When Calvin first held his stuffed tiger against his chest, he was instantly filed with glee. He felt his life was complete and he could accomplish anything. Over time, however, his beloved Hobbes became too childish for him, but Calvin decided not to stow him away. He built a shelf especially for Hobbes and sat him softly against the wall of his new house he lived in with Susie.
When Susie announced she was pregnant after being married for five years, Calvin couldn't have been happier. Finally, after a long wait, Hobbes would be used once again by the loving hands of an innocent child. Then Susie lay on the exciting news that their future child was going to be a girl. Calvin grinned. Hobbes had always been a fan of girls. And it would be interesting to see how differently his daughter would play with a stuffed animal as opposed to a son.
The day finally came, and Susie managed to push out their beautiful baby after twenty excruciating hours of labor. Their little girl, Kasey, started crying and Susie did too. After Kasey was all cleaned up, Calvin was able to hold her for the first time. Tears surfaced in his eyes and he started crying too. He looked at Susie.
"Look what we did," he whispered, "She's so beautiful."
Susie grasped Calvin's hand and smiled. "She looks just her father," she said. This was the best day of their lives. Nothing can compare to the feeling of snuggling your baby against you as they're sleeping peacefully, not knowing what the world has to offer. Yet, Calvin looked forward to the day little Kasey would be old enough to love Hobbes as much as he did.
But, there was a problem. Kasey was born in the 21st century, which means she was going to grow up around technology her whole life. Susie and Calvin both knew a lot about technology. Susie had to learn about it during college and the idea of computers was always fascinating to Calvin. He used it to draw and to write. When Kasey turned four, she had her own laptop she could watch her favorite shows on. When she turned five, there were no stuffed animals in her room. There were no dolls. There was nothing but posters of her favorite Nick Jr. TV characters and cute baby animals. Calvin didn't feel like it was the right time to give Hobbes to her.
Kasey turned eight and she found her own friends who liked to talk about the cute boy on the playground, even though it seemed like behavior for a twelve year old to Calvin. He didn't feel like it was the right time to give Hobbes to her either, but he felt obligated to. Sooner or later, Kasey was going to be too old for stuffed animals completely. He felt that it was now or never.
He opened the door to Kasey's room, and she didn't even look up. She was engrossed in a book, like her mother always was, but Kasey's selection wasn't as intellectual. She read the books about teens and their problems and books about drama with boys. Susie had always been interested in books like "Pride and Prejudice" and "Romeo and Juliet." Kasey always defended her books and said Calvin and Susie were always telling her to read, but when she read books she liked, they were against them. So Calvin didn't remark about her book.
"I have something for you," he said slowly, holding Hobbes behind his back.
She looked up, her attention caught. "What is it?" she asked, not as excited as Calvin had hoped.
"It's, um, something that helped me through my childhood. And now I'm passing it on you." He had had this whole speech lingering in his head for years, and now it didn't seem to sound right. He pulled Hobbes into her view and he smiled. Kasey rolled her eyes.
"Um…why would I want this again, Dad?" she asked.
Calvin looked at Hobbes sadly. Hobbes had done so much for Calvin and now Kasey wasn't even giving him a chance. Hobbes deserved to be treated with respect. "Because everyone needs a friend," Calvin finally said.
Kasey sighed. "Have you been living under a rock? I have friends! I don't need some stuffed animal to help me with my problems!"
Her words hurt him and he gently placed Hobbes on her bed. "Just give him a chance, ok? He may surprise you." Calvin shut Kasey's door as his shoulders started to shake and tears started to overflow his eyes. He put his back against the wall and Susie saw him. She led him to the living room where Kasey couldn't hear them.
"What happened Calvin?" Susie asked softly.
"Kasey hates Hobbes. I can't believe she won't accept him. I love that tiger." Calvin rested his head in his hands as Susie put her arms on his shoulders.
"She'll come around. I know she has an imagination, she just doesn't realize what it can do yet."
Calvin nodded, but the hope wasn't there.
I can't believe Jake was going to ask me out, I had to prepare. I made sure I looked prettier than usual. Then I—
Kasey looked up, startled. No one had opened her door, and the voice didn't sound like her parents. No one was in her room. She went back to her book.
Then I examined my wardrobe. All my clothes seemed out of season. I had to wear something special. I decided—
"Hello? Can you hear me?"
She looked up again, and she glanced at Hobbes. He looked more lifelike and was smiling. Was that how he looked before? Kasey thought she was going crazy and then-
"Hi, I'm Hobbes!" Hobbes said, extending his right paw.
Kasey's eyes got wide and she dropped her book on the floor. "Y-you're t-talking…how is that…?"
"Calvin, I mean your dad, never told you? Of course I can talk. You just have to believe!" He grinned.
"But, I don't believe in you. You're a toy!"
Hobbes chuckled. "You have Calvin's imagination, no doubt. You just don't realize what it's capable of." He looked out the window at the sparkling sun dancing on the trees. "Let's play outside!" He pounced off the bed and looked eagerly at Kasey.
"Um, I don't think so! I haven't played outside in years. That's for little kids!" Yet, Kasey stood up.
Hobbes rolled his eyes. "Right. Hate to break it to you, but you are a little kid. You're eight. You should be playing outside." He grabbed her hand. "Come on, what's the worst that can happen?"
She scowled. "My friends will see me! That's the worst that can happen!"
Hobbes let go of her hand. "Ok…well how about we just talk?" He smirked. "I have some really good stories about your dad."
"Ok, I guess," Kasey replied gloomily, although she was really curious. She picked up Hobbes and walked down the hallway, where she saw her parents sitting on the couch.
"Where are you going with Hobbes?" Calvin stood up abruptly and defensively.
"Calvin, calm down," Susie said, "I'm sure she isn't going to go destroy him or anything."
He sat down. "Well, I just have to be sure."
"Um, Hobbes and I are going to talk and stuff. He said he has some good stories."
Calvin lit up. "He was talking to you? That's great!"
Kasey shrugged. "I guess. Anyway, we'll be in the front yard."
"Ok, have fun sweetie," Susie smiled and waved.
Hobbes walked down the stairs and met Kasey in the grassy front yard. The he started giggling.
"What? What's so funny?" Kasey asked.
"I just always knew those two would end up together. They used to hate each other!" He giggled again.
Even though Kasey didn't really understand, she started to laugh too.
Back in the house, Calvin watched his daughter and his best friend laughing together. He smiled as the memories started flooding his head and he hoped the memories Kasey would make with Hobbes would be the best she would ever have.