Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Little Grey Rabbit and Friends

When my Grandma was an adult (not quite sure which decade), she bought herself a toy rabbit to sit on her bed. Our family were not very soft-toy adults - I don't think many adults were in those days. And certainly, when I saw the grey rabbit on Grandma's bed, I knew she was actually destined for me. I think I remember being amazed at my audacity in claiming her, and also quite surprised that my Grandma handed her over so indulgently!
j
The thing is that I knew who this grey rabbit was. She was Little Grey Rabbit, my favourite character from Alison Uttley's wonderful stories, illustrated by Margaret Tempest.
But she needed to be dressed.
Grandma, my mum and I did quite a good job between us! She wore an old baby dress of mine - did I really have MOP buttons as a baby, or did I add them on later? Not sure.
And one of the adults sewed her a blue apron, which I later converted into a pinny when my sewing skills improved - note use of vintage hooks and eyes.
One of the adults mended her feet at one point - thank you!
And I frequently sewed up her neck, tail and ears!I'm astonished to find her so battered and faded. She doesn't look quite that shabby in my memory. I've just put all her clothes into the wash...
j
The boys had favourite toys of their own, of course. Here is Donkey Blue, a short-lived offering from the Early Learning Centre. I know they only offered him briefly, because when he became indispensable to Son 1 we went to buy a second and they'd stopped selling him! Lots of mummy-mends on him, too...
And here is Tigger. Didn't recognise him? He's faded a bit over time, too.He is actually still indispensable to Son 2, who's having a bit of a struggle adjusting to secondary school. It's amazing the comfort we derive from our toys.
j
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33 comments:

mise said...

You took good care of Little Grey Rabbit! We have an equivalent very faded pink bunny in our house, who must always travel with us.

RosieP said...

Ah, I still have my bunny from when I was born, looking a little bedgraggled now though I have to say. Little Grey Rabbit still look pretty fine.

Hugs RosieP x

TheMadHouse said...

I have a bunny that was my first teddy. I will dig him out of Mini's room and show you some pictures of our cuddles. Mini is a bear boy

Della said...

Aww, that's very sweet! I had a doll when I was little that I loved, but I think I was more attached to a blanket...which I still have. :)

Juanita Tortilla said...

Cute little item-attachments. I remember my "smelly pillow" that I could not live/travel without until I was in my teens. I've always had trouble getting to sleep, and the pillow was my comfort.

marigold jam said...

I used to love Little Grey Rabbit as a child although now I might think she was a bit of a doormat letting Hare and Squirrel have all the fun whilst she laboured away in the house!

I still have my first teddy minus any fur and his eyes which were on long lethal looking wires (no health and safety then obviously) are long gone and he has balck embroidered wool eyes. He was a Merrythought bear and in good condition might be worth a tidy sum but as he is he is just a ragged old thing but I love him! He must be as old as me so he really should have a bus pass!

Jane

Pom Pom said...

Have your read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane? You'll love that bunny even more after reading it. I promise.

VintageVicki said...

Your bunny looks as loved as mine & little sons (blogged 20/10 :) I'd rather see a loved vintage toy than one that is pristine.

CraftyHelen said...

What a beautifully dressed, well cared for rabbit. It must be so nice to have something from your Grandma.xx

Crystal Jigsaw said...

What a lovely post. I adore your rabbit. I have my own called Carrot and you have inspired me to write a post about her. I'm bookmarked this post so that I can mention it in my post.

CJ xx

Andi's English Attic said...

I still have a rubber spotty dog who used to squeak. I have a photo of me aged about eight months and him propped up against me. Alas, my teddy from the same time ended up on the front of a dustcart. :( xx

Mami said...

Oh my dear Floss! Chelish and warmly post.
I wonder if your place is near by Peter Rabit House

Hen said...

Lovely post, Floss, the rabbit is gorgeous.
Hen x

Elizabethd said...

I still have some of the original Grey Rabbit books. I think my favourite animal was Fuzzypeg the hedgehog.

Lola Nova said...

Lovely post, I don't have much from my childhood in the way of toys. I am still mad that my brother has my old copy of The Owl and The Pussycat, he's given it to his children so, I suppose I will be alright:)
It is amazing the emotion we can invest in these things and how much they can comfort.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Thanks for sharing your rabbit. None of my childhood toys survived. One year I gave each of my Grands a chenille bear with money for their birthday. 2 of them always bring the bears with them when they spend the night, they are well loved and have had to be repaired a couple of times. One misplaced her's and I offered to replace it, but she said no because it would not be the same. She ended up finding it so all was well.
Glenda

Sherri B. said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. When you are the new girl it sure is nice to be noticed. Love your sweet blog and your post today reminds me of my 81 yr. old mothers teddy bear that she still has. Thanks for sharing these special touches of life.

bad penny said...

how adorable Floss. Jess had a little pink rabbit called Auf named after a wild rabbit she saw in mum's garden & pointed at it "auf auf auf" ! We had two Aufs & one got lost & the other was repaired & repaired - even had a whole new body made by my clever Aunt. I even copied him for her second birthday cake ! Sadly he vanished & we simply don't know what happened to him.

claire said...

Little Grey Rabbit were my favourite books as a child. my eldest is the only one who had a couldn't be parted from favourite siftie..a pony from Boots called Rusty...we lost him several times and always got him back..until one fateful day when he was lost in a shopping centre and not handed in....he's never been the same since!!

claire said...

siftie???
sounds most suspect..you obviously know I meant softie yes???
:D

Serenata said...

I love Alison Uttley's book and her tales about the little grey rabbit. Your rabbit is very sweet and very obviously well loved. I loved hearing the tale of how she came to be yours and I also enjoyed reading about your sons precious soft toys as well. Sorry to hear your YS is still finding secondary hard.

Country Cottage Chic said...

How lovely to have well loved toys! I still have my teddy that I have had since I was 2 and he is in surprisingly good condition. His ears have been reattached a few times but he's all there & the wind up music box in his tummy still works.

Jayne

Joy said...

What a precious love story. My oldest has her lambie pie as we call it. It is worn out with love and has been repaired too. I know you treasure it.
♥ Joy

Lululiz said...

The little grey rabbit is so precious, with all those wonderful memories attached to it. My boys had lots of soft toys when they were little, but none of them ever got really attached to one, they played with them quite happily, but no lasting bonds were ever formed.

Lavender hearts said...

my aunty gave me the bed surround. she's moving use soon so needed to get rid of stuff. i'm not complaining! :-)

Karen said...

I loved this post. I was always partial to Peter Rabbit, but only saw him in stories. Curious George, I loved him. But my all-time fav was Raggedy Ann. I have very fond memories, even some traumatic ones due to her falling in a mud puddle, and she still has the "birthmark" down the side of her face. But I loved her, and she loved me; she even told me!

beck said...

Oh my goodness,how beautiful and precious is Little Grey Rabbit???? So gorgeous. You have reminded me of my special rag doll, Floppy. I am going to find her later tonight and keep her on my bed, just like your grandmother! I too loved this post, the special cuddly toys in our lives are so dear & sweet. Thanks Floss xo

Manka said...

Oh Floss, I fell in love with that beautiful old gray rabbit! :)) It looks gorgeous !!

Purrfect Haven said...

I love those toys. I was a soft toy gal. I still have 'snoopy', but he has had surgery (on account of wearing out with all the loving I gave him,oh and once I put vick on him when I had a cold and it burnt his fabric - scary eh), so now he looks a bit different. My Nan knitted his outfit. He has been to every country I have been to (not counted but at least 25). Helen x

Mrs Yappy Dog said...

How lovely that you have kept your toys so well. I have a small paddington bear but he is recent - he lives in my car!maybe I will do a post about him if we go somewhere nice!

The Curious Cat said...

I loved the Little Grey Rabbit stories when I was a child. My father read them to me and I still have them all tucked away safely now in a box. I also have an old battered rabbit - Peter Rabbit. He was given to me when I was child by our school bus company after I got hit by a car. He was always my favourite...and there was also Mouse and mouse's baby and many others too that I still have xxx

The Vintage Magpie said...

Oh I loved the Little Grey Rabbit stories. As a 'rabbit maker' this story warms my soul!
x

Rebecca S. said...

So sweet. I noticed as I was cleaning my bedroom yesterday that my 37 year old Raggedy Ann doll needed a wash. So in a pillowcase she will go to be washed on the delicate cycle - but I certainly won't be putting her in the dryer!