Because I couldn't unplug the toilet with a plunger, I had to dismantle the entire fixture, no small feat for a non-plumber. Jammed inside the drain was a purple rubber dinosaur, which belonged to my five-year-old son. I painstakingly got all the toilet parts together again, the tank filled, and I flushed it.
However, it didn't work much better than before. As I pondered what to do next, my son walked into the bathroom. I pointed to the purple dinosaur I had just dislodged and told him that the toilet still wasn't working.
"Did you get the green one, too?" he asked.
It was the first day of school, after summer vacations and time for me to pick up the children in my school bus and take them home again. After I had made the complete run that afternoon, one little boy remained on the bus.
Thinking he had simply missed his stop, I started driving slowly back through the neighborhood and asked him to be sure to let me know if any of the houses or people looked familiar. The boy sat in his seat contentedly and shook his head whenever I asked him if he recognized a person or place.
After the second unsuccessful tour of the area, I started back to the school to ask for his address. When we arrived, the child got off the bus and started walking away. "Wait!" I called. "We have to go inside and find out where you live."
"I live right there," he said, pointing to a house across the street. "I just always wanted to ride in a school bus."