Daily Prompt: Prized Possession


I lived in one townhouse among many, turned inward on each other in a triangle. There was a triangular green in the middle, holding a pine and a maple that we could climb. When there were garage sales I and the other children could run around from place to place, with people keeping an eye on us from all three sides, and imagine that we were discovering treasures.

I usually left my next-door neighbour’s garage alone, or for last, because I found him confusing and I didn’t like playing with his daughter. But one year when I looked in I was stuck there. I saw a stuffed panda, and I felt really sorry for him.

He was squished on a shelf between a scruffy ‘something’ and some lamps, fabric fraying on his nose to show the plastic underneath. I didn’t understand why he wasn’t wanted. Why had they let the fabric fray?

I couldn’t reach him, and while I hesitated my neighbour noticed me.

“Five cents!”

I had dreaded the inevitable – needing his help to get the panda, and having to pay him. I rifled through my small change purse (which vanished eons ago).

“I only have dimes.”

“All right, well I can make a bargain for you. You can just have him for a dime!”

I nodded. I knew this was “cheating”, but since I couldn’t tell if he was joking or not I ignored it, and enjoyed some righteous indignation at him cheating a kid like me out of five cents.

He took down the panda, and I put the dime in his hand without making contact. Then I fled with my prize.

I pushed back the fabric on the panda’s nose since there was no salvaging it, and I’m pretty sure he was dunked in the washing machine by some will other than my own. I found out that, in his seated position with curved front and back legs, he was perfectly shaped to hug me.

Nothing much has happened to him since – except one or two more baths. He looks the same to me now as he did back then, and even though I grew he can still hug me comfortably, so at 21 years old I still sleep with my ten cent panda.

He goes by the very original name of “Pernda”.

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17 comments

  1. Oh that’s great! I’m 43 and still have a little puppy dog pillow that I got when I was 2 and was in the hospital with pneumonia. I don’t sleep with it though. πŸ˜‰

    1. It’s nice to hear that you kept your dog, I hope that I’ll have my panda for many years to come!

      Thanks for visiting and commenting πŸ™‚

      Lily

  2. I have a bear that I still snuggle with too. Mr. Bearly. Not a very original name, but I was one when I found him in my Christmas stocking. He use to play music, and though he no longer has the winder for the music box, I love him all the same. I’m so glad to know I’m not the only 21 year old who still relies on the comfort of a little piece of home. I loved your story!

    1. I’ll be the first to say that original names aren’t the important thing when it comes to our stuffed animals! I don’t think I ever got a stuffed animal in a stocking, that is very cute πŸ™‚

      And same here – it was good to read your story and know I’m not the only one!

      Lily

    1. I think I’ve gotten over the 5 cents, finally, though I did resent it for a while! I like penguins too, but then I wonder what I don’t like πŸ˜›

      And hey, I’ve seen enough people jazz up their toys that I’m sure you could dye them! Or even dye the real thing… Haha

      Lily

    1. Glad to know that it looks like a savvy transaction in retrospect! And if karma does, I’ll have no way of knowing. Happily haven’t seen that old neigbour in over a decade πŸ™‚

      Lily

  3. I loved this story… Reminds me of my green stuffed elephant growing up which I kept well into my thirties. His junk wound up being your cherished gift (even if it you were cheated 5 cents!) Keep him safe no matter how old you are. πŸ™‚

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