“Breakfast!” A woman’s voice hollered from downstairs.
Blue eyes peeked out of the box; he was not hungry. Besides, adventure was calling and Teddy was looking at him expectantly. Giving his red plaid bow-tie a quick wiggle, he grinned. Teddy was winning the argument and the call of the box was impossible to resist. He snatched his tweed jacket from the cardboard console and whipped it over is shoulder.
“Breakfast can wait,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.
In one fluid motion, he threw the lever and then tossed backwards. His jacket flew from his hand out of sight as he tried to catch himself. Teddy had also disappeared, but he was quickly found and placed back on his seat, unlike the jacket. The lurching of the box always caught them off guard, despite how many times it happened. Just as he had steadied his feet, the box began to spin out of control and he was thrown against the far wall with a thud. Then, just as it had started, it stopped. The whole box came to a halt. Climbing to his feet, he rubbed the back of his head gingerly.
“Well…that was fun,” he groaned. “I wonder where we are.”
“What is that?” A small voice exclaimed from the outside.
He and Teddy shared a look of surprise. Did they misstep and wander to a place they should not have? Searching for his jacket, he uncovered it in a far corner. He threaded his arms into the sleeves and finished with a firm tug on the front.
“Shall we?” He picked up Teddy and reached for the door.
All of a sudden, it flung open and he leapt back to avoid the swinging door. He ran a hand through his shaggy brown hair and tried to straighten his bow-tie for whatever stood on the other side. Soft blonde curls appeared as a little girl’s head poked through the doorway, giving him quite the surprise. Their eyes eventually met.
“Oh, hello,” she said quietly. “Are you here for story time?”
“Story time?” He replied, curious.
“Oh yes!” She proclaimed. “We are reading Green Eggs and Ham
, with Mr. Dr. Seuss!”
“Really?!” He could hardly contain his shock. “The Dr. Seuss…”
He loved Dr. Seuss books and had all of the most popular ones on his bookshelf at home. His mom would read a different book every night until they had all been read and the process would begin again.
“Of course. Who else?” She smiled
The girl backed out of the door, allowing him to sneak through. As he exited the box, his eyes wandered and discovered they had landed in a library. There were shelves full of books everywhere.
“Come on!” The little girl waved. “They are waiting for us.”
She grabbed his hand and yanked him towards the small gathering of children sitting on the floor. His grip on Teddy tightened as they weaved through bodies and legs.
“Sit,” she pointed to the floor at the front of the group.
Before him, there sat a man in a chair. He had dark hair speckled with gray, and an amiable face. The man did not look as the little boy had imagined, not that he had much of an idea in mind. He was just not sure he was indeed sitting before the Mr. Dr. Seuss he admired so much. He was younger, yet older, at the same time. Maybe his mind was confused and stunned he was meeting the man behind his favorite books.
The man smiled at the group then continued reading. They were still towards the beginning, so he settled in; his heart elated. This was a moment to cherish.
“The End,” the man read with soft closing of the book.
An applause rose from the children and adults who had been listening. A woman walked to the front of the group, clapping her hands as well.
“Thank you so much!” She said. “Children?”
“Thank you, Mr. Seuss,” they spoke in unison.
The little boy jumped to his feet and made a beeline to the chair. For a moment, he and Teddy stood in silence, trying to think of what to say. The man was patient while looking at them both expectantly.
“Mr. Dr. Seuss, sir,” he began. “I…it is a pleasure to meet you. I love your books.”
“Well, thank you, son.” The man replied, resting the book in his lap. “I am so glad to hear that. The appreciation makes it all worthwhile.”
“Thank you, for your time and words,” the boy said, wringing his hands.
“My pleasure,” the man answered.
Extending his hand, the two shared a firm handshake of gratitude. With a smile and nod, he and Teddy made their way back to the box, beaming from ear to ear and a skip in their steps.
“Amazing!” He closed his eyes and danced his way into the box.
Teddy just watched his friend jump around with joy. The boy ripped off his jacket and threw it against the wall before excitedly pulling the lever. The box did not lurch or spin this time, but seemed to take off as smoothly as it ever could. It was a very strange sensation to them, but one they both appreciated.
“Are you coming down, or not!” The woman’s voice called out.
The little boy grinned at Teddy.