Find Scruncheon and Touton 2
“Pop,” said our tallest granddaughter, pushing her grandmother’s—yes, her grandmother’s—iPad into my hand. “Install the Where’s Waldo app, p-le-e-e-ease.”
Granddaughter had become bored with Angry Birds and Tap the Frog and was begging for a new digital challenge. Circumstances, however, caused me to refuse her pleas.
“No more iPad today,” I said, showing her what had just arrived in the mail. “Here’s something better.”
As only a denied child can do, granddaughter looked askance at the book I held. “A book?” “Have a look. It’ll be fun.” Five minutes later Granny’s iPad was forgotten. Granddaughter and I were spread out on the carpet and Finding Scruncheon and Touton 2 [Tuckamore Books] was open in front of us.
Yes, those two pups—the creations of Nancy and Laurel Keating—are romping again, losing themselves among crowds in public places. Well, mostly public places. Scruncheon does make an appearance in Nanny’s Attic.
Firstly though, Scruncheon, a Newfoundland dog, is part of an expedition to a Bird Sanctuary, where puffins eat fishes— capelin?—and gulls gobble French fries and one wears an ossieegg hat. By the looks of it, the sanctuary isn’t the Cape St. Mary’s Bird Rock with which I’m familiar. But, as it has been my experience at the cape, oddly none of the flying birds are going whoopsie on visitors’ noggins.
Touton’s first ramble is in Historic Downtown. It’s autumn. Leaves have fallen and a Halloween ghost peers from a second story window. In another window a granny with her hair tied in a bun talks to her parrot—no iPad or Scruncheon and Touton for her entertainment, poor soul.
At the Flea Market (One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure) one might find anything, from an ugly stick to a magic wand.
I spotted a set—pair?—of bongo drums that…well, that drummed up memories of ancient times, pre-hippies days when I fancied I could be a beatnik. Yeah, daddy-o, a beatnik beating on his bongos. At the Botanical Gardens, Touton is sniffing a butterfly, unaware of the frustrated crow conniving a way to rob the grapes ripening inside the greenhouse.
Said crow, unlike the ones that pecked holes in the roof of my plastic greenhouse and stole my grapes, is— goody!—foiled.
Down on the Waterfront Scruncheon plays “paw” with a yellow-haired girl and in a restaurant window where he is strapped into a highchair, a baby boy is puttin’ ‘er up.
There’s something about a baby wailing indignantly in a public place that warms the cockles—whatever they are—of my heart. There are times when I’m unhappily trapped in such places that I wish I had the gumption to wail out my woes.
At the Kite Festival a pair of glasses lies abandoned on the ground. I hate that, glasses—even sunglasses—tossed on the ground. There’s no chance that Touton will retrieve the lost (?) glasses. She appears to be too concerned with a boy walking a heartthrob dachshund.
In Nanny’s Attic a pair of glasses has been carefully placed on vanity. Also on the vanity is an old fashioned washbasin and jug. I’d bet a loonie, inside the vanity’s closed chamber is a Johnnypot. You think? Guess what’s lying on the grass at the Teddy Bears’ Picnic. A neglected pair of heart-shaped sunglasses! Nancy. Laurel. Please stop leaving glasses strewn around. Granddaughter—remember we were a-sprawl on the floor— wanted to find the listed objects at the Winter Carnival but I— Grumpy Grampa—said no: “It’s the middle of summer, we’ll see enough snow next winter.”
Granddaughter and I must have been tiring. We had a job finding the starfish at the Capelin Roll. P’raps I would have spotted it sooner if it had been identified as a five-finger as I knew them in my bay-boy days.
At the Fishing Museum there’s a trio of starfish—five-fingers—in the viewing pool. And there’s a couple of mice right down at the bottom of the page.
By the way, the Keatings seem to have a wee rodent motif running through their book. See if you can spot them—the mice, not the Keatings—when you’re finished finding Waldo and you come to play with Scruncheon and Touton.
Thank you for reading. Mind where you leave your glasses.