December 9th, 2005



When I was five I had a box. Or at least that's when I first clearly remember having my box. It went everywhere with me and I can honestly say that I loved it.

When I was five I was very small. My box helped me reach those things I wasn't supposed to be reaching. Although I never openly admitted that I was using it for this purpose. In fact, I probably claimed that it was handy for reaching the sink when I wanted to brush my teeth. Which, on reflection, it was.

My box opened up. Each morning I would spend a long time working out what I might need on that particular day. I would then store it all inside my box and carry it wherever I went. I was in the Beavers at the time and, as with the Scouts, we were told to 'always be prepared'. With the aid of my box I excelled at this.

The lid of my box was padded. Refusing to use a seat I would simply drag my box around with me and perch wherever it came to rest. The lid also provided an excellent surface for leaning on when when I was engaged in art.

My box was my treasure chest. We lived by the sea at the time and I became wildly obsessed with the idea of pirates and the notion of buried treasure. I would spend my days acquiring items and stuffing them through the love-heart shaped holes in the side of the box. My favourite thing to purloin was teaspoons, and when I was in private I was open up my box and stare at my loot.

One day I woke to discover that my box was gone. Although all of the people I questioned claimed that they had no idea what had become of it, I remained certain that someone had stolen it; and that said 'someone' was probably a pirate.

Understandably, I was rather distraught over my loss and, although I spent many days hunting for clues, I never found any traces of the thief. I was quite sad for a while. However, as with all things, the steady passage of time eased me into the reality of a life without the unfailing support of my trusty wooden box.