I was 6 years old and so excited to finally get my chatty-cathy

a doll with a string in the back

that you could pull and she would talk

(18 phrases at random)

‘please take me with you’

‘may I have a cookie?’

‘I love you.’

she was a wonderful doll

 we were happy together


I came home one day

and noticed to my horror

that my oldest sister

had given her a haircut

(picture a choppy hacked pixie cut with stringy bits)

I did not have a good reaction to it

I exploded in tears

very dramatically

sobbing and instantly tattling on her

 chatty’s hair never grew back

and one day she was gone.

(the doll, not my sister)

after all these years

I still bring it up

to my sister

every so often

 she always tells me 

she had no idea

 I would have such a strong reaction

she was just trying to give her a fancy hair style

and while I have long-ago forgiven her

I still have no idea

what chatty may have said to her during the haircut.

“a beloved doll’s voice speaks directly to your soul

in a way that cannot be explained in words.” 

-gayle wray


p.s. I am not a fan of dolls as an adult, they kind of terrify me, especially talking ones.


image credit: Mattel Toys

73 responses »

  1. I agree with your adult assessment of talking dolls. Those are the episodes of shows like the Twilight Zone that I can’t watch. 😉 My grown daughters still have their stuffed animal friends though–and their Barbies and American Girls dolls are packed up here for them to take someday.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My daughters bought me a replacement Chatty Cathy for my birthday a few years ago. The clothes were not original, but the phrases were (although there were more than one set of phrases they managed to get the right one). My doll’s hair was auburn. Auburn. The first time I ever heard that word and I fell in love with it and felt it was very exotic. I am not sure what happened to mine, but I would have had a similar reaction if anyone had cut her auburn hair. (I have a working, talking Chatty Cathy ornament on my Christmas tree, too.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a ‘teddy bear’ with a very long, real bear looking, nose. He was stuffed with sawdust. He was very ‘lean and hard’ not the soft kind we know now. His name was Fritzli. I loved him literally to death; I remember that his ‘fur’ was off at many places – and one day he disappeared forever. I would love to blame a sibling but I think my parents decided in their wisdom that I didn’t need Fritzli any longer and gave him to another deserving kid…. I’ve never forgotten him!
    I am petrified by talking dolls – was and am. As I am of Barbies etc. They have no place in my life. Or maybe I was just so jealous of other children who HAD them that I’ve built a wall 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      • My parents were ‘cruel’ with me, being the oldest. Already we were quite on the poor side, although we never lacked truly anything. My dad as a carpenter and cabinet maker, but most certainly a fully fledged DIY king, made us stuff which all disappeared. Dolls’ house with full interior and furniture, shops with shelves, etc., a wooden rocking horse with leather ears and saddle, puppet beds which ‘grew’ with the dolls, he was a wizard – and – apart from the rocking horse which went to my son, it ALL WENT AWAY w/o us ever being asked about our feelings…. Usually the standard reply was: We gave it to someone who hasn’t got it/needs it/is younger. Heck, it still makes me twitchy with envy.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha! I remember Chatty Cathy. I didn’t have one. My parents had the idea that I could make my dolls talk myself. I also didn’t have a sister…but I had a little brother. One year he got an intercom (wired of course, as it was 1966). He wanted to put one in my room and one in his room. I didn’t want it. I wanted him to leave me alone (I was about to become a teenager). I accidentally broke his intercom and it was never used. I will never forget the crushed look on his freckled face. It was a little thing but…

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  5. There was a little record player inside the doll that tightened a spring that made the turntable run. All the phrases were on this little record and would play at random based on where the record had stopped the last time. We all had puppets that had those taking boxes in them. One brother got Beany, one got Cecil, and I got Dishonest John. Nyah-ah-ah!

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  6. I suppose I got the best alternative to Chatty Cathy – the one doll I remember had a hairdo that could be long or short (she had a knob in her head that allowed you to “screw in” her long hair). I also had a brother, not a sister so he never took an interest in the doll. We played with our teddies together. I still have my teddies, one with an eye broken and hardly any fur. Don’t know what ever happened to the doll. I guess we ran out of things to talk about. Somehow bears listen better.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Chatty Cathy – The Talking Doll | thekitschwitch

  8. Oh, no! I would have felt the same way if my sister cut My Barbie doll’s hair. I never had a Chatty Cathy doll, but always wanted one. The things children remember and harbor. That’s why I like teaching little ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You have to love siblings. They give us things to write about. My only doll was hard plastic with no real hair. My 18 month old sister somehow managed to throw it in a storm drain on the front of our rental house. She was like greased lightning and mom couldn’t keep up with her. I found the doll and mom hid it from my sister. It turned up 40 years later after having been given to a cousin. The brothers were easier on my things than my sister. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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