Of Colicky Cubs and Midnight Missions


True Heart Bear was jolted awake at the first wail, and promptly fell out of bed. "Oh, not again…" she sighed. Noble Heart Horse was already on his way to the crib with little Brave Heart's emblem on the headboard. True Heart untangled herself from the blankets and yawned, while Noble Heart lifted the screaming cub in his arms, clicking his tongue consolingly.

For about a week now, little Brave Heart Lion had been suffering from the worst case of colic any of the cubs had ever had. It was bad enough to have him suffer so, but every time he woke up screaming he frightened the other cubs so that they joined in. What a set of lungs on that kid! He always had to be removed from the room, while one of the two guardians got the others quiet again.

"I'll take him, Noble Heart," said the cream-colored bear, holding out her arms, "You were up with him last night."

The horse gratefully deposited the cub into True Heart's waiting arms, and headed back to the other cubs with a yawn as True Heart left.

"Waaaaaah—aahaaaaaaa! WAAAAAAAAH!" the lion cub's voice reverberated off the walls and the ceiling as he was borne away to another section of the cloud castle.

True Heart sat herself down in her rocking chair, massaging Brave Heart's aching tummy. The cub brought his knees up to his belly, then flailed his legs out again, as if trying to kick the pain away. His fists were clenched, and his face was turning a flaming red color as he screamed louder than ever. True Heart's nightshirt became soaked with tears as the cub buried his face in it. He grabbed onto the front of her shirt and tugged angrily at the fabric, pinching her not hard enough to hurt, but hard enough to show her how he was hurting. He was trembling, miserable.

The tummy rub wasn't doing any good. True Heart glanced quickly around the room. What could she do? A bottle of milk never worked; he refused to eat when he was like this. She put him over her shoulder and patted him firmly on the back. Maybe if he released a burp he would feel better.

Brave Heart paused in mid-wail, and stared at the wall behind them before spitting up on True Heart's shoulder…and all over himself.

"Oh, no!" she lowered him to her lap, and he put out his tongue and coughed.

"Ack…aha…aaaaaaaaahhh! Waaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

"Ohh…come on, let's get cleaned up. Poor baby…"

She carried him to the bathroom, grabbing some towels on the way. She placed him on the fluffy green rug beside the tub where she could keep an eye on him, then she removed her night shirt and tossed it in the hamper. Being animals, the Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins weren't as conscious about their bodies as humans, and their fur was good enough coverage anyway.

While True Heart was washing her shoulder at the sink, the warm water gave her an idea. Once, when she had sprained her ankle, she found out that a warm soak helped with the pain. Maybe…

True Heart turned to the bathtub, turning on the cold water, then the hot. She tested it with her paw, and jammed the rubber stopper into the drain. "All right, little one. Let's see if this helps."

Brave Heart's baby jacket was a gooey mess, but he preferred to wear it rather than face the cold of the bathroom. He clutched it to himself as she tried to remove it, and shook his head vigorously.

True Heart raised an eyebrow, and removed his booties instead. Next went the diaper, and finally the stubborn cub let go of his jacket only long enough to bring his paws to his belly as he curled into a ball and renewed his cries.

When True Heart lifted him into the tub, he stayed curled up; it was like trying to bathe a basketball. However, the warmth of the water seemed to be calming him down. When she wiped his chin with a damp cloth, he showed some of his feisty nature and tried to nip her arm. "No no, naughty."

"Nawie?" he asked, still clutching his belly and sniffling.

"No biting. Be a good boy."

"Goo' boy." He mumbled, looking down sullenly and uncurling his limbs.

"That's right. Here, you want to play with the ducky?" she asked, taking the rubber ducky from the side of the tub and giving it a squeeze.

He shook his head, groaning and trembling, and rubbing his tummy symbol.

The Care Bear put the ducky into the water anyway, and sure enough Brave Heart picked it up and began to gnaw on its beak. "I thought so." chuckled True Heart. The cub was still whimpering, but now he had something to focus on besides the pain. He stayed in the tub for about ten minutes, and soon he stopped shivering. As he began to warm up, and as True Heart tilted his head back so that she wouldn't get shampoo in his eyes, he ceased to cry at all. He soon relaxed, and as he became clean he also became drowsy. It was working!

"Amgah…" he grunted, dropping the ducky and yawning.

"Ah, tired are we?" True Heart smiled, turning off the water and pulling the plug. She wrapped him tightly in a towel, and headed back to the rocker. "Join the club, little mister."

Brave Heart had worked one of his paws free from the towel, and was sucking his thumb. True Heart rocked him until he fell asleep, and she was almost asleep herself when she heard footsteps coming her way.

"I don't believe it." Said Noble Heart, covering his mouth when True Heart shushed him. "How did you do it?" he asked in a whisper.

"I gave him a warm bath. It worked for my ankle, so…Noble Heart, you shouldn't leave the cubs!" she whispered back.

"Don't worry; the Little Star Buddy's watching them. I just came looking for you because it suddenly got quiet…and what with Dark Heart being after us…"

"We should get back to the cubs. And Brave Heart needs a new set of jammies. Come on."

They tip-toed back to the nursery, and all was still well. The other cubs were quiet now, and there was no sign of danger; the Little Star Buddy threw a wink their way. True Heart placed Brave Heart on the changing table and unwrapped him, and he opened his eyes and balled up his fists, preparing to set up a wail of complaint. "Shh, we'll be all done in a second." True Heart whispered, kissing his muzzle. He pouted, but as promised, it was all over in less than five minutes, and he was snoozing away in his crib.

True Heart sighed as she rummaged through her dresser for a new nightshirt. "Sometimes I wonder, Noble Heart…"

"About what?" he asked from his own bed.

"Oh, nothing…just…do you really think we can do it? Successfully rear all these cubs to adulthood, protect them and the world from Dark Heart, and keep caring alive?"

"Sure, why couldn't we?" he sat up, concerned.

"It's an awful big job for just the two of us."

Noble Heart was quiet for a minute, then he said, "No one said this would be easy, True Heart. And the Great Wishing Star wouldn't have brought us here if his cause was hopeless. Besides," he chuckled, "if you can cure Brave Heart's colic, you can do anything."

"You think so?"

"No," he smirked, and when she opened her mouth to retort he said, "I know so!"

"Oh, you!"

Just then, they heard a strange sound, sort of like a bong and a moan combined. They froze, not knowing what the sound might be, then they rushed to the window and looked out. A big, heart-shaped clock-like device was the cause of the noise.

"Look!" Noble heart pointed.

"It's our caring meter." True Heart returned, "Someone must need our help down on earth! What'll we do?" she pressed her paws to her face.

Noble Heart seemed to think for a split second, then replied, "Why, go and help them!"

Author's note: Those of you who saw the second movie will recognize those last few lines. I don't own them, I just thought It would be a cute way to end my story. So, um…tell me what you think. (ducks to avoid flying objects)