There's a bear in a firetruck

Our neighborhood in Ann Arbor is, architecturally (and crassly) speaking, Mike Brady's wet dream. In fact, it seems like all the houses in A2 were built in either the early 1900s or the mid-1970s. Most of our neighborhood and many of the surrounding area business buildings fall squarely in the latter category. The houses are low-slung, linear ranches with clean lines and "funky" geometric half-walls, angles and window shapes. At night, you can sometimes catch a glimpse inside of a split-level structure and see the glorious wood paneled walls and the giant orb of an overhead light dangling on a chain.

A couple of blocks from us, we discovered a rather entertaining display in the horizontal picture window of one of these homes. It was sort of a still life with stuffed animals featuring, as near as we could tell (for it was not professionally lit but, rather, back lit, obscuring the full effect) three bears in a firetruck. A large one at the rear, complete with fire hat, a smaller middle one and a tiny one in front. Needless to say, as anyone who knows Chris and I well enough will suspect, we immediately invented a song about these bears. (For those who don't know us well, we do this sort of thing with alarming frequency for actual grownups.) It goes to a tune sort of like "Brandy" but not quite and has surprisingly dark lyrics:

There's a bear in a firetruck
And his name, it might be Chuck (Ed note: might be reaching here, lyrically speaking)
He's comin' up from the rear
Ah-does the littlest bear have something ta fear?

Great song, right? We thought we'd be able to entertain ourselves with this diddy for months, but lo, we arrived home from a meeting last night and as we drove past the house in question, Chris let out a gasp that had me fearing he'd just run over a small child. The bears are gone. Gone! In their place is another display which - again with the backlighting - we could not quite discern. Perhaps a random arrangement of smaller stuffed beings on little display stands? A spray of gnome-like creatures?

Is it too much to hope that whoever this person is*, with all kinds of time and stuffed animals on his/her hands, he/she changes the display monthly? Was the September display a nod to our brothers and sisters in honor of the anniversary of September 11?

And, perhaps most importantly, why on earth...?

Hard to say. But I promise you this: we will find out. And if I can convince my husband not to be such a weenie about these things, we'll provide photographic evidence. (Please note that I have remembered to take my camera with me precisely nowhere since we arrived - but we are here! Really! We're not just renting a house in Chesterfield and making the whole thing up....)

*We believe we did catch a glimpse of the perp through the window the other night and it is either a tall, slightly effeminate man or Bea Arthur.