A dumb toy pink elephant once made me cry; actually, it made me cry twice. It began with a shooting star. There was a meteor shower in November. The papers said it would peak around 05:00 with as many as 13 shooting stars visible per minute. Just ten minutes of watching would make open the door for 130 wishes that might come true and try as I might, I could not come up with even one minutes worth of wants, unless I decided to waste something as powerful as a wish on specific guitars for my collection. I guess that made me realize that I was pretty much a happy man. Life now has a quality that no amount of money can buy or no amount of envy could steal. So I sat out to make at least a ten minute wish list and soon discovered that I had to get into things for people that I didn't even especially like and still hadn't quite made five minutes worth.I figured at the peak of the meteor shower, I would call out numbers from the wish list "9, 36, 71..."etc. Shooting stars can be very fast and tricky. 04:00 was cold and clear. Bug and I were in our night clothes. We lay out on the deck of our shanty-boat and watched the skies until daylight hid the stars behind the grey of morning.We lay side by side, her head on my shoulder, holding hands and counting pieces of the sky as they burned and fell towards earth. One final star split into two separate firey streamers, something that I had never before seen. Back inside our warm boat, lying in bed trying to warm our cold feet on each other's back-side, we laughed like childern. "Did you get all you wishes made?" she asked me? "Only made one". "Just one? That whole list you been writing all day...just one?" "Yep. Just one. Good night, Angel." She poked me in the ribs sharply, "Hey!" "What"? "The one...your wish?" It's kind of silly. wasn't even on my list, in fact. Not important. Good night". "Nope!" She grabbed a particularly sensitive part of me. "Won't work; give it up Mister!" "I just wished I could keep the feeling that if I made a wish on a shooting star, it would come true, just a little bit longer." "Good Night," she smiles when she sleeps. I went to sleep thinking about that stupid pink elephant. His name was Toppy. My Father showed me my first shooting star when I was three. "Make a wish and it might come true," he explained. All I could think of that I wanted at that moment was a pink elephant, having just gone to the movies to see Fantasia. "I wish I had a pink elephant," I said , most solemnly. I don't remember if my Father laughed or not. The Christmas when I was about to turn 10, there was a package under the tree with my name on it. I didn't really expect much of a christmas that year. My parent were separated and fighting a lot. I was the oldest child and had to be a buffer between them and my younger brothers and sister, as much as a 10 year old can be. I had to grow up fast and there wasn't time to be ten and wishes on stars wouldn't keep my parents together and neither would presents and I didn't give a rat's ass if Christmas came or not. But Christmas eve night, I opened my box and there was a stuffed pink elephant. "Toppy" was printed on a circus blanket covering it's back. I stared at it in disbelief," a stupid ****ing toy.." I carried it to bed that night, seven years after I had wished for it, and I held it to me as I listened for the dreaded arguments to begin but my parents didn't fight that night and I cried myself to sleep holding that toy. Years later, while packing to move, I last saw "Toppy" in the bed of a pickup going to the city dump. Faded, more white than pink, one ear missing, batting leaking from split seam, I picked it up and held it for a minute before tossing it back into the rest of trash going to the dump, with a mild flush of embassasment. I was getting married tomorrow and nothing would ever happen to my family. We would never fight and would be together for ever and our children would never be afraid and I would take them to see Fantasia and buy them stupid toys to play with and I found myself thinking about pink elephants with tears in my eyes for the second time.