A Girl's First Friend

Kathy dragged shut the zip on her bulging case. After 3 checks, 2 repackings and 2 counter-checks, she was sure she had everything she might need at university.
“Aren’t you forgetting something, dear?” her mother stood in the bedroom doorway, grinning. From her hand dangled a familiar form of well-worn cloth.
“Cora!” Kathy squealed and snatched up the old toy. New brown wool concealed her balding patch and a new button restored her left eye. She wore a bright new dress in the colours of the old kitchen curtains.
“She looks great, Mum!”
“That’s not all. Try the cord.”
Kathy hooked a finger about the pull-string in the ragdoll’s back and drew. For the first time in years, Cora’s dainty voice cooed a compliment.
“They found another soundbox at the doll hospital. She’s as good as the day your gran made her. You’ve had her since you were born. Oh, you two were so cute in your cot together. I didn’t think you would head off and leave her. "
“Course not, Mum,” Kathy wrapped her mother, and the doll, in a teary hug.

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