A tale of two softies.

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When I was a baby, I was given a fluffy brown bear which, as soon as I could learn to speak, was christened Brown Bear. Because he was brown and my imagination was not yet formed. That bear stuck with me through thick and thin. Through house moves, the introduction of a baby brother, through my parents divorce and he even came with me to boarding school. By this stage, he was not fluffy at all. He was very, very bald in fact.

When I had my son Horatio, he was gifted an extreme amount of soft toys, but after a decade only two remain.

Jinxy and Blue Bear.

Jinxy, whose real name is Mr. Jinx according to the tag hanging off his bum which is long gone now, was a gift from our friend Wendy.

Blue Bear was a gift from our friend Natalie.

These two were the special ones. The chosen ones, if you like. Yesterday I went into Horatio’s room, dressed in a hazmat suit, garbage bag in hand, to retrieve some of the household cutlery and crockery and to try to investigate where the smell was coming from. Under his pile of crap on his bed, I found his little gang. He had a friend over and wanted to hide Jinxy and BB. And I might admit just for a second, I was sad.

These two characters have seen some shit let me tell you. Like the time Jinxy was thrown from the pram on the way home from dinner out at a restaurant. Mr. Woog spend hours in the dark, backtracking our steps. But he was nowhere to be found.

SHIT HIT THE FAN THAT EVENING. Little sleep was had.

The next morning, I assembled a second search party, a party of one. That being me. I set out along Falcon Street, looking for a flash of yellow anywhere. And then I found him.

He was propped up on someone’s garden fence. It was like the Gods of all things duck just knew that this little fella needed to find his way home. Even now, when I am at a park, or a supermarket and I see a soft toy has been picked up and placed somewhere prominent, I will always think of that kind person who rescued Jinxy from the gutter.

A few years later, we went on a family holiday to Fiji and Blue Bear was the favourite at the time, so he came along as well. About three days in, he went AWOL. Shit was again lost. I contacted housekeeping and was sent up the chain to the General Manager, who had small kids of his own and was totally sympathetic to the situation and went so far as to make a compassioned plea to all of the staff at the hotel, to keep an eye out for Blue Bear.

Meanwhile, I did what any caring mother would do. I tried to stick a band-aid on the problem. I raced into Nadi, a town not known for its retailing, to locate a replacement. And the only thing I found was this…

IMG_2614Which was immediately rejected.

Our time in Fiji was coming to an end and I had all but given up hope that Blue Bear would be found. The situation was hopeless.

I began packing. I pulled the suitcase out of the cupboard where it was being stored on a high shelf. As I pulled it down a flash of blue appeared.

It was Blue Bear.

Apparently, Horatio told me later, that he was throwing Blue Bear up into the sky and he landed on top of the suitcase in the cupboard. The memory of what happened immediately fled his little brain because apparently when you are three, your mind is like that of a goldfish.

The hotel management was informed and there was a street parade help in his honour. But not that last bit. I just made that up now.

Jinxy and Blue Bear really shouldn’t be here. But they are. And get tucked in along with Horatio, every night.

Ever lost a special soft toy?