two hundred years later

Several days ago Tolliver pushed a small wooden chair from one side of the living room to the other, positioning it next to the mantel. He wanted to reach the cradle we keep there. Andy caught him in the process and lifted it down to show him, explaining that we cannot play with it, despite the fact that it's the right size for my T Rex to take a nap. Or that it looks fun to hit with drum sticks! Andy began reading aloud the letter that stays with the cradle, but Tollie lost interest about half way through. It's an interesting story though, and it occurred to me that we might appreciate preserving the words in digital form, here, especially if the cradle continues to be an attractive toy for a certain soon-to-be three year old.  Although, the little cradle must be pretty tough because it sure sounds like it’s been well loved.
The envelope is soft and torn at the creases.  It says:
For Rosemary
The Story About This Little Cradle

The letter inside reads:
Rosemary Darling:
A long, long time ago, about the year 1810, there was a man named Captain Ward (who was your great, great, great Grandfather).  He was an English man, and made many voyages across the Atlantic ocean, and finally he decided to make his home on Nantucket Island, it was there that your great, great grandfather was born and lived.
Even after he lived on Nantucket Island, Captain Ward made voyages, carrying merchandise in his boat, and in those days it took many weeks to make an ocean voyage, it was on one of those long voyages that he made, with his small pocket knife, this beautiful little cradle and brought it home for his daughter, MARY, and she was so happy with it and played with it till she was quite a grown up girl, then she carefully put it away, as the years passed, Mary did not have any little girls, so she gave it to her brother Asher, who had married a very pretty girl named Nancy, and they had six little girls, their names were Mary, Laura, Susan, Sarah, Rosetta and Ellen, they all played with the cradle and loved it so much, and all of them wanted it for their very own, but Nancy and Asher kept it until all six of the girls were married and lived in their own homes, then one day when Rosetta went to visit her parents they gave her the little cradle, and she was, oh, so happy about that, Rosetta was very beautiful and always so kind and good, I think that is why they gave it to her, and she was your great Grandmother, so when her little daughter was old enough she had many happy times playing with the little cradle, I am sure about that, because you see, Rosemary, I was her little girl and loved to put my dolly to bed in the little cradle.  Then after quite several years passed, there was your Mother, my little daughter, and she played with the cradle and was so careful to keep it nice, I am sure that she knew someday she would have a sweet little daughter, who would love to have this little cradle, so here it is for you at last, Rosemary, and little Ginnette is just waiting for you to put her little nighty on and put her to sleep in the dear little old fashioned cradle.
Loads of kisses and hugs, and a merry Christmas,
Grandmother and Grandfather

*Captain Ward would be Tucker and Tolliver's great, great, great, great, great grandfather.


rht said...

Sooo glad you are safeguarding that little piece of history!

The Wendels said...

Love this.

Poppy John said...

So very cool!


lLeeann said...

How special! We had a father and son (one of my husband's football players) build a cradle identical to this one for our son when he was born.