A Heartfelt Birthday Present
Many of you know the story of Paddington Bear, the bear found in Paddington Station, London, stories written by Michael Bond.
This is a slightly different Paddington story. The place is New York City, the time of the late 1970s. My sisters and their friends were getting another friend a birthday present. Normally, nothing unusual. There was nothing normal about this.
I wasn’t in on the plot. I discovered this by accident. I had to go into my parent’s bathroom, to get something out of the medicine chest. The door to the bathroom has a mirror on it. I didn’t turn the bathroom light on, because it was sunny, but I saw a large, dark blob on the toilet.
I stopped what I was doing and organized my thoughts. I wasn’t drunk or stoned, no parties the night before. Slowly, I approached the toilet. I wondered what Bigfoot was doing in a bathroom in Brooklyn, New York. I felt it, no not a living being. Then I saw the trademark yellow hat. “Paddington Bear, mon,” I cried out in a mock Jamaican accent. For my historically based mind thought, no, surely a bear in England from the New World should be from…a British colony. “But you’ve grown! Who’s been feeding you and with what?! ”
I stood Paddington up and looked up at him, stunned. Dad’s not gonna be pleased, I thought. As I stood him up, my sisters walked in. “What are you doing?!” They cried in unison.
I just stood there shocked. Of course, now, they had to let me in on the secret. I no longer remember how they got Paddington back from FAO Schwarz, opposite the Plaza Hotel and the Southern edge of Central Park. If they took a cab, the cabbie wouldn’t care, even if Paddington himself paid the fare. If they took the subway, people would have made way for them even at rush hour.
I wonder what happened to Basketball Paddington.