An act of kindness by a Walmart manager brought a huge smile to Mary Zimmerman’s face Monday when her nine-foot inflatable unicorn that was stolen over the weekend was replaced.

Mary was excited this fall when she found the decoration at Walmart because she loves unicorns. “I have a unicorn poster on my wall and knew right away I wanted her when I saw her, so my mom bought her for me and I named her Stacey,” she said.

The original Stacey the nine-foot tall inflatable Christmas unicorn, as seen here before the theft, will once again be glowing to brighten the drive for those traveling Hwy. 34 from Park Rapids to Nevis.
The original Stacey the nine-foot tall inflatable Christmas unicorn, as seen here before the theft, will once again be glowing to brighten the drive for those traveling Hwy. 34 from Park Rapids to Nevis. Submitted photo

Mary’s mom, Rhonda, said the unicorn with the candy-cane-striped horn was purchased Nov. 5. “We had it lit up every single night,” she said.

On the night of Nov. 22, she and her husband, Matt, saw headlights near the Lake Belle Taine road. “By the time he got outside, they had already unplugged the thing, ripped some of our fence off and had to get down on their hands and knees to pull the thing out of the ground,” she said. “I don’t know how long that took, but I know it took us 10 minutes to blow it up. We couldn’t see the car because it was pitch black on Hwy. 34. I looked out into the yard and saw two people in our yard take off with it.”

She said Mary, who is 16, has been going through a lot of hard stuff in her life recently.

“Having the unicorn made her happy and helped her so much,” Rhonda said. “I don’t understand why they took something away from my daughter that she loved so much. It hurt her, and I get upset when someone hurts my daughter. She’s had a rough time since her unicorn was stolen.”

Rhonda said she hopes whoever took the unicorn brings it back to the school or the police station.

Mary said the morning she learned her unicorn was gone she started crying. “I was breaking in tears and didn’t want to talk to anyone,” she said.

When her mom told her after school Monday that the Walmart manager had donated a $35 gift card to cover the cost of the only inflatable unicorn left in the store, her sadness turned to happiness.

“I’m naming her Stacey,” she said. “Thank you, Walmart, for making me happy.”

Rhonda said they were heading home to put up the unicorn as soon as Mary used the balance of the $35 gift card that paid for her new unicorn for a treat.

“The unicorn will be lit up tonight,” she said.

Mary's sadness turned to a big smile when she learned Walmart was donating the last inflatable unicorn in their store to replace the one that was stolen on Nov. 22.
Mary's sadness turned to a big smile when she learned Walmart was donating the last inflatable unicorn in their store to replace the one that was stolen on Nov. 22. Lorie Skarpness/ Enterprise

Travelers on Hwy. 34 between Park Rapids and Nevis should keep an eye out for Stacey the Christmas unicorn lighting up the winter night and bringing cheer to travelers, a symbol of hope and happiness restored through an act of kindness.