Today I remembered my one-eyed teddy bear.

With no presentiment whatsoever of my future career
as a spewer of name studies, I called my teddy bear Teddy. Come to think of it,
I don’t think he was really a bear, but more of a dog crossed with a koala. He
was an untidy brown and had cardboard eyes, one of which was already gone by the
time he found his way to me.

I kept him
wrapped in a faded melon blanket that Mom gave me. I imagined he would be cold
without it, because his fur was bare in patches. Like all children I was an
aggressive accumulator of bits and bobs, and the ones I liked (and could give a
pet name to) were squirreled away into the folds of Teddy’s blanket. A small
white plastic elephant (named Ely, what else) was a favorite, as was Centi, a
“centipede” I had made by knotting a rubber band and leaving the two ends
sticking out like insect antennae. I couldn’t sleep without tucking them in
first. “Good night, Teddy. Good night, Ely. Good night, Centi…” It took me
ages to get ready. And that’s not even counting all the tiny crosses my sister
and I had to sketch in the air above our beds to keep the night monsters away.

Lucien’s favorite toy is a dragon we
call Drake. He likes nibbling on Drake’s eyes, so it’s safe to assume Drake will
go the way of Teddy.