My father was a country doctor for the last 10 years of his life. He would make house calls on a regular basis. At times, my mother and some of the kids would join him as he traveled over the dusty roads to the house of his patient. I’m not sure why he made the house calls as he did have office hours in town and had a small office in our house; perhaps the patient didn’t have a car or were too sick to travel.
Anyway, I remember being in the car as the visit dragged on and on. We would start to beg our mother to tell us about “Powder Puff”. Out of desperation, she would give in…”okay, if you will just be quiet for 5 minutes, I’ll tell you one story.” First, a little background information about Powder. Powder Puff was a little bunny rabbit. He lived with his parents in a very cool house in the woods. It was a regular kind of house with a kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom, etc. My mother could really paint a picture with her words. Well, Powder Puff had a good friend named “BooBoo”, another bunny rabbit who lived a couple of hills away. They were very good friends and did a lot of things together. Powder Puff was very obedient and helpful to his mom and dad. (I think my mother was trying to use the story to convince us to be more obedient and helpful …very clever) Anyway, she would make up a story with a lot of excitement to keep us quiet until my dad finished his call. It was interesting how the story always ended as he came walking out of the house. Let me tell you one of my favorite stories.
“One morning Powder Puff awoke and looked out the window of his room to a white winter wonderland…snow was everywhere…. it was beautiful. Powder jumped out of bed and quickly brushed his teeth, washed his face, got dressed, made his bed, straightened up his room and headed down the stairs to the kitchen. (As you can detect.. another subliminal message from my mother about neatness) Mom, look outside…wow, can you believe it…look at that snow. I know Powder Puff, it is beautiful. How about a nice breakfast, to put some energy in that tummy. That sounds great mom…I’m really hungry. So his mom prepared a delicious breakfast of bacon and eggs, pancakes with a lot of butter and maple syrup, hot chocolate with whipped cream… mom, could I have a couple of more pancakes…sure you can load up. Ahhh, that was the best breakfast…maybe another glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.”
Well, you get the picture. Powder Puff was great. I’ll have to delay the rest of the story until next time, but let me just tell you that he and BooBoo went sleigh riding, there was an accident, Powder fell thru the ice, was brought home ..had some hot chocolate with marshmallows, took a hot bubble bath, put on his “birdy dew drawer pajamas” and took a nap…and that was the end of the story”. Well it’s been over 65 years since my mother told me the Powder Puff stories and I still fondly remember them. I’ve told them to my children and I know some of my children have told them to their children. You never know how responding to a necessity (trying not to go crazy with a bunch of kids in the car) will be the mother of invention (a classic story passed on for generations). I hope that some day our grandchildren will tell their kids about Powder Puff. And when that day comes, remember to say a prayer for my mother , Mary Elizabeth Dempsey Touhill, the original author of the “Powder Puff Classics”.