The sun is bright through the big windows of the airport concourse until a shadow falls across me. It's a pretty pair of legs in a short skirt, followed by a wheeled suitcase. Both John and I look up (at the girl with the legs, not at the suitcase). She's frowning at her airplane ticket and tsking her tongue, looking around searchingly.
"Do you know," she says softly, with a melodic voice, "where the ticket agent is?"
The cat has got my little cloth tongue for once, but John smiles and points her to the service desk: "It's just across the way." "Would you please mind watching my bag for a minute?" she asks cheerfully, and before either one of us can answer, those cute legs are strolling away across the concourse.
"You know," I say to John, a little sternly, "you're not s'posed to let other people make you watch their bags. It's 'gainst the rules."
John smiles at me and ruffles my little fuzzy head. "Bully," he says quietly, "I think we can trust her." He points to the elegant leather luggage tag on the rollaway. Of course you all know what it said, but trust me, I gaped and stared when I saw the words
"Homina-homina-homina," I said, quietly.
"Yep," agreed John.
I spun around in my seat to watch Jane Wiedlin charm her way into the heart of the ticket agent, who was obviously swiftly moving heaven and earth in fixing whatever problem she had. I imagine that happens a lot when you're Jane Wiedlin. "Don't gawk, Bully," John gently chided me, and I slumped back in my seat and stared at her luggage instead. The side pocket was half-unzipped and what happened next was just casual, justifiable curiosity...okay, plain all-out noisiness. I poked my head in and peered into the darkness of the pocket.
"Hi hi hi!" said a voice in the darkness.
"Hi hi hi!" I said, before I could stop myself.
I jumped back in surprise, falling on my little stuffed butt on the airport carpet, when up from Jane Wiedlin's luggage pocket popped a little white fuzzy head. It had horns and big floppy ears and two little button eyes and a big white snout and a ring in the nose. He pulled himself out with his cloth hooves and tumbled onto the floor beside me.
We stared at each other. I raised one hoof. He raised the same hoof. I stepped to the right. He stepped to his left. I wiggled my tail. He waggled his tail. "Hi hi hi!" I said again. "I'm Bully!"
"Hi hi hi!" he replied cheerfully. "I'm Wooly!"
We walked around each other in two interlocking circles. He was identical to me, except he had a snazzy blue sweater instead of my stylish red sweater. Wooly was my identical twin little stuffed bull. I knew he was not my evil twin because he didn't have a goatee.
Well, it happens, you know? They say there is a double for everyone in the world. I was created in a factory in Hong Kong and I s'pose there are several million of me. We are a cuddly and cute soft toy, after all! But what are the chances that Miss Jane Wiedlin would carry another Bully around the world with her, just like John takes me wonderful adventurous places? A pretty wild coincidence, I surmised aloud. Very improbable, agreed Wooly.
Then I got an idea. A lovely idea. This little stuffed bull had a wonderful, lovely, fantastic idea! "I have a brilliant beyond brilliant idea!" I exclaimed. "Have you ever," I said slowly to Wooly, as we sat side by side on the airport carpet, "seen the movie The Parent Trap?"
"Dude." said Wooly, shaking his head. "I live with Jane Wiedlin. What do you think?"
We discussed for a few happy moments the relative merits of the Hayley Mills version and the Lindsay Lohan version (why, oh why did Lindsay Lohan ever grow up, we lamented together) until I remembered exactly why I had brought the movie up. "See, what happens," I explained, hurriedly, casting a quick glance back at the ticket counter where Jane Wiedlin was wrapping up her business with the enthralled clerk, "is we're identical..."
"I'm slightly cuter," said Wooly.
"Not as much as me...look, we don't have much time. We look pretty nearly alike. All we have to do is switch sweaters, and..."
"Jane says I'm not to trade my clothes with my friends anymore," Wooly said, looking a bit embarrassed.
"No," I said, swiftly. "We swap sweaters and then you look like me and I look like you and you go home with John and I go home with Jane..."
Wooly scrunched up his ringed nose and looked as if he were about to burst into tears. "But I don't want to leave Jane!" he sniffled. "She's my favorite person in the world! She takes such good care of me!"
"That's just what John does for me," I explained. "But it's not no how no where permanent! She takes me home and he takes you home and then later we can reveal we're not who they think we are, and when they get back together to exchange us again...well, maybe...maybe they will..."
"Oh ho," said Wooly, his eyes lighting up, starting to get it at last. "Is your John a nice guy?"
"The nicest!" I exclaimed. "Is Jane sweet to you?"
"The sweetest!" he cried.
"So they will be perfect together!" we squeaked together.
And it was only a moment's work to pull our distinctive sweaters off and for me to climb in to Jane Wiedlin's suitcase and for Wooly to shimmy back up onto the airport seat alongside John, who had been watching Jane so carefully he very conveniently hadn't noted our whole conversation and switch.
"Thank you so very much," smiled Jane at John, as she stepped back, and took the handle of her suitcase. "You're very sweet."
"It was no problem," John smiled back. "Have a great flight."
"You too!" Jane toodle-oohed over her shoulder as she strolled down the concourse, and I poked my head up and swallowed hard as seeing John disappear into the distance as I watched from the rolling suitcase. I was off to live with Jane Wiedlin, for just a little while, but with a plan in mind: within a few weeks Jane and John would be meeting to exchange us again. And of course, could wedding bells be far behind?
So, folks, I guess this means I will sign off from this blog for quite some time. I imagine Wooly will fill in for me while I'm gone. I sure hope he had some good things to say about comics! Well, knowing Jane's love for Star Trek and Star Wars, he can probably fill my hooves pretty well. Shhh, don't tell John right away that it's him?
"Well," Jane says, smiling at me. "Home we go, Wooly dear!" She bends down and gives me a little kiss on my fuzzy nose, and i go a little squishy inside.
The sight of John sitting in the airport chair disappears around a corner, and I wonder if I've made the right decision.