I won’t lie, I thought it was the end. One second I was enjoying the sunrise and the country air and the next second, BAM! I was thrown in a burning can, left to stare at the sooty walls that rose four feet above me.
My first thought was, “What kind of Grandma puts a baby doll in a burning can?”
My second thought was, “I hope it’s not the same kind of Grandma that strikes a match before Christie wakes up and finds me.”
Her Grandma never liked me, and the feeling was entirely mutual. I never speak ill of the dearly departed, but let me just say she had some issues. I suppose living through the Depression was unpleasant, but that’s no excuse for trying to bar-b-que an innocent doll. Yes, I was an eye sore, but the dust bowl wasn’t my fault. I am a freaking doll.
So can we all agree that putting your granddaughter’s beloved baby doll in a barrel to burn is not normal.
Once I landed in the can, I had no real options except to wait for rescue. I listened to the bees hovering over the honeysuckle behind me. Occasionally, a gentle breeze would blow ashes in my face. “Christie better hurry up and find me, because it smells like someone made bacon and burnt biscuits for breakfast, and those scraps are headed straight for this can on top of me,” I thought. I had already lost most of my hair– how much more could I endure?
Sure enough, I soon heard Christie’s terrified panting and then saw her fat little fingers grab the top rim of the barrel. Her head bobbed up and down, as she tried jumping up to see if I was in there. She was not very agile, so this level of aerobic exertion was unnatural for her. Had I not been in such a dire predicament, I would have worried more about her delicate constitution.
Her brother must have whispered to her that Grandma “may have” put me in the burning can. He actually might have been the one who helped her drag a stool across the yard so she could reach me.
I had never been so glad to see her. So what if she fed me cat food at her tea parties and smeared Mary Kay lipstick all over me? When my choice was burning to death or being over-loved by a three-year-old, I voted for Kitty Kibbles.
As Southern gothic as the whole episode was, I knew Christie would survive this—and much worse. It was only a matter of time before she would take Mrs. Balden’s English class and read the first line of Anna Karenina (“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”). She was a smart cookie, and she would learn that this pain merely made her human, along with everyone else in her story. Except me of course.
I’m just the doll.