Nothing says timeless like Margery William’s The Velveteen Rabbit. When I was in elementary school my teacher read the book to the class and I remember being so excited to hear that toys actually came alive at night while you were sleeping (yeah, I missed the point!). From that point on, it became my mission to catch some of my toys walking and talking.
I had a stuffed panda bear, Susan, with a red coat that slept with me every night. She has been part of my family since I was 4. Tasha, a lovely little elephant, was given to me with her so they were best friends of course. After hearing the story I would try to “trick” Susan by playing like I was asleep while listening to see if she would start talking. Surely she and Tasha had important things to discuss at night! What a great thing it would be to be able to actually play with Susan and Tasha like another kid.
Unfortunately, they never took the bait and I always fell asleep waiting for voices that never came. I became exasperated at one point and told her that I knew all about how the toys came to life after all the humans were asleep and that it was ok if she came to life while I was awake. I wouldn’t tell anyone. Their secret was safe with me!
Alas, they never took me up on my offer! I still have Susan and Tasha, some 30 years later. Both of them have been loved and are still loved, although they sleep on the top of a bookcase now. Susan had been through a lot over the years but Tasha was able to avoid punishment. My brother felt it necessary to tear arms and ears from Susan when he was bored. Thankfully my Mother was a licensed field nurse (for stuffed animals) and was able to stitch her back up, good as new.
So, while my two stuffed friends never came to life the story stayed with me over the years. The Velveteen Rabbit is such a sweet tale that it’s no wonder it has survived 120 years and probably many more to come.