I don't remember when she came nor if she had a name. She never wore clothes. She was a handy size to haul around with me on my adventures. She was about eight inches tall, stuffed rubber with eyes that closed, and varying cut lengths of reddish brown matted hair. The only seam was where her head attached to her body.
Naked Friend was a constant companion. She was my ultimate "Action Figure". She climbed trees with me because I could tuck her in my waistband as I climbed. She liked dogs. They liked her and sometimes carried her for me. I kept a hay string so if the going got rough I could tie her to me or even drag her along. Naked Friend did things I never could. She jumped from trees bravely and landed uninjured. She rode cattle (more often than I) and even explored the underside of the outdoor toilet. Oh, the adventures we had!
The hay string could be her safety line so I tied it permanently around her neck. It gave Naked Friend such a sense of security she began to have more and more adventures.
Our friend and neighbor lived down the creek from us. Mom and Dad visited often. Naked Friend and I always went too.
Uncle Ray's creek was the continuance of ours with springs joining it along the way. By the time it flowed below Uncle Ray's front yard it was too big for me to enter without an adult. The creek was in view of Uncle Ray's porch so the adults could watch me while I played BESIDE the creek.
Naked Friend was far luckier. She entered the stream with her hay string around her neck. The current would grab her and rush her to the end of the string as I ran along side on dry ground. Back and forth, back and forth, Naked Friend floated and I ran. It was the highest form of entertainment for a four year old tom boy (who didn't really like dolls).
I thought of Naked Friend (named for this story) and told the tale to my hubby. He was shocked and appalled as if I were a serial killer or something. I said, It was just a doll. He shook his head.
Oh, the imaginative adventures of a country child! I think Hubby will be watching me next time I'm around him with any kind of rope.
May our imagination and sense of adventure never fade.