Pepe gets lost at the market

One Sunday morning, Pepe and Toro jumped into their backpacks and headed off to the local flea-market, in search of excitement, and possibly some bargains.

“Whoa! Wouldn’t it be cool to travel around in a big leather bag like that?” exclaimed Toro. 

Pepe, on the other hand, wanted to test-drive a rather nice blue Mini. 

“Not a bad little car”, he said, but it was soon time to move on.

“What’s all that smoke?” shouted Pepe nervously. “Is it a fire?”

“No worries”, called Toro. “It’s just a stove. There’s a man selling roasted chestnuts.”

“Hey, look at these great dog statues!” Toro shouted across to Pepe.

Over by the dogs, Pepe’s eyes lit up and he pointed excitedly at a stall nearby: “Over there! That bear looks like… it looks like…  It IS! It’s my Auntie Pippa! I’ve only met her a couple of times, but I’d like to say hello.”

Pepe and his Auntie Pippa had a quick chat and wished each other a pleasant autumn, and soon the friends were off again.

Pepe and Toro toured the market and saw all kinds of interesting things…

until…

…until Toro suddenly noticed that Pepe was not sitting in his usual place in his bag.

“Where’s Pepe?” Toro wondered anxiously. “I hope he hasn’t fallen out.”

In his mind’s eye, Toro saw poor old Pepe lying there on the cold, hard ground.

Everyone rushed to look for the missing bear. 

Was he with the other soft toys?

No, Pepe wasn’t there, but just to be sure, Toro asked Winnie the Pooh if he had seen Pepe.

“I can’t be certain”, said Winnie. “But I THINK a bear like that went by just now, heading for the stall selling balls of knitting wool.”

Toro rushed there, but Pepe was nowhere to be seen in the boxes of wool.  

Toro asked the toy puppies on the next table if they had seen Pepe.

 “Ahhhh…” said one of the pups. “Might your friend have gone over to the white van?” and he pointed towards a white van full of furniture.

But no, Pepe was not in the van.

Toro was now really worried, and he asked the baby dolls if they had seen anything.

They couldn’t help. All they could say was: “Have you looked in the rubbish bins?”

“Why on earth would Pepe get into a rubbish bin?” Toro thought to himself, but he checked every single bin, just to be sure.

Pepe wasn’t in the bins.

Then Toro saw an open umbrella. Might Pepe be sitting under it?

No. The only thing under the umbrella was air.

Toro was getting desperate now. He had lost his friend. Finally, Toro climbed as high as he could up a lamp-post, and he looked in every direction.

“Hooo! Hah! Hip-Hurrah!” Toro shouted at last from his perch above the crowds. “I think I’ve spotted Pepe!”

Everyone rushed to where Toro was pointing.

And there was Pepe. He was sitting on a swing and waiting. He had leaned out too far and fallen from the backpack. He had tried to find the others, but then he decided to just stay where he was and sit on the swing. 

“If I stay in the same place, it’s easier to find me”, he thought.

Toro was so happy to see his friend again. After all this excitement, on the way home in the car the two chums were so tired they fell fast asleep on the back seat. 

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