And finally, we have this charming story written by local author and playwright Jean Rees for her friend Olivia, aged 4 years and 2 months. (But of course it is also for children everywhere!)
I loved my teddy, I took her everywhere, to visit my Aunt Jessie in Windermere, to the shops with my mother, and sometimes I sneaked her in my red satchel to nursery school. During playing time my friends would ask to see her and ask me, ‘What is his name?’ I would tell them he is a she teddy; but they would just laugh and say all teddies are boy teddies.
I suppose that was because I did not name her.
The Teddy with the Button Brown Eyes
I thought about this quite a lot - when I was taking a shower, going for a long walk with her on my back in my rucksack with black draw strings, but most of all when I was up in our tree house which my father had built for us.
This special place in the oak tree was called Penny’s House. I loved the tree house almost as much as I loved my teddy. But one day, I found her under the sofa, one arm sticking out as though she had been hidden. I was so shocked and even more when I realised that one of her eyes was missing.
My mother was surprised too, she told me not to cry, we could mend her like we had done when my china doll was broken and we took her to the doll's hospital in the city. That was the time I went by bus on my first ever journey with my mum; it was such a treat seeing so many shops full of shiny cups and saucers and coloured umbrellas.
But I decided I could mend her myself. I went to my mum’s sewing basket which was full of bright cotton threads of purple, silver and green. Inside mum keeps a beautiful casket, I called it a box, full of buttons, some from grandmother’s shift, some funny shirt buttons and lots of loose ones from which I made picture shapes. Then I found it, just the right button for teddy’s missing eye.
It was quite flat, about the size of a halfpenny and as brown as could be.
Just right, I thought. I found brown thread, not on a bobbin like the other threads, but in a kind of long loop shape, like my skipping rope.
I started with a couple of stitches to fix the end to teddy and then added the button with as many in and out stitches as I could, making sure that it would stay in place.
My mum and dad, and my big sister from behind the piano, laughed and said how funny she looked; and from that day I called my teddy, Buttons.