So I put purple teddy on the wall surrounding the parking area at the front where the families from numbers 2 & 3 would see him as they went in and out. And there he sat for several days. I had to steel myself against the urge to bring him in out of the rain because no one seemed to want him. One thing consoled me as I saw him sitting looking forlorn in the torrential downpour. He was a very new-looking teddy, not an old, well-loved toy, so I wasn't worried that a child had lost an old favourite.
This morning I went out to the garage to get the archive boxes that I'd put on Freecycle[*] and found he'd half slipped off the wall. He'd been ignored for so long by the inhabitants of numbers 2 & 3 that I'd come to the conclusion that someone walking past must somehow have lost him, though I couldn't quite see how he'd end up behind our garage, but just at that moment, the woman from number 2 emerged with her two children and I attracted her attention and mentioned the poor abandoned teddy. She said he belonged to number 3. I said, "But he's been sitting on the wall for days and they must have seen him, so he can't be theirs." She had a brief conversation with her two small children and the mystery was solved.
Purple teddy used to belong to the children at number 2, but they gave him to the children at number 3 -- presumably without making clear to number 3's mum that this was ok with their mum. So both families now assumed that he belonged to the other one!
So I'm pleased to say that purple teddy has been re-adopted by his original family and taken indoors to dry out. :)
[*] Three people are interested! Whee! More clutter gone soon!
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