Barbie Dolls to rabbits. My journey down the garden path.

Or, dredging the past, digging up s—t, oops, manure, and dolly to rabbit?

My mother gave up dressing me in anything with lace. I’d liberate my clothing of the scratchy, hateful stuff, usually found on collars and cuffs. Similarly, after the age of six, I never received another doll, Barbie or otherwise. I traded my Barbie, and her wardrobe (some outfits lovingly sewn or knitted by my mother) — for a rabbit.

Oh joyousness! My first rabbit!

The dolly/rabbit exchange happened one day after school. I packed Barbie and her clothes in a shoe-box and rendezvoused with my friend. In the middle of the road, we made the exchange. Barbie and her clothes were popped into a gym-bag, and Scamper (yes, I grew up using words like ‘scamper’) was deposited into the shoe-box. No lid required.

The extraordinary thing, is, I have no recollection of where I housed Scamper – probably in my bedroom until my long-suffering, patient father built the rabbit hutch and run of my – er, his, dreams. I had no say in the matter. It was deluxe! With a ramp up to the hutch, the run was fully enclosed and had a latching door. The first of several such hutches he built for me over the years.

My mother wasn’t as impressed, but, too late, my father and I had formed an alliance. Thanks, Dad!

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