“Every time a child throws away a teddy bear, an angel molests a kitten.” Ok, I don’t know if there’s any truth to that, but we do know one dismal fact: reliable sources confirmed, once and for all, that not every bear that ever there was gets to gather for their picnic. On the bright and cruelly sunny morning of June 24, a vigilant Twitterer in Japan happened to take this arresting photo of a dejected teddy bear, being carried away to its fate by a waste management truck.

But dry your eyes, gentle readers, because a fellow Twitterer’s comment may offer a glimmer of hope!

Unfortunately, that hope doesn’t lie in the reasoning that the owner is just moving to a new house. Small white Kei class trucks with the appropriate signage are immediately recognizable in Japan as waste management vehicles, used for collecting refrigerators, computers, TVs, and other large goods that can’t be thrown out normally.

 

▼ “Oh bother… This looks like a regular garbage truck.”

I for one have a hard time eating kyaraben, much less throwing out beloved, if tattered, stuffed animals. And it turns out that many Japanese netizens share the same sentiment, retweeting the photo of the slumped-over teddy with the downcast gaze over ten thousand times. Here are some of their comments:

Mr. Beeeaaarr!

Bear: “Sniff, this is the right thing… that little girl’s all grown up now…”

That arm… he looks so badass and IDGAF.

Don’t worry, it’s just the waste collector’s uniform.

If I were driving behind this I’d get so depressed…

I’ll pay 5,000 yen, send it to my house!

Totally a “Donna Donna” moment. (This refers to a well-known Yiddish song found in Japanese textbooks, about a calf being sold off to the market.)

Toy Story, amirite?

I just threw away a bear this size! I’m so sorry…

It was probably a gift from an ex-boyfriend.

I don’t understand people. They’re family!

I can’t throw them away either… what am I gonna do with that huge nameko I randomly splurged on?

▼ Please, make it stop!

Luckily, one netizen mentioned that these vehicles generally pick up renewable or recyclable goods. Will the bear land in the hands of some boy to become the next Ted, as one caring commenter prayed? You may also rejoice in the words of another Twitterer who posted, “I’ve seen this bear a few times, it’s probably more of an eye-catching mascot.” Phew!

The poignant truth may be that, ultimately, a lot of people outgrow their stuffed animals or just need to thin out their collection. And given that, maybe an angel only steals your car stereo and flattens your sandwich whenever you toss a plushie. I still urge everyone to think twice about doing that, though. At the very least, take a meme-worthy photo before chucking your cuddly threadbare friend.

▼ Let’s hope that all forgotten plushies end up over the Felted Rainbow Bridge, where it’s eternally picnic time! Pass the honey, please.

Sources: Twitter, Hamster Sokuhou
Images: TwitterExcite Blog, Goo BlogBuddy Bear Party Company