Kristy Anna Sheppard

I am eleven years old and the only girl in the family so I have a lot of dolls. My mother always buys me any doll I want, and so I have a great collection.

In her bedroom, sitting on an old cane chair that was my mother's own chair when she was little, is my mother's childhood doll. It's a baby, about the size of a real newborn, and she has eyes that close when she is laid down, otherwise, she doesn't do anything. My dolls do everything possible.

One of my earliest memories is of a doll that sang when I pressed her hands together. Another roller-skated across the room. Next came a big baby doll that crawls. After her came Molly, who asks for her brush or cup and knows if you give her the wrong item. She says "No, I want my spoon". Then a big doll who recites tables and can add up. Then another baby whose facial expressions change when she cries or coos and she blinks her eyes and sucks a bottle noisily, or shuts her eyes and goes to sleep if you ignore her.

We always show everyone these dolls and have them perform.

Last birthday, I didn't see any new dolls I wanted. The latest editions just seemed to mimic what earlier issues did.

Then I spied the perfect doll in the toyshop, a beautiful baby doll with a soft cloth body and vinyl arms, legs and head. She has thick blonde hair and big blue eyes. She doesn't do anything, except close her eyes when you lay her down. And yet, somehow she is my favourite. She listens to me when I talk to her, without answering. She can safely be told my secrets, I know she wont tell anyone. She is warm and soft to cuddle and I don't have to worry I will roll on her in the night and break anything.

Sometimes a "Do Nothing" doll is the best doll of all.