Yesterday's Magazette

6 – The Christmas The Toys Came To Life

Story and photo by Richard Ong

When we were kids, we used to pretend that all of our toys had imaginary high adventures within the confines of our modest living room. Christmas was especially a favorite time of year to engage in our playacting. My childhood friend, Daisy, and I snuggled up under the plastic tree drowning in boxes upon boxes of colorfully wrapped presents. Armed with only a child’s wonder and unbridled imagination, Daisy picked up her porcelain-faced doll while I proudly brandished a bright red truck in my hands.

It was during one of these lazy afternoon storytelling sessions in December when my cousin Nino suddenly threw a large brown teddy bear in our midst, rudely interrupting our private “party.” Daisy, however, welcomed his presence and introduced a new story arc based on the charity work that her mother did every Christmas for the unfortunate children in our community.

YM:ChritsmasToys:Ong2Thus, with the magical spell of the Spirit of Christmas, the toys came to life that day.

Our story began when Sammy Red heard the ominous creak of straining metal. The hinges on his truck vibrated and threatened to come apart. Two enormous pair of hands gripped his vehicle on each end, swaying it to and fro. He was caught in the midst of a terrifying tug-of-war between two children.

“Mine! It’s mine! Let go of it!” cried the boy wearing a blue striped shirt as he gave a mighty pull on the front bumper of the truck.

Sammy felt a violent jolt and silently thanked the stars for the glue that kept him seated inside the truck.

“Mommy! Nino stole my toy!” Sammy Red heard the receding wail behind him as he was suddenly pitched forward. He sailed in mid-air until the approaching ground slammed against the roof.

The truck laid upside down for several minutes before another hand, larger than the child’s, gently lifted it off the ground. After a few long strides, the woman lowered Sammy Red and his truck into a box. He heard the squeaking noise of the Styrofoam as it was squished underneath the wheels.

“Nino. Richard. I told you boys before that these toys are not for you. I don’t want you touching them again, okay? Santa will have your gifts ready under the tree when you wake up tomorrow morning.” The woman’s voice was barely audible against the patter of her heels away from the box.

“Yes, Mommy,” answered Richard. Nino produced a grin, promising more mischief. Both ran off and resumed their quarrel over yet another unfortunate toy.

In the silence that followed, Sammy Red gripped the steering wheel and sighed.

He was startled by a rustle on his left as a white harlequin doll fell on its rump on the Styrofoam beside the truck.

“Who’s there?” whispered Sammy.

“Oh, it’s only me, silly!” answered a musical voice.

“Harley? Is that you?” asked Sammy.

“None other!” said the musical voice followed by laughter.

“What are you so happy about, Harley? Didn’t you know that we’ve just been sacked? You heard the lady. We’re not going to be given away this Christmas.”

“No, you silly.” The harlequin tapped the truck’s windshield with its ivory hand. Tiny little brass bells jingled in synchronicity with her laughter. “We’re going to be delivered tomorrow to our new owners. I overheard Teddy talking to the little tea cups this morning that we’re going to be given to some very special kids.”

“Not like Nino and Richard!” cried Sammy with some alarm. “I don’t think my truck’s strong enough to be tossed around again by another one of those two!”

“I don’t know that for a fact,” said Harley. “Except that they’re orphans. Each and every one of them.”

“Dat’s what I heard,” said a stuffy voice from above.

“Teddy!” Harley jingled in delight. “Glad that you can join us.”

Sammy Red saw from the rearview mirror an enormously rotund figure drop behind the truck. Teddy’s brown fur filled the enclosed space inside the box with fluff.

“Dat’s what I heard,” Teddy repeated as he wobbled towards the two. “I also heard dat these children have never, ever played with toys like us before.”

“The orphanage couldn’t afford us,” said Harley in a subdued voice.

“Ahh.. I see.” It finally dawned on Sammy. “We’re going to be given away to bring happiness to these special kids.”

A tear began to form on Sammy’s left eye, though he wasn’t feeling sad at all.

“Yes, yes. We each have a very special job this Christmas, my friends!” Teddy bounded up and down as his massive bulk shook the box and filled the air with more fluff.

“I can’t wait!” Harley jingled loud and clear.

Sammy Red felt the tear soak his left cheek as he imagined waking up the following morning in his new home cradled in the arms of a very happy child.

“Merry Christmas to all,” he whispered with a smile. “And good tidings to everyone.”

Daisy, Nino and I ended our new story with a satisfied smile and promised each other to donate our favorite toys to the poor. To her great delight, Daisy’s mom accepted our contributions and packed them in a box ready to be delivered to one of the community shelters.

Sammy Red, Harley and Teddy were off to a new and exciting adventure!

Vol. 37 No. 4 – Yesterday’s Magazette – Winter- 2010/11

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