Big Chief Comes to Life

“Sarah, time for nap,” Mom said.

I frowned. Wasn’t I too big for naps now?

While all my other siblings were in school, I was the last child home with Mom. Still too young for Kindergarten, I’d have to wait until the following year. I loved having Mom all to myself. But when nap time came, I balked.

“Yes, Ma’am,” I said, shoulders drooped as I inched my way into the empty bedroom I shared with my older sister.

The second I closed the door and turned around, there he stood.

Tall as Dad, perched perfectly still against the wall: an Indian chief! In full headdress, with his arms folded across his chest. His gentle eyes smiled at me and comforted me immediately. I knew instantly we were friends. He never made a move toward me, nor did he speak a word, giving me ample space to bring him into my world.

I named him “Big Chief.”

When nap time was over, I told Mom all about him. This continued day-after-day. Now, instead of wanting to avoid nap time, those afternoons took on a whole new meaning.

Mom must’ve gotten a real kick out of the stories I told her about my imaginary friend, since she set a place for him one evening at the dinner table. When my older brother threatened to sit on the chair designated for my honored guest, I scolded him for his rudeness. The family laughed, but I wasn’t kidding. Looking back on that phase of my childhood, I wonder,

Was Big Chief my actual guardian angel?

You’ll read more about him in my memoir, “As a Result.” It is my honor to have my imaginary friend back with me, in a new way, through the publishing of this memoir about my childhood. Big Chief Books LLC is the name of my publishing company, a good idea when you self-publish a book.

If you, your children or your grandchildren have ever had an imaginary friend, I want to hear from you. Please leave me a comment below. There could be an Imaginary Friend book in my writing future. 


Note: The popular Tootsie Roll Pops we kids enjoyed had colorful wrappers with symbols of kids riding bikes, playing games, and, my personal favorite, a child dressed up like an Indian chief, shooting at a star with his arrow. The wrappers have not changed in all these years. In the early 1960’s, there was a legend about it, too. We heard that the Tootsie Roll Pop company would reward kids with free suckers if they turned in these special wrappers–just the ones with the Indian symbol. To this day, they evoke sweet memories of my childhood. (Pun intended.)

6 Comments

  1. Annette on September 1, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    Sarah, how I loved reading about your friend Big Chief! It is an interesting thought that he may have been your guardian angel. Our Heavenly Father knows just what we need at all times, and some day you will find out if He gifted you with a special companion with such kind eyes, or He gifted you with a most incredible imagination, perhaps both.
    So…my John Wayne had an imaginary friend for several years. His name was Friend John. Friend John hung around our house Nesrly every day, even went on vacations with us, sometimes to the grocery store, and several times to his check up at our pediatricians office. Once our doctor said ‘maybe I should check out Friend John since he comes with you sometimes, make sure everything is ok with him too”. John Wayne said very kindly, in a slow little drawl, “well, you can if you wanna, but it might be a little hard, because he’s my imaginary friend”. John put an emphasis on and slowly said ‘imaginary’.

  2. Sarah Robinson on September 2, 2018 at 1:44 am

    Friend John! Oh, how the imaginary friend reality captures my heart. You took him with you, I love hearing that, to the grocery, the pediatrician! These are delightful details. I’ll have to tell you all of the “coincidences” in regards to this website and Big Chief! It’s all God’s way of smiling with us. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Kathy Usery on September 2, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Sarah, neither I nor my own kids ever had imaginary friends, but my first grandchild did. When he was two or three years old Harner, who was a parrot, became his constant pal. He spoke about Harner in a very matter-of-fact way. None of the family had any idea why Harner came into being, but he was clearly a nice companion. Sadly, our creative nine year old grandson has no memory if him.

    • Sarah B Robinson on September 2, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      I would love to have heard your grandchild talk of Harner the parrot! Who knows? Once these friends make their first appearance, it seems they gain traction and linger for days, even weeks. The child disclosing to the family the details of their new friend shows a level of imagination available only to children. I can recall being asked by my older siblings, “So, Sarah, where is Big Chief now, and what is he doing?” And it seems I always had an answer.
      The day Mom so graciously set a place for him at the supper table, my older brother sat in Big Chief’s seat (on purpose) and got a real tongue lashing from me before he promptly moved. Laughter ensued by everyone but me! Big Chief was all mine, and that was what made him special. No matter how young a person is when these friends come along, their presence is very real. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Kathleen Bowers on September 6, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Sarah,
    Perhaps the warrior spirit you’ve embodied through the decades was inspired by your spiritual friend and protector, Big Chief. I appreciate you sharing your imaginary friend with your readers through your writing.
    Rae Jean’s suggestion of our writing hearts and minds connecting has blossomed into much more than either of us could’ve ever imagined…a loving, supportive friendship.

    Wishing you much success with your upcoming book launch,
    Kathleen Bowers
    Author of “Sacred Silence”

    • Sarah Blizzard Robinson on September 7, 2018 at 11:27 am

      What a profound observation, Kathleen. It makes me grateful to have been that child, whose imaginary friend served as my super-hero. His mere presence gave me a confidence that only God could have known I would need. Oh, the faith of a child!
      And thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope! Press on!

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