picture of bear with mysterious appendage between legs “Mommy, mommy!” My daughter runs into the room, “The bear’s got poopies! The bear’s got poopies” (her word for the male genitals).

I take a look, sure enough there is a furry appendage dangling between his legs. “What’s going on?” I muse, “This bear did not have a penis yesterday.”

My mind is blown.

I have always suspected that stuffed animals become real in the night but this is actual proof. My daughter’s lovey must have     come to life, driven our Volvo to the nearest hospital, received anesthesia and undergone a sex change operation. I can see it all play out:

Bear: It’s time doctor. I just can’t go on like this. It’s as if I’ve been sewn into the wrong body.

Dr. Well let’s make things right.  Nurse, hand me the stuffing.

Nurse: Yes doctor.

Dr. And the fur.

Nurse: Yes doctor.

Dr. And the needle and thread. Bear, this next part is going to hurt a bit…

I’m just about to alert the press and possibly animal control (this bear is liable to be in great shock when the pain killers wear off) when suddenly my daughter tosses him into the air. He lands with a thump, “Sage” I reprimand. “You do not throw a bear who has just undergone surgery.” I run to his side, ready to comfort him and assure him that we will love him no matter who he chooses to be when I notice that his head has rotated ever so slightly to the left.

Wait just one minute…

I cup my hand on his skull and twist. Just like that his penis is gone. The bear is gender neutral once again-eyes in the front. TAIL in the back.

I’m mildly disappointed that the great bear sex change adventure was all a mere fantasy but ultimately glad that the much loved animal will not be shipped off to the zoo or toted around as Hollywood’s next big attraction.

Note to all toy makers: If you are going to create a bear with a rotating head, do not also give said bear a tail!