Kulunut apinapehmolelu, jonka vartalo on punaista, valkopallollista kangasta ja pää karvainen. Värivalokuva. A worn out monkey soft toy, which has a body made of red and white-dotted fabric and a furry head. Colour picture.

Api the Monkey.

Picture: Riikka Räikkönen

It was 1978 when I was in Sesto in Lähderanta with my parents. I was two years old. I was sitting in the shopping trolley as we passed the toy section and I saw this monkey soft toy. I really wanted the monkey but my parents were reluctant to buy it for me. I had such a massive tantrum that finally my parents agreed to buy it for me. Since then Api has been very dear to me, and I haven’t really played with any dolls, I just used to push this monkey around in a cart. It has been everywhere with me. A few times I left it behind at my relatives’ place during the summer break, but it was always sent back to me in a postal package.

It’s stuffed with sawdust, pieces of yarn and fabric. It’s really worn out and my mum has patched it up everywhere. I bought a pair of woollen socks and a beanie from the second hand shop for it, and now it’s sitting in the living room, in it’s own chair. It really is very dear to me, as I haven’t really got any other toys left from my childhood. Often old things are given away, but this one has a very special bond with me.

Riikka Räikkönen