The good news: The toilet in my front yard is gone!
The bad news: No one knows where it went, or what it’s doing now.
Not losing sleep over that, but it did get me wondering: What happens to all those “things” that come into our lives, and then go? What’s become of them? Is there a story in it? A Tin Soldier Story?
You remember The Brave Tin Soldier, right? It’s the bittersweet tale of a toy soldier who is lost, then found, then reunited with his lady love (who really deserved her own story) and then…
But that would be telling (someone else’s) tales. How about one of my own? It could be about the tortoises I’ve rescued over the years. Some were plucked gingerly from country roads, where (intermittently) whizzing traffic would surely have made a dent in their survival rate. Did you know that tortoises hiss, like snakes? Well, they do. And they aren’t fond of finding themselves suddenly airborne and deposited on the other side of the road — a destination they’d planned on getting to in half an hour or so, and where they’ll have to wait ages for their own lady loves, with nothing to do but fret about how they look.
Turns out, tales of tortoises make me fret. How about a different tale — a tale of loss and regret and a squandered chance for redemption?
A story about Rosie.
Once upon a time, my mother and I were sorting through old boxes of old things in the old house, and we came upon an old stuffed doll. The doll had a plush body and hood, as if she were wearing a permanent pink snowsuit. She had a rubber face and a chewed-off nose. When I took the doll — which I had no recollection of — into my hands, I had the urge to sniff her. So I did. She smelled musty and sweet, like old chocolate. To my great surprise, I suddenly blurted out, “Rosie!” And as I hugged Rosie tight, my mother said, “Oh yeah, that was yours when you were little.”
What a wonderful reunion, right? Bet you think I still have her, that we’ll never be parted, that we snuggle up on long winter nights when my husband’s out of town.
Nope. I have no idea what we did with her, but I can guess. I must have cherished the moment, then tossed Rosie onto the heap. I truly regret that, but she was a doll, not a tortoise.
Still, I can’t help wondering: Where is Rosie now? What is she doing?
Maybe there is a story in it.