Sogwa said, “Where is she? Where’s Hannah?”She looked on the table. She looked on the couch. She looked under the cushions.
“Where is she?” Sogwa said. “Where’s my Hanny?”
Poor Sogwa! Normally so bright and brave, now so small and scared. She looked for her Hannah doll, but couldn’t find her. She’d lost her favorite toy, and she felt awful.
She thought she’d left her Hannah doll in her lunch box, as usual, and she looked, but Hannah wasn’t there. Nor was her Hannah on the shelves, or in the closets, or under the sink.
Sogwa searched her bedroom. Her Hannah wasn’t in the dinosaur diorama, and Sogwa knew this because she asked all the tiny dinosaurs, and they all sqeaked, “No Hannah here.” Sogwa looked in the castle, the beach house, the pet store, and the shoebox; but Hannah wasn’t there, nor in the necklace box, or the cabinets, or the clothes drawers, or the toy chest. Sogwa looked on the Moon, but Hannah wasn’t there; nor was she in Transylvania, or under the sea, or on the spaceship. Sogwa searched her library, from bottom to top, but Hannah was reading neither the encyclopedias on the floor or the old baby books near the ceiling. Sogwa even looked in the Blue Basket, where the Old Favorites rest. But no Hannah.
She squeaked, “Where is she? What’ll I do? How’ll I live without my Hannah?”
Sogwa’s Dad talked it over with her. He said, “Let’s use the process of elimination. Is your Hannah doll at school? At aftercare?”
“I saw her there. I know. I looked at my lunchbox at recess.”
“If it’s at school, then we’ll check lost-and-found tomorrow.”
Her Dad said, “Maybe it’s in the car, or at the store.”
Sogwa cried, “I looked in the car! I looked all over the car!”
Her Dad said, “If you left her at the store, that’s not so good.”
“Where would she be?”
“But that’s as good as gone!” Sogwa wailed.
Her Dad hugged her and patted her and said, “Don’t worry. We’ll find it, or else ...”
“Or else what?”
“Or else we won’t, you know. But even if we don’t, we do have another Hannah doll.”
They went to the Blue Basket, and sure enough the just-in-case replacement Hannah doll was there. “But it’s not the same,” Sogwa said, clutching the doll to her chest anyhow.
Her Dad said, “It’ll have to do. I checked the Web, and they don’t make that kind of doll anymore. You’ll sleep with that one tonight, and check lost-and-found tomorrow. And Mommy has already called the store. Tomorrow, if we must, we’ll call the police.”
Sogwa ran to the living room, clutching the replacement Hannah doll, even though it wasn’t the same. She ran back to the couches to look under the cushions again.
In her bedroom her Dad said, “Huh!” Then he called, “Come here, dear.” When she arrived, he said, “What’s this?” And he flipped back some of the covers on her bed.
“IT’S HANNAH!” Sogwa yelled, flinging the replacement aside.
Sogwa hugged and kissed Hannah, while her Dad picked up the replacement and put it back into the Blue Basket. Then he smiled, and he kissed Sogwa. He said, “So Hannah was folded into the covers on the bed, right? All this time? The whole day?”
Sogwa’s Dad said, “Aha! But you saw Hannah at school, right?”
That was a poser. “I thought I did.”
“Exactly! You thought so! It was the thought you saw!” He leaned close, tapped her on the head. “You had all the Hannah doll you needed, in your mind.”
Sogwa and her Dad then agreed that it would be best to make Hannah a house doll, and not bring it to school every single day, and risk maybe someday leaving it who-knows-where.
The next morning, there was a funny kind of switch. Instead of Sogwa getting up as usual to go to Sogwa school, taking her Hannah doll, it was Hannah who got up and went to Hannah school, leaving the Sogwa doll behind.Sogwa napped on the bed, perfectly content. Then she heard a strange sound; a kind of whooshing and hooting. It came from the Blue Basket; the one that held the Old Favorites.
Sleepy Baby’s eyes opened. They glowed blue. Sleepy Baby’s head turned once around. Sleepy Baby said, “Join us...”
The other dolls in the Blue Basket whispered in unison, “Joiiinnn usss...”
Sleepy Baby said, “It’s safe here...”
The other dolls moaned, “Saaaaafe...”
Sleepy Baby said, “Join us...”
The other dolls wailed, “Jooiiinnnn usssss...”
But Sogwa said, “Not yet.”