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Wendy Laing

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Books by Wendy Laing
Reunion
By Wendy Laing
Posted: Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Last edited: Tuesday, February 08, 2005
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent stories by Wendy Laing
· Washed Up!
· The Ticket
· The Lowlander
· Barbie Doll
· Hettie, the Hearse
· Ponytails
· Fireflies
           >> View all 12
After all the years, I was reunited with my old faithful friend. The memories flooded back....
Reunion

I’d found him in Mum’s old camphor box, which Dad had given to me after Mum had died.
“She would have wanted you to have this. It was her glory box you know,” Dad had said as he left our house.
“I’m glad you are pleased to get it and I know something inside it will please you,” he added.
Pleased? I was thrilled. I thought my friend had been lost forever. My childhood friend had been lying under an old photo album on top of some faded baby clothes that had once dressed my brother and myself.
He had been my confidant in everything from the time I could remember to around six years. That’s when I started school and my father had demanded he be left behind at home!
His skin was drab. He smelt musky. There were moth holes, which had made the knitted skin run into several ladders down his plump tummy. In spite of all these things, I hugged him and shed a silent tear.
“Hello old friend,” I whispered. “Let’s get some new wool and I’ll make you like new again.”
I deliberately chose colours brighter than the originals. The new knitted skin showed a bold yellow face and body, blue arms with yellow hands, blue legs with red boots and of course red pants with a blue waist. It wasn’t long before his cheery red smile with pearly white teeth grinned up at me. I’d even carefully sewn the same red ears, red nose, black eyebrows and bright blue eyes with black lashes. Yes, it was if I had turned back the clock!
Unlike my school friends, I had not possessed a teddy bear. Humpty Dumpty had been fondly knitted and presented to me on my birthday by my godmother. She was the nurse in attendance when I had been born at home back in ’45.
Sharing the same birthday and age we also shared our troubles. I still vividly remember the time I had been sent to my room, to think about the consequences of drawing neat Humptys with a lead pencil above my bed on the newly painted pink bedroom walls. I was only four at the time. I told Humpty that I couldn’t understand why Dad yelled at me. They were beautiful drawings, complete with Humpty smiles, teeth, fingers and toes. So much for my artistic potential!
Humpty went everywhere with me. I still have somewhere, an old black and white snap taken of me in Sydney, up the top of the Harbour Bridge Pylon lookout, clutching Humpty tightly. He always had the right answers to my problems. He shared my bed every night, to keep away any “beasts” that may have lurked there in the dark.
He doesn’t sleep with me any more. My Scottish husband has long since replaced him! Humpty now sits on a shelf in prime position in amongst the many soft toys that I’ve collected during my travels. He sits triumphant astride my Loch Ness Monster from Scotland. He’s now over half a century old, but unlike myself, doesn’t look a day older than the day he was born.
Sometimes when I’m dusting him on the shelf, I smile and indulge in a little nostalgia again, recounting the secrets, we shared.
Wendy Laing © 1999

 

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Reviewed by Lois Christensen
I wish I had my doll my aunt Bess gave me when I visited her. I was about 13, named the doll PhobeDEan, was going to name my first child that, instead I named her Karen. That doll had a beautiful lavendar dress on it. My Mother put it on closet shelf and I could not play with it only when I was sick for a while could I hold it. Don't ever know what Mother did with that doll when I married my first husband. I guess she sold it with Dad's antiques after he died. I can always remember the day I was given that beautiful doll.
Reviewed by Joanna Leone
Wonderful story! This has really caught my eye!
Reviewed by m j hollingshead
lovely

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