November 7, 2010

Koala Lore

The big koala on the left is Two Thumbs. He was present on my first or second birthday from my cousins in Australia. Australian cousins--how exotic! Obviously, Two Thumbs has been with me a very long time. Two Thumbs was named after a koala character in a picture book, also a present from Australia.

A number of years ago, I found another koala at an estate sale. This smaller one appeared to be of the same material, design and vintage as Two Thumbs, so I bought him. Hart and Jeff dubbed him Two Thumbs' Little Brother. Shortly after that, Hart gave me the tiny koala, explaining that Little Brother should have a companion, too.

It's a charming story, a bit of family lore with chapters added by the succeeding generations. As family stories go, it's not quite as exciting as, "Grandpa's Escape from Auschwitz," or as amazing as, "My Two Brothers are YOUR Two Uncles." Stories of my childhood and my background aren't meant to displace the boys' lost lore. I don't know the background or stories of their birth family or native country. So I'm encouraging them to appropriate my narrative, and append their own chapters.

Maybe the koala collection is complete, but it's possible that there will be others added to it. Jeff and Hart can explain that it all began with Two Thumbs, the de facto patriarch of the koalas, and that other toy koalas joined him, each with their own history and narrative (just as the boys joined my family).

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