'My happy bunny is missing': Lost toy gets Reddit treatment and a heart-warming reunion
Librarians heard about missing toy Roger and Reddit played a role
A Regina youngster who lost a stuffed toy during I Love Regina Day has been reunited with the cherished item and her family has a heart-warming story to tell about it.
A month ago, Charlie, 3, was downtown for the civic pride event with her mother, Colleen Book, and her best friend.
"She had her bunny Roger with her everywhere," Book explained. "She must have misplaced him."
When the toy was noted as missing, a frantic search and retracing of steps ensued with no results.
Roger is just on an adventure and maybe he'll come back.- Colleen Book
"She was pretty upset," Book recalled. As well, even though Book had taken precautions and bought four identical bunnies, young Charlie knew her favourite needed to be found.
"She was like, 'No. No. My happy bunny is missing. All these other bunnies are sad bunnies,'" Book said. "She knew right away."
One of the possible places to find Roger was the central library where Charlie and her mother had been that day. But initial inquiries produced no leads.
To console her a bit, Book suggested the bunny's absence was temporary.
"Roger is just on an adventure and maybe he'll come back," she told her child.
By chance, those soothing words were heard by a librarian who found the notion charming and shared the story with a colleague.
As it turned out the colleague remembered that a stuffed toy had been deposited in the library's lost and found bin.
"Sure enough, they put [the clues] together," Book said and Roger was retrieved.
Reddit plays a role
To ensure the mother's story about an adventure held up, a librarian posted a picture of Roger online, inviting people on Reddit to Photoshop the toy into different settings.
"[The idea was] to make it seem like he'd gone on a short vacation," Book said. "So, all of these pictures are Photoshopped of Roger doing these great things."
Thanks to the Reddit thread, the toy went to Paris, Disney World, Egypt and dozens of other places and settings.
The final leg of his journey back to Charlie came via another bit of happenstance.
As the library staff were discussing how to share Roger's adventure pictures with people in Regina, to find his owner, Charlie's aunt — who works at the branch — overheard the conversation.
"She looked and said, 'Oh my gosh, it's Roger,'" Book said. Before long, bunny and child were back together.
"I was shocked," Book said. "I thought there's no way we're ever going to get this bunny back."
She said the return of the toy was itself an amazing stroke of luck and the added element of a photographic adventure made the reunion story all the more incredible.
"It was so sweet," she said.
Charlie's aunt did the honours of presenting Roger to her niece earlier this week.
"Her eyes went wide," Book said, and a huge hug followed.
After that the family spent time poring through the photos and a kind explanatory note from the library stuff who put it all together.
"Charlie shows everybody, very proudly, where bunny's been and that he's back," she said. "That night she slept really well."
With files from CBC Radio's the Morning Edition