Perhaps it was a bit of madness, that many years ago forced me to freely relinquish my beloved Music Box Teaching Clock (by Fisher Price) to a younger friend. I suppose I had assumed that parting with the toy was age-appropriate, seeing that I had entered middle school and had other pressing matters preoccupying my mind (like fitting in and trying not to look like a complete dork). I have always known that it would be a matter of time (pardon the pun) before I deeply regretted the decision to give up that clock. And I was right. The hints of regret that began cropping up once I parted with the toy, eventually turned into waves, and there was really nothing left to do but to reflect...
I bought the clock at a grade school rummage sale type-of-event and loved it from the moment I set eyes on it. It was shaped like an old brick schoolhouse with a triangular roof. You can actually see a teacher, her students and a little dog standing in the doorway. A scene of which I always found quite welcoming; wishing I could just step inside to greet those friendly faces.
The clock featured a windup music box that played a popular folk song by Henry C. Work aptly called "My Grandfather's Clock". A gentle and soothing tune which often rendered me into a trance like state (listen here). Every hour, illustrated portraits of children engaged in daily activities--like sleeping, eating, playing etc. (that were typical for that time of the day) were revealed.
It was pure escapism for me. I never even realized that there was something to be learned. But of course, the best toys never let on that they're actually teaching you something.