Monday, November 2, 2009

About a dear little dollhouse

A tousle haired, harum-scarum little girl was given a dear little dollhouse for her fourth birthday. It was a wonderful, two story dollhouse, lovingly built by her daddy and beautifully painted and decorated by her mother. It was almost taller than this little girl; she could just peep over the blue ridgepole.

The tousle haired little girl and the dear little dollhouse spent countless hours together. The dollhouse was moved into the little girl's room, and any time she wanted, she could disappear for long stretches of time into the world inhabited by her dollhouse and its family, falling under a peculiarly sweet spell known only to children who can really make believe.

This particular dollhouse had five people belonging to it: Father and Mother, Jim and Betsy, and Baby. Father and Mother existed to fix meals and go to work, care for Baby, (except when Betsy looked after her for Mother to take a nap or go visiting,) and occasionally spank their offspring, who, I regret to say, developed quite a tendency towards disobedience. (It may be remarked that this tendency in the children was especially strong after the little girl herself had been naughty and suitably punished. We shall not go so far as to suggest that the little girl took out her own wrongs upon the unsuspecting inhabitants of the dollhouse.)

Betsy and Jim shared a room, her bedspread being trimmed with white lace and his plain, so as to tell them apart. They also shared in grand adventures, which mostly consisted of doing their schoolwork under Mother's watchful eye or attempting to climb all the way up on the roof. (This they never actually accomplished, since there were no ladders nearby, and they not infrequently were seized by careful parents in the act of scaling the vines which grew up the house.) If trouble was made, it was Jim who made it, and then poor Betsy got dragged in as well, as a result of being so close in age and proximity to her wretch of a brother, but never thinking of mischief herself. Perhaps we may safely assume that Betsy was the model child our little girl wished to be, but was always much too naughty to become.

Baby was simply herself, a gentle, non-troublesome darling who was held a great deal and calmly slept in her bassinet whenever was convenient.

And so they continued for not a few years, the little girl and her dear little dollhouse and her little people, over whom she ruled with a kind, yet firm hand.

Then other past-times began to creep in. The little girl grew bigger. Now she could look down on the dollhouse, instead of barely peeping over the ridgepole.

There came a day when she didn't play with her dollhouse very much anymore.

Soon, there just wasn't room in the girl's room for such a dear little dollhouse which wasn't really all that little when it came to conveniently sitting in a corner. So, the little girl, with a few tears, (after all, she loved the dear little dollhouse very much indeed, even though she was becoming occupied by other things,) tucked her smiling dolls snugly in their cozy beds, with Baby's cunning white bassinet close by Mother and Father so that they could reach her easily when she cried, and the dollhouse went to live in the spare room closet.

There it stayed for a long, long time, thinking about the days gone by, or quietly sleeping like its family. It only saw the little girl when she came into the spare room closet to get sheets or suitcases, and the little girl sometimes fondly remembered the dollhouse and its people as pleasant companions of the past.

Then one night, the little girl, mostly grown up now, was told that her small niece had played with the dollhouse a few days before and had left the contents in disarray. The girl climbed the stairs and opened the closet door, thinking to quickly put things to rights. But as she sat Indian style before the dear little dollhouse, handling the people and furniture which had beguiled so many hours of her childhood, she felt the old spell falling, and for a while she was a tousled haired little girl, arranging furniture and setting to rights the affairs of the dear little dollhouse and its family. (Such things do pile up tremendously after years of uninterrupted quiet, you know.)

And both the dollhouse and the girl were happy.

9 comments:

realmccoy said...

I love reading your blog Katie. You truly have a gift of putting your feelings into words that the whole world can connect with. Don't stop. Don't ever stop. You are the best.

elliebird said...

i like how you're not doing anything on the computer but school work. way to stick to your resolve. :D

Katie said...

Eleanor. Shush. I did this really, really late last night, okay? After I had slaved over my paper and over Gileskirk and over opportunities all day. Okay? Okay.

Lolly said...

Very Shel Silverstein, Katie. I loved it. I made me smile and fondly remember that tousle-headed little girl. I love you.

Katie said...

L: Who on earth is Shel Silverstein? I'm guessing this is a compliment...

Emily said...

This is so sweet, Katie! I love it!

I think Shel Silverstein wrote Falling Up and Where the Sidewalk Ends and maybe The Giving Tree too--only one of which titles I've read, but that's who he is.

Katie said...

Eww. I hated The Giving Tree. It made me bawl and feel oh-so-depressed.

Thanks alot, Laura.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you remember...it was daddy's idea, you know, to build it and to 'hinge it' so we could close it up--against small visitors and unsympathetic eyes who did not understand the need for a mussed-up habitat part of the time--opening it for Charlie and seeing her delight in the dear old homemade items concocted with much love and a bit of creativity was delight revisited. And even now, our Phoebe sleeps there beside our little princess's cottage in 'her own closet room' and I am filled with remembering...

Nasada said...

AH!! you dont like shel silverstein?!!!!

yousa crazy!