I use Facebook a lot. Too much, like most of us. But every once in a great while, the big blue time suck does produce something that sparks some interest, curiosity, or change.

This fantastic piece of art – called “Sweet Halloween Dreams” – was one such something, drawn by the oh-so-talented Alex Panagop (find him here on DeviantArt). Click on the pic for the full-size image on his DeviantArt site.

Teddy bears have been a fixture of American children’s lives since the first one was created in 1902 by Morris Michtom, an immigrant who modeled the new toy after a bear in a political cartoon featuring then-President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt. Originally called “Teddy’s bear”, the toy was wildly successful.

Read the whole wiki entry on teddy bears here.

Since those early days over a hundred years ago, the teddy bear has inspired love and peaceful slumber from millions of children the world over. They’re dragged around by the arms – often falling apart – but they mean the world to “their” children, and many a tear has been shed over their loss – real or imagined.

So when I saw this art on Facebook, with the clever caption “Teddy Bears – Protecting innocent children from monsters under the bed since 1902,” I immediately had the idea for a story.

Shocker, I know.

What if it wasn’t just this one teddy bear protecting the sleeping child? What if the legions of stuffed bears the world over weren’t “invented” at all? What if they’d been born for this? What would their story be, after more than a hundred years?

So, with those questions in mind, I came up with the beginnings of my first children’s series:

He was a good teddy bear, as such things were measured, hardly ever letting a monster-under-the-bed close enough to haunt the dreams of his child.

I’d like to collaborate with Alex on this idea. His art and my words could make a lot of children’s imaginations run wild. Stay tuned for more updates on “The Adventures of Freddy McPhane, Teddy Bear”.