I see it coming, bathed in a gloopy, sticky mix of snot and spit, that one year old hand reaching out to brush my fur. That toothless smile, cute to everyone but me, wrapped in a onesie picked out by someone whose interpretation of cuteness by dint of biology doesn’t extend to realizing their own spawn looks like a toothless carnie on an opium trip.
My only glimpse of freedom once a week and it’s spent being thrust, nose first into the path of a mumbling pup. These infants that lack the dexterity to even muster a thumbs up, clutch at my fur, tear at my plastic eyes all the while my owner has his thumbs and fingers directing my arms from the inside.
I’m nothing but a cheap, Chinese manufactured pawn.
One can’t help where one is, ‘made in.’
Look at how simply they bumble the basics of this tongue that I have mastered without even the necessary appendage. They stare in wonder as I command the English language with the energy and clarity of a young Oxbridge gent. Words slide from my maw with such ease that one might even question the need for a tongue or voice box when perhaps all one might need is a squeaker.
I don’t suffer alone. My kind can be found in plastic boxes far and wide, stuffed in the back of cupboards; forgotten and at peace in the dark of a bin liner in the attic if providence has shined on them.
My companion in this macabre tale is a yellow-feathered fowl hailing from the Americas. He claims to know of the green frog I so revere. Says he is friends with him even. He doesn’t fool me, his name betrayed by the irony of his meagre stature. His delusions I can forgive though. He has lived this life longer than I, born the brunt of mucus coated fingers and thumbs, the incessant and painful wail of their collective greeting.
I feel shame that I cannot even begin to describe at this existence. I bring happiness but at what cost to myself? The very stuff that makes me me (my stuffing), is slipping away day by day.
Soon I’ll be an empty shell, fit for nothing but the storage of pajamas, a hot water bottle cozy if I’m one of the lucky ones.
I doubt I shall be lucky enough to feel warmth beneath my fur again; this life has left me cold. I’d rather throw myself to the pre-schoolers and let them tear me limb from once fluffy limb.
Alas, I fear this frightful charade shall continue until my jailer sees fit to throw me to the recycling van or leave me to the elements.
A puppet can pray, can it not?