Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," saying so long to friends on this first day of summer!
Three more foster kittens have come and gone. We had them about six weeks. They were rowdy. I took them back to the shelter this afternoon.
Today's sermon, however, is about Big Purple Bear.
You know how you get something, and it just becomes part of life, and you never think of taking a picture of it? Big Purple Bear was like that.
About three years ago, Heir, Spare, and I were going to the local supermarket when we passed one of those big bins for donated clothes. Sitting in front of the bin was Big Purple Bear. He was one of those enormous stuffed animals that take up half a double bed when you prop them on it.
Spare has a queen sized bed that she inherited from Mr. Johnson and me, so we brought Big Purple Bear home. For three years he kept Spare company on her bed. Then she turned 16 and decided she didn't need him on her bed anymore.
Trouble is, the dude was huge. Where do you keep a Big Purple Bear? We tried him in my home office, but he took over.
So we paid him forward.
We took Big Purple Bear back where we found him in the first place -- the used clothing bin at the supermarket. We left him sitting in front of the bin, just where we found him.
This afternoon, while driving home from school (yes, I am still teaching school ... after Solstice!), I had a nasty shock. I saw three boys, middle school age, lugging Big Purple Bear up the street. Well, I had paid him forward, but, but, but, three middle school boys? Visions of stuffed bearicide flooded my brain. What possible use could a trio of pubescent boys have for a huge stuffed bear, other than to torture it?
I pulled over to the side, and I rolled down my window. I said to the boys, "I left that bear in the grocery store parking lot. I paid him forward. You take care of him. You pay him forward just like you found him."
They looked at me like I was nuts and kept dragging Big Purple Bear up the street.
When fostering kittens and stuffed animals, one must be an optimist. I've had more than 60 kittens come and go through Chateau Johnson. Most certainly some of them have not found good homes. I can only act on my faith in the shelter where I volunteer, my friendship with the people there, and my trust that they are careful when they send animals out for adoption.
The same sort of optimism must now animate me with Big Purple Bear. Perhaps one of those young chaps has a little sister. Or maybe they're just going to sit Big Purple Bear in some space they share. At any rate, Big Purple Bear, and three kittens named Ariel, Cinderella, and Princess (not my names) have gone out into the world. Luck be with them on this new summer's eve.