Over the last few visits to my favourite antique shop there has been a little bear sitting on a shelf. She was the saddest little bear, her dress torn and weathered, her eyes missing and just embroidered woolen crosses in their place. There were little holes exposing the wood shavings that fill her body and patch on her paw, from perhaps the fabric of an old suit.
I didn't feel sad for her because she was battered, in fact the very opposite, she had been loved and played with, probably placed in a cupboard or old chest, like sweet memories stored in the recesses of a mind. I could see her in my mind being pushed around a garden in an old fashioned pram, sat down with dollys and other bears perhaps in grand tea parties. In my mind she lived a grand life, filled with love and care and happy times.
I felt sad because she was homeless and alone. But I nevertheless left her there, as I fished through buttons and laces and all things dolly. But when I came home my mind kept wandering back to her, thinking about her past and how loved she would have been, so many cuddles she would have had to wear away her fur!
Yesterday though I decided she should be home with me, to watch over me as I make dollys. I honour her in many ways, she represents all that is lovely in this world, the innocent love and play of children, and of the wonderful memories that we all carry of those times.
So last night I gave her new eyes, a warm cardi, a vintage bow and a special place on top of my sewing machine. I searched the internet to try and find something about her, but alas not much. Her distinctive hump on her back and her wood shaving fill tells me she is probably around 1920, though she may be earlier. Her pink mohair fur makes her very rare and rather special, and for that I think it is fitting.... for she really is a one of kind, don't you think??