Posted on June 30, 2009
Mushy Squishy was nothing like its name led you to believe – although it desperately wanted to be a soft and lovable toy – a really mushy squishy thing. It longed to take any shape you wanted it to – I guess it aimed to please. It thought that the more it let you poke and prod and squeeze and make demands upon it – the more mushy and squishy it would become. Its attempts at compliance usually evoked squeals of delight from the ones who were trying to mush and squish it. They seemed to like having such power over the toy.
Funny thing about mushy squishy. Once, it had a mind of its own, it couldn’t be bent, shaped, prodded or beaten into any shape but the one it decided. It was hard and cold and not at all mushy squishy. Years went by and the toy stayed that way. People knew that you had to play with it on its own terms – it wouldn’t bend, not even just a bit. Rain, sleet, hurricanes – nothing could change it. It just kept on putting one foot in front of the other woodenly and doing what it had to do – what everyone expected of it – being hard, fast, true and reliable. It was of use – everyone knew they could count on it for something or another.
After so many years of being of use, mushy squishy got the idea that maybe it could be like the other toys – fun, beloved, wanted. So, it started to bend just a little. Here and there – every once in a while. This was met with renewed efforts by all who played with the toy to make it even more mushy squishy. In turn, that only egged mushy squishy on. One of the others – it called to mushy – “keep trying, you can do it…believe – you are going to make it – I’m right here pulling for you and I can’t wait for you to be all mushy squishy. Have faith in me.”
“Maybe I can really fit it with them – maybe I can be just like the rest, if only I can find a way in me to be more pliable, to bend more, to give them what they want and expect from a toy, ” Mushy thought. So mushy squishy redoubled its efforts to stretch, snap, squish, push, fold, bend and otherwise be all pliable and ‘mushy squishy’. This took plenty of faith from mushy squishy, who had been so scared that there wasn’t any place in the world for any such a toy to fit in and who wasn’t accustomed to bending at all. Each new move took more and more ‘believing in’, ‘hoping for’ and then ‘putting into action’. But mushy squishy would not be deterred. “Maybe dreams do come true, even for the likes of me,” thought Mushy. “I’ve read about such – seen some of it in movies, but I never thought it would pertain to me. Oh, my – this is just too wonderful to be true!”
And it was. It was too wonderful to be true. It was a lie. Toys that aren’t meant to fit it shouldn’t try and things that are of use should be content with that and when you are rigid, you should just accustom yourself to that fact – that’s how it is and that’s how it always will be. Trying to be all mushy squishy only will make you into nothing … didn’t anyone notice that in all the frenetic efforts to become mushy squishy, the toy kept losing bits and pieces of itself along the way? Parts broke off all along that path and littered it with little bits of the toy that weren’t really hard, but surely weren’t special – not really mushy squishy and only broken off parts in the end – nothing that was ‘of use’ to anyone. Just like that egg in the other nursery rhyme, no one could put what was left of the toy back together so that it might be of use. Since it was no longer of use and now all broken, and not at all mushy squishy, no one wanted it anymore and it went the way of the scrap heap – never having known what it was like to really be mushy squishy.