Stuffed Love

Teddy Bear and Lady Lion lay side by side on the playroom floor in the dark.

“I love you, Lady Lion,” said Teddy Bear.

“I love you too,” Lady Lion said.

Silence ensued.

“Having said that,” Teddy Bear said, “I’m contemplating how to express my love to you more fully.”

“I was just enjoying listening to you, but being a member of the cat family, I dozed off there for a minute.”

“I wish we could indulge in a little physicality,” Teddy said.

“You want a peek at my stuffing?”

“I read your label,” Teddy said. “You’re sixty percent horsehair and forty percent crushed walnut shells. So, no. Thanks.”

Soft snoring.

“I could make you a bodice and then rip it off,” Teddy said, waking Lady Lion.

“Who rips the bodice?” Lady said. “You, or me in frustration?”

Teddy did not know.

“I could make you a big old dollhouse,” Teddy said, “with only one light on in a window at night.”

“I’m a lion. I’d spend all my time spraying the furniture.”

“All right,” Teddy said. “We must express our love by sharing our intellectual adventures. The life of the mind. That is all that is available to the stuffed animal. For my part, I’ll devote my life to mathematical pursuits. If you would focus on philosophy, we could meet at the boundary where these two profound aspects of existence meet, a boundary wherein the deepest questions of life and the universe can be explored.”

Soft snoring.

“Lady Lion, wake up. What do you know of the world of numbers?”

“I used to count when I licked myself, but now I just keep going till there’s no taste left.”