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Miffy

from The Miffy books

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By Pip

A photo of Pip Trentham holding two suitcases

I have little recollection of my first ten years, and asked Mum to stir up some memories.

“Which was my favourite bedtime story?” I tempted, intrigued as to which character might have shaped my perception of the world. “Miffy,” she replied, quick as a flash.

Not one memory surfaced.

Over the past year we’ve dug out the well thumbed books. I’ve read, and reread, searched for a connection, and found none.

Miffy is a neatly drawn bunny, dressed in flat primary colours, with a cross stitch for a mouth.

This rabbit’s idea of adventure is going to the playground or pottering in the garden. She finds unbridled satisfaction in a day of learning at school. For Miffy, the ultimate birthday surprise is her grandparents coming over for tea.

Miffy is, for some, the ‘ideal daughter’. Her mother and father approve of each moment of her life, from her exam results, to the friends she makes, and the dresses she wears. I tell you, this bunny can do no wrong.

There’s a beauty in her uncomplicated innocence, however let’s be brutally honest, it’s a little monotone. What nipper wants to begin life with dreams of a crisp white childhood?

“Are you sure this was my favourite, Mum?” I challenged. “I read Miffy to you every night,” was her reply.

Aaah, now I understand.

Miffy leads a safe and honourable life. She is good; her family are important; she makes her mother and father proud. Find me a parent that wouldn’t want to instill these values in their child.

The time has come, however, for the adult in me to take these values to the next level. Miffy has set me up with a strong foundation, now it’s time to grow. Maybe even flower a little. Hold on to your ears, Miff, here my adventure begins.

I’m going to springboard into the sky, scoot around the world, and throw myself off a cliff top into the ocean. Starkers.

I’ll seek out that place where the air is so pure my breath flows like silk and dance fills the days.

My eyes will sparkle like the stars and I’ll hear laughter in the wind. My song will be sharper than thunder, and my curiosity voracious. I’ll live the hours before dawn, and the moments after dusk. Loudly.

I’ll stumble into wide open love, have my heart broken and learn to love again, each time deeper than before. I’ll follow my heartbeat, my very own.

Because life is what we make of it.

And while we may write our life’s story in those early years, with the help of our parents, it’s only a draft. It will only ever be a draft. Every day we have in ourselves the power to rewrite it.

We can be Miffy, Robinson Crusoe, Matilda and Peter Pan in one lifetime.

How?

By staying open and playful. Always.

So, Miffy, join me? The time has come to live a little more.

The 26 writing group has worked with The Story Museum as part of its 26 Characters exhibition. The group have produced a collection of poems, and couldn’t resist being part of the gallery of favourite characters.

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