The Whale With The Bite-Sized Hole

“Nana!” the grands yelled, arms akimbo, all three children hugging and jabbering at the same time. Excitement filled the air, as it usually does when they come to visit. Frequently I am asked to repair a beloved stuffed animal, or a torn item. Today was no different as wounded precious things were thrust into my hands.

One in particular caught my imagination as repairs began . . . a blue whale who had endured, from the looks of it, a bite-sized hole from one of the dogs, complete with an accompanying gash above. He was definitely injured. The gash was easily woven together leaving but a faint scar. The hole, however, required more extensive attention. Heart surgery, in fact, for on closer inspection the tattered edges revealed a surprising heart-shaped hole. “What a lesson this could be!” came thoughts into my mind. The hole was gaping; no way could it be just woven together without terribly disfiguring Mr. Whale. So a kind of heart surgery with grafting commenced.

Mr. Whale’s underbelly, where he had been attacked, was a light beige fleecy fabric. Digging through the sewing drawers I came across a piece of white fleecy material, not quite as deeply piled, but perfect for a graft. Tucked into the wound, under the edges of the hole, it provided a splendid cover for Mr. Whale’s tender innards. So the surgery began, stitch by stitch, until the hole was filled. In its place, a heart-shaped patch, evidence that though wounded there is hope to live again!

“No matter how deep the hurt, one can receive a new heart!” I wondered if this was a lesson I could share with our eight year old grandson and his family. Would it make sense to them as it does to me? Who knows? Perhaps only Mr. Whale sporting a new, clean heart knows for sure. His grafted heart does, after all, look a bit like an offset smile.

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