a deep sleep as a large amount of water streamed down the spruit and splashed all over him; he was awakened from his nightmarish sleep and momentarily did not know what to do as the water cascaded over him and then flowed around him. He stared down at the cardboard that he had been lying on, as well as the blanket that he was enveloped in, in dismay. They were soaked.

He sat in a hopeless state and didn't even bother to move his possessions from the water. They were already wet and beyond help. He knew that he would not be able to make these items dry any time soon and so sat watching as the water continued to flow around him. He glanced off into the corner of the bottom of the bridge at a light bulb he had stashed there. He didn't know why he had put it there for there was no electricity. Maybe it gave him comfort? Then he jumped up in horror and stared at a soaked teddy bear in his hand. Water dripped from the doll. It was brown in colour, had a misshapen face, one missing eye (with a little stuffing coming out) and forearms that weren't of the same length. His day had not started out well.

Looking at the sky, from underneath the bridge, he noticed that the clouds did not cover the entire sky. The darkest one was overhead and would pass soon. Such was the way of the weather in Bloemfontein. With a sigh he decided to wait the rain out so that he could put his personal items out in the sun to dry. He had no wish of sleeping on or under wet items. Plus, he couldn't bear that his personal teddy would remain wet for so long.

The day had been long and, as predicted, the sun had indeed come out. The boy made his way back to his 'home' so that he could try and get to sleep. Being asleep was the only time that he could escape from the terrors of being alive. He couldn't understand why there was so much hurt and pain in life. His train of thought was broken as he saw some other street children standing in the 'spruit'. As he got closer he saw, to his horror, that they had his belongings in their hands!

"Hey! That's mine!" he shouted and ran to the group.

"Says who?" a churlish boy who was holding his teddy barked back.

"You know it is! This is where I sleep! You guys sleep in the 'back alley' up there." He said as his eyes started to well up with tears.

"Aw, the baby is going to cry again. Fine, take your things!" the churlish boy said and then quickly ripped the head off of the teddy bear that he held and dropped it to the ground.

"NO!" he cried as he lunged at the fallen teddy and.

"C'mon guys, let's leave the crybaby alone!"

"Why?" he sobbed as he cradled the head of the broken bear close to him.

So distraught was he that he didn't even notice that the boys had taken his blankets. He sobbed uncontrollably as he went to sit on a rising underneath the bridge. He cried and cried until he was utterly exhausted.

"Oh Bashful Bear, why?" he asked and then looked up as tears spilled from his red rimmed eyes.

He saw the bulb that he had placed there still hanging loosely from the wall. He stood up, balled his small fist and punched the bulb. It shattered on the impact and pieces of glass flew all over. His fingers were cut from the fine glass and blood seeped from the wounds. With the shattering of the glass it felt as if something else had broken inside of him.

The following day, in the local newspapers, it was reported that people had reported seeing a strange object in a pool of blood underneath of one of the local 'spruit' bridges. Police discovered that the object turned out to be the corpse of a young street child. His wrists had been slit with glass and the head and body of a teddy bear was found cradled close to him. Many sighed and said 'what a shame' before carrying on with their daily lives…