Love, Mommy and Daddy
By Shannon Saffle
The rain had started to fall. The rainfall dripped slowly and rhythmically through the bars and into the open street drain. Inside, some of the droplets fell onto Bear’s fur. He moved out of the way and onto a dry piece of concrete.
Sploosh! Water crashed onto him.
He sighed and plopped down on his worn knees in front of a puddle. He stared intently into it and touched the surface. His image was rippled and distorted by the water. When the puddle finally settled, ice patches formed in Bear’s fur. He shivered. After a moment of hesitation, Bear crawled up into the crevice in the wall. The space was just big enough to fit him and to shield him from the now thundering rain. He was awake for hours on end, trying to fall asleep. Soon, he fell asleep.
When Bear awoke, the rain had stopped, it was nighttime, and snow had started to calmly fall. He climbed out of the drain. His fur was shaped by the wind. He pulled ice crystals off of his fur as he walked. He was near a dumpster. He looked under it and found a dry newspaper. He wrapped it around himself like a cloak to stay warm. He walked through the neighborhoods he had memorized, but he passed by each house. The children in those houses were no longer children. They had so many toys that they would not value him.
Bear noticed that there was this new home that had been built. He walked over to the house and peeked through one of the windows. Inside, there was a small boy, who looked about four or five. His mother kissed him goodnight, turned off his light, and shut the door behind her. He had no toys, and no pets. There was nothing except two books, a bed, a pillow, and a blanket. Bear looked around the rest of the house; it was the same– without many possessions. Bear made his choice.
Bear knocked on the front door. The mother opened the door and her face lit up, happily. She picked Bear up and brought him inside. She washed him in the kitchen sink. She dried him and set him down beside a wooden box. She opened the box. There was a bowtie, two wedding rings, and a photograph. The mother was standing with a man; both of them wearing the same rings that were in the box. The man was wearing the bowtie. The mother gently picked up the bowtie and put it around Bear’s neck. Then she put him in a cardboard box, and placed it under their tree in the dining room. The mother signed the box with:
Merry Christmas, Patrick.
Mommy and Daddy
The boy would wake up the next morning to his special present. The boy and his mother would be happy, and Bear would hold up a thankful heart.