Bonnie’s Journey Begins…
Is it supposed to be this painful, this difficult. I remember when Susie’s mom-mom left—she did not seem to be as hurtful, but everyone else cried. Well, Susie didn’t, but then again, she was young, like me. I didn’t cry but then I wasn’t supposed to.
But I remember…sitting on the shelf in the toy store with all of my many siblings and every time someone would come into the store and look at us, each of us would shout, “Me! Take Me!” and then the person would move to the next bunch of toys. It always disappointed me that we were so quickly overlooked. We were teachers—we taught kids to see hearts, and know where hands were, and what ears were. But still, we were overlooked.
Until one day…it was just before their big holiday and the store was decorated with bright colors. Two woman came in and poked around. When they got to our shelf, the chorus began again, “Me! Take Me!” My throat was sore from yelling, and I thought it was a rather fruitless activity until one of the women picked up my box. She looked at the box, then she looked at me.
“Mom,” she said. “I think this would be good for Susie. It looks like a learning toy.”
Mom picked up my box, looked at me and smiled. “Yes, I think this would be just perfect.” And so, I started my new life.
And then, everything went black! What in the world happened? I asked myself. I could hear mumbled words but nothing distinctive and I wondered if my start was really my finish.
Now, I don’t have an understanding of this thing they call “time”, so I really had no idea how long I was on my back in this blackness, but one day I heard a big rumble of voices calling to one another and they got louder as they got closer to me. I readied myself for the worst.
Suddenly I was flying through the air…or at least it felt like it…and then I heard a crinkling noise and a ripping sound, and all of a sudden light began to creep into my eyes, and lo and behold, I was looking at a little girl who was squealing at me. She had the biggest grin and the brightest eyes of anyone in the room.
“Mom-mom,” she said to the older woman, “help me. I can’t get the box opened.”
So, Mom-mom came to her rescue, opened the box and a rush of air blew through my box, ruffling my pristine, furry coat. Mom-mom took me out of the box and handed me to Susie and we both smiled.
Then a big guy came over, grabbed me from Susie and said, “Well, I guess I’m the one who has to put the batteries in.” He turned me over, and I felt a slight tickle on my back and suddenly and not-so-comfortable wrenching at my back.
“Damn,” the man said.
“Clarence, please, Susie” Mom-mom said. I guess he wasn’t supposed to use that word. Anyway, he tugged and pulled and pushed until my back suddenly felt light. I could not see what he was doing but all of a sudden a buzz ran through me and Clarence pushed whatever back inside me, zipped me up with something he called velox or voxatel or velcrot. He threw me through the air at Susie and I fell to the floor. She rushed over and picked me up and hugged me.
“I’m going to call her ‘Bonnie’, she said. I felt a lot better after that. I never had a name before.
The days flew by and before I knew it, that same holiday was back. By this time, Susie was still playing with me, learning her foot from her hand from her ear. I was thrilled to be able to teach her, and yet I sensed that my education tools were limited, and Susie was looking for something new to learn. I spent a lot of time on her bed, but she still kept me close.
By the time the second Christmas…that’s what they called it…see, I learned too, arrived Susie was growing more and more. She still pushed my tummy and made my heart light up, but the times were fewer and fewer.
Then one day when the air was warm, this strange feeling came over me. I felt tired, my energy drained. When Susie picked me up and pushed on my tummy, nothing happened. She tried again and still nothing happened.
She rushed into the kitchen with me, crying for her father. “Something has happened to Bonnie. Her heart doesn’t light up.”
Clarence grabbed me, turned me over, and ripped open my back. I felt him tugging at something inside me. It was that same strange feeling from when I first arrived.
“Damned battery is probably dead.”
“Can you fix her?” Susie pleaded.
He looked at me, zipped up my back again, and said, “Nah. Hardly worth the effort. This thing is too hard to get out of its back. Just toss it. Get something else.”
Susie’s mother looked at him but said nothing. She hardly spoke when he was angry and now, he did not want to be bothered with me. She took a deep breath and said to Susie, “Well honey, perhaps it is for the best. This toy really has seen better days. Look, it’s all dirty and now it doesn’t work. We’ll look for something new when we go out this weekend.
Susie ran to her room crying. She left me on the table.
“Here, gimme that,” Clarence said as he grabbed me off the table. “I’ll take care of this. Better we do this fast. She’ll forget all about it in a day or two.”
He left the house with me in tow, threw me into the car and raced off before anyone could stop him. We rode in silence when he said, to no one in particular unless he was talking to me, which I doubted, “I need to be far enough away from the house so she can’t find it and bring it back. Hmmm, this looks good.”
I felt the car slow down and wondered what was happening. I heard the window roll down and he grabbed me by my leg, and the next thing I knew, I was flying. Suddenly, I landed with a thud by the side of the road and rolled in dry grass and weeds. Sure, my fur wasn’t as clean as it once had been, but still, I was in one piece just a little the worse for wear.
So here I am, wondering if the end is supposed to be this painful. I don’t know about time, so I don’t know how long I lay there. Cars, trucks, even a bicycle or two flew past me, but no Susie to rescue me. My little red heart did not light up and I felt like I was swallowing dirt. I closed my eyes and just waited for it all to be over.
Then, a sound. It was another car. Oh My! Was Clarence returning to take me even further away? I heard the car door open, and I waited…
“Well, what have we here.” It was a nice voice with a smile in it. Suddenly I felt myself being lifted. I waited for the fall and the thud. But it didn’t come.
“Hmmm, you’re a bit of a mess, but why don’t we see if we can’t get you fixed up. I don’t think we can make you new, but maybe we can get rid of some of the dirt. I have some folks at home whom I think will welcome you.”
And the next thing I knew, I was sitting in the car, next to a nice lady, and we were going somewhere. A bit of a ride later, we arrived, and she placed me on her couch while she unloaded her groceries. When she was finished, she came and picked me up, took me to the kitchen where she took a closer look at me.
Oh, oh, I thought. I’m a mess and she’s going to take me back to that place and put me back in the dirt. She lifted my arms, moved my ears, then put me face-down on the kitchen table and said, “What have we here?” She poked around in my back where Clarence had tried to do something with batteries and totally failed!
She too struggled, but then said, “Well this is just too difficult, and I don’t think we need to put batteries in you.” She proceeded to cut this box out from my tummy. “I guess we’ll have to put something back in just to give you some shape.”
She left for a few minutes and came back with several pieces of cloth. “No, that’s too big, maybe this facecloth will work better. I giggled to myself as she rumpled up this piece of cloth and fit it in my back. It tickled.
“Well, my dear. I think you need a bath.” She tried to wash my face but apparently, I was just too dirty. “This is not working,” she said. “You need a full bath. I think I’ll put you in the washing machine and we’ll just do a cold bath in delicate cycle. That should work.”
It was an amazing experience! I was gently rolled around in cool water…she had sprayed something on my really dirty spots, then I was spun through this tub as the water drained. When I was done, she removed me and smiled. “My goodness aren’t you just lovely. The dirt is gone from your ears, your fur is bright and fluffy again, and the washcloth fits perfectly.”
She hugged me, then took another look. “Time to meet your new family.” She took me into another room where there were lots and lots of similar characters. She looked around and then saw something. She walked over to the edge of a large wooden box she called a dresser and set me down next to a really cute little guy.
“Surfer Dude,” she said to him, “I want you to meet…” she stopped for a minute and thought. “I think I’m going to call you Bonnie. Surfer Dude, meet Bonnie.”
She smiled at us and walked away, and Surfer Dude moved his paw next to mine. Lose one life, start another, I thought.