She was small and pretty and pink. When you held her close, her soft baby fragrance would surround you and remind you of all things good and decent in the world. Those cornflower blue eyes of hers were content to rest upon whatever was in front of her. She never made a fuss.
When we moved to the farm, she was just shy of being three-years-old. Still small and pink, but not quiet as clean, she was always ready for an adventure. Many a day would find her laying on her back, staring up at cotton white clouds. She loved to ride in the Radio Flyer wagon and was keen on fort building.
In my minds eye, I could see her tagging along to the barn when she was older. I simply knew that she would be a part of our lives forever. When tragedy struck, I was utterly unprepared for the carnage.
The morning air was warm and fragrant with lilac, as I stepped onto the front porch on my way to fetch the morning paper. A small bit of white fluff caught my eye and as I stooped down to pick it up, I noticed that there were bits of white fluff everywhere. Looking around I was stumped as to where all this white stuffing had come from.
Then I saw it.
Laying half hidden by the leaves of a Rhododendron was Floppy Baby, my daughters long time companion and toy dolly. Her blue eyes stared unblinking at the red flowers perched above her head. Her body was void stuffing and her right arm was no where to be found.
A gasp escaped my lips and I clutched her to my chest. How would I break the news to my daughter? Images of sorrow danced before my eyes as I quickly scooped up the evidence of the massacre.
Our German Shepherd, Jack, slunk around the side of the house, realized that he would be fingered for the crime, and quickly exited the scene, leaving me to break the heartbreaking news of Floppy Baby's demise to my five-year-old daughter.
I hid the remnants of Floppy Baby in a plastic bag then pulled my daughter onto my lap. I quietly explained to her that Floppy Baby had been left outside and that Jack must have found her. I swallowed the emotions that threatened to escape and admitted that she had been torn to pieces and waited for the flood of tears that was sure to follow.
Only, no tears appeared.
My daughter asked if she could see what was left of Floppy Baby, shrugged her shoulders, and asked if she could go outside and play.
I was baffled. Where were the tears, the wailing, the gnashing of teeth? Why was I more upset about Floppy Baby's horrible death than my daughter was?
To this day, I still don't know why my Girl lacked so much emotion regarding what I had supposed to be her favorite toy. For myself, I have been unable to rid myself of those images of white stuffing littering the driveway and the guilty look on Jack's muzzle. It's been twelve years and I may never recover.
Later that afternoon, Girl came in carrying Floppy Baby's arm and proudly proclaimed that she'd found it's partially chewed remains in the upper yard.
Oh, the inhumanity of it!