I didn’t know Teddy. I don’t actually know how old he was, but I knew where he lived. I most often saw him sitting near his big picture window.
He had a large brood of children. Teddy loved to play with all of them and they all loved to play with Teddy. His generous lap was welcoming to some who just wanted to sit quietly and snuggle. Teddy didn’t mind.
I didn’t know Teddy had been hurt, but when I saw him, it was apparent that he had been mortally wounded . . . so to speak. He was laid to rest two days ago. I shouldn’t really say ‘laid to rest’. When I saw him, he was sitting up. Teddy was well-loved.
The sad irony is that Teddy was ‘set to rest’ near the trash can that was close to where the children from the day care center where he lived would go out to play. I ran across his remains early in the morning and worried that the children would be terrified to see their friend in that condition: cold, wet, insides still oozing out from several deep gashes, and ever so slowly slumping toward a full repose on the pavement.
I swept Teddy into my arms and carried him to my car, so the last wee memory of their friend could be more pleasant than the sad state of affairs I had encountered. That kind of image can stick with a child for a long time. I know from experience.
Teddy has been interred in what shall remain an undisclosed location. RIP big guy.