Today's prompt is #22, "In 200 words, write about your first toy."
Like most memories, mine become blurred the farther back in time they go, until they nearly fade out into a black and white blur. But I do remember some things with startling clarity, and one of those things is my favorite stuffed animal, a toy maker's replica of a basset hound.
My dog had the saddest eyes I'd ever seen, and they had such an effect on me that I felt instance empathy every time I looked into his puppy dog eyes. His long ears fell around his face in the floppiest of fashions, and he had a pouch in his back, which was perfect for storing small picture books, yo-yos, and the other odds and ends of my childhood.
I used to have a cubby light built into the headboard of my waterbed, and I remember spending sleepless nights with the light on, its short-reaching glow forcing me to huddle next to it. It was on those sleepless nights that I'd line up my favorite toys: the gray rabbit, who had a striking resemblance to the velveteen rabbit; the two-sided doll, who was asleep or awake, the switch made by pulling her dress over the opposite face; Baby Dear, the doll from my mom's childhood, who had a lazy left eye as a result of time's impact on its opening and closing lids. I would look at them knowingly, waiting for them to come to life, to dance around, to talk to me. I would swear, to no one but myself, that I saw them move, a whisker twitch, an eyelid flutter.
Of course, this never happened. And as I grew, the toys ended up in the corner of the room, and then a hammock-like toy holder attached to my ceiling, and then, finally, the attic. It is there that my toys still live, in my parents' house, inside of two garbage sacks, which are meant to keep the dust out. Perhaps they will eventually occupy the rooms of my children someday.
The toys of my childhood sit in an attic in Idaho, not collecting dust, and not talking to children.