Some of the stuffed animals you’re always staring at or shoving into your mouth had a life before you, so I thought I’d profile and interview them for you.
Fantus and Friends
What’s your story?
My name is Fantus (pictured center on the chair) and I arrived on the scene when Jonathan was 13 and living in Beijing – the same year he met his now-wife. Beanie Babies were all the craze, so naturally the Chinese locals were hawking rip-offs, which I am one of.
Where did your name come from?
I believe I was named after a fictional character from one of Jonathan’s fantasy books he was obsessed with at the time. More specifically, Raymond E. Feist’s “Magician: Apprentice”.
And what are you exactly?
A firedrake. You can think of me as a cousin of the dragon species except cuter and more pathetic.
So who are your two friends?
They have names, but no one remembers; it’s on their tags though. My brown friend with red wings was Tina’s going-away gift from her coworkers – they were poking fun at her reputation as a dragon lady. My green friend was a recent addition to our posse; he was a gift from Tina to Jonathan soon after they got together.
A Turtle and a Hedgehog
You two seem close – tell us about yourselves.
We’re from Brussels, Belgium. We were chilling out on a farmer’s market stand with some of our other stuffed friends until Jonathan and Tina came by and adopted us.
We don’t see many turtles and hedgehog pairings. What’s the deal?
Cutest of the bunch…what can we say? Jonathan’s always been a fan of turtles – he had four of them growing up. He also loves the color green. And who doesn’t like a cute ball of fur?
So, dawg, what’s your name and what kind of dog are you?
Good questions and I don’t have answers to either.
It’s just been so long ago that the owner’s forgotten both my name and breed.
Do you at least remember how you came into the family?
Yes! Tina gave me as a present to Jonathan back in high school one birthday. I was supposed to help him get over his fear of dogs. I kind of like to think I paved the way for Kili O’Beef.
And what was life like with Jonathan pre-Kili?
I didn’t get much attention, but I could tell he loved me very much. He always sat me on top of his bed and also looked very distressed when his friends put me on his room ceiling fan (they were mean).