Sunday, June 21, 2009

An ode to my stuffed rabbit Freddy.

When I was 3, I did something I wasn't supposed to when we lived on the "city" side of Dallas, Pa. (we moved to the "country" side when I was 6).

I took off up our street - Powderhorn - on my tricycle. Knowing I could be spanked for it because Mommalah gave many a warning against ever leaving our yard, but the open road beckoned, so off I went, wearing only my terrycloth bathrobe - truly attire ripe for a pedophile, and sure enough, I wasn't to the edge of our lawn when a car turned down Powderhorn and eventually stopped right by me.

The car door opened and just as I was about to let loose the Banshee howl Mom taught, I recognized the woman as my mom's friend and coworker.

She handed me a tissue-wrapped package and said "Happy Birthday!" before getting back in the car and pulling it into our driveway.

Naturally, you know by now that I am obsessed with my birthday so I immediately opened the package and inside was a fabulous stuffed rabbit. He had long ears, even longer legs that were ensconced in his Velcro-ended hands, a felt nose and brown marble eyes. A tag on his hip had "Frederick" emblazoned on it.

He became known to everyone as "Freddy" and I've slept with him ever since.
He's been on every vacation I've ever been on, to such exotic locales as Long Beach Island, N.J.; Cape Cod; Ocean City, Md.; Tucson, Az., Orlando and St. Petersburg, Fla.; New Orleans; Beaumont, Tx.; Corona, Rancho Cucumonga and San Francisco, Ca., and Niagara Falls and Thousand Islands, Canada.

Being that I just turned 32, I've had my bedmate on the left side of my bed for 29 years now.
The felt nose and Velcro have long since worn off, the tag disintegrated long ago and those eyes are all scratched, but he's still beautiful to me.

Here is a tanka dedicated to him:

Freddy, sweet Freddy
we're bedmates 29 years.
Your nose is long gone,
your fuzz well-worn, your eyes scratched,
you are my childhood beauty.


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