It was one of the blurred days of lockdown, I cannot tell you when now. I let Keith (cat, who lives in the spare room), out into the courtyard first thing in morning. There is a cat flap in the back door, before I moved in it was a dog flap.Keith trots in and out, checks that I am still at my desk then goes back out into the courtyard. On this morning, I let him out and got stuck into my work.
As I sat there, I could see through the opaque door of the flap and saw flashes of pink. That was instantly odd, usually I just see wood colour. Sometimes wet wood colour. I crouched down and it looked like a stuffed toy. Curious, I stood up and opened the door. Leaning against said door, was a four foot Minnie Mouse stuffed toy. What is was doing there? Then I looked down to the courtyard gate, which is my back gate onto the side street. The gate was wide open. I never have this gate open to ensure Keith doesn’t leave. I was panicked, forgetting the fact someone walked into my backyard with a giant mouse toy and left it there. Where was Keith??! I ran down the side and round the corner. Keith was sunning himself, mid lick, looking back at me a little startled. Oh thank fuck for that. Well that also proves he doesn’t have an interest in leaving anytime soon. Or that day at least.
This led me to now go back to the toy. It had the tags still on it, it didn’t look dirty, just a little wet from some rain overnight. The weird thing was, I don’t use this gate or door as my entry and friends don’t either. I also usually lock the gate. But someone brought it through, and not just threw it there but placed it then left leaving the gate wide open. It made me feel a bit sick, Keith just started sleeping under Minnie’s dress.
I took a photo and posted it on the local residents page. Maybe someone put it at my house by mistake? Maybe it was a drug drop off but they confused the address? Was Minnie full of cash? Or drugs? I picked her up, mindful that my yard faces onto a bunch of units, some probably seeing their grown neighbour holding up a large Disney toy in his yard, with no children on a weekday morning. Maybe I will wait for darkness, to inspect further. Do I stab her, cut her open and see if there is a secret message? Am I overthinking this? You are overthinking this.
The responses began, on the Facebook page. So many theories, most I had thought of and some were even worse. Some told me I should not stay at my house until this is solved as it could be a marker that robbers were casing the joint. I thought then about sneaking Minnie into the bin at night, then felt sad, such a waste of a toy. She didn’t deserve that. And thenoOne of the comments then chimed in:
“Hi, my grandaugther would love this! Can I have it, if you don’t want it?”
Maureen had also direct messaged me. Her granddaughter was turning five soon and loved Minnie Mouse. This was pretty much destiny. I didn’t want this gross thing anywhere near my life. By the next morning I was convinced I had a stalker or was now accidentally mixed up in a drug ring that used Disney toys as codes. The grandmother can take this shit on, not me.
So I said, sure.
I gave her my address, though what if she was the drug mule, all part of the plan? I didn’t care. I was deliberately out jogging when she messaged me to say she was there to pickup. I had left my gate open again, for her to go in and get it out of the yard. Hey why not have another stranger just go in right? I didn’t want to have to engage directly in case Maureen was a drug mule. She messaged to say she was surprised by how big Minnie was, but she took it. As my yard was free of the mouse on my return,
I now get text updates, about how many weeks until her granddaughters birthday. And that she promises to take photo. Sorry Maureen, but I never asked and don’t want photos of your granddaughter and a giant Minnie Mouse that stalked my house. I may have blocked a grandmother. And every morning since, I go on my tippy toes, look outside to see if I can see a stuffed toy. If the coast is clear, I open the cat flap and Keith goes to guard the gate. Fuck all he will do, but it’s something.