Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
So several months back, back when the weather was cold and gloomy. I got the brilliant idea to search and find a book from my childhood. At first I couldn’t remember the title, only the picture on the cover. Then at 2 a.m. one cold morning the name came to me. It was Teddy Bear of Bumpkin Hollow.
My Mom read this book to me over and over when I was little. I loved books, and she tried her best to instill the values this book contained between its pages. The story is about a little bear who couldn’t and didn’t follow instructions. Simple enough?
The drawings are simple; the story is colorful and easy to understand. To learn a lesson by example is a great idea. Except when your child doesn’t see the connection. I just didn’t see any connection. This was a bear, after all.
So she would read that little book to me and many others.
She would give me instructions. Like don’t eat the mulberries, stay in the yard. Leave the roly poly bugs outside where they live. I would still eat the mulberries and then not wanting to stain my hands wipe them on my new sundress.
I would wander to the neighbor’s house and bring the little buggies inside in a shoe box. Rules when you are child at four only apply to the bigger kids. So she kept reading the book hoping I would see the connection.
It took many years and a daughter of my own to see the connection.
My son – however ornery he might have been at school – was not a problem at home.
My daughter however was the child who was like her mother. Things had to be very well explained, or it didn’t apply. It was the old “I hope you get one just like you!” notion.
So now I have my old, well loved book back in hand. It has another child’s name on the inner page. I wonder if this child’s mother read this story and hoped for a child who listened better. The story still rings true. If you follow the instructions given to you there will be a surprise. If you don’t you will be unhappy.
When looking for the book, I put a search out on Facebook. No one remembered it.
I asked a guy I know who is very savvy with E Bay. He found it for me.
I think it was salvaged from an estate sale on line. The price on the cover is 29 cents. The going rate is closer to $30. The year is 1948. I didn’t have to pay that much for it.
So I hear in my inner voice my mother reading. I see a little girl wiggling and squirming to get on with whatever she needed to do. Someday I hope maybe I can read this to a grandchild. Maybe? Who knows?
If not then I hope at least somewhere out there my Mom knows I finally got the message.