Two little girls sat in car seats, side by side, in the backseat of their aunt's jeep. They were cousins.
One girl had an imaginary friend. She loved and treasured her friend, always talking to her, playing with her, and playing with her non-existent hair, which she imagined to be pink. The friend's name was Bena-Bena. And the little girl was very protective of Bena-Bena.
The other little girl was not so fortunate as to have an imaginary friend of her own. Oh, how she mourned the injustice of it. She longed to run, hand in non-existent hand across the front lawn with her friend. She dearly desired a listening ear to which she could spill all of her secrets. And oh, the beauty of pink hair. But an imaginary friend never dropped by, even for an afternoon.
She was, of course, not overly clever or creative, or she would have realized that all she'd have had to do was simply make up a friend. And that friend could have had any color hair she chose.
But the thought never occurred to her.
Every once in awhile, the first girl liked to rub it in, just a wee bit, that she was so lucky as to have a perfect imaginary friend, pink hair and all.
As they sat in the jeep together, she remarked, "Bena-Bena is sitting on my lap."
The second girl was hurt. Couldn't her cousin do the kind thing and share Bena-Bena? It only seemed fair. "NO!" she responded, "Bena-Bena is sitting on MY lap."
"NO! MY LAP!" was the reply, with her little girl voice reaching its highest decibel.
"NO! Bena-Bena is sitting on MY lap"
If it hadn't been for the car seat straps, they'd have started throwing punches, or at least pulling hair.
When the high pitched screeching could be heard by several cars in all directions, the aunt decided to take action.
She pulled to the side of the road.
She glanced back at the two angry girls, and the space that was Bena-Bena.
She opened the car door.
"BENA-BENA, GET OUT"
Anguished sobs could be heard from the backseat all the way home. They never "saw" Bena-Bena again.
This is one of those famed family stories that gets locks away, and then pulled out at opportune times. You know the type - they rise to the surface during campfires, wedding receptions, and family reunions. This one is a classic from my own childhood.
So which one is me? Guess!