Written for this week’s Prompted Link Up: It’s Alive (or is it?) | Tipsy Lit.
The excitement was almost more than Charlotte could bear. Mama had taped pink tissue paper over the doorway and strung a wide ribbon with a huge bow across the opening. She offered Charlotte the scissors with a smile. Papa was standing by, camera poised, ready to capture the grand opening and her reaction to the newly decorated bedroom, a birthday present fit for their little princess.
Taking a deep breath Charlotte cut the pretty ribbon and burst through into her domain. Gasping she took it all in: the big girl bed with the pink gauze draped from ceiling to headboard; the white desk with matching bookshelves and whirly chair; the beanbags and cushions placed artfully around the fluffy, rug; the full length mirror, pinboard and pictures that adorned the walls. It was perfect.
Dancing from one foot to the other she thanked and hugged her parents before circumnavigating the room to take in all the little details that her mama had been selecting for weeks. It was then that she spotted the elephant, an incongruous, dirty grey alongside the carefully matched pinks and whites. It was not even fluffy and had a dour expression that disturbed Charlotte’s delight.
‘Great grandmama sent you that, my dear. I explained the colour scheme but you know how fickle she can be. Now that you have seen it you can hide it away in the closet if you wish. Just don’t forget to write her a nice note to thank her kindly, and put it on show any time she visits.’
Charlotte’s special day passed in a whirl of frothy dresses, visiting friends, cake, candles and more gifts than she had time to open. For once she was happy when bedtime came around, tired from all the excitement and eager to retreat. As mama kissed her goodnight she noticed the elephant that she was sure she had already put away.
‘Can you please put that in the closet for me?’
Happily, she snuggled down into her soft, warm bed.
Nala was not impressed that this child expected her to live in a stuffy closet. Pushing the door gently she padded across the room and settled down next to the friendly bear in the ridiculous pink dress.
‘She should have been given a flamingo. The colour and foolishness would suit her.’
‘Were you not told that this is why you were sent, to teach her values she does not yet recognise as of worth?’
Nala sighed. It was a burden she must bear with fortitude, but not from within a closet.
‘Perhaps if I were to don one of these ribbons she ties around everything then she would not try to shut me away.’
In the morning Charlotte spotted one of her mother’s colour cards abandoned on the floor, and noted that grey was often teamed with pink. Her closet door had slipped open in the night and the elephant had fallen on the floor where it lay alongside the discarded tissue paper. Carefully removing a soft ribbon from an unopened parcel she tied it around the elephant’s neck before arranging it carefully on a pink beanbag. The dour expression looked more resigned today.
‘Elephants are supposed to be loyal and clever, perhaps you can be my friend after all’ she mused before skipping out the door to find her mama.
Nala wondered how long it would take to fill such a vapid head with sense. So far her little charge was proving to be surprisingly malleable.