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Sunday, August 24, 2003

Vacation--Day 5

Teddy: Still really crowded at the shore, so, again, we went inland for some local attractions. Spaulding: I remembered Mommy (no, not momma kehehehehehe) talking to Daddy about a place they visited once. It’s named Smithville, and, again, it’s kinda in the middle of south Jersey, but this time leans closer to the shore. Teddy: It’s in the Pine Barrens, which, if you’re from this area, you might have heard of the Jersey Devil from there. Spaulding: I did hear something about this Jersey Devil (not the sports team) once and asked Mommy about him. Teddy: We’re from Philadelphia, but Mommy is from a town in south Jersey, named Woodbury. When she lived there it only had 10,000 people, but now it has grown to be 50,000! Spaulding: Anyway, the way Mommy heard the story was the Jersey Devil was a deformed child, who was locked into his parent’s basement, for fear that if he was ever discovered, he’d be shot. He was loved by his parents, but, he wasn’t quite right and lived pretty much like a wild animal. Teddy: Now, of course, being Internet savvy Teddy Bears, we had to research the story on the Web, and we found quite a different story. Spaulding: Now, if you ever watched the X-files and watched their version, their version doesn’t fit into Mommy’s versions nor the Internet’s version, but even that is told on the web version. Teddy: Even though he’s “just a legend,” he has caused quite a stir in this area, including having policemen and hunters looking for him. It’s a pretty cool story, and if you want to learn more, click here! Spaulding: Anyway, we didn’t go in search of the Jersey Devil, but ended up near where he supposedly lives. Teddy: Legend has it he lives in Leed’s Point, in the Pine Barrens. Spaulding: But, like I said before, we were going to Smithville. Teddy: It’s a cute little tourist trap kinda village of quaint little don’t-need-it, but-want-it-anyway shops! Spaulding: The kids talked us into buying them a cool kite, which we did fly in the dark last night, when the beach wasn’t crowded at all! Teddy: We also flew it last night because it glowed in the dark! Spaulding: And Teddy and I bought Valentine and Lady a little pot with dried flowers in it. Teddy: But the purchase we liked the most was a fifty cent bag of bread pebbles to feed the geese and ducks in the Smithville pond. Spaulding: We thought we weren’t very patient when it came to eating, but compared to those birds, we have the patience of Job! Teddy: Like us, they eat all day, but it looked like they were starved to death the way they pushed it other out of the way to get to the pebble. Spaulding: Strangely, Ding thought he saw something fairly big and green peeking at us from across the pond in the woods, but we just thought he had a “close encounter” with a big leaf! Both: kehehehehehehe Teddy: He’s very small, so to him, “big” could be the size of a maple leaf. Both: kehehehehehehe Spaulding: So, it was time for lunch and we went to the area for picnics and started our fire to roast our hotdogs! Teddy: Ding was a bit on edge. He really thought he saw something, but he also wanted to be very helpful to impress Sarah. Spaulding: He and Sarah have developed a good friendship, and, thankfully, Ding is aware that he is too young for Sarah, so his heart won’t be broken when we go home for good from our vacation. Teddy: He did get up the courage to go into the woods to gather some sticks for our fire. Spaulding: I hate to say this, but, at first when he came running out of the woods screaming that he ran into something “big and green,” I thought he was just trying to get out of doing any work. Teddy: kehehehehehe Betcha changed your mind when the “big and green” thing followed him! Spaulding: kehehehehehe Sure did! Teddy: Well, if you are a people, it wasn’t big at all, although very green! Spaulding: Apparently, being Teddy Bears, he thought we were trustworthy and understanding! Teddy: I was just too scared to move! Both: kehehehehehehe Spaulding: Nice of him to introduce himself right away! Teddy: And beary polite too!!! Spaulding: You guessed it! We came face-to-face with the Jersey Devil! Teddy: Except he’s not a devil, he’s a stuffed, live dinosaur! Spaulding: And he’s not very big, only a couple of inches taller then me! He’s about 18 inches high! Teddy: His story is so sad too! He belonged to a little girl, named Greta, over 200 years ago. Spaulding: Lewis and Clark had just come back from their expedition and brought back that dinosaur skull to Jefferson. It started a little craze. Teddy: Similar to the craze that happened when Theodore Roosevelt came back from his hunting expedition with a bear, but Teddy Bears lasted and stuffed dinosaurs didn’t! Spaulding: During their walk, the Greta accidentally stepped on a rattle snake! Teddy: Good news though! She yelled loud enough to have her Mommy and Daddy come running and they got the poison out of her right away. Spaulding: Don’t ask how—it’s gross!!! Teddy: Dino—that’s his real name, not “Jersey Devil”—heard them say, as they picked up their daughter, that she would be sick, but looked like she’d live! Spaulding: But the sad part is, in their haste to get her home, they forgot to pick up her stuffed dinosaur! Teddy: Stuffed animals are pretty lost without their parents to take care of them! Spaulding: Yeah, we would never have had the ability or guts to go on this vacation on our own, if it weren’t for Mommy and Daddy telling us it’s all right and telling us how to do it! Teddy: Dino laid in that same position all night, hoping that they would remember him and come back for him. Spaulding: The sounds of the woods scared him close to death and he really feared that snake would come back! Teddy: He didn’t move through the next day and night! Spaulding: But hunger won out after the second morning all alone. He finally had to go find something to eat… Teddy: He heard Greta’s parents looking for him, and he went running back to where he was for all that time. Spaulding: He heard them say that she had asked for him the moment she woke up and how guilty they felt for forgetting him! Teddy: But, he did the biggest thing wrong that all stuffed animals fear the most! Spaulding: He got caught running back to that place by Greta’s parents! Teddy: A running, stuffed dinosaur scared them to death! Spaulding: In their fear, he grew in size and was a real dinosaur!!!! Teddy: They ran away from him, thinking he must be a devil! Spaulding: Dino said that from that day on, he had to run away from people because they wanted to shoot him. He also spent all these years eating leaves, except when he’d go around that pond at night to look for those bread pebbles. Teddy: Can you imagine having to eat that junk for 200 years? No friends. Always hiding, and still getting caught every so often! So sad! Spaulding: He was so happy to see us! Teddy: He came out to talk to the same kinds of creatures—living stuffed animals! Spaulding: He was genuinely surprised when we offered him some hotdogs! Teddy: He didn’t come out for some real food! Spaulding: Sure was glad to eat it though! Teddy: He didn’t even know hotdogs had been invented! Spaulding: Sarah wanted to invite him home, because her Mommy really is a little girl, but because she is a little girl, she can’t just take in stray stuffed animals! Her parents have to buy her the ones she gets. Teddy: But, our parents do take in stray stuffed animals! A whole bunch actually! Mommy bought 6 dozen Teddy Bears to cloth in hope of finding people to adopt them. Spaulding: Only 2 have been adopted though. Teddy: We stay though, even when she finds homes for all those other animals. Spaulding: And we’re not the only ones to stay. Teddy: We have neighbors. Spaulding: That’s what we call the stuffed animals and Raggedy Ann downstairs—our neighbors. Teddy: Along with Raggedy Ann, there is Grover and the Philly Phanatic! Ann is the biggest stuffed creature of all us kids! Spaulding: With a Mommy like that, we quickly invited Dino to join us! There are no little children in our house, but Mommy and Daddy obviously have some kid still left in them! Teddy: He cried! Big, big dinosaur tears! Spaulding: And he kept bursting into tears for the rest of the day. Teddy: Tonight we brought him home! Mommy said he can join the “neighbors” downstairs. They are a beary tight, happy family! Spaulding: Dino is still crying, but we know he is happy! Teddy: Wow! No more Jersey Devil sightings! Spaulding: Mommy thinks most of the sightings were imaginary anyway. Dino never left the Pine Barrens but has been seen in Bristol, PA and Woodbury! Teddy: Woodbury’s not in the Pine Barren. Spaulding: According to the news, we were also beary lucky to not stay in Wildwood today. Someone drove their car into a crowd of people in Wildwood Crest, right next to Wildwood. Teddy: Killed one woman and hurt a couple of other people. Spaulding: So sad! Teddy: Don’t know more details yet, but how scary! Spaulding: But its way past our bedtime so we have to go. Teddy: So, until next time…

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