When I was born, my parents bought me a plastic toy bell. When you pull the string, it plays “A Small World After All” on a little music box hidden inside. It was hung above my crib for pretty much all of my formative years. When I grew old enough not to need it anymore, I still wanted to keep it as a memory of my babyhood.

When I was four, we moved from Egypt to Canada. My parents didn’t know anyone in Canada, so they were forced to sell off all of our belongings to make money to support us until they found work. My mother had to sell all of my baby toys, but she didn’t sell that little bell.

I asked my mother why she never sold that bell, expecting some kind of meaningful answer. Her answer was that she didn’t really know why. Maybe it just escaped her vision when she was looking for things to sell. Or maybe she really did want to save it, but didn’t want to tell me. I guess I’ll never know.

Somehow, the bell survived our subsequent moves from Canada to Switzerland and back to Canada again. In retrospect, I guess the song fits the item pretty well.

I still keep the bell hanging from my bedpost. I’m honestly not really sure why I haven’t gotten rid of it. It’s really ugly and a little scary. not to mention that it’s so old that it’s different colours in places where the sun hasn’t touched it. But I’ve had it for so long that to get rid of it would take more work than to keep it. So I guess I’ll keep it a while longer.