Monday February 27th, 2017

The exercise:

Write something that has to do with a: stuffed animal.

Inspired by something Max did, I'm sure. Can't recall exactly what at the moment.

Hey, look at us, almost all the way through another February. Good job, us!

As Greg has already spotted, I took some time this morning to get caught up on comments once again. Wasn't planning on getting all the way through the backlog, but momentum was on my side and I figured I'd better go with it while I could.

Spending most of tomorrow with the boys while Kat gets some counselling work done. We'll see what sort of trouble we can get up to.


Hold me close,
Squeeze me tight;
You know I'll keep
You safe at night.

I will check
Under your bed
And keep the monsters
Out of your head.

If you just can't
Close your eyes,
I'll sing for you
A lullaby.

So sleep well,
Dream big, relax!
Because I've always
Got your back.


Greg said...

It's disturbing how fast time goes by these days, but then I realise that it'll help me get to 300 faster too so I'm not too upset about it. Maybe by then I'll have figured out how to slow it back down again too :)
I like the cheerfulness of your poem, and the brave spirit it has. I can imagine a child being comforted by its words, and by having a stuffed snake or something nearby to hold (though I seem to remember that the stuffed snakes were always draught-excluders. They should completely make doors so that elephant-shaped draught-excluders are more appropriate!)

The stuffed animal
The clock next to the fireplace was a grandmother clock that had been owned by her grandfather on her mother's side, and the clock in the hallway was a grandfather clock that had been owned by her grandmother on her step-father's side, and she'd always been pleased with the symmetry. The grandmother clock had been warped over the years by the heat of the fire so the two ticks were slightly asynchronous for most of the day, but right now they were happening at the same time and the ticking was as loud as the beat of your heart when you wake in the night at an unexpected sound. They didn't echo around the small sitting room, but it felt as though they should have done.
Tiny glints of light flickered here and there as bare feet crossed the rug, toes curling slightly in the soft, slightly warm wool. Then she was at the window and could draw back the heavy velvet drapes -- these had been in the family for seventy years and were oddly rough to the touch from the accumulated dirt of years. As she drew them apart a fine cloud of dust filled the air and scintillated in the sunlight admitted. Golden rays penetrated the gloom of the room, and when she turned she could see the cats.
There were seventeen of them, all facing her. Some sat on the couch, others on the writing desk pushed against the wall behind the couch. Some were on the mantlepiece, and others were on the top shelf of a bookcase built into the wall. The spaces for books were filled with china plates on tiny metal stands and with small cotton sacks filled with coloured glass beads. Two sat either side of the doorway like Egyptian guardians into the afterlife, but both of those were eyeless, as though to indicate that they judged no-one who passed over the threshhold. All of them were stuffed, to varying degrees of ability -- the one atop the bookshelf looked as though its legs and ribs had been put on upside down, and one on the writing desk was nearly spherical and stuffing poked out of an ear like an aggressive brain fungus seeking a new home.
They had all been her friends at some point, and she hoped that they would be her friends again in the afterlife.
She crossed back across the room, intending to go to the kitchen and make coffee, but a sound behind her stopped her in her tracks and made chills ripple along her spine. Something had meowed.

morganna said...

Tender and loving
Ever cuddly
Darling soft one
Disappearing monsters in the night
You are always safe with me.

Marc said...

Greg - for your sake, I hope you find a way to slow things down much sooner than that :P

And I am totally down for elephant shaped draught excluders :)

Fantastic descriptions from start to finish in yours. The initial reveal of the cats is more than a little disturbing, but you manage to return us to some sense of normalcy before that final line pulls the rug out from under us.

Wonderfully done :)

Morganna - a lovely acrostic that is perfectly tender and ready for a cuddle, just like its subject :)

Dragonfly Oracle said...

Yes, Greg: brilliant.

Mine is about a good ol' teddy bear:

He's my alter-ego. That's a big word. Jung would be proud, or is it Freud? Yes, perhaps Freud coined that term, now that I think about it. He's pink, albeit faded by now, blue-eyed, bald and has a black nose - actually, it's a half-nose - the stitching's all but gone.
He's my teddy bear.
I still have him. He's 54 years old now and he still feels the same to me when I hug him as I did many thousands of times as a child.
He's getting old, nearly pension-age. I think his spine needs an adjustment because his legs are of uneven length, but I don't know any chiropractor who could work on a spine made of foam stuffing.
The reason I notice it is because his legs sit unevenly in the navy blue track pants I made him when my daughter was a toddler. We got together one day, I remember it clearly ... "Teddy's cold!" she announced, so I crouched down to her level, placed the sewing machine on her table, scrunched up into her chair and sewed a pink top and blue pants from the scraps of polar fleece left over from the suit I'd made her the day before. The pants are slipping down a bit now. He says it's because the elastic is deteriorating; I think it's because of his middle-age spread, but I won't tell him. You know I even decorated his top with a patch - a cute dog's face peaking out from Teddy's chest still stares back at me today, some thirty years later. "Make Teddy a scarf," daughter continued, so I knitted one in white. I hate knitting but I did it and he still wears it although retiring to a warmer clime has made it superfluous but I can't bear to remove it ... the memories linger, you see ...

Teddy had a bad accident when he was young. My young niece stayed with us as her younger sister was being born. It was winter, the morning was cold. Mum had a radiator heater on the floor - such a thing would be illegal now in the Nanny State - little niece was caught warming Teddy's back on the heater. Mum and I caught him in time before the house went up in flames. I clutched him close, glad my niece was unhurt, but ever mournful about Teddy's scorch marks. A good wash in Mum's ol' copper helped remove some of the staining thus incurred. I couldn't bear to watch my bear go through the wringer, though, his little face getting squashed, and I cried when Mum pegged him up on the Hill's hoist by his ears!

I asked Ted if he wanted any restorative work done - you know - the toy equivalent of a nip and tuck, a bit of Botox around the snout, a manicure for his faded paws - but he said "No, I'm too old for all that fuss!" Yes, he was quite emphatic about it. I concurred.
He doesn't need any renovation. His eyes are scratched and faded just like an old person's eyes get. You know the look - the blue fades to a dusty version, losing some of the spark of youth. My dad's eyes did that. That's ageing, it's the way things are. You can't stop that. Who would want to?
Teddy reminds me to age gracefully, too. My wrinkles will tell the story of my life - the laughs, the love, the anger and the joy. The worries - ha! such time wasted on things that never happened! His wry, black-stitched smile holds the secrets every old person knows - that the answer to life is to laugh, and laugh again; there is nothing else for it, at times.

Marc said...

Dragonfly - that's a really lovely tale. Thank you for sharing it :)