The day before mid-elections a mysterious package arrived in the mail. I wasn’t expecting anything because I hadn’t ordered anything. Who could it be from? I checked the return address which I didn’t recognize.
I don’t know why but suddenly I was paranoid about it. Maybe it was because I was tired with a busy day scheduled ahead. The atmosphere felt volatile with all the political mayhem revolving around the elections. This was the biggest war I have ever witnessed between the democrats and republicans. Recently, packages with bomb threats had been sent to well-known people, which I am not one of. So why was I worried?
I am a christian and I don’t hide the fact. I searched my mind to think if I might have offended an unbeliever. I couldn’t think of an incident, however it is possible to offend someone without trying. Especially, in these times in which we are living. Many people have been harmed by people professing to be Christians who may have been Christians or not. Christian are not flawless as many expect us to be. It can be dangerous to be known as a Christian.
I took the package into my tiny apartment and opened it carefully. Inside was a toy stuffed goat. I looked for a note telling me who sent it. I found the note. Whew! I opened it. It said, “Baaaaaaaaaaaaa.”
Was this some kind of joke? Was someone trying to tell me that I was an old goat? I kind of am, but I don’t want to hear that from anyone unless it’s a loved one just teasing me. I picked the toy up and gently felt for anything weird inside. I felt some wires but they appeared to be for the stability of the legs. I studied the eyes. Could there be a hidden camera in there? They make pretty small ones now days.
What should I do? It seemed harmless. Yet you never know. Should I take it to the police station? The package included a website that I’d never heard of. Maybe someone was trying to hack me. I was nervous about checking it out. Normally, I’m not this paranoid. However, I am cautious.
I decided to take it over to my brother’s and see what he thought. I entered the house with the package carrying it open so the goat was in view. My brother had this goofy look on his face that he gets when he is about to make a joke.
I said, “I got this package today and I don’t know who it’s from. Do you think I should take it to the police station?” His face changed to a look of surprise.
“Wow. I was just going to make a joke about that being a bomb that some gypsies sent you”, he said.
He inspected it and agreed that it seemed harmless. He looked up the website. It was a legit site. Someone had paid $25 to send me this goat to cheer me up. But who? The first people I thought of was my daughter and granddaughters. It didn’t seem likely that they would spend $25 for this little thing. All of their money situations were pretty tight. I have many friends but I couldn’t think of any that would have a reason to send me a gift. I hadn’t expressed a need to be cheered up.
What to do with this thing? I didn’t want it. I didn’t know who it was from. It had added more stress to an already stressful day. Should I just toss it?
I decided to keep it for a few days to see if the sender made herself/himself known. I put the package in the trunk of the car and forgot about it.
The next morning my daughter called me after I had hounded her for days to talk to me. It had been a long time since we last talked. I wanted to know how everyone was doing. We live two hours apart. My two oldest granddaughters had recently moved out leaving the youngest alone with her parents. I wanted to know how everyone was adjusting.
Once my daughter assured me everyone was doing well, she asked, “How are you? What have you been up to?”
I gave her the run down on my recent activities. Then, I remembered the package. “I got this package with a toy goat in it and I have no idea who it is from.” She made no comment. I proceeded to share my initial alarm over it and how I had thrown it in the trunk of the car and didn’t want it.
There was a pause. “I guess I should tell you Elizabeth sent it. She thought it was so funny and that you would be the perfect person to send it to.” (Elizabeth is my oldest granddaughter who is in college. How could she afford this?)
“I don’t understand what is funny about it,” I said.
“Well, you know how we tease you about being an undercover Disney princess because animals are always trying to get in your house?”
It took a minute to sink in. A smile spread across my face. Once I knew who the little goat was from, he took on a whole different meaning for me. I couldn’t wait to get him out of the trunk.
I had my brother snap a photo of me kissing my little goat and I sent it to my granddaughter. My daughter had shared my scare with her. She thought my story was funny. “I can just see the headlines now, Grandmother calls in the bomb squad after mistaking a gift of a stuffed goat for a bomb,” she said. She did feel bad about scaring me though.
I decided to name my goat, “Billy .” It’s amazing how attached you can get to a stuffed toy sent from a loved one. Billy keeps me company. I look forward to seeing him when I get home. I told my granddaughter he is the perfect pet. I don’t have feed him or clean up after him. I’ve taken some cute pictures of Billy. For a second, I worried that I might be taken my little joke too far. I said, ” I feel like Tom Hank’s on that deserted island making friends with a basketball.” Loneliness is nothing to make fun of. My heart goes out to people suffering from this.
My family, especially my granddaughters, worry about me being alone. They don’t want me to be lonely. They have tried to talk me into getting a cat or dog numerous times. I like animals but I don’t want to be responsible for them. I’m hardly ever home so, it wouldn’t be fair to an animal. When I do get home, I like being alone. I have tried to reassure them that I never feel alone ever when I am alone. I feel so connected to many people.