When I was about four year old I had lots and lots of stuffed animals and one doll. Her name was Barquette. She was made of cloth and had elastic on her feet so that she could dance with you. As hard as I tried, I never loved Barquette as much as I loved my animals. I felt very bad about that but she got left out of a lot of tea parties and trips in the wagon. I never wanted to hurt their feeling so at night I would put my animals all in my big double bed but I would put Barquette in the closet so she couldn’t see the others in my bed. Lots of times there were so many that I had to sleep on the floor. One night my father came in to kiss me good night and found my sleeping on the floor. After thinking the problem over with me he thought the animals would be very sad if I had to sleep on the floor so we had to devise a plan. My father’s plan was that the animals took equal turns in the bed leaving room for me. That way no one’s feeling would be hurt and every one would get their turn in bed. I agreed with his plan and that is how I got to sleep back in my bed. I must say that there were so many that sometimes I didn’t always get the turns right. I had a few favorites and they seemed to get a little extra bed time than the others. My favorite was Chubby Cubby. He was a big, white, soft cuddly polar bear and about my height just a little fatter. I think he actually got a turn every night. When I wasn’t out in the barn with my sheep and foal, I was in with my stuffed animals.
My sister and I shared a wing of our giant house and we had a bathroom in the middle. The rooms were huge and beautiful. The house had about 20 rooms and 2,000 acres for us to play on and ride horses. This is when I got my first horse, Peaches. I also got my first lamb. My mother was at a friend’s house and a sheep had given birth to triplets and couldn’t care for them. These people had thousands of sheep so had no time for hand-raising. My mother volunteered that she had three children and would give one to each of us to raise. It wasn’t as much fun as you might think because in the cold and rain and dark before school we had to go out and bottle feed them then again after school and again before bed. I got the runt, a little girl and my brother and sister got two males. As they grew, my brother and sisters sheep went out to join the herd, but mine was so little and friendly that we kept her around the house. I even took her to school for show-and-tell one day.
Back to the stuffed animals. One night I had a friend spend the night so we decided to sleep in my sister’s room because she had two beds. Still asleep, in the middle of the night I went to the bathroom, still drowsy I climbed back into my bed and pushed what I thought were my animals over to make room for me when one sat up and said “what are you doing” I have never been so frightened in my life because I thought it was Barquette talking to me. My mind went wild with all the mean things I had done to her and about locking her in the closet at night. She kept saying it’s alright it’s just me but she never said who me was. My sister thought I had gone mad. I backed into a corner behind the dresses and screamed at the top of my lungs until my parents came from the other side of the house and turned on the lights It took them ages to convince me that it was my sister not my doll because by this time my imagination was going wild. They finally brought Barquette out of the closet to show me. I still never liked Barquette but from that night on she slept in my bed, it was at the foot of the bed but it was still the bed.