My Velveteen Mouse

Most of you have probably read The Velveteen Rabbit, or at least heard of the story.  For those that haven’t, it’s a touching tale of a stuffed rabbit that’s told it can become a real rabbit by attaining the deepest love of his owner boy.  In the same way that Hans Christian Andersen did with The Steadfast Tin Soldier, and PIXAR did with the Toy Story movies, Margery Williams (the author of the rabbit tome) brought to life the concept of the lives led by inanimate objects.

I have my own “Velveteen” creature that has been with me since childhood.  She’s not actually made of Velveteen (at least, I don’t think so), and thankfully she’s never had to fear being incinerated, but her story is just as unique:

Pinky (I know, not very ingenious, but what do you expect from a child?) came into my life at about the age of 7 or 8.  She was an Easter present given to me by my mom (though, for years I thought my dad gave her to me, because the Easter basket had been hidden at his house), who’d had her made by a woman she knew through work.

My brother and I used to argue about what kind of animal Pinky was.  She has huge ears, like an elephant, but no elephant trunk.  And I think she once had a tail, but I don’t remember if it was short enough that it didn’t quite seem like a mouse’s tail or not.  I also don’t remember if she had whiskers around her nose or not.  But it didn’t matter to me, I fell in love with her the first moment I saw her.

She went with me everywhere I went, and for a long time I couldn’t get to sleep without her.  I had collected other stuffed animals throughout my life, but none of them held as strong a place in my heart as she did.  She even went with me to the hospital when I got my tonsils out . . . at 13 years old!  I didn’t care who would make fun of me, I needed her with me.

Pinky has been through every facet of my life.  She’s lived through every boyfriend (and the horrible break ups).  She moved with me to Prague, and back again.  And to this day, whenever I’m feeling frustrated with the world, she sits in her place of honor, patiently waiting for me to grab her so she can hug my hurt away.

The author & Pinky today

The author & Pinky today

She’s not quite as pristine as she was when I first got her–her fur’s all matted, and the color’s dulled–but I still think she’s incredibly beautiful and wonderful. She’s one of the first things I will grab to save, should there ever be a fire in my home, and I already know that she’ll be cremated with me when I die, she means that much to me.

Some might call that childish; that I’m a perpetual Linus with his security blanket.  They may be right.  But so what?  We all need a bit of security in this world.  I’m mature enough to know how to handle most of my problems, but it’s nice to know that when everything just gets too hard, or when I really need a pick-me-up, she’s there, arms open wide in silent hug invitation.

And while it might not be scientifically possible, I truly believe Pinky has a soul and is as real as can be.  She might not be able to physically reach out and touch me, but when I hug her seeking comfort, I can always “hear” her tell me things will be okay.  And I can even sense that she’s feeling just as much joy that she’s able to comfort me, which the PIXAR team captured so eloquently in this clip from Toy Story 2 (and I bawl every time I see this).

We grow up very fast in this world, and many of us leave our childhood behind.  But Pinky is one way that I can still keep some of that wonder of childhood alive.

Thanks, Mom, for getting her for me.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dolly Chamberlin
    Mar 10, 2014 @ 08:29:41

    I wish I had a Pinkie LOVES :}


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