Every kid needs a sidekick when they are young. Somebody to be the buffer between them and the world. Someone to tell their secrets to. My sidekick was Billy. I don’t know at what age Billy came into my life…maybe when I was three or four years old…but he remained a steadfast confidant to all my hopes and dreams until I was well into my teenage years.
I can remember one Fall when I was about six or so when every day my mother would go into her bedroom and all you could hear was the whirring sound of her old sewing machine. Sometimes I was allowed to watch her as she put together my new school clothes. But when that door was closed, it meant secrets were happening in that room and no amount of begging would get my mother to tell me what she was doing.
It wasn’t until Christmas that year when I found out. She found a small citrus crate and covered it with the old sticky contact paper people used to line their pantry shelves with. It was white with small flowers on it and magically changed that old wooden crate into a lovely baby’s bed. Then she spent hours sewing and stuffing the mattress, pillow, and sheets to go with it. She must have spirited Billy away from me in my sleep so she could measure him because that Christmas he also had a new wardrobe of baby clothes. I spent many a happy hour putting that doll to sleep and reading him stories.
But life for Billy wasn’t all fun and games. Even the life of a baby doll can be harsh. One day while I was playing with him outside, the neighbor’s dog took an instant liking to Billy and wanted him for himself. A tug-o-war ensued with one of poor Billy’s jointed legs being torn from his body. Taking his prize, the neighbor’s dog ran off while I sat on the porch steps crying over the loss of a plastic limb. Then I did the only logical thing a six year old could do. I didn’t want my poor friend to go through life with only one leg so I promptly pulled off the other leg!
For the rest of Billy’s existence in my life he seemed quite content to get around by bouncing on his butt. You see, it didn’t matter to me that Billy was “handicapped”. He still knew how to keep my secrets and that meant the world to me.
Years later, I returned to my old home after both my parents died and I was named executor of their small estate. Tucked away in the back corner of the attic was a box and inside, wrapped in an old blanket was Billy. I was amazed my mother had kept him but then I’m sure she realized how much he’d meant to me all those years ago. Maybe it was just her way of keeping HER “baby” close to her long after I had left home…
Amelia Earmouse travels back through time to uncover little known events. You may THINK you know your history, but wait until you see what Amelia uncovers in book three of HISTORY’S MYSTERIES.
Eleven-year-old Emma misses her father who’s serving in Europe during World War II. He leaves behind a treasure box with six compartments to be opened during her birthday week. He also tells her to watch for the gris-gris while he is gone. Looking out for swamp creatures and dealing with wartime rationing is hard enough, but now there’s a British refugee staying at the house! How will Emma enjoy her birthday and keep her decision to hunt the gris-gris a secret with a stranger following her around?
Best-selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.
4 thoughts on “TALES FROM THE BAYOU: The Adventures of Billy”
Yours was Billy? My first toy was a stuffed monkey that must have been bigger than me till, maybe Kindergarten. His name – Bill! He looks totally loved, kind of like the skin horse from The Velveteen Rabbit. I’m wondering about keeping him from my grandgirl. He’s been thoroughly love! Poor Bill!
Rinda, I guess Billy WAS my Velveteen Rabbit. I even bought my son his own “Billy” doll to carry on the tradition of expanding his imagination…
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I hope I am not revealing any secrets, but Billy came to you by way of Grandma. I always thought Billy would have many stories to tell.
I didn’t know Billy came from Grandma , but I sure hope I thanked her at the time.
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