When I was a kid, I had a lot of cool toys. Some of the toys I started collecting earliest were Littlest Pet Shop animals, which look considerably different today than they did in the 90s. I had quite a few, but my favorite of all was the tiny color-changing chameleon.
Of course, my older brother liked the chameleon, too. Littlest Pet Shop toys back then weren’t overtly girly like they are now, though a lot of the packaging was pink, and my brother often ‘borrowed’ my chameleon to set on his shelf. I didn’t have a problem with this, until my parents announced we were moving, and my little chameleon never came back.
I had his habitat, the lid, the name tag, his little cactus platform and his water bottle. I just didn’t have him. My parents assured me he would turn up when we moved.
I was ten at the time, and while I was sad, I didn’t want people to think I was silly for being upset that my toy chameleon never showed up. My brother swore he had nothing to do with it, I must have lost the chameleon in the yard. But he was my favorite, how could I lose him? No, he definitely had disappeared in my brother’s belongings when it came time to move! I tried to find a replacement, but by that point, Littlest Pet Shop toys had been out of production for several years and it simply couldn’t be found. Eventually, I gave up.
Years went by. I grew up, moved out, got married, moved away. Then, when I was 25, I traveled home for a visit, and my elder brother was visiting, as well.
“I’ve got a present for you,” he said, walking out to his car to retrieve it. I couldn’t imagine what he was planning to give me. He turned around, stone-faced, and said, “This is by no means an admission of guilt.”
Then he gave it to me.
A teeny, tiny, color-changing chameleon.
And only 15 years late.