Holly on the Old Oak - Pema and the Broken Toy

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Holly on the Old Oak
Story 7

Pema and the Broken Toy

This is the journal of Pema, the marionette. The date is December 24th, 2012. I am reciting the day’s adventure to someone who can write, since…well…I can’t really hold a pen using these stuffed hooves of mine.

I was asked by the Twin Gods, Michael and Auriea, that someone needed my help this day. I did not know what they meant by this, but I accepted and was sent on my way. Using their powers, the gods transported me to an unknown place. It took me a moment to realize where I was – it was a traditional toy store, one that made toys like myself by hand and not through a factory or anything. I barely remember when I was made, but I know I was never on a conveyor belt…

This place was dark. It looks like wherever I am, it is night time. It’s really cold here too, I can even see my breath in the air. I checked the ceiling of the place, there was very little my strings could catch onto. Good thing too, I don’t like being tangled up.

I noticed a lot of boxes here, it looked like they were empty. There must be some purpose about all of this, I knew this place was different. Most toy stores wouldn’t be set up like this. This looks more like some kind of factory than a store.

I heard something coming from one of the boxes. There was a word on the box, something I didn’t want to read… ‘Defects’. I looked in and to my surprise there was someone in there! It was a stuffed cat plush, it looked much more like a big cat but I wasn’t sure what variety. But he was crying in the box, all alone. And then I saw why – he was missing his front right arm.

“Hello there, are you lost?”, I spoke to the cat. He looked up, I could tell he was shocked to see me there. “Who are you?”, he asked. I smiled, replying, “My name is Pema. I was sent by loving forest gods to find someone who was in trouble, and they brought me here. I think…no, I’m sure I’m here to help you.”, I said to him.

The cat wiped his eyes, then said, “My name is Artemis…and…my arm…it got ripped off in one of the machines…they…they put me here because I wasn’t perfect…I mean…”, he sighed, “They wouldn’t let me be a gift for Christmas.”

I wasn’t sure what he meant by this, and as I looked around, I finally understood where I was. This wasn’t just any toy factory. This was Santa Claus’ factory! I looked down to him, and said, “Well I will help you find someone who will love you exactly as you are! Come on!” I reached in, extending a hoof for him to grab onto. He was reluctant at first, but then he grabbed my arm with his left paw and I pulled him out.

The three-legged cub plush hadn’t walked, so I showed him how to walk. He had difficulty as he missed an arm, and looking around, I found a spare leg from an action figure. It was a little longer than his legs, but pressing it into his shoulder, I helped him figure out how to manipulate the leg. It was better than him having to wobble. “Wait here, I’ll look for your leg.”, I said, and started to look into the machines for the cub’s missing leg. He watched as I looked and looked, but everything was empty and dark. And then…I found it – the leg had been torn to shreds and was in a trash bin by one of the machines.

Sighing, I told him what happened to his leg. He started to cry, but I gave him a nuzzle and said, “But look, even without it, you are perfect. You will be just as loved as you would have been with it. I promise!”

“You…you promise?”, Artemis asked. I nodded, giving him a hug, “I am certain. Now let’s go find your giftee.”, I encouraged him. The cub finally smiled and nodded, but asked, “How are we going to get there? We’re on the North Pole!”

I chuckled, “Well I may not be a reindeer, but I can fly.”, I told him. It wasn’t exactly flying, more like…dangling from my strings. But I could travel in the air like this. We walked out into the freezing environment, where a bitter wind howled and snow was falling everywhere. I wasn’t used to this kind of place, and wondered how Santa and his caribou could even survive up here, but resting in the snow, I told Artemis to hop onto my back. He was shaky from the cold and from the snow, but he climbed onto my back between the strings, and telling him to hold on, I was lifted up into the air. My master who controls me knew what to do, and we were dangling over the land, going up above the clouds to avoid the storm. Once we had gotten out of the storm, we were moving, guided in the direction of warmer lands. I looked back and to my surprise Artemis had fallen asleep.

It took a long time to get where we were being guided to. When Artemis woke up, the sunlight was warming us up. Artemis looked around, having a hard time remembering where he was, but then he began to panic, “Oh no, where is it?”, he cried. I looked back to see what he was talking about, but found out it was that spare leg I had put on him. It must have fallen off during the trip. “Artemis, please relax, you’ll be just fine without it!”, I said to him. He quieted and settled, but began to cry again. It was obvious there was a lot of anxiety and despair in his mind. I only hoped where we were being guided to was the right place.

We went down under the clouds, and saw the land now. I didn’t recognize where we were other than assuming we were in America. We descended as my strings got longer, and slowing to the ground, we found ourselves in a small town. Artemis hopped off and stood on his three paws, looking around at the place. “Where are we?”, he asked. I looked for an answer, and found a house with a mailbox that said the name – Allen, South Dakota. And almost on cue, a little girl opened the door. She had stayed up looking for Santa Claus, and heard us when we landed. I didn’t realize at first, but she was Native American in race. “Hello, who are you?”, she asked.

We looked to one another, and then I spoke up, “Hello there, my name is Pema, and this is Artemis. We’re, well…”, but before I could continue, Artemis said, “Umm Pema was sent by Santa Claus, he wanted to find a very special person to…to find a good home for a lost toy.”

The girl walked toward us, unsure if she had ever heard stuffed animals speak before, but smiling, she said, “My name is Dyani, and…”, she hesitated, “I was told Santa wasn’t going to come to my house, since we have no money…but now you’re here! I knew Santa would come and answer my prayers!”, she was excited at this point.

I smiled and nudged Artemis, who spoke up, “Oh umm…well I’m…the toy that was sent from Santa…”, he said, and almost immediately Dyani picked him up and hugged him. The cub closed his eyes and actually began to purr.

I knew my work was done, so I started to leave, but Artemis called, “Wait, Pema!” I stopped and looked back to the two, the now happy Dyani and her loving toy. The cub called, “Thank you, Pema! Thank you!”

I nodded, and replied, “Merry Christmas, you two.”, and then I was lifted into the sky, watching them shrink until I could not see them from above the clouds.

I felt good. I knew I did something great today. And almost without another moment to spare, I was brought back to the Endless Forest. It was still night, and I knew it was about to be Christmas Morning, so I went back to the open place where I usually sleep.

And there, laying by a small tree, was the action figure leg Artemis had lost. But right next to it was a little box.

And when I opened it, I found a note from Santa Claus himself –

“Dear Pema –

Thank you for saving Christmas for Dyani and Artemis. It was truly an accident that we left him behind on the Christmas Flight, but when I heard you came to bring him to his new home, I made sure your kindness was rewarded.

Merry Christmas!
- Santa”

I looked into the box and found the one thing I could always use – a sewing kit for when I get cuts in my fabric!

This ends the journal of Pema, now it being December 25th, 2012.

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