(Aunty Caroline told this story at church as a children’s story).
How many of you have a doll to play with?
Of course you probably have more than one.
There was a little girl I know who never had a doll when she was young. She had many sisters and two brothers, and she had a lot of fun playing. Just pretending—or shall I call it role playing.
She would be the mother, her brother would be the father, and since she had no doll, she would go to the woodpile and pick out a split wood block, paint a face on it, wrap it in a blanket (just a piece of scrap cloth) and that would be her baby.
One Christmas, someone gave her family a care package and in it was a doll, with eyes that could open and close, and the doll could even cry.
Oh, how she loved that doll! She was about 3 years old. She carried that doll around and played with it all day. She completely ignored her older brother.
Well, he didn’t like that at all. And one day he did something very mean. He took her dolly away from her, put the doll on the chopping block, and with one swing of the axe, he chopped her head off, tossed her aside, and said, “See, it’s not alive—even a chicken jumps around when its head is cut off”.
Well I cried for that doll for a long long time. I never did have another doll.
Sometimes boys and girls do mean things to their brothers and sisters.
Usually you forget childhood incidents like this, but when I was in Grade 1 or 2, I learned this poem (The Lost Doll by Charles Kingsley).
Once I had a little doll dears, the most beautiful doll in the world,
Her eyes were blue as the skies dear,
And her hair was most beautifully curled.
But I lost my poor little doll dears
As I played on the health one day,
And I cried for her more than a year dears
But I never could find where she lay.
Oh, I found my poor little doll dears
As I played on the heath one day.
Folks say she is terribly changed dears
For her paint was all washed away.
With her arms trodden off by the cows dears,
And her hair not the least bit curled.
But to me she is still dears,
The most beautiful doll in the world.
Many many years went by. I married and had four children and one day my niece, Janice, told me she was having a 70th birthday party for her Dad, my brother, John. And she wanted me to give a tribute to my brother.
As I was recalling all of the wonderful things my brother had done, this incident came to mind (isn’t our brain a wonderful computer?). I mentioned the doll incident in my talk.
He too remembered this incident and the following year, while we were all camping at a lake, he presented me with this new doll and a note that said, “Dear Sister: For all those years of anguish and sorrow, I am truly sorry.”
Boys and girls, be kind to your younger brothers and sisters.
Caroline Melnechuk Kiehlbauch
Daughter of Mike and Catherine Melnechuk