PAIRING - N/A
WORD COUNT - 1,240~
RATING - PG
SUMMARY - Season 15. I'm gonna miss you, Mr. Looper.
MUSICAL INSPIRATION - N/A
WRITTEN FOR - luxken27's Summer Mini Challenge (recipient: Marty)
Big Bird sits in his nest, he wears a big smile. He switches paper for the last time, drawing the familiar face of Mr. Looper - Dooper - Pooper.
He stands, gathering all his drawings and begins to walk down the street where his friends sit. They all come into view, and Big Bird watches as they sip tea and coffee and chat about politics.
"I'm telling you, she's a great candidate!" says David, handing out refilled cups and saucers to keep the warm drinks up straight. "She's says she's against big spending, big business, and inflation. She says when she gets into office, there'll be enough money left over for school funding, social security programs, and the space program!" he exclaims, taking the empty tray back to the fire escape.
"Hey - she sounds great!" exclaims Bob in reply. "What's her name?"
"Alice in Wonderland," jokes Gordon. The grown-ups all laugh.
Good old Gordon, thinks Big Bird, always making them laugh.
"It's time for your presents!" exclaims Big Bird.
"Presents?" asks the adults in almost perfect unison.
"Yeah! I just finished drawing pictures of all my grown-up friends on Sesame Street and I wanted to give them to you." Big Bird says, holding the drawings in his hands gently. He looks down at them again and hurriedly thumbs through them.
"Aww, thank you, Big Bird." Susan says gently. "That was very, very nice of you."
"You're welcome. I'm gonna be an artist when I grow up, so this is good for extra practice, too."
"And Big Bird, they're so good." Maria says, taking hers from Luis and holding it to the light. "Very beautiful."
"Thank you. Maria." Big Bird replies.
"And look - it's me!" exclaims Luis, holding his up for all to see.
"Yep, that's you, Luis." Big Bird replies.
"And this," says Susan, taking one from the top of the pile, "must be me."
"Yep, there's Susan." Gordon says with a smile.
"You're always smiling, so I drew you smiling." Big Bird says with a grin.
"Thank you very much, Big Bird." Susan says. "I think I'll have it framed."
"Ah, shucks." Big Bird replies. "Thanks."
"Hey - here I am!" exclaims Gordon, drawing one up from the pile. "Now, how is that?" he asks.
"And here I am!" exclaims Bob with equal glee, drawing yet another from the pile. "I love it, Big Bird."
"You like it Bob? I put music notes because you're always singing. Thanks." Big Bird replies.
"These really are great, Big Bird." Maria says, flipping through the remaining drawings. When she comes to the last, her heart is hit with a twinge of pain. Mr. Hooper.
"Hey, wait, here I am!" exclaims David, grabbing his drawing from Maria.
"That's you, David!" replies Big Bird.
"And here I am." Olivia says, grabbing the second to last drawing from the pile. "I love it, Big Bird. Smile!" Big Bird grins in return and reaches over to grab the last drawing from Maria's hands.
"And last but not least - TA-DA!" exclaims Big Bird, holding the final drawing up in the air. A chorus of 'wonderful', 'beautiful', and 'lovely' with slight sadness rings.
"That's really nice!" says Susan with a smile.
"May I see that?" asks Bob. Big Bird nods and Bob takes the drawing from him, holding it up so that everyone could get a better look. "It really does look like Mr. Hooper."
"You certainly captured him." Susan says with a smile.
"That's really nice, Big Bird, really nice." Bob says, choked up slightly.
"Thank you," smiles Big Bird, "I can't wait 'till he sees it." Their faces dim and they look towards each other. Susan sighs and looks towards Luis as if to say What can we do? Luis shrugs.
"Say, where is he?" asks Big Bird. "I want to give it to him. I know - he's at the store!"
"Big Bird," says Bob, stopping him. "He's not in there."
"Oh - then where is he?" asks Big Bird again. Maria looks to Olivia and her to David. Standing up, she walks to Big Bird.
"Big Bird," starts Maria in a weak voice, "don't you remember, we told you - Mr. Hooper died. He's dead."
"Oh! That's right! I remember. I'll just give it to him when he comes back." Big Bird says with a grin.
"Big Bird," begins Susan gently, "Mr. Hooper's not coming back."
"Why not?" asks Big Bird in confusion with a twinge of anger. Susan stands up, taking her drawing with her, she walks to Big Bird.
"Big Bird," begins Susan again, "when people die, they don't come back."
"Never?" asks Big Bird.
"Never," replies Susan, tears welling at her eyes. She gives in and the tears roll down her cheeks, each one bringing a sweet memory of the local store keep along with the pain of losing him.
"Why? Why not?" asks Big Bird urgently.
"Well, Big Bird," begins Luis, "they're dead. They can't come back."
"But he's got to come back!" exclaims Big Bird. "Who's going to take care of the store? And who's gonna make my birdseed milkshakes? And tell me stories?"
"Big Bird," speaks up David, "I'm going to take care of the store, Mr. Hooper left it to me, and I'll make you birdseed milkshakes and we'll all tell you stories…" he looks down at his shoes. "We'll take care of you."
"Yeah, we'll look after you," says Maria. More of the painful memories flood back to her mind; the funeral they didn't take Big Bird too, the solemn rendition of Sing performed by Bob, and the final farewells they each gave.
"Oh," replies Big Bird walking past the table to the fire escape as the grown-ups sigh. He walks back to the front of the table. "Well, it isn't gonna be the same."
"That's right, Big Bird," replies Bob, "nothing around here will ever be the same without him." He walks to Big Bird. "But you know something? We can all be very happy that we had a chance to be with him, and know him, and love him a lot when he was still here."
"Yeah," whispers Big Bird under his breath.
"And Big Bird, we still have our memories of him." Olivia reassures.
"Yeah, our memories, right." Big Bird replies, walking back to the side of the table. "Memory is how I drew this picture."
"Right." agreed the grown-ups.
"And we can remember him, and remember him, and remember him as much as we want to." Big Bird says, the tears breaking loose from his eyes. "But I don't like it! It makes me sad!"
"We all feel sad, Big Bird." David replies.
"He's never coming back?" asks Big Bird again.
"Never." David says.
"You don't understand! You know everything was just fine! Why does it have to be this way? Give me one good reason!" replies Big Bird, hopeless, hurt anger clear in his voice. Susan turns to Gordon and he to Luis. Gordon stands and walks towards Big Bird.
"Big Bird," says Gordon, "it has to be this way…because."
"Just because?" asks Big Bird.
"Just because." Gordon replies. Big Bird sighs and holds up his drawing of Mr. Hooper.
"You know, I'm gonna miss you, Mr. Looper!" exclaims Big Bird.
"That's Hooper, Big Bird! Hooper!" corrects Maria with a smile through her tears.
"Right." Big Bird replies. The grown-ups each moved forward and wrapped him in a hug.