*Every Thursday we introduce you to another quick bedtime story about our family’s favorite resident reptile – Baby Frederico. His backstory can be found here. Part 1 of today’s story can be found here. Enjoy!
Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, his buddy Grenelda the Grasshopper, blue crayons, popcorn…and independent bookstores; but he did not like being made fun of…….. Here is his story:
Baby Frederico could barely move. He felt so embarrassed and angry at Billy the Groundhog. How could he be so mean, especially to Baby Frederico, who always tried to be as kind as he could to him. Once when they were in Kindergarten, he even shared his blocks with Billy when the other children wouldn’t let him explore with their group at the science center. What had happened to him? And why was Baby Frederico the lucky one to be his target this week?
But then, something that was nothing short of miraculous happened as Baby Frederico stepped on the bus. Their driver, Gustav, welcomed him as he had never welcomed him before. Grenelda sat near the front and smiled as the jolly bus driver began to speak.
“Hey there Baby Frederico. Welcome to my bus,” he said as he broke into the happiest laugh anyone on the bus ever heard before or since.
“You may not know it my friend, but anyone who rides my bus and has an imaginary friend gets special treatment. I had one of my own when I was a boy and I miss him now that I’m tall and old! I wish you would have told me about him sooner Baby Frederico.” He laughed again as he pulled the door closed and merged the big yellow bus back onto the road.
“Mine’s name was Charlie Chupa. What’s your’s?”
Baby Frederico was nearly speechless. How could he be having such a conversation about something that only moments ago was a secret between only himself and Grenelda?
“B.F. His name is BF. He’s green and looks kind of like…me.” Baby Frederico could feel his strength coming back.
Gustav just smiled as he drove along toward the school. It was good to remember the old days and his old friend, and Baby Frederico was to be thanked for that. He also noticed the other kids on the bus, even grumpy little Billy the Groundhog. They were laughing and smiling and telling stories about their imaginary friends. Grenelda and Baby Frederico noticed it, too. It seems that nearly everyone on the bus had an imaginary friend…even Billy. He mentioned it as though it was the greatest thing in the world to have an imaginary friend. He even told Gustav, right in front of Baby Frederico, that everyone should have at least one imaginary friend, no matter how tall or old he becomes!
But the greatest surprise for Gustav’s bus kids occurred the very next morning when they each stepped onto the bus for school. Near the very front of the bus, just behind Gustav’s big driving chair, was a sight they could have never imagined only the day before. Right there in Seat 1 was the grandest decorated bench you have ever seen – it had streamers of every color and little twinkling lights draped across its back, and a large hand-painted sign that read ‘Reserved for Imaginary Friends Only.”
As Baby Frederico and Grenelda the Grasshopper took their seats, they listened in amazement as every rider – from the tiniest cricket and the tallest scissor-tailed flycatcher to one “former” bully groundhog and an old bus driver – talked about whose imaginary friend was the hippest, funniest, and smartest one among them.
And Baby Frederico knew his favorite – very well indeed.