Of all the things you expect to drop out of a Jiffy bag on a rainy Thursday, a small felt pig probably isn't one of them. My youngest brother had hinted obscurely that he would be sending something which would bring back memories. Always a difficult one this; not all memories are good ones. Some things are best left to lie. Some things might need more of an explanation than I want to give.
So when this little toy slid out of the envelope I squealed - I oinked - with delight. I was 5 years old again. I had completely forgotten this piggy. Isn't she a sweetie? I can't remember how many years it is since I saw her last.
Now, if everybody had their own she actually belonged to my other brother. For a 54 year old toy which once belonged to a boy she's in pretty good shape don't you think? I suspect he moved on quite quickly from stuffed animals to the real thing although I don't recall him being much of a pig enthusiast.
Looking back - as the memories flood in - I think we were something of a family for small felt toys. I had a white felt mouse with a wired tail. (The wire eventually poked through the felt and I never really liked it as much after that.) AJC had a blue felt rabbit - I think it was called 'Blue Bun'. MRC had the pig. There was also a flattish yellow duckling with a floppy orange beak - most unsatisfactory - and a black cat which even now if you thump it hard enough will emit a pitiful bleat.
Back then they were all blessed with beady eyes. There were no large labels warning of hazardous parts and being unsuitable for small children. My mother did though have a spate of cutting out the eyes of our teddies (a gruesome thought) lest we should suck them off and choke. An early example of 'elf 'n' safety and an uncharacteristically maternal act on her part.
I suppose that may be why I live to tell the tale of course.