Animal sounds rang through
the farmyard in the countryside of a little town in South Carolina. Mayfield, that was the name. It was July
of 1982, and the wind whispered through the grapevines as Lynn
sat on the porch's steps with Kat, her doll.
About a month ago, Mama found the doll, abandoned near the dumpster,
and carried the worn-out piece of plastic into the house.
"Whose is that?" Lynn asked as Mama thrust it towards
"It's your'n," replied
Mama. "I found it and thought you'd like it."
"I do," Lynn said earnestly, "but - she's white."
"What does color gotta do wit' it?" Mama asked. "You ain't gotta
just have dolls your own color."
Lynn stared at the battered image. The clothes were raggedy with
age, and its child-sized body was disfigured, nearly broken into pieces. It winked its full-scale, black eyes everytime Lynn
tilted the head back. There was a patch of hair on top of its head with the sides cut low to reveal the tiny hair holes.
Examining the doll carefully, Lynn
finally said, "I'm a name her Kat."
"Kat," Mama repeated. "Why Kat?"
"She looks just like one of those stray cats walking around," Lynn
explained. "You don't like that name?"
"Yea, I do," Mama replied. "It sounds good to me."
After fixing up the doll, Lynn
pretended to drink tea with her from the new tea set almost every day. New to Lynn
meant the old things given to them from the wealthy family down the road. Since it wasn't hers from the beginning, Lynn considered it to be new.