My daughter is particularly fond of monsters. The Muppets and Sesame Street characters have taught her that monsters can, at times, be anything but scary. In the woods near our house, my little munchkin has found her very own "Monster". There are a number of fallen trees in the area, but this one is significantly larger than the others and imbued with far more character and caked with far more mud and so she dubbed "him" Monster.
She frequently asks to go see Monster and rushes into the woods with all the enthusiasm of a teacher on the last day of school, but once "he" looms into sight her steps begin to slow and she sits on a much smaller fallen tree a few feet away from Monster. She greets him and then begins the ceremonial "beating" my husband taught her to do. She gets a stick and smacks off small lumps of mud from Monster before quickly reclaiming her seat on the smaller tree. When it's time to depart, she bids Monster fair well, also giving the big patch of moss alongside the path a quick pet, and complaining about how muddy it is (echoing complaints she's heard from her city slicker mother) and that I should carry her.
I love her ability to personify everything. When inanimate objects fall to the ground, she often rushes over to them, cradles them, and asks if they're okay. I can't wait to tell her the world can be filled with fairies, and mermaids, and gnomes... If only we could find them.