Saturday, March 25, 2006 

Darby's Story

Whip Up , a site to which Cristina led me, has become a favorite of mine. The writers seem to have an instinct for what attracts the crafty mind.

Recently, they posted a fantastic piece about sentimental childhood objects. The article refers to the Velveteen Rabbit , a story that used to make me cry when I was a wee tot (although, as the M.M. Mim can attest, everything made me cry...My favorite story being one about a book on tape I used to listen to every day and cry until she took it away because it was so distressing).

My well-loved object was Darby. He is a stuffed animal given to me by my (maternal) Uncle Red and Aunt Noel when I was about seven.

I believe I named Darby after the main character from Darby O'Gill and the Little People. The reason for this naming remains a mystery, because the movie scared me much, as a little person myself (a fact I discovered while I was in college via my Aunt. The conversation went something like this

Me: I just watched Darby O'Gill and the Little People for the first time since I was little. It was kind of scary.
Aunt: That's funny; it scared you when you were little, too.)

I have a few specific memories of Darby, most centering around anxiety. One stems from a trip to Disney World we were taking. Mim told me there was no room for him in the suitcase. I was completely distraught. I bawled and she relented (hey, I was seven, and I already told you I cried a lot).

The other comes from an event instigated by a mishap. I was snuggling with my dad and he spilled beer on Darby. Mim insisted on washing him (which I now realize makes sense, but at the time I was certain it was unnecessary). To be without Darby for two nights was unthinkable. He went through the washer and then hung by his ears to dry. The result was a Darby with a little more junk in the trunk, but at least I had him back.

You can tell by Darby's fur that he has been much loved by a certain Bethro. Only one spot, just under his tail, if you know what I mean, remains even close to his original silky softness. I asked him if I could take a picture, but he assured me he was a gentleman dog, and it was unthinkable.

I don't have any pictures of a young me with him, but as you can see, we remain very close, even if a certain chubby kitty has taken his place next to me in bed o'nights.

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