My friend in Tucson (actually Green Valley) lives at the end of her cul de sac, right along a canyon.  We had walked down a path into the canyon a bit and she pointed out javelina tracks.  While I know what a javelina is, I’ve never actually seen one.  And I certainly didn’t expect to be walking along a javelina pathway. 

Then later that evening as we were sitting in her living room, I looked out the window to see a fairly large javelina walking right past the house, only about 20 feet from my chair.  Fascinating.  During my trip we actually spied javelinas several times – at the Desert Museum, more near the house and even a troop crossing the street near a park.  They look like pigs but Arizonians are quick to tell you that they are peccaries and NOT pigs. I loved seeing them and spent some time looking up javelina facts during the trip.

On our last day, in the zoo gift shop, I found a small plush javelina toy that I thought was cute.  My friend insisted that I actually needed a bigger plush toy.  When I told her the small one was what I could justify (since clearly I don’t need to be dragging stuffed toys home at my age), she doubled down and said she wanted to purchase it for me.  We argued a bit and I eventually gave up. 

On the way home I made my first mistake – I gave the toy a name – Henrietta.  The mistake meant that when I was packing, I felt funny about stuffing her into my squishable carry-on bag.  How would she breathe?  I really didn’t even pause before I set her into my purse.  When my friend laughed and asked what folks would think, I told her that lots of people needed emotional support animals when they flew.  Henrietta would be my emotional support javelina.  (I am NOT suggesting that people who have emotional support animals don’t need them!)

Anyway, here is Henrietta going through Security, getting settled on the plane and then at home on my bed. 

I will admit this to you all; I’ve had Henrietta for cuddling every night since I got back from Tuscson.  I’ve thought about bringing some of my other stuffed toys down from the attic so they can take turns but I’m afraid Henrietta’s feelings will be hurt!

Any strange stuffed toys in your past (or present)?

47 thoughts on “Henrietta”

      1. Mike Binkley disagrees. 🙂
        I’ve tried posting that strip but it doesn’t work. You’ll get a laugh from a Google, Opus Penguin or Puffin.


  1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I don’t ever remember having a stuffed animal as a child, but I did have a doll that I was pretty attached to for awhile. Then I gave up dolls entirely. My stick horse that I used in my ongoing Annie Oakley fantasy was as close as I came to a stuffed animal.

    My son, however, had loads of stuffed animals that he was so attached to. At ages 3-4 years he had quite a ritual about which animals slept with him that involved sorting, arranging and decision-making. One day I asked him about this process. He said, “I sleep with the animal until it knows I love it, then it can sit with the other ones.” It blew me away that he understood the psychological process of internalizing love at such a young age.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. FS, your stuffed javelina is missing the ridge of hair they sport, as well as the tusks. I gotta say that the javelinas I encountered in Fountain Hills were the ugliest things I ever saw.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually she does have the little furry ridge-the photos don’t show it well. But you are correct about the tusks. She’s too young.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. For a while, Robin made sock monkeys, including sock mermaids and sock monkey pirates as well as sock “wild things” she would sell at craft shows.

    We also kept a large menagerie of stuffed animals when the granddaughters were younger. Those have been winnowed to a select few.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. I’ve previously mentioned the brown stuffed dog that is my security blanket. As a young child I had about 10 stuffed animals of varying sizes that always had to sleep with me. I would arrange them “just so” around the edges of my bed, tuck the sheet and blanket tightly around them, stand up by my pillow, and slide under the covers (my bed had a solid headboard to lean on while I slid in). I must have been a quiet sleeper because the covers were still tucked in when I woke up in the morning. And for a while, I could reverse the process of getting in bed so that once out, I’d pull the bedspread up and the bed was “made”. Other than the brown dog, the only stuffed animals I still have are a small teddy bear (from childhood) and a Koala wearing a Busch Gardens shirt (purchased in Florida back in the 80s).

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Grandson has claimed a large lion puppet from my play therapy room, along with a 6 ftt long snake puppet, and a shark puppet. The lion is Oliver, and the shark has been dubbed Clover. No name for the snake yet.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. i had a little stuffed cat named mr boo when i was 1-2 he disappeared and was not noticed
    a couple years ago my mom gave him to me
    i set him on my headboard and i don’t think he’s there any more
    kids had lots of stuffed animals now grandkids

    i guess they do provide comfort

    i think it would be fun to bring tour critters with you and proclaim them emotion need critters

    my dogs would love it
    cats i’m not so sure
    fish would not enjoy it

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I had a big collection of stuffies. A bagful of them had to be thrown away when my storage unit leaked, for fear of mold–that would have included a hedgehog, a humpback whale, and the beluga I’d gotten from the MN Zoo when the whale exhibit opened. Of the ones I still have, the most interesting probably would be the Chinese Dragon puppet (named Oolong after the dragon in “Tea with the Black Dragon” by RA Macavoy, even though he’s red and gold), the black-and-white kitty in a satin witch’s costume (bought from a Stillwater doll shop), and the winged cat, named Seraphina, whom I bought at an SF convention and who went with me to WisCon one of the times Ursula LeGuin (who wrote the Catwings series of children’s books) was Guest of Honor. I also have a large collection of Pusheen plushes, the most interesting of which are in the shapes of food (strawberry swiss roll, macaron, s’more, stack of pancakes–Pusheen is very into sweets).

    Liked by 4 people

  7. There was a period of my childhood when I collected penguins and had several stuffed ones, from an antique to newly purchased at a zoo gift shop. I had one that was close to 3’ tall that my brother won for me as a birthday gift playing the midway games at the MN State Fair. He had gone to the fair on the city bus and the return bus driver teased him about charging extra fair for it. The penguin now lives on Daughter’s room.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was trying to think of girl names that started with an H and Henrietta just came to me. Because you know it had to sound good with javelina

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I found a stuffed bear on the side of a highway offramp near my credit union many years ago. It was only slightly soiled by its experience. The bear had no eyes, so I gave it a pair of black button eyes.

    A couple of years later I found another bear in almost the same spot. I don’t know what it is about that offramp that attracts stuffed bears. This one required more cleanup, but came through its laundering in pretty good shape. The bears seem to go well together, so now they sit together on a little wicker love seat.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. When I was about 13 years old, I went through a long period of insomnia. It seemed to come on with puberty. I really couldn’t sleep, didn’t sleep, for almost a year. I know that humans must sleep but I really didn’t. I must have dozed just enough to make it through. I used to walk at night out by Cannon Lake. I would just walk. It was perfectly safe back then, way out in the country. Usually I didn’t see anyone else at all, not even a car. I was often out walking to the bridge at 1 or 2 in the morning. I don’t remember being scared, just feeling like it wasn’t really right or normal to be out walking in the middle of the night like that. It bothered me that I was the only one awake.

    I used to wake my Mom up for awhile after it started. “Mom, I can’t sleep.” Night after night. She wasn’t very happy about it. She patiently taught me to warm up some milk for myself and I learned to like it. Finally she broke me of the habit of waking her up by telling me that if I didn’t wake her up at night for two weeks, she would order me a stuffed Snoopy that I wanted from a catalog. So I stopped waking her up and started walking. Two weeks later, she ordered me the Snoopy. I still have him.


    1. That was a creative way for her to deal with the issue. It didn’t solve your problem, but she managed to find a semi-solution that helped her without punishing you.


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