surprise! another rescue — from the Goodwill

Intro: There'll be no unkind laughter. No snickering. No rude remarks. No mocking tones. And no ridicule. (Definitely no ridicule; still raw from that parental wounding.) Anyone transgressing these terms will be told to leave and subject to 40 lashes with a wet noodle. (Do I fail to mention it is metal-tipped?)
–Signed, Czar Waterbaby

I'm at the Goodwill yesterday browsing for items for a home project but nothing suitable is found. So I swish over to the stuffed animals. Bins and bins of stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes, conditions and breeds. Not looking for anything in particular, it's loosely a possible alternative for my home project.

Piles and piles of stuffed creatures I pore through, giving the vast majority an individual look.

Then I meet:

And I'm instantly taken, captured by his character. Never seen a bear quite like him. That face. I can tell he's old, and the tags attached are near illegible from fading. Yet he's in fine condition, apart from a very musty odor, as if he'd been stored in a box, closet or attic too long. The black threads defining his mouth have come loose, giving him this obvious elongated smile. A little tightening up and a couple stitches can fix that, I think. Then I decide no, it's his quirk. It's how he is. I'm gonna leave it. His smile's impossible to miss.

Well, he's been stashed somewhere and at the Goodwill for who knows how long. But no longer! He's going home with me.

I'm one of those oddities who feels that stuffed animals have character, personalities, spirits, heart and emotions, if you will. Not each and every one; those that do, you can feel it, if you ride that wavelength.

A rescue from the Goodwill bins, to a new home he goes, then straightaway for a spin in the washer (in one of those zippered mesh laundry bags for undergarments) and delicate tumble dry. He didn't look bad going in; coming out, he looks sparkly fresh and clean — and no musty smell!

No good ribbon; pink cord from a hoodie, off to the side like a scarf, does this sporty fella well.

Today he went to work. He's a very social fellow, you see. Not like me. He's  an adventurous fella. He's waitin' for me to get goin'.

Names. We're back to that. First one that pops into my head yesterday is Edward, Eddie for short. But it doesn't really fit. Today at lunch a pal and I flip through handfuls of boys' names (he's definitely a male) off the Internet, mostly from Russia, Poland and Ukraine; he's got a European vibe, we both agree. (Side note: I can't believe a man in his 60's is totally into helping name this bear who's sitting on the pub counter!)

Scrolling alphabetically down one more list of Ukrainian names, I come to the "S's, among them Symon. It's immediate. I like it. Symon means "hearkening." It's him. My friend really likes it too. Symon it is.

He's a bright and happy bear, a bear with a big smile. He's happy with his new name and new home and spiffy sporty "scarf."

Symon waves hi, Voxers.

 

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