Tinker (short for Tinkerbell) the sheep is 40 years old and is still probably my most treasured possession. 

My father's cousin bought him for me when I was born and has been well loved ever since.

I'm not sure where his name came from or why I singled him out. Tinker is made out of sheepskin so has not aged well! He lost most of his 'fur' a long time ago and has split in many places. Luckily my grandmother knitted a series of coats for him and even sacrificed a pair of sheepskin gloves to make him a new set of ears.

Tinker isn't soft or malleable but he always seemed to fit me perfectly. Well shaped to carry under my arm, encircle him in bed and, best of all, the curve of his spine fit under my nose with a serendipity which allowed me to inhale his comforting smell. He always went everywhere with me and is well traveled. I think I stopped taking him on holiday with me in my early 20s.

Tinker stood for, and still reminds me of, comfort, safety and security. I was an only child so in hindsight maybe having Tinker as my friend meant that I always had company.

Tinker now lives on my bedside table. He still smells 'right' and my two year old daughter isn't allowed to play with him. He's mine.



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