The Stuffed Fox

Sometimes, when I reminisce about the past, my thoughts turn to one friend I spent a good deal of time with as a duckling. She lived in the middle of nowhere, in a mobile home, I believe, with pretty much nothing else around. At one point, her family had somehow come into possession of a horse that stayed in a large fenced area out front, and when we decided to wander around in the endless expanse of nothingness behind her house, I was always fascinated by a split in the earth probably at least my height in its depth that had no doubt been created by an earthquake some time ago.

I remember that she had an older sister, and I remember that her mom liked butter on waffles, which I found strange, as I had only previously had them with syrup, until I found out how delicious it was (though, rather unhealthy, as well). I also remember the many times when we would sit in the living room on one end of the house watching movies, one of our favorites being “The Thief and the Cobbler”, a movie that we found as delightful as it was bizarre. I also recall the day we were determined to build the tallest tower of Tinker Toys that we possibly could. Our creation ended up nearly reaching the ceiling, most likely with the help of her older sister, as we probably would have been unable to accomplish such a feat on our own.

Mostly, though, I don’t remember her family being around, even if they must have been somewhere, and we just spent our time exploring the yard or inside the house, which was a small place, but strangely abundant in hiding places. And in her room was a great, big pile of stuffed animals, the one I loved most of all a stuffed fox. It was a rather odd toy, as it resembled a fox curled up, ready for a nap, but was lacking in limbs. But, I still always thought it was adorable, and almost every time I visited, I would want to hold it and keep it nearby.

However, eventually the day came that we had to move. I had grown up in this town, and it was quite depressing, to say the least, that my friend and I would never get to play together again. One small comfort, however, came in the form of her offer to give me any stuffed animal of hers that I wanted to remember her, and as you’d expect, I chose the stuffed fox. Not a terribly long time later, maybe weeks, maybe a month, but not long enough, her mom drove my mom and I to the nearest airport several hours away, my friend in the backseat along with me, where we didn’t say much of anything, and I spent the time staring out the window at the dust devils in the distance.

That was about 15 or 16 years ago, and I still have that stuffed fox (and my VHS version of “The Thief and the Cobbler”). I actually still have some of my stuffed animals from my childhood, the cutest ones and the ones with the most meaning, but that fox is, by far, the most precious one that I have because it was given to me by a friend that I spent many good years with. It’s in about the same condition as when I first got it, only a little used, with a slight stain, I believe, but I have not let any further harm befall it, and I don’t see myself ever getting rid of it. Because, while we outgrow most things, there are certain things that will always have special meaning to us, the memories associated with them making them worth far more than they would be alone.

So maybe this was a bit of a short, random post, but it was just one memory I wanted to go through and write about so I could share it with you all and so I could get it forever recorded in a place where I will never forget it. I still remember it all quite well. I can see her house clearly and the yard with the evidence of an earthquake and also the dust devils as we were driven to the airport. Even though I was young at the time, my memories still feel almost new, because that was a time I will always hold dear, a carefree time in the town I grew up with a friend that I hope remembers the time we spent together, as well. And even though those times are long gone, I will always have the stuffed fox as physical evidence such things too place, just a remnant of long ago.

A Foxy Duck…?

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