Ginky


I found Ginky yesterday. Boy, was I surprised! “Mom!” I shouted. “I found Ginky!”

Mom wasn’t surprised at all, and she told me a story: “When you were a tiny baby and round all over, your daddy brought you this blanket. He held you and the blanket in one arm and said, ‘Blanket, blanket,’ lots of times. You said, ‘Ginky.’ Dad smiled and said, ‘Blanket.’ Both of you were talking about the same thing.”

I had to laugh at that.

“Pretty soon,” Mom went on, “we all got used to calling your blanket Ginky, the way you did. ‘Here’s Ginky,’ your daddy or I would say, or ‘Won’t you let us wash Ginky just once, real quick?’ But you never wanted Ginky to be washed.”

“I didn’t want Ginky swooshing around in all that soap,” I told her.

Now Ginky smells kind of stuffy and dusty from being in the drawer so long. Ginky used to be soft. I remember stroking my cheek with Ginky and wrapping it around my arm (the one with the good-tasting thumb) before I went to sleep.

At first Ginky had a satin edging that I could curl around my fingers. I could make a scratchy noise on it, too, with my fingernail. But the satin is almost all worn off now.

Lots of babies have blankets. But there isn’t another Ginky.

You know, I took Ginky to bed with me last night—just for remembering. I didn’t really need to. I tried wrapping Ginky around my arm. I tried scratching the worn-out satin. I even tried sucking my thumb.

But my thumb just doesn’t taste good anymore. After a while, I got all tangled up in Ginky. I wanted to go to sleep, so I folded Ginky carefully beside me. “Good night,” I said.

This morning Ginky was still there, looking kind of raggedy on my pillow. I packed Ginky away in my special box. Mom says that when I’m a big person, we’ll open my box and look at all the things I saved as I was growing up.

My picture album and my doll without any hair and a drawing I made of a fire engine were in my box already. I think Ginky belongs there with those other things.

[illustration] Illustrated by Pat Hoggan