introducing pixie and blitz
Because everyone should travel with mice.
It's no secret that LeAnn and I are somewhat unconventional and full of whimsy.
We had three weddings, one of which was a protest ceremony performed by a member of the Go-Gos.
We're kind of obsessed with moose and have a good-luck moose-finding song.
We routinely travel with a pillowcase sack full of stuffed animals.
It is specifically our stuffed animal whimsy that led to Pixie and Blitz, by way of Bert and Lulu, who came about because of Tunie and Ronnie.
Three years ago, LeAnn and I went into our multi-purpose general-hardware store, Breed & Co., and we walked out with an extraordinarily sassy orange and brown polka-dot giraffe. I admit fully that I did not see the magic in this giraffe right away. But, being in possession of such a giraffe, the only thing to do was to give her a name, and the name we landed on was Petunia Paisley Polkadot Pistachio Periwinkle Crumplebottom. Tunie, for short.
It didn't take me long to see Tunie's magic. Or to realize that we had just discovered a new obsession.
It was clear that Tunie needed a girlfriend, and so we went in search of the perfect companion for a magical giraffe, and landed on a burgundy dragon from the same company. Because she was a dragon, we named her Dagron. She would be called Ronnie.
Soon, Tunie and Ronnie were joined by a herd of elephants: Esmerelda, Humphrey Horatio Sunshine, and Hench-Elephant Henrietta. Not long after that, Sophia the Unicorn arrived direct from London, and she was eventually joined by Ursula. Tobias the Floppy and Ralph Henry became our loyal hound dogs, Ramón the Lion and Charlie Bear had been around since the dawn of time, and we would acquire Peabody, Rupert, and Healthcliff, the trio of gentlemanly snow-bears.
Then, Bert happened.
Like Tunie, Bert was magical right from the beginning. He was made of corduroy, and was a very good dinosaur. Within a month, we'd found his mate, Lulu. She was a triceratops with out-of-control hair, and we loved her instantly. Bert and Lulu became constant traveling companions. They went to work and to trivia. Bert accompanied me to staff meetings. We took them hiking and marched through downtown Burlington with a dinosaur head each sticking out of our daypacks. Lulu particularly enjoyed sticking her head out of the window of moving cars to dry her hair.
It's not that we're childish. Or maybe we are. Children shouldn't get to have a monopoly on imagination, and our world of stuffed animals is gloriously rich with stories we tell each other when we need something to do.
But the thing about our menagerie is just that it is a menagerie. We soon had to make decisions based on luggage space, negotiating stories for the ones left behind. Tobias will stay home to guard the house, where the elephants and the unicorns use our extended absence as an opportunity to throw a tea party.
By this time, Bert and Lulu had a bit of a following at my office. We stuck our toes into Maine in 2017, and I snapped a photo of Bert and Lu in front of the Nubble Lighthouse, just to text to one of my whimsically-minded coworkers. I thought, maybe Bert and Lulu should have an Instagram? I'd seen people who traveled with hedgehogs and had Instagrams for them. Were two dinosaurs really different from a hedgehog?
Spring of 2018. We were back at Breed & Co., because when you don't have children of your own, all the toys can be yours.
That's when I saw him. He was my first magical find—an animal I wouldn't have thought to pick up, except that there he was, and he was perfect. He came in his own tin suitcase, with a lightning bolt on his chest, and a wee mask and cape. I would call him Blitzmaus.
Over enchiladas at Polvo's, I told LeAnn that this was the Instagram star I had been waiting for. All we needed was to find him a friend. One for me, one for her. A quick online search, and Pixie was procured the next week. We could take them everywhere.
And so, we shall. Tucked into pockets, strapped to bags, hanging out in our hammocks (or maybe even their own), Pixie and Blitzmaus will travel the world, looking for its wonders (both maus-sized and human), and along the way, they'll show everyone what they've seen.
Chances are good, they'll be more reliable than I am.