"WELL," he thought. "What a welcoming, positive sign, putting a refugee on a coin."

And not just any coin, he mused, as he stared at the gentle face, so familiar under its battered bush hat. The most impressive coin, the coin of many sides. The majestic 50p coin. With his face. His, Paddington Brown.

Still, he would need a lot of these coins. An awful lot. 72,000 every year, to be precise, if the rumours were true and some bright spark really was going to tell the government newcomers to the country would have to earn more than £36,000.

Paddington could hardly imagine such riches and he could hardly imagine what he could do to earn them. Still, it had always worked out for him in the end. Why, wasn't that the most marvellous spot of luck, meeting Mr and Mrs Brown on the train station platform all those years ago?

And hadn't everyone been so good and kind to him since? The boat journey to London had been simply awful - it was something he never spoke of - and he missed Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pastuzo dreadfully but life was better for him here. No earthquakes to rob him of more loved ones. Oh mama bear, poor papa bear.

Everyone had been so welcoming to an orphaned bear, barely more than a cub, and this was his home now.

This was his home and there was an awfully nice but alarmingly loud woman in it, clutching a clip board and clucking around. In staring at the shiny 50p piece his mind had quite wandered. What did she want again?

"What do you want, again, please?" Paddington asked her, passing back the coin. Oh, she said, she was from the Home Office - "But not to worry, ha ha!" - and she was here because a photocall had been organised to promote this lovely new coin.

"The Home Secretary will be here shortly and you'll show her your lovely new coin and she'll say how welcoming Britain is to our newest residents and you can talk about what a symbolic step this is, to have a... a bear... on our most important currency."

Honed secret Terry? Paddington had never of such a thing.

Suddenly her phone starting bring-bringing and off she clipped.

Paddington ran his paws down the rough comforting texture of his duffle coat until one landed in a blue pocket, reaching the crust of a marmalade sandwich. He took a bite and his mind wandered again to those first days with no duffle and no Wellington boots, his small hind paws making soft padding sounds along the rain soaked concrete.

"Pad, pad, Paddington," he had crooned to himself, a gentle marching beat, an unthinking rhythm spurring him on.

The Browns had insisted he stay with them and they had had wonderful times but then the officials had come and put him on the bus, through the night, to this new city. How Mrs Brown had stayed bravely stoic, giving him a dozen stamps and a dozen jars of homemade marmalade. Mr Brown had wept openly, honking into a cloth handkerchief.

He wondered vaguely if there was such a thing as a pawkerchief.

The official woman was back, striding into his room as if it were not entirely his, bringing another woman of obvious importance along with her. Paddington raised his hat. This must be the honed secret Terry.

"Hullo Mr Pooh," the woman said, loudly and slowly, as if Paddington was hard of hearing.

"Pah-ding-ton," Paddington replied, politely.

The woman looked momentarily confused and glanced at Mrs Clipboard. "Winnie the Pooh is the other one," Mrs Clipboard whispered over her shoulder.

"Ah," said the woman, entirely unabashed. "They do so look the same."

She appraised Paddington. "Very British, your name." Paddington was unsure whether this was a question but decided to answer it. "It's Pastuso, in actual fact, Mrs... uh, but no one could roar sufficiently throatily in pronouncing it and, unfortunately, without the correct roar it can sound really very, uh, rude indeed. So Mr and Mrs Brown called me Paddington.

"They say I shouldn't mention that I came from Darkest Peru. Or talk about the lifeboat. Or that I'm not really supposed to be here at all.

"They said I would be up to my knees in trouble. And here I am."

The important woman was barely listening. The flat was too small for her, she felt it cramped. Paddington felt ashamed. The card for the electricity meter had run out even more swiftly than usual but he had become used to wearing his duffle indoors and used to the faintly damp smell.

Could they, she was asking the clipboard, possibly go outside for photographs. Yes, she knew they were in Glasgow but it really didn't look as bleak as she'd thought.

There was a hand on Paddington's shoulder. This was becoming really rather awkward. He would have to explain, but how could they not already know? "I can't, you see, go outside," he said. The important clipboard towered above him, the hand now propelling him towards the door.

"No, you see, I can't," he said. "I have to stay here in case they change the locks. And if they change the locks well, I can't get back in. And if I can't get back in I... have nowhere to go." Paddington felt hopeless and helpless. He was a hopeful bear at heart but even he had misgivings about this new policy.

He couldn't understand it. How could so many people be so generous in marmalade and yet so many people want him gone? He might only be a bear but he had made friends. He had made a family. He knew nothing of Peru any more. This was his home. His face was on the coin. He was certainly no bear of very little brain but this foxed him.

He looked at the obviously important woman. He finally had her attention. "Please look after..." Paddington paused and thought.

He thought of all the kindnesses he had been shown by Mr and Mrs Brown. He thought of the hospitality of Mr Gruber and how the Hungarian man had shown him a way to settle in this new country, a way to live with the endless missing of the old.

He thought of all the marmalade sandwiches he had been made, the bread soft and the spread oozing thick. Such unquestioning welcome from so many quarters.

Paddington looked the honed secret Terry right in the eye, his snout proud. "Please. Look after us bears."