Once upon a time, in a world where comfort was hard to come by, there lived a young girl named Ivy whose favourite thing in the whole world was her precious blanket. Her Grandmother had given her the blanket several years ago, and Ivy had not gone anywhere or slept without it since. Ivy loved her blanket so much that she would cry if someone tried to take it away from her and would only calm down once it was safely back in her arms. Although it was small, the faded, brown blanket had some weight to it and even though it was slightly worn from Ivy’s constant attention, the warmth it provided was equal to the warmth of a morning hug.
Ivy’s mother invited some of her friends over to help celebrate Ivy’s birthday one year and there were a lot of games and party food. However, Ivy hardly took part in the celebration as she was worried that her blanket might get stomped on or have party food and soft drink spilt on it. The other kids would sometimes laugh at Ivy as they tried to get her to join in the party games, but she too busy minding her blanket. As long as it was safe, she was safe.
Two days after the party, Ivy’s parents took her to the park and, instead of playing on the see-saws, swings or the roundabout, Ivy lay down on the park bench next to her parents, wrapped up like a caterpillar in a cocoon in the warmth of her blanket. She was peacefully watching the other boys and girls play when a large, brown dog started barking at some of the children and was making them panic by running around chasing them. The dog noticed Ivy lying on the park bench and ran towards her and her blanket. In an instant, the dog grabbed Ivy’s blanket and pulled at with its sharp teeth, nearly pulling her from the seat. Ivy managed to struggle out of her blanket and, once she was free, the dog quickly snatched it and ran away.
Without her blanket, Ivy became filled with sorrow. It would take her hours each night to go to sleep, and she would no longer lie on the couch while her daddy read her a story. Her parents had taken her to the shops to try different blankets, but they were never good enough and none of them made her feel anywhere near as warm or as cosy as her special blanket.
A year went by and Ivy had learned to find a few other things that made her happy. As the weather grew warmer, Ivy started to take swimming lessons, and she spent time collecting seashells from the beach to take home and place on the shelf in her bedroom. Every Wednesday and Friday, she would get dressed in her favourite outfit and join a playgroup down the road. She was worried at first because she wasn’t sure what playgroup was or what she might have to do there, but she soon made new friends and started enjoying it more each day.
One afternoon, Ivy was outside on the swings when she heard some of the children talking about a new boy who had arrived. They watched as the grown-ups showed the boy and his mother around the playground and Ivy noticed something clutched in the boy’s hands that made her eyes widen. It was dirtier than she remembered and there were patches on it now, but Ivy knew at once that it was her blanket.