The Search for Sir Squeezums
I never used to believe in imaginary things when I was a kid. Come to think of it, I never used my imagination at all. The idea of having an imaginary friend to play with, or exploring imaginary worlds was just stupid to me.
My sister, Emily, had a great imagination. She was always playing out in the backyard with her imaginary friends and her teddy bear, Sir Squeezums. She would think they were exploring a dark cavern or sailing the vast ocean, and I would just shake my head and roll my eyes.
Then one day, my sister said that Sir Squeezums wasn’t in her bedroom. I told her she probably lost it outside.
“There’s only one place he would go,” she had declared, “and that is Humpferville.”
“What kind of place is that?” I had asked, making a face.
“I’ll show you.” She stuck her hand out the window, and to my astonishment, a large pirate ship came floating out of nowhere. It was flying by five large propellers a helicopter would use.
“Come on, Johnathon,” Emily cried, jumping onto the pirate ship. “Let’s go!”
I was hesitant, but I did as she asked. In a matter of time, we were flying through the clouds. The clouds went from white to pink, one of Emily’s favourite colours, and flying all around us were dozens of long-necked geese. One looked at me and waved.
“This isn’t real,” I exclaimed. “It can’t be!”
The pirate ship finally landed in a grassy, golden field, and all sorts of people surrounded us. There were short people, tall people, and men with wavy moustaches and women with large hair wrapped up in a bun. They all talked different too.
“Nice to see you again, Emily!”
“Good afternoon, miss!”
“Ahoy, me lady!”
“Hello, Tiffany,” Emily was answering. “Good afternoon, Gerald. Ahoy, McQueen!”
A short, round man with no eyebrows and curly brown hair came up to me. He was riding a short, round hippopotamus. “Nice to meet you, friend,” he said, sticking out his hand for a handshake.
I shook it. “Nice to meet you too…I guess.” I still couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This must have been a dream. I pinched my arm. Nope, it still hurt.
“We need to find Sir Squeezums,” Emily said.
The short round man nodded. “He went over to the Cotton Candy Castle!” He pointed to a trail that led through a forest and up into purple mountains. Purple was Emily’s other favourite colour.
“Of course, that’s Sir Squeezums favourite place!” Emily declared. “Can we get a ride?”
“Of course,” the short round man said. “I’ll call Brutus the Brontosaurus right now!”
“Brontosaurus?” I started feeling very nervous when I heard him say that. I knew that the Brontosaurus was Emily’s favourite dinosaur, but we weren’t actually going to ride one, were we?
It sounded like thunder at first, but then the ground started to rumble, and from out of the forest came the towering dinosaur. Emily ran up and hugged its foot. It lowered its head and licked her face, and then Emily motioned for us to climb aboard.
With a deep breath, I stepped onto the soft head of the dinosaur. In a matter of seconds, we were stomping through the forest on our way to the castle. Emily sat at the very front, singing at the top of her lungs, enjoying every moment. We could see the entire world of Humpferville. I saw a vast landscape of hills, forests, and villages with different coloured houses. Surrounding the landscape was a vast blue ocean, with multi-coloured fish jumping in and out. Emily always loved the ocean.
We arrived at Cotton Candy Castle. As its name implied, it was made entirely out of cotton candy. I had the urge to pluck a piece from the wall.
The big guard with a bushy, green beard greeted us with a warm smile. “Whatcha here fer, Emily?”
“We need to bring Sir Squeezums back home,” Emily said.
The guard looked sad. “Aw, we were havin’ so much fun wit him!”
“I’m sorry, sir, but it’s time for Sir Squeezums to come back home.”
The guard nodded and went inside the castle. A moment later he came back out carrying Sir Squeezums, who looked just like Emily’s plain, old teddy bear.
We thanked the guard, and he waved at us with a tear in his eyes. “Please come back soon, will ya?” I might have felt sorry for him.
We rode the Brontosaurus back to the pirate ship. Everyone waved good-bye to us as the ship took off. Once again, we passed the flying geese, and once again, one of them waved at me. This time, I waved back.
When we got back to our house, I tried to understand what had just happened. Did I step into my sister’s imaginary world? How did I do it? Would I be able to do it again?
I tried to ask Emily, but all she said was, “you have to have an imagination. You do, do you?”
Instead of saying no, I said yes. I did have an imagination after all. We all have an imagination; we just have to know when to use it. I’m a grown adult now, but I still use my imagination, and so does my sister.