What a cheerful toy he was
A smile on his face for the world to see
Just pull his string
He'll say what you want him to say

A little girl saw the toy
Sitting alone on a shelf
No others like it there
A rare find indeed

She took it home with her
She fell in love easily with it
All she had to do was pull his string
And he said everything she wanted to hear

As the years went by
She played with the toy
Showed it off to everyone
He seemed to bring her such joy

But as she grew older,
She played with the toy less and less
His smile was still there
But it became obvious it was just painted on

One day, she pulled his string
And the string broke inside
He could no longer say
What she wanted to hear

She gave the toy away
Didn't even sell him
Didn't think he was worth anything
To anyone anymore

When another little girl found the toy
Worn with age and use
She found the painted smile charming
Disarming, and took it home

The other girl tried to find
A new toy to play with
One who could say the things
That she wanted to hear

But no other toy would make her happy
No other toy could make her happy
Nothing in this world
Could ever make her happy

She missed her old broken toy
When she found the other girl playing with it
She was hurt because the toy could make
Someone else happier than her

The broken toy belongs to no one now
Only in the girl's memory
Can it ever again say
The things she wants to hear

Originally published in Acrimony Magazine Issue #8 April 2004