Okay… this is a random post… about an idea that has been simmering in my mind. I even illustrated a logo for it… here it is:
I actually got the idea while reading a children’s story in an old book from the late 1940’s. The book is called Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories. The story is written in a really old-fashioned way… but the sentiment behind the story absolutely grabbed at my heart – and I thought: “I want to start a Surprise Package Company!”… and… so that’s exactly what I’m doing!! (I’ll keep you updated in future posts about the what’s, why’s and how’s…).
Here’s the bedtime story:
“I wish I could be a pirate!” said Wilfred. “Everything is so dull, and I want to do something exciting.”
“Yes,” said Gwen, “do let’s find something to do.”
It was holiday time. School had been closed for about ten days, and the children were getting tired of their playthings. They wanted something new.
“Of course, we can’t be pirates,” said Gwen, “because we should soon be taken to the police station.”
“Of course,” said Wilfred, “but can’t we think of something?”
“I’ve got it!” he cried. “Let’s call ourselves the Surprise Package Company: I’ll be the president, and you, Sis, well, you can be the secretary.”
“Alright, Wilf,” said Gwen, willing to do anything her big brother suggested, “but what shall we do?”
“Do? Why, give people surprises.”
“Oh, good ones, of course,” said Wilfred. “We’ll find people who need things done for them, and then make them wonder how the things happened. I think we’ll get lots of fun out of it.”
“So do I,” said Gwen. “What shall we do first? Let’s start soon.”
“All right. I’ll make a list of things, and then we can decide which to start with.”
Wilfred found a pencil and paper, and made his list.
“Now, mind,” he said solemnly, “don’t tell anybody what we’re planning to do. It’s a secret.”
“Of course not,” said Gwen, “the very idea!”
That same afternoon when Mother returned from town, she dropped into an armchair and stared. What a transformation! After dinner she had gone out hurriedly, leaving all the dirty dishes in the sink. Now they had disappeared. The kitchen had been tidied up, everything was in its place, and the table was all set for supper. The empty coal scuttle had been filled, and yes, even the windows had been cleaned!
All was quiet and still. Nobody was about. What kind person could have done all this? Wilfred and Gwen came in from the garden. Mother asked them if Auntie had called during the afternoon. Wilfred said no, he didn’t think so, but it did look as if someone had been busy.
“Well,” said Mother, “isn’t it just lovely! I haven’t any more work to do today, and I can have such a nice quiet rest this evening! I wonder who did it all?”
Mother opened a letter she had found on the mat when coming in. It read: “The Surprise Package Company called this afternoon on a little matter of business.”
“I wonder what that means?” said Mother.
“I wonder,” said Wilfred.
“Let’s have supper,” said Gwen.
And they did.
The next morning two children might have been seen going down the street leading to the little home of Mrs. O’Higgins, a poor, bedridden old soul for whom nobody seemed to care. The boy, who was holding something in his right hand, knocked gently on the door. There was no answer. The boy peeped in at the window. Mrs. O’Higgins was fast asleep. Quietly opening the door, the boy walked in, followed by his sister. Tiptoeing across the room, the boy placed the parcel he was carrying upon the table beside the bed and went out. The little girl was so excited that she fell over the doorstep.
“Gwen, do be careful!” said the boy.
The noise had awakened the old lady.
“Who is that?” she called.
But the door was shut, and the two children were scampering away as fast as their legs would carry them. Mrs. O’Higgins picked up the parcel. It contained three eggs.
“What a mercy!” she said to herself. “But who sent them?”
Looking at the wrapper, she read, “With love from the Surprise Package Company.”
Frank Morley, a school friend of Wilfred’s, was ill with mumps. Of course he had to stay indoors and was very miserable. From his bed he could just look out over a small patch of garden, surrounded by a high brick wall. One afternoon he was gazing vacantly out of the window when all of a sudden he saw a square box topple over the garden wall, and slide down to the ground, held by a stout string.
“Mother, quick!” he called. “Do see what that is in the garden.”
Mother, all surprised, brought the parcel, and Frank opened it. Inside were four smaller parcels. One was labeled, “Open Monday”; the second, “Open Wednesday”; the third, “Open Friday”; the fourth, “Open Sunday.”
As it was Monday, Frank opened the first parcel. It was a box of paints – just what he had been longing for! Frank thought he had seen the box before but did not know where. Inside the box were the words: “With best wishes from the Surprise Package Company.”
“Whatever is that?” asked Frank.
On one occasion the Surprise Package Company was caught. Wilfred and Gwen were paying a second visit to Mrs. O’Higgins. This time they had taken with them some flowers as well as eggs. As quiet as mice they crept in, placed their gifts upon the table, and departed. The children were so anxious to get in and out without awakening the old lady that they did not notice a gentleman sitting quietly in an adjoining room. It was the doctor.
No sooner had the door closed behind the children than he went across to the table, picked up the parcel, and read the note: “With love from the Surprise Package Company.”
“So this explains what the old lady has been talking about!” he said. “And now I can understand what Frank Morley told me yesterday.”
And this explains, too, how it came about that a few days later a letter arrived at the home of Wilfred and Gwen, addressed to the Surprise Package Company and containing an invitation to luncheon at Dr. Brown’s.
The children had a wonderful time at the doctor’s, and there were two surprise packages that made up for all they had given away. Of course the children could not understand how the doctor had come to know about their secret, and he wouldn’t say a word. It was all a delightful mystery. Wilfred and Gwen were as happy as children could be. Wilfred said that it was much better than being pirates.