One of the things Huxley is passionate about is his animals. This boy loves playing with them, imagining stories about them, talking about them, you name it. A couple of years ago, I saw the Schleich S Animals and they are absolutely gorgeous replicas. I started buying them for Huxley, a few at the time. Now we must have about 40% of their offering. In an ideal world, I would have loved to collect Ostenheimer wooden carved animals, or a similar type of less detailed, but wooden sort, alas, with only having one child and not unlimited funds, I decided that Schleich was the alternative.
Now these animals go and have all kinds of adventures. Last night, a large portion of them had to go on a trip on our thrifted fire engine (a lucky $3 find from Goodwill, missing the basket, but refurnished with a fruit tray)…
It is notable, that our knight with lance is leading the way, and because Huxley also has a half wood, half plastic fire truck, some animals had to ride on that one.
During my time cooking dinner, I heard Huxley talking to his friends (that's what he calls all his animals), that they had to come for dinner and eat. So just because there where about five minutes that dinner was happily cooking itself (we had oven-roasted greek-inspired vegetables, couscous and tempeh with collard greens, an escarole salad with tamari roasted nuts and for desert home-canned pear half's with raw chocolate sauce) I made a mad dash into the basement and back room and built Huxley a table and "chairs" for his dinner party. I was so pleased with myself, as he had been asking for a table for weeks, and I never before took the time to do it. Always wanted to plan it, do it right, do it properly.
I find there are so many things that if we wait until we have time and energy to do it properly, they have outgrown their need, moved on to something else.
Talking about waiting for use though… When I was in grade 9 (at the age of fourteen and a half), our public high school in Rüti, Switzerland offered for us to choose all manner of classes to supplement our core curriculum. I took english, french, sewing fur animals (yes, bunny fur, and sheepskin, including a fully articulated teddy-bear), and making a rocking/pulling horse. When my father passed away in Switzerland, I got my girlfriend to keep the horse in her mother's attic for many years, until I finally brought it here in 2004 when Huxley was just a baby. I don't remember much of the horses' construction, except that we where given a frame of wood for the body, had to wrap it with wooden shavings (long stringy bits, also used to make teddy bears), then sew a white under body before making him a proper wool fabric skin.
When Huxley was little, he didn't show much interest in the horse, he would sit on it once in a while, but eventually, we took it from our play area and put it into the basement. I was disappointed, but thought that this way, it would at least keep for the grand children (grin…). So I was just ticked silly, when last week, Huxley ask DH to take the horsey out for him. DH does not know where to find things in our house, so when I came home, I did a mad dash into the basement and now Horsey is being ridden on every day. Huxley even tried to sleep with it, but I said that it needed a lot of space, so it got its own spot on the floor.
Its fur mane will need to be replaced, as well I need to make a new tail, also, since it is now 26 years old, it does need to have a couple of patches where some hungry moths made a hole. Overall, I think the old beastie is in wonderful shape and oh, it makes me so happy that it is being played with.
You might wonder what possessed a 14 year old to make things for her way in the future children? I was one of many female cousins on my mothers side, and it was still customary that we would fashion items for our trousseau. Plus, I thought the horsey was so handsome that even just displayed in a child-less home he would look splendid.
He does…. especially with Huxley on ridding him.