I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.
“Where’s my Mister Ed puppet?” I was frantically looking for one of my prized possessions.
I’ve been a horse fanatic as long as I can remember. Mr. Ed may have had something to do with it.
Do you remember Mister Ed? The talking horse who belonged to a fellow named Wilbur? But he would only talk to Wilbur? Remember?
Mister Ed was so vitally important to me that when I pleaded, as every little girl did, for a horse, and my father got me a shetland pony, it was no dice. I wanted a big old palomino horse, just like Mister Ed.
Anyway, one of the offerings my parents had made before I got my big old palomino horse (creatively named “Goldie, by the way) was a Mister Ed puppet. It had a pull-string which made it talk.
For you young ‘uns out there, toys that made noises were not run-of-the-mill at that time. A toy that actually spoke words was pretty unusual.
I loved my Mister Ed puppet. I could pull the string and it would say things like, “My girlfriend has a pony-tail.”
One day,when I was maybe 7 or 8, my Mister Ed puppet went missing. I was beside myself.
“Have you seen my Mister Ed puppet?” I asked over and over again.
I started with my mother. “No, but maybe if you clean your room, you might find it,” she said. She was always telling me to clean my room. If she didn’t have Alzheimer’s and saw my house now, she might tell me to clean my room.
I asked my sister.
“What would I want with your stupid old Mister Ed puppet?” she answered. She was so much more mature than me.
I asked my middle brother.
He laughed and said, “Yeah, I gave it away.”
When I started to pummel him, he took it all back.
I asked my little brother. He started to cry. My mother came in to scold me. That often happened, too.
The only one left in the house was my biggest brother, who was genius in so many ways. He started carrying a slide rule before the age of ten. He read big books and thought big thoughts. He played with his chemistry set and erector set and spent most of his time in his room. I thought it highly unlikely that he would have my Mister Ed puppet.
I knocked on the door to his room.
“Who’s there?” he called.
“It’s Sarah,” I said. “Have you seen my Mister Ed puppet?”
I heard a bunch of noise in his room, drawers being opened and shut, stuff falling on the floor.
“What?” he asked.
“Have you seen my Mister Ed puppet?”
“Umm…. just a second,” he answered.
I pulled the door to his room open in time to see him pushing something into the back corner of his desk.
“What’s that?” I asked, walking over.
“Nothing,” he said, covering it with a paper.
But I could see the ring from the pull-string sticking out.
“You’ve got my Mister Ed puppet, don’t you?!” I said, reaching to uncover what was on his desk.
My Mister Ed puppet wasn’t there, however. Only a little box that was unscrewed and in pieces with a pull string attached.
“I just wanted to see how it worked,” he said sheepishly.
“WHERE’S MISTER ED?!”
He reached into a drawer and pulled out my dismantled Mister Ed puppet. He had neatly cut the fabric to remove the box, and then was in the process of opening the box to see how it worked.
Mister Ed never spoke again.
Maybe that was the final straw for my parents to get me that big old Palomino horse, a living and breathing one, that didn’t talk, but was very dear to me.
I suppose I may owe my brother a debt of gratitude for breaking my heart when he broke my Mister Ed puppet because it led to me getting a horse.
Still, he shouldn’t have done it.
Somebody found one (not mine) and repaired it. Now you can see what all the excitement was about.