Saturday 21 March 2009

The china figurine

This figurine has stood on shelves and mantlepieces
all my life.

It is a group of three 
and to me it was obvious who the two people on the left were:

they were Daddy and Mummy
and Mummy was holding her new baby.

But who was the lady on the right?

She wore a fine dress and had a pretty drawstring purse;
perhaps she was the Grandma.
But really she was too young.

She looked rather distant and sad
as though she didn't belong there.

The Mummy looked happy and proud.

The Daddy could have looked a bit more interested
I felt,

but then one day,
it all fell into place,
she wasn't the Mummy,

she was the nursemaid.

And then I didn't know who I felt saddest for;
the nursemaid, the Mummy, 
or the baby.

The last thing, Pa hung the bracket on the wall by the front window, and Ma stood the little china shepherdess on it...That was the same smiling shepherdess, with golden hair and blue eyes and pink cheeks her little china bodice laced with china-gold ribbons and her little china apron and her little china shoes... She was not broken. She was not nicked nor even scratched. She was the same little shepherdess, smiling the same smile.
On the Banks of Plum Creek - Laura Ingalls Wilder

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