yesterday - hunting for a present.
It is not, sadly, a place I have much cause to frequent now. The children I know are growing up far too rapidly. I usually buy books as presents, even for newborn babies. They can "grow into them".
This time I needed to look in the toyshop. There was a specific request for "a bath tub toy". The toyshop is, I believe, a good one in many ways. It has a policy of "no guns or other weapons" and there are many well chosen toys with plenty of play value. My youngest nephew, now 21, still has (completely intact but much used) the Danish made construction kit he chose there for his fourth birthday. He knew precisely what he wanted and was prepared to wait for it without so much as a murmur.
Of course there was not a yellow duck in sight. Toys have changed drastically since I was a child and even since my nephews were of the age to have bath tub toys. I remember buying them a duckling and a frog and boats that all went into the bath tub together. Captain Duck and Captain Frog sailed the boats to places they knew.
There were no ducks in the shop. The girl at the counter shook her head and said that they "occasionally" managed to get some. They were she said, "not popular now".
I do not believe that. If they were not popular they would be sitting on the shelves gathering dust or not available at all. There were no other bath tub toys available although "there might be some late next week if the order comes in".
I went next door to the chemist and dropped a prescription in. I went to the greengrocer and then returned to pick up the prescription.
You pay for the prescription at a separate counter. I was about to pay when I saw it. Sitting on the counter there was a little cardboard box with a clear top. Inside there was the perfect yellow duckling looking hopefully at me. "Please, buy me!"
I took him home, carefully undid the box and gave him a little swim in the sink. He is a happy duckling who swims well. I wiped him dry carefully, placed him back in the box and today he is going to a new home where I know he will be loved and appreciated. Everyone needs a bathtub duckling.