One of my least-favorite childhood memories is closely tied to the favorite childhood memory I wrote about last week. Ferdinand the Donkey, my favorite stuffed animal, had pride of place on my bed when I was growing up. Over the years, he became worn (well-loved) and bald in patches, but he was still my favorite toy. When I was about 10 years old and my brother was 3 (about the same age I was when I was given Ferdinand), I caught him playing with Ferdinand. More specifically, he was covering the poor donkey’s face with lipstick – bubble-gum pink lipstick. I guess the donkey’s sweet face was too much to resist, and my brother must have thought that it would look even better with lipstick. I don’t think my brother meant to do any harm, but I was devastated. My favorite toy was ruined. I mourned for weeks, if not months. Maybe even years. Eventually I got over it, and Ferdinand continued to have pride of place on my bed until I went away to college. I also forgave my brother, begrudgingly and not right away, of course, but I’m happy to report that we can laugh about the “incident” today. I still have Ferdinand. He’s in a box in storage – his sweet face undiminished by time, love and bubble-gum pink lipstick.
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