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Sometimes something comes along that catches you by surprise and leaves you with a big grin on your face and a little tear in your eye. I recently came home from a weekend away to find a box on my doorstep that turned a lovely day into a golden one.

In the early 1940s, my grandmother made a this toy camel for one of my aunts. The Camel with the Wrinkled Knees, of Raggedy Ann fame. He had black button eyes, a yellow saddle, and red feet. His stitching was perfect.

The camel was handed down from sister to sister and thirty five years ago the youngest gave the camel to me. He traveled with me until my aunt wondered aloud on the family website if anyone knew what had happened to him. It seemed important that she see him again, so Mr. Camel went into a box and off to Tennessee.

Camel package

Birthday 1944Seven years later, my aunt has returned the favor and then some. The box on my doorstep not only held Mr. Camel but the original pattern (McCall 914, $.35, copyright 1941), a copy of Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees, and a picture of my aunt, age 3, on her birthday with Ann, Andy, and Mr. Camel. Such a sweet little face.

My aunt sent me a note, too, to be prized with the rest, in which she writes about the camel, the dolls, where they lived at the time, and how she pored over the pictures in the Raggedy Ann books as a child.

What a gift, this peek into her childhood and a vintage pattern and book for the sewist and reader! My little one immediately sat down with the book and the camel and started poring over the pictures, just as my aunt did as a girl. I took a photo, which I will send back to her. I think she’ll appreciate it.