Monday, 17 February, 1997, Page 9

1000 Mark for an old Rabbit

"Seek" ad brought success
Taxi driver handed over cuddly toy

This time it wasn't a special offer, a smart TV repair service or the open day at the car dealer. "Sought with 1,000 DM reward" reads the text of the ad in the Tagesspiegel on Sunday on page 11 (see illustration*.) On the left, next to the "wanted" ad with a call for help, is a picture of the missing one: it's soft and cuddly, has 4 legs and two long ears, buttons for eyes and a tail: the toy bunny of Akiko Hada.

The 35-year old Japanese had inadvertently left her favourite cuddly toy in a taxi. "My little, old toy bunny (approx. 10cm long) was left in a taxi van around 4AM on the night of Wed. 12 Feb to Thurs. 13 Feb." In order to get it back, the Berliner-by-choice placed "wanted" ads in several newspapers. Yet it is neither a fond toy dating back to the childhood nor a valuable one-off piece. "It was a totally ordinary bunny", tells Ms. Hada. She had bought it three years ago"for 5 Mark 99 Pfennig in the Hussel sweets shop, and it's part of the family ever since. " So that it wouldn't feel lonely, Akiko Hada bought another one**. "I take both of them everywhere with me, to bars, cinemas, art openings," says the video artist. The "wanted" bunny was once part of an exhibition, and she has since become attached to it**. Perhaps also because the Japanese have closer relationships with their toys, says the 35-year old. Barbie dolls are in fashion, but dolls with Japanese faces are also very much loved. To the Berliner-by-choice, her German toy was even worth paying1,000 DM reward for.

"I am looking for the taxi driver who took us (1 American, 1 Japanese with blond hair) from Prenzlauer Allee via Potsdamer Straße to Eisenacher Straße in Schöneberg," reads the ad. The taxi driver had the journey of his life. His scion - whom he had brought the furry find back home to - will no doubt be grumpy, but the real Bunny-mother is absolutely happy. "I missed it just like a child."

Perhpas Ms. Hada should take the animal lovers in her home land as an example in future. In Japan computer playmates are in coming: "Virtual Pets". Many apartment landlords prohibit keeping of living four-legged friends. Their computer comrades bark, whimper, howl - or hop - on the click of the mouse. No need to clean the cat's toilet, taking the dog for walkies is also taken care of. It's impossible to lose a virtual playmate - except that you can't cuddle it either.


* Not shown here - Click here for the ad in the BZ (85K).

** The journalist has mixed up Kousa with her sister Usako...

Stills from "Kiez-Reporter" (Puls-TV) (40K)

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