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  • Betty Girardeau

The Lost Toy



When I was growing up my house was across the street from property that had once included a large mansion which had been built in 1870 by the Philo Remington, son and heir of Eliphalet Remington, founder of the Remington Arms Company. Sadly, the house was torn down in 1928 because the tax obligations had become more then the family could afford. When I was a child, most of the property that had occupied the house had become a parking lot for the cars of the company's employees. But there were still areas that gave some evidence of the lawn and gardens that had once surrounded the house. I spent many long hours playing there imagining myself as many things from pioneer lady to a simple house keeper. Philo and his wife Caroline had only two children, Ida and Ella. I am sure that these two little girls must have spent many hours playing outside in their yard probably with their dolls and their doll's dolls. On one of those days I suspect that one of these little girls lost this tiny little china doll that I later found nearly one hundred years later when I was playing where those little girls had once played, too. When I say this little figure is tiny, I really mean it, only slightly over an inch. How had she once been dressed? Did she have other tiny playmates? I have always wondered, too, if her owner had been distraught when she realized that she had lost her? Did she hunt for her to no avail? It is amazing that even I was able to find her given her diminutive size. I wish she could talk. I would love to know her story. When she was lost did she still have her arms, or had they already been broken off? I also wish that her former owner knew that she had been found and has been treasured ever since by another little girl. Today she is safely wrapped up in fabric on which one summer I had childishly practiced hand stitching and tucked away in a tiny chest that had been one of my Mother's playthings. She certainly has no monetary value. But to me she is invaluable in what she represents in memories.

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