As is the norm, before Lex went down to sleep, he wanted a book read for him. I usually let him choose, but I was tired, so I chose. In amongst the books was a copy of the Little Golden Book of Pinocchio. I remembered mum telling me that it was my favourite book as a child, and that I always drove her nuts by wanting her to read it to me again and again. So I thought, yeah, let's read that one.
I sit Lex on my lap, pick up the book and he leaned back against me ready for me to start reading to him. I open the book at the first page, the bit where it says "This book belongs to..." and then has a space for you to write the child's name.
The name written in the book was Danny Heap.
That's right, it was my book.
Why is that so strange? Well, my father had the habit of giving away my stuff (without asking, the bastard!), and so at some point he gave away my box of Little Golden books. I had a hell of a lot of them and was seriously annoyed with him over it. I had always figured that I would have wanted those books for my own children one day.
So wind forward to a couple of years back when Sharon was pregnant, and I decided to start buying LGBs for Lex. My first stop was eBay, where I immediately found a job lot of about eighty books. I bidded for them, won, and they were duly shipped here. And that's where this book has come from! The cool thing? It's in great condition. Some of the books are battered, ripped missing pages, most at least have some wear and tear, but this one is in good nick.
So, thirty-plus years later, after having been through goodness knows how many owners, I manage to bid on the one big lot of books that contained my actual copy of my childhood favourite, during that crucial ten-day auction period when it was up on eBay.
There's the makings of a sweet little Twilight Zone story in that.
Picture a man in search of his lost childhood...