When Trevor and Taylor Snell set up a snack shack to raise money for charity, they expected to unload good numbers of cookies. They never expected, however, to unload the playhouse they were selling them from as well.
The enterprising youngsters, seven and five years old, enlisted their parents help in recent days to move their Little Tykes Playhouse to the front of their home on North Vancouver's St. James Road East to launch their business, through which they sold home-baked cookies and juice to make pocket money and to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House, a children's charity.
Everything went well until Monday, when they got up for school to find their shop had vanished.
Some time on Sunday afternoon, someone had apparently loaded the mini log house into the back of a truck and taken off with it, leaving the children stunned.
Now their mother is putting out a plea to the community in an effort to get it back.
"My oldest was almost ready to start crying," said mother Cari Snell. "They love having that little house; they play in it all spring and summer."
Cari doesn't believe the shack-nappers acted maliciously; rather, they were probably just people from the neighbourhood who mistakenly thought the playhouse had been put out as a giveaway - although it's something of a puzzle as to how they could have made that error when there was no "free" sign on it, and it was a couple of feet back from the road, she noted.
The missing structure has brown walls, a green roof and a red chimney.
Cari believes it vanished some time between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday, and that two house rustlers were involved, as it would have taken at least that many to heave it into a truck.
She's hoping one of the inadvertent culprits will see her plea in the paper, and quietly deliver the toy back to the house, as it's too expensive to replace, she said.
"If they're very embarrassed, they can do it in the middle of the night for all I care," said Cari.
"I don't need an apology. Just please return it, because I've got two little boys who are very upset."
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