Ann James is the character on the left. You might wonder why she's standing next to Goofy. Well she isn't. Her brother Dugal is dressed up as Goofy but Ann isn't dessed up as anyone. This is exactly what she looked like when she was about 9 or 10.
They grew up in North Ringwood in a house on a hill that their Dad built, surrounded by interesting bush.
The house was on a dirt road, lined on both sides with blackberry bushes. The milkman's horse would clomp by at six every morning and swap two empty milk bottles for two full ones.
They walked to school each day with a gang of other kids who lived on the hill.
In summer their clay road had thick yellow dust to stomp through, but in winter it was gluggy and it stuck in great clods to your shoes and made your feet very heavy.
After school and on weekends they might go on long rides on their bikes, go blackberrying in the bush or yabbying if there were big enough puddles. They played in their billy-carts with other kids zooming down the hill with no brakes.
As far as she can remember, Ann didn't have any imaginary friends. But she did always have an animal best friend. There was Soxy, a black cat with white socks,Tammy a black-and-white-all-over dog, and Tuppy, a Siamese cat who could swim. There were also a few stray mice who escaped from a cardboard house with cellophane windows that Ann built for them. Have you ever had an unusual friend?