It is always good to have your core described by your older siblings. One of my sisters has always said that I had a heart of larceny.
I started young. Mama would take us to the science museum and sometimes she would let us buy “one thing” in the gift shop.
I always, every time, opted for a set (Three counting as one! Brilliant me!) of bone china figures of a deer family: father, mother, and Bambi. My sister, one year older and less greedy, would choose a bone china rabbit. There were several different rabbits available, so she gradually accumulated a line of bone china bunnies on a shelf in her room: whimsical, wry, sweet, and playful.
Besides the variations in their poses, the china bunnies had the advantage of being sturdier than the deer family. The buck’s antlers snapped off so easily – usually on the way home. The fawn’s legs? Gone in a week. My deer collection was a display of wounded game, propped up by bits of pencil erasers and thimbles. My sister’s rabbits reclined or sat on secure haunches, missing only the occasional ear.
It was too much for my sore young heart. I stole. I stole bone china bunny after bone china bunny. My sister would cry. The bunny would reappear. My longing would surface and I would swipe another rabbit; my sister would cry – it was a vicious cycle.
The longing stopped when I started school but I have never really stopped feeling bad for making my sister so sad.
The other day in a store, I saw a bone china rabbit sassily sitting on its hind legs. Guess what my sister is getting for her birthday…?