Since childhood, I've tended to anthropomorphize objects. Even though, to me, Cabbage Patch dolls are reminiscent of Chucky, I felt sorry for them while shivering in terror if their leering faces were not covered up for the night.
There was a plastic riding horse on wheels that lived forever in our garage, but I just couldn't bring myself to have it thrown out. If Ta tucked it into the garbage, I fished it out.
"To be thrown away, alone and unloved?" I would think. "I can't have it think that."
I haven't yet seen Toy Story 3, probably because that is what their fate was, and that merely reinforces in me the crippling and hoarding belief that all inanimate, factory-assembled objects have a spirit, if not a soul.
Heather O'Neill confesses that same fantasy in "The Secret Life of Our Trash Can." Even our own stories reflect a consciousness to the seemingly insentient; the moon's begrudging the sun's sky-dominance, the stones arguing beneath Yaakov's head, Har Sinai's modesty. Medrashim, you aren't helping.
The question is if such excessive "compassion" is a good or bad thing. Is it occupying valuable heart-space that should be reserved for loftier causes?
Moshe wouldn't strike the water or the dirt that had done him a good turn. Those teddy-bears comforted me many times in my carefree youth.
Even though they are terrible dust-catchers, and I have a sneaking suspicion I am allergic to such mites, they shall still occupy a place on my desk, ready and waiting for when a niece or nephew require something furry to cuddle with at night.