Monday, March 22, 2010


On Saturday I tried to make a quick stop at the Goodwill, but was there for much longer than planned. This particular store is one of their outlets, where they sell everything by the pound. The goods are on wheeled tables which are switched out several times during the day, so there is a constant supply of “new” items. I bought a spring blouse, two books, some odd pieces of crocheted lace, and this dirty old doll….

Usually, I skip over dolls completely, but she caught my eye and I recognized her immediately. This is a Thumbellina. I received a larger one for Christmas when I was barely 7 years old. By winding the knob on her back, her head will move just enough to appear to be a real baby. This little one was dirty, two of her fingertips have been broken off, and she smells from almost 50 years of improper storage. She’s definitely not appealing, with messy hair and missing her baby outfit. Even so, I put her in my cart and paid for her at the register.

Sunday morning I decided to make this little one more presentable, so that I could bring her to my children and grandchildren. I wanted to show them what my dolls were like. I washed her vinyl parts and shampooed her matted artificial hair. That’s when it all went wrong. She slipped from my hand and landed directly on her back, breaking the knob into small, sharp pieces. The piece that remains still turns, but I wouldn’t let a child play with it now.

I’m not upset about it, other than calling myself clumsy for the following half hour. My original Thumbellina and other dolls were accidentally discarded during my sister’s move (they had been stored in her attic), so I guess this just wasn’t meant to be.


Wendy said...

What a bummer!

I had a stuffed rabbit I got when I was five. His name was Jocko (once upon a time he even had a little blue coat that had his name on it), and I loved him. When I went to college, he stayed at my parents' house with some of my other childhood treasures.

Fast forward thirty years, and Jocko and I are reunited when my mother sends him to me with a box of my other stuff (she's trying to declutter her house, which means making sure my stuff and that of my sisters gets where it should be ;). He rested comfortably in my room, until one day, the new beagle decided he didn't like Jocko's face and decided to eat it off ... or maybe he did like Jocko's face, which is why he decided to eat it. I was not happy with the dog ;).

farmlady said...

Well you tried. I imagine that you would have made her into a clean, pretty doll with a charm of her own again. Maybe another one will come along.
Happy, thrifty hunting....

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Oh, Wendy - I'm sorry about Jocko. It's one of those moments you can't do over. Would you have put him on a high bookshelf? Would I have paid attention to what I was doing? Do we learn from this? not me;)

If I ever cross paths with a rabbit named Jocko, I'll tell him to call you. And to stay away from beagles.

Hi farmlady,
Maybe... I'm convinced that no matter WHAT it is you're looking for, someone, somewhere, has it stored in a box or a trunk, and has forgotten about it. That's what makes it interesting.

Courtney at Scattering Lupines said...

Aw, darn! I was so hoping to see Thumbelina revived! But such a good metaphorical lesson in this little post :)

I did love your idea of fixing her up to show your progeny what your dolls were like.

Maria said...

My sister had a Thumbelina also. So sorry that this one didn't work out. Hopefully, there is another one somewhere out there in Goodwill Land.

MyStory of HiStory said...

Awww ... what a time to be "all thumbs"! (hee hee) So sorry. Sweet thouht tho' ... I'm sure it made her feel extra special to be adopted by someone who cared so much :)