In years past, I owned a plastic toy gorilla. He was part of a "wild animal" ensemble that included creatures such as giraffes, dogs, crocodiles and so forth.
Gorse wasn’t very big - he was about four inches tall, if that. He came in a plastic bag with all the other wild animals, and there were other sets you could buy too, like farmyard animals, which included such fan favourites like sheep, pigs, ducks, chickens and so on. I’m sure I had them all.
But Gorse stood out.
He was moulded sitting upright, his arms at his side, his face composed in dignified regality. So, he was born to lord it over the other animals, wild or barnyard.
I often envisioned Gorse as being a wise old gorilla, steeped in timeless tradition and having patient answers to the questions posed by the other animals. Sometimes, even I sought his counsel.
In my room, sequestered from reality, I could imagine the world Gorse and his friends lived in. It was a grand place with no conflict, no yelling or screaming, just everybody getting about their lives contentedly.
At the head of this plastic toy utopia was Gorse, dispensing wisdom at will. On his haunches he sat, benevolently guiding his charges onward and upward.
I don’t know what happened to him exactly. No doubt he was disposed of, the victim of a boy growing up with no further time for plastic adventures.
I could sure use his quiet wisdom. It’s needed.
©1996-present Peter (Booth) Greenwell - texts and images CC BY-SA 4.0
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