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What is the best thing a child can wake up to?
A new box of toys.
Bonnie has just received a brown box full of toys. Inside is a variety of plastic and cotton figures ranging from an astronaut to a stuffed horse.
The one that catches her eye, however, is a cowboy. The glimmer in its plastic eyes beckons her to reach for him and play with him. She listens to her instincts and carefully takes the cowboy out. She smiles at the toy, admiring the way his tan hat contrasts the brown hair in which it is sitting upon. His bright striped flannel, which is carefully placed under his black and white spotted vest, shouts adventure. Tucked in the cowboy's belt is a mini gun, fit for the miniature hands of the plastic toy. This indicates courage, a trait in which Bonnie can't wait to unleash. Bonnie's eyes make contact with those of the cowboy.
A connection is made, a connection so strong, so passionate that it signals none other than the beginning of a new and profound greatness: friendship.
But before she can play with the treasure she holds so preciously in her hands, her older brother, Quentin calls for her.
"If you want me to drive you to Judy's house for your little play date, you better hurry up!"
Bonnie, knowing that her adventure with the cowboy will need to be postponed, waves him goodbye. She skips out into the hallway, careful to close the door behind her.
The coast is clear.
And the toy awakens.
The first thing he sees is the majestic green wall of the bedroom. The paint coincides with the mahogany wood, giving an illusion of mother nature's favorite colors. To his left is a white bookshelf; it holds many short stories, as well as many beautiful toys, all of which have been faithfully taken care of. At the very top of the bookshelf is a frame which encases the picture of a little girl with wavy, brown hair shaping her baby cheeks before finally stopping at her jawline. Light freckles are sprinkled onto her cheek. The faintness of her features contrast her bulging green eyes, shining with happiness. This must be my new owner. The toy thinks. Struck with amnesia, the cowboy cannot recall his previous owner. He shakes his thoughts away and peers over at the cozy-looking bed. The toy climbs up the bright green sheets which seem to compliment the dark hue of the wall. He lays beside a fluffy unicorn and imagines himself being hugged by the child. Though he has only been here for a few hours, the cowboy feels as if he is at home.
The toy is suddenly alarmed. He can just barely hear the faint thumping of dainty feet.
But she is not alone. Accompanying the girl is her older brother.
The cowboy goes limp just as the door knob twists and a child's foot steps inside.
"I almost forgot my new toy!" Bonnie grabs a hold of the cowboy and waves it in her brother's face. "Look, Quentin! Isn't he just beautiful?"
Clearly annoyed, Bonnie's brother scoffs. "You made me stop halfway from your friend's house just for you to grab a toy?"
Bonnie, taken aback by her brother's harsh tone, tries to reason with him. "B-but he's important! I have to show Judy my new toy-"
"Oh shut up!" He rolls his eyes. "That stupid toy isn't even new; you got it from our neighbor who no longer needs it because he's going off to college. This thing," Quentin snatches the toy away from Bonnie. "Is useless."
"Give it back!" Bonnie whines. She jumps up and down, trying to grasp the cowboy out of her brother's hands --but to no such luck. Quentin is a 17-year old boy whereas Bonnie is a 7-year old girl. Adolescence has hit him, giving him the power of growth whereas it has barely touched upon her.
"GIVE HIM BACK QUENTIN!"
"It. The toy is an it. Bonnie, sometime you are such an annoying pain in the-"
"MOOOM!" Tears start streaming down Bonnie's face. Faster and faster they go.
"Fine, fine, fine! Take your god damn toy back." Quentin flings the toy to the ground. "Such a whiny tattletale," he mutters before leaving the room.
The limp cowboy collides with the floor ---his hat and boot tumbling out of reach from both Bonnie and her beloved toy. They scatter in different directions, leaving Bonnie dumbfounded as to where they are.
Bonnie rushes over to the poor toy, gracefully leaning him against the brown box. Just as she is about to scour her bedroom for all the toy's missing articles of clothing, her brother calls from downstairs, "Bonnie, if you are not down here in five seconds, I am not driving you to Judy's house!" A faint countdown can be heard in the distance.
Knowing that she would not have any time to find the cowboy's accessories, Bonnie looks into the toy's eyes and kisses him on the forehead. "I'll fix you up later, alright? Don't worry about Quentin," she reassures him. "He's just jealous he doesn't have a great toy like you." Bonnie smiles and skips out.
The toy awakes once again to a slightly naked body. He realizes his hat and right boot is missing. Under the bed is his brown hat in which he dusts off before placing it on his head. The cowboy scans the room only to realize that his right boot is only four yards away. He hops over and picks up the boot. Before he slips his foot inside, he notices black scribbles on the bottom of his shoe.
Written in sharpie is a name.
The memories flow back.
A bright light seeps in from the box. The familiar soft yet masculine hand of his owner is reaching into the box. It takes a hold of a red headed cowgirl, who waves goodbye at the cowboy before disappearing.
"This is Jessie, the roughest, toughest cowgirl in the whole west! She loves critters," Andy's tone is full of enthusiasm. He reaches in the box again but this time towards a stuffed horse. "But not more than her best pal, Bullseye!"
One by one the toys surrounding the cowboy are introduced: Rex, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Slinky, Ham, the aliens, and the cowboy's best friend, Buzz Lightyear. The cowboy makes eye contact with each and every toy before they are lifted into the air and out of sight.
A little girl peers over the box, her green eyes taking in every detail of the remaining cowboy.
"Woody?" Andy picks the toy up. "He's not supposed to be here." A look of confusion is planted onto Andy's face but is soon overcome with fear as the child reaches for the toy.
"Well, this guy here has been my pal for as long as I can remember. He's brave, kind, and smart --like a cowboy should be. But the thing that makes him special is that he'll never give up on you. Ever. He'll be there for you no matter what." And pauses. A tone of surrender is clearly in his voice. "You think you can take care of him for me?"
The girl nods eagerly and pulls the toy into a tight embrace.
"Bonnie, time to eat lunch!" Bonnie's mom waves at Andy. " It was great seeing you. Enjoy your time in college!"
Bonnie leaves the toys on the porch.
The toy heaves himself up and looks at Andy as he drives off.
"So long, partner."