Today, May 1, is the “12th birthday” of Yammybear.
I still remember the day I first met her. My friends and I woke up early to participate in May Morning, Oxford’s annual event, in the only Labour Day that we would be celebrating during our year in the university. After the celebrations, we went to the Covered Market to have a drink; it was a merry mix of different nationalities from around the world. Afterwards, T, one of my bosom friends who was visiting from Belgium, and I went to walk around the market. And that’s when I first saw Yammybear.
She was hanging on a stand in a charity store. We had passed it already but I made a U-turn and walked into the shop straight to where the naked bear with a heart embroidered on her left chest was hanging, picked her up and found a new friend. As the old lady manning the shop rang me up, she told the bear, “you will be in good hands.”
This memory is very vivid until now, and perhaps the reason why I related so much to my April book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, the story of a once imperial rabbit whose experiences after having been separated from his owner humbled him.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo became popular especially among Korean drama fans because Do Minjoon, Kim Soohyun’s alien character in My Love From The Stars, read it. It’s a children’s book and an easy read; I finished it in one sitting.
Anyone who has or had a toy from childhood could relate, although the story may remind one of the so-called “Angel Dolls” in Thailand that became a fad, if not a creepy fad. Except that Edward is a rabbit.
Edward’s original owner is a little girl named Abilene but he was separated from her when he fell overboard during a cruise. He was rescued by a fisherman, thrown away, found himself in a garbage dump before ending up with a tramp and his dog, got separated again and finds himself hanging as a scarecrow in a field before being rescued by a little boy for his sick little sister. Edward is made of China, which speaks of his fragility, that eventually gives way until a toy shop owner repairs him and puts him up for sale. By a twist of fate, he finds himself reunited with Abilene, who is now a mother with a little girl. Edward’s life has come full circle, together with the lessons he has learned along the way.
As with Edward, whose gender became a constant change as he moved from one owner to the next, I sometimes wonder if I gave Yammybear the right gender. What if the bear is a male and not a female? I used to have a blog for Yammybear but well, her mummy became so busy to religiously maintain it. I’m sure if she could do it on her own, Yammybear also has loads of stories to tell, of the places she has seen and the people she has met. If only she could talk.
Or maybe one day she can have a book, just like Edward Tulane.
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