On Christmas Eve 1975 little Chrissie got the most lovable teddy bear she could imagine. It was as big as herself and very cuddly and had a warm smile. I was wearing a warm pullover with reindeers and a brown trouser. Chrissie carried it around everywhere and took Smirkey (so she named the bear) to bed that evening.
On the next day (Christmas day) Chrissie and her family were visiting Chrissie’s grandparents from her father’s side in a nearby village. An overnight stay was planned, so of course Smirky had to go as well. They arrived safely, and Chrissie and Smirkey investigated the house and played Hide and Seek. When the family attended worship Smirkey was sitting beside her and she folded his little paws for prayer. After church, they went home and opened presents, but nothing made Chrissie more happy than her beloved Smirkey.
A few days later the family made a visit at the nearby pony farm for a ride in the snow. Afterwards they were enjoying a nice hot chocolate in a coffee shop.
When the family arrived at the grandparents‘ house, Chrissie was missing her Smirkey. It couldn’t be found anywhere. They checked the car and even drove back to the coffee shop, but it was closed as was the pony farm. After a horrible night Chrissie and her parents went back to the two location, where Smirkey might have been, but Smirkey stayed vanished. The next thing they tried, was hanging search posters, but nothing came up. Chrissie was heartbroken.
So when they had to travel back home, . Chrissie was heartbroken. Her parents try to comfort her and promised to buy a new similar teddy bear, but Chrissie didn´t want to have one. When the bypassed a church, she got an idea.
Chrissie asked to visit a church to light a candle as an offer to St. Anthony of Padua, the Saint of lost items. There she prayed for the return of her beloved Smirkey. So she prayed every evening for a whole month.
One very cold morning shortly before Chrissie had to leave for Kindergarden, Chrissie’s mom opened the front door to bring out the garbage, and there was a big brown paperbag and inside was sitting … Smirkey. He had a note around his neck saying: „Found this cute fellow on the road and thought it needs it’s mommy.“ The note was signed with an A.
Even though the family tried very hard to find out who the finder was, it remained a mystery. So they went back to the church and offered another candle to thank St. Anthony.
Chrissie is doing this every year on Christmas since 1975 until today. (455 words)
This story is inspired by a true story, which always makes me smile.