Lost stuffed animals do have magical powers, like being able to command Twitter.
Just in time for Christmas, we have a story that involves a stuffed animal that charms everyone he meets, jolly old England, a cute little girl, and some trains (which aren't really Christmas-y, but they're quaint, which is close enough).
Meet Roar, a little stuffed lion who was left on a train in London's King's Cross station and discovered by Lauren Bishop Vranch, a marketing director and "occassional bear," according to her Twitter profile. Recognizing that the well-worn state of the little critter's fur (she thought he was a bear at the time) showed he meant a great deal to someone, she ordered Twitter to help the bear find its way home. As you can see, other social networks joined in. Most importantly, this Spotted: On The Train Facebook page for items spotted...on the train:
Who doesn't love a blog full of things train passengers are crying over today?
At first, Lauren was only in this for the short term—she was going to tweet about the lion(bear) until 4pm the following day, after which she would leave him at the Lost Property desk at King's Cross. She probably would have turned him in right away if it weren't for the fact that Lauren found him when she got on a train leaving London, so he would have to come with her for her overnight trip to see a show in Newcastle. So, she started tweeting with the hashtag #LostBear and posting photos of their adventure:
Little bear has found a nice hotel to stay in. Tho the more I look at him, the more he looks like a dog. pic.twitter.com/69CstuhsBK— Lauren Bishop Vranch (@laurenannbishop) December 13, 2013
Can't imagine how angry Roar must have been hearing that. Lucky everyone's in one piece.
Bear has found his way backstage at Northern Stage Newcastle. He's going to see some panto. Lucky bear. pic.twitter.com/8WJnzmdCvo— Lauren Bishop Vranch (@laurenannbishop) December 13, 2013
"Panto" is a holiday pantomime show. Because the UK is still in the Old World.
When dawn came the next day, it still didn't look like #LostBear was going to get home.
"I'm gonna end up at lost property!" sounds even scarier in a little English voice.
Fortunately, the fates were smiling on #LostBear (or angry with Lauren Bishop Vranch), because her quest to return him was serendipitously thwarted:
Maybe they won't take him because he's not lost, just on an adventure.
With the train station refusing to take him, it looked like #LostBear might end up being nothing more than a fun hashtag for one woman and her Twitter followers. Indeed, there was nothing that really suggested this would turn out differently. But then again, it is the holidays, and magical holiday account (it also exists year-round) Lost Teddy Bear arrived with a special Christmas announcement (unrelated to Christmas):
I guess Christmas isn't canceled, after all. (It would have been canceled.)
It turns out that after little Phoebe lost her stuffed lion Roar on a train headed to London, her poor dad had been browsing Facebook pages devoted to things left on trains (that is a very nice dad), and saw the Spotted: On The Train post from above. He planned a special trip to London with Phoebe to go retrieve the Lion and take more adorable pictures.
Well done, internet!! It looks like the owner of #lostbear has been found. Bear is actually a lion - oops! :) Thanks everyone!!— Lauren Bishop Vranch (@laurenannbishop) December 15, 2013
And we also learned not to judge stuffed large predators by their appearance.
I spoke to Phoebe's dad this morning and Roar is now on his way to Yorkshire to be reunited. Thanks to everyone who RTed and shared.— Lauren Bishop Vranch (@laurenannbishop) December 16, 2013
This is the point where it could have become a romantic comedy if they were single.
And just like that, what was just the heartwarming story of a woman finding a loved toy and taking it on an adventure became the way-more-heartwarming story of a beloved toy having an adventure and teaching the meaning of Christmas and goodwill towards your fellow human (or bear or lion) being to an adult woman and adorable child alike.
Now that you've started your week with a dose of joy and heart-warm, let's go be snarky and bah-humbug everything until this period of neighborly spirit passes.
(by Johnny McNulty)