When I was 4, I won this stuffed Babar elephant in a coloring contest…yes, a coloring contest. Remember those? I think it was through Marshall Field’s (a Chicago landmark department store, which unfortunately was purchased by Macy’s a few years ago…but I digress.)
Anyways, I won the first place prize and of course I still have it because I am just a sucker for sentimentality and a pack rat at heart. It’s been with me throughout most of my life; has lived on my bed, in my closet, in my parents’ basement, in a box, and most recently in my studio awaiting its revival. We have read a few Babar books with Levi recently and I thought this would be a nice addition to his room.
When I pulled him out of his last storage space he was looking pretty shabby, so I threw him in the wash…big mistake. All those barely-stitched seams came flying right out, along with his two feet. He looked like he got blown up. So, I started the repairs…I crocheted him two new feet, sewed up his armpits and legs and gave him a new hat. I thought about giving him a crown like he wears in the story books, but the black hat was just easier and it was true to the original outfit.
When Levi asked me where he came from, I explained that I won him from coloring a picture when I was his age. I don’t know what perplexed him more: that I was once his age or that I won an elephant. But now Babar is ready for action, ready for play and ready to be loved again.
Welcome back, Babar.