Naked in the Park

It was clear, early on, that the Angel Monster was going to be trouble. He was out of diapers, could walk on his own two legs and was oblivious to instructions like ’don’t touch that’ or ‘stay put’. He was still in training pants the day that my Evil Sister and I had him out to a nice little walk in St John’s Park, in Winnipeg.

July 20, 2014 – 140720 – St John’s Park photographed Sunday, July 20, 2014. John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

St. John’s is a lovely park; well groomed landscape, well kept walking and biking paths, a plethora of brightly colored flowers and flower beds, artistically designed. Great for picnics or just hanging out. And a nice little play park, just up the bank from the Red River.

We turned our backs, for just a second, and the Angel Monster was gone; disappeared into the jungle of trees and bushes of the wilderness of St John’s Park. Perhaps abducted by a pedophile or a crazy woman looking to replace a still born child. Maybe he snuck into the gully that led right down to the river, that would fill to the top with river water during flood season. Anything could have happened to him.

I confess that I was ambivalent to the disappearance of the Angel Monster. There were many times when he was more trouble than necessary, and he was always the focus of attention, getting what ever he wanted. All he had to do was whine a little and his wildest wishes were fulfilled.

But he was gone. Lost in the wilds of St John’s Park. Dead perhaps. We knew we were going to be in trouble for losing him. After searching for awhile, without result, we returned home to tell mother that he ran away at the park. Of course, she went nuts and we were forced to return to the park and resume the search.

We looked high and low, with no good result. It seemed like hours. A great deal of play time was wasted in the search for the disobedient Angel Monster. It was his own fault that he was lost, he ignored the instruction to ‘stay close’. But eventually we came across a clue. His yellow training pants were hanging on a bush. They looked like this:

Except they were yellow and had no pattern. That meant he was ‘naked in the park’ somewhere.

We eventually found him, naked as a jay bird, happily wandering the lush green grounds of St John’s Park. He hadn’t fallen into the river and been swept away, as I thought he might have. Mother was happy to have him back in her custody, though that didn’t prevent her from giving a stern scolding to the Evil Sister and me. We weren’t allowed to take the Angel Monster on a walk after that, which was fine by me.

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