While standing at the checkouts during a trip to my local Officeworks some years ago, I noticed an owl. She was trapped; squashed up against the plastic wall of the rectangular container she and dozens of other small rubber owls had been dumped in.
The others weren’t looking at me. She was. Her gaze trapped me, pleading for release. How could I walk past? So I rescued her. Three other owls too, all different colours, so I could give one to each of my cherubs.
Their owls have all been used, to varying degrees. Pencil-topper erasers owned by young children – as these owls are – tend to be. Both as erasers and as chew toys, to varying degrees. (I’ve mentioned that my boy has Pica previously, I think?)
But little wise Victoria has escaped this fate. She has sat, steadfast and in the same pristine condition in which I bought her, on my desk. She seems to be quite happy to watch me as I work. And although I’ve named her Victoria, I have a feeling that she prefers ‘Vicky’. It’s more Australian, somehow.
Then, two years ago, I threw my daughters a joint birthday party. The theme was ‘animals’ and as part of the party bags we included small, animal-shaped erasers. But, as is often the case I’ve found, the least-wanted eraser was left until last, and so he missed out on being included in the bags. He was a tiny red monkey. Cheeky looking. The littlest, the last, the unwanted – and again, my heart was touched. Besides, Victoria (I mean, Vicky) probably wouldn’t mind the company, I thought. Troy – a large name for such a little tyke, and a world-conquering reputation he’d like to live up to – has since sat next to the little brown owl, watching with her.
And that, dear readers, is the story of Vicky and Troy. To date, that is. Now that I’m finding the time to sit and my desk and take dictation, who knows what stories I’ll hear?
Have a fantastic week!