Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Porcelain Cat Box

When I was a child, no more than first grade, I went with my mother to visit an old woman. I did not know the woman, but she lived above one of the stores in my hometown. In her small apartment, she had a what-not shelf unit and on it was a small china box with a cat looking out of a field of flowers.

I was awe struck by this piece and must have shown fascination. The lady asked if I liked it. "Oh, yes," I replied. Would I take care of it? "Of course." And she took it off the shelf and gave it to me.

I think my mother protested the gift, but I went home with it. It is one of the of the first pieces that I collected.

When I told the story of how I got the piece at a workshop on storytelling, the teacher asked me what I would do if a small child fell in love with the piece, as I had.

"I would have to pass it on," I responded.

Studying the piece, I realize it has "Occupied" stamped on the bottom meaning that the piece is from after World War II and was probably not expensive, but it has remained a valuable momento to a stranger's kindness to me as a child.

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