Cruncher by Sonali Khatri

My grandpa has always spoiled me and my siblings. Weeks before Christmas or my birthday he would already be asking us about gifts. 

One day he came home with a big bag. I knew it was gonna be good. He asked us to come over and handed my sisters and me three dolls. My sisters squealed in excitement while I screamed in terror. They got the normal plastic-head cloth-body baby dolls, and you know what I got? A ripoff raggedy Anne (even scarier than the OG). I threw her against the wall and ran away imagining her beady button eyes following me. My brother eagerly picked her up and made her his own, naming her “Button Budi” (which translates to button old lady).

My grandpa consoled me, as I told him that I didn’t mean to hurt his feelings and that I was just scared. He completely understood, of course, because he was always a sucker for our tears and promised to take me to Target the next day.

I scanned the toy aisles skipping the barbies and dolls and going straight to the “boys” section. And then I saw him … Cruncher. He was a robotic rubbery dinosaur who could talk, fart, chase, and bite. I was in love. My grandpa asked hesitantly “Are you sure?” He urged me to put it down even more after seeing the price tag, but I just couldn’t. I walked out of Target with that euphoric new toy feeling.

I took him home, my dad popped in some double-a’s, and just like magic Cruncher came to life. As soon as I put him on the ground he started whirring and chomping and the chase began. I let out the loudest scream imaginable while my family looked at me in disbelief. I never made the most rational toy decisions.

After our first fight, I decided to make amends with Cruncher. I got a wicker basket, put blankets in it, and tucked him in. I placed his dino-bed next to my own.

The next morning I realized I had gotten over my fear of him. I took him everywhere. We were practically inseparable.

Years later as I look back on the purchase I made when I was five, I wonder what happened to him. Did my parents get sick of the growls and farts? Did I lose him? or Did I just grow out of him? I guess it’s a mystery. All I know is that I loved him and that he’ll always have a special place in my heart.

This blog is dedicated to Ruby Cover, one of my dedicated readers.

3 thoughts on “Cruncher by Sonali Khatri

  1. I love imagining young Sonali, running home with her fierce, farting dinosaur, then screaming in fright, but still tucking him in next to her bed.

  2. this is great sonali, definetely made me smile to relate to your experiences with strange toy affinities as a child 🙂

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