Sunday afternoon about thirty minutes before our final show, I was getting a drink of water when a little boy in full pirate regalia came running up to me. He began to chatter away, and I turned and knelt to listen.
“I have a treasure chest just like you do!”
Now at this point, I didn’t recognize this child, but since my treasure chest is almost always in my haversack and hidden this had to be a kid I had interacted with before. He proceeded to pull out a small hand carved wooden box from the bag he was carrying over his left shoulder.
“See!!!”, He proclaimed triumphantly!
“Oh yes that is indeed a fine treasure chest !”, I responded. To my side now appeared Clare De Luna, also happily enjoying the display of treasure. I looked into the treasure box, and noticed a mini message in the bottle, and a very familiar plastic gold coin alongside another gold coin, a few fairy godmother stones and some small copper colored coin shapes.
I instantly recognized the treasures as those belonging to my little friend from the day before.
He happily exhibited his treasures one by one to both of us, as we looked on with excitement. When he got to the small copper colored coins he explained that his dad made them for him. I felt a presence behind me and glanced back to see Dad now watching this display. The boy’s fingers fondled a small grey brown slightly polished stone. He looked up to his dad for a moment as if to get approval, or perhaps to draw strength. Dad, sensing the trepidation said, “we have been looking all over for you all afternoon”
“You have? Well, I’ve been around , we must have just been missing each other.”
The ice sufficiently broken, and courage mustered, the boy chimed in, “I want to give you something”
“Oh little one, you don’t have to give me your treasure.”
At this he looked slightly unsure and glanced to dad for advice. Dad nodded.
The boy gently removed the stone from his treasure chest and handed it to me. I took the gift with great flourish and treated it as I do all gifts from the little friends, like it was made of the most precious materil on the planet.
His father then explained that the boy had searched all through the house the previous day after they got home, and then continued all morning trying to find a suitable gift for the pirates he met. He finally decided to pick out two favorite rocks from his rock collection and bring them to us.
I nearly melted right there.
After this, the boy looked at me and said, “but where’s your brother bob?”
I explained, “Well, bob should be back very soon as we are going to do our show again in just about 5 minutes time, in fact I need to go the children’s area now so we can get started. You are more than welcome to join us and watch it again if you would like!”
“What do you say buddy, should we go see it?”, asked dad
“YEAH!!” came the exuberant reply as the boy began to hastily re-pack his bag.
Once the bag was packed, and secured, we made our way back to the children’s kingdom area. As we walked, the father and I spoke of a few things, including the family’s newfound desire to attend Bristol, and to do so in costume.
Once we arrived in the Children’s Kingdom father and son found a nice spot on the ground, dad sitting Indian style, with son in his lap and began to wait for the show to begin. I went behind the curtain, and told Andy of the boy, and a quick recap of the gifting. We then walked out front to let the boy give “Bob” his gift as well.
After the show was over and all the other kids left, our little friend came back up to me, and started once again talking. He again told me about his party he had, and how his dad had taken them out on a REAL boat!
Dad stood behind him shaking his head… “He is normally so shy, and quiet, this is just incredible.” I looked up at him, smiled and gave the “this is magic, just accept it” look. The dad understood, without a word.
Then the boy looked me straight in the eye, and mustered every ounce of courage he had and said, “will you come to my birthday party next weekend?”
Once again this little boy nearly turned me into a blubbering idiot. It was the most heartfelt request I have heard in a while.
“I’m so sorry little one, I would love to come, but sadly I cannot. You see my brother and I…”
“You’re going out on your ship aren’t you!!!” he interjected excitedly.
“We are indeed me boy, but don’t you worry, you are going to get to see us again at Bristol.”
When he heard that they would be going to Bristol, and would see us again in a few weeks, he got excited.
“Will it be a very long car ride?” he asked worried.
Dad, still standing behind him shook his head no.
Using the information from his father, I responded, “no, me boy it will not. Don’t you worry, we’ll see each other again!”
Satisfied, and excited he said good bye, and returned to his father, they turned and walked off to enjoy the rest of their day. As they passed through the Children’s Kingdom gates the father turned back for a moment, smiling ear to ear, and said “Thank you, you guys are wonderful!”