The drive from Regina to Calgary is a little over seven hours, and Scarlett took it upon herself to make sure Sully didn’t enjoy any of those hours too much. She has come to the [correct] conclusion that you don’t need to be all that creative to drive someone up the wall, you just have to be persistent. You don’t need a new schtick every five minutes; in fact, it’s better if you don’t. It's infinitely more effective to use the same one over and over. Repetition is key.
I have missed you so much! When I fell off that mountain, I worried I would never see you again.
(But don’t worry, falling from so high didn’t hurt at all; I’m full of stuffing!)
When I got to the bottom, I got up, dusted myself off, and started walking to Calgary right away. It took me quite a while because my legs are so tiny. It got dark quickly that first night; I had to stop for a sleep. I made a little campsite beside a beautiful waterfall. A friendly bear who lived nearby offered me some marshmallows to roast over my campfire! His name was Paul. He sat with me and kept me company. He asked if I would like to stay for a while, but I said, “No, I have to get home to Scarlett. She’ll be wondering where I am and I miss her so much!” I told Paul all about you. He said you sounded wonderful. He wanted to come with me and meet you, but I said that Regina is not a good place for a bear.
The next morning I set off again. I walked down some steep trails that went straight down the mountain. People were riding bikes down these trails! It looked so scary! One of them saw me walking and offered me a ride on his handlebars. I wasn’t sure if I should, but then I remembered how it didn’t hurt to fall off the mountain and I realized that I didn’t really need to be afraid of anything. The mountain biker drove so fast through the trees; it always felt like we were going to run right into them but he was very good at turning quickly. It was so fun, Scarlett. Someday, will you give me a ride on your bike? I would love that.
The mountain biker offered me a ride back to Calgary in his truck, which I was very happy about. It would’ve taken me such a long time to walk all that way by myself! He dropped me off at the mall, and I went straight to Shopper’s Drug Mart, because I knew that you would look for me there with all the other Beanie Boos. It was such a fun reunion! I saw Whoolie and Sissy and Tony and Sapphire and Meadow and Moonlight! I told them about falling off the mountain, about my campfire with the bear named Paul, and the ride down the steep trails with the mountain biker. They were VERY impressed.
But when I told them about you, and what you looked like, they said you’d already been there, looking for me, and had left already. I cried a little bit, but I knew I’d just have to keep moving!
I asked them how to get out of Calgary. I knew I needed to get to the Number 1 Highway. I knew that was the way home. Whoolie told me that the quickest way to get to the Number 1 Highway was to take something called the C-train. Do you remember seeing that when you were in Calgary? It’s very fast, and very fun to ride. Someday, I would like to go back to Calgary with you and take a ride on that train together.
When I got off the train, I found a little girl sitting on a bench. She was crying; she couldn’t find her dad. I sat beside her and I said, “I know just how you feel. I’ve lost my Scarlett.” It made her feel much better just to know that I understood why she was so sad. I said, “Let’s sit right here until your dad comes to get you. That’s always the smartest thing to do.”
I know this might seem funny to you, that I told her to do the exact opposite of what I had done, but the rules for stuffies are different than the rules for kids.
We sat there for an hour. I told her about the mountain bikes and the bear named Paul and my friends at Shoppers Drug Mart and my first ride on the C-Train. And then, like magic, her dad came! He was so happy to see her, and she was so happy to see him, and it made me so excited to see you again!
It gave me a burst of energy, and I ran to the Number 1 Highway!
This next part is very boring: I just walked and walked and walked. I walked for such a long time. Whenever I got tired I stopped and took a rest. I met some new friends along the way: a moose named Charlie, a fox named Dwight, three deer, Zoey, Sally, and Vernon, and even some mosquitos who were all named Blaine!
Zoey let me ride on her back for a little while. I think if she hadn’t, it would’ve taken me another month to get home. Every time I passed a Shoppers Drug Mart, I stopped to see if you had been there. I stopped at one in Brooks, and at another in Medicine Hat, and another in Swift Current. Each time, I got to see old friends, and each time, they told me you’d been there looking for me. Even though I was sad to know I’d missed you, it also made me very happy to know that you were looking for me! It made me happy to know how much you cared about me. It made me want to walk even faster.
So I did.
When I got to Swift Current, a car stopped to see if I was okay. A little boy in the back seat had looked out his window and seen me walking, and he yelled at his mom to stop the car. When he opened the door he said, “Hi, my name is Jaden.” I said, “Hi, my name is Brutus.” Jaden said, “What are you doing all the way out here in the middle of nowhere?” I said, “I’m trying to get to Scarlett. She lives in Regina.” He said, “I’m going to Regina! Would you like a ride?” And I said, “Thank you, yes please!”
I’m not sure if this was a mistake or not. On the one hand, Jaden’s mom did drive me all the way to Regina. On the other hand, by the time we got there, Jaden didn’t want me to leave him. He had grown attached to me. I asked him to drop me off at your house and he said, “No! You’re my stuffy now!”
This is why you should never get into a car with a stranger. I know that now.
So I lived at Jaden’s house for a little while. He had a very big house, and his bedroom was on the top floor. He always kept his bedroom door closed, so I couldn’t escape. I was very worried that I would never see you again.
Then one day, Jaden’s mom came into his bedroom when he wasn’t home. She spoke out loud, even though he wasn’t there to hear it, she said, “This room smells awful!” She opened the window to let some fresh air in. After she left, I climbed up onto the window ledge and looked down at the yard. It was really far down, and I was very afraid to jump, but then I remembered the mountain, and how far I’d fallen then—and mountains are much, much higher than houses! I remembered how I didn’t need to be afraid!
Scarlett! I jumped out of the window! (This is another thing that stuffies can do that kids should never, never do. You are NOT full of stuffing!)
I landed on Jaden’s mom’s car, just as she was backing out of the driveway. I sat on the roof, holding on tight, as she drove away from Jaden’s house. I was free!
Jaden’s mom drove past so many places that I remembered. I felt so excited—I was getting so close to you! We drove past McDonald’s, past the university, past the Naked Bean. Jaden’s mom parked her car on Broad Street. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was!
After how far I’d travelled already, I knew I could walk the rest of the way very easily. It started raining, but I didn’t even mind. I remembered that at your house you have a nice warm dryer in the basement. I knew that you would put me in there and then you would take me to bed with you and tuck me in with all of the other stuffies. I was so excited. I came around the corner to your street. I walked past Isla’s house, then Rosie’s, then Sloane’s. It took me a little while to climb the steps to your door, and a very long time to climb up onto the mailbox so I could ring the doorbell. I thought it was funny that this was, hands down, the hardest part of getting home to you—reaching the door bell.
But now I’m here! I’m about to ring the doorbell! I’m so excited to take a ride in the dryer and get nice and warm, but much more than that I’m excited to see your beautiful face!