My favorite Peanuts kid has always been Peppermint Patty. Still, the athletically gifted, intellectually deprived tomboy narcoleptic (and if you’re not in love with her after that description I give up) had no more ardent fan than her father, who had the sole responsibility to raise his little girl into a grown woman. From the glimpses his daughter gives us, Mr. Reichardt is a doting dad who encourages his daughters extracurricular activities while never failing to see (and reassure) that she is sweet and lovely, his “rare gem.” He’ll buy her a baseball glove, sure, but also flowers and sandals–whatever she needs.
Being told she can no longer wear her sandals to school crushes Patty’s spirit. They’re comforting in a multitude of ways, and losing them hits the poor girl like having a life raft deflate on her in the middle of the ocean. She needs some TLC, and Snoopy is right there–stocking cap and all–to give it to her.
(Oh y’all, you can’t imagine what father-daughter relationships in art do to me. Rare gem, he called her. It is worth noting that Schulz took much inspiration from his children, and that was his term of endearment for daughter Jill. She even identified herself as such in her father’s official obituary.)