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Would you buy the teddy bear?

Asked by weeveeship (4584points) May 13th, 2014

(This is a complete hypothetical, but I am interested in your answers. It is from a fictional story that my friend wrote.)

Suppose you went to a thrift shop. This thrift shop, for some reason, has its items categorized by time period. You, being a natural WWII buff, go over to the WWII section to see what kind of goodies you can score there.

Over at the WWII section, you see a teddy bear. The teddy bear is somewhat worn. You pick up the teddy bear and hear a jingling sound. You turn over the teddy bear and see a zipper. Curious, you open the zipper a crack and inside, you see that there are many gold and silver coins. You zip the bear back up (leaving the coins still inside) and turn over the bear again so that it is facing you. On its feet, you see an inscription – a Jewish sounding name. You have a strong sense that this teddy bear is somehow connected with the Holocaust (though you are not 100% sure), and that the name on the bear might be the name of the bear’s prior owner (who met an unknown fate). You have no idea how the bear survived through the decades and have no idea why the coins were not removed during that time.

While you are still holding the bear, a boy approached you and asked whether you want to buy the bear and if you won’t buy it, then he will buy it. You have to go somewhere soon, so you need to decide now whether or not you will buy the bear.

Will you buy the bear? Why or why not?

Note: Assume that the boy and the Jewish person whose name appears on the bear are not related in any way. The boy is just a local stranger who spied that there are coins in the bear. Also, do not assume anything about the boy’s socioeconomic status.

Note: My friend has not told me how the story ends, so do not assume anything about the “proper” ending of the story. The ending, for all we know, could be either happy or sad.

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