Dear Scarecrow Maker
Short Story by: esperanza juan
Dear Scarecrow Maker,
Whoever or wherever you are, I had to write to you to tell you my story.
One snowy Christmas eve many years ago, I asked Father Christmas by letter for a most unusual gift – a scarecrow. My brother laughed hysterically when he found out, but I did not care.
Next morning after very little sleep I excitedly crept downstairs to see what Santa had left me. Had my wish been granted I wondered?
Under the Christmas tree I spotted a very large elongated parcel wrapped in bright green shiny paper. It was addressed to me. I hastily opened it as fast as I could and as the paper fell
away I gasped with delight, my wish had been granted – I had my very own scarecrow. Although a bit squashed he was very majestic and stood at least 6 ft high with a crow and mouse proudly
clinging on to his large fat straw body.
I decided to call him Mawkin which my mother told me was an old English word meaning scarecrow. I even embroidered his name on the seed sack that he carried around his waist.
As time went by, I would tell Mawkin all my troubles and secrets, especiallyabout the terrible world war that had started, my father becoming a soldier and going overseas, bullying at school, how hard it was to do maths,English andmy mothers constant despair awaiting news of my father and the little money we had to survive on because we had so little of anything. I knew that he listened intently as he gave me that very reassuring smile of his.Mawkin was a true friend.
As I got older, I married and had children, Sadly Mawkin faded into the background. He had started to lose his straw legs and arms and the crow on top of his large flat hat, had huge holes in it. The mouse on his leg was hanging off and with so little straw left, he was stowed awayon top of an old Victorian plant stand ashe was now no longer able to support himself.
A Number of years danced away and I completely forgot about Mawkin.
We moved house several times over the course of our marriage and Mawkin wasalways hastily packed into a box. He was very small by now having lost most of his stuffing.
On arrival at our latest house, he was unpacked and pushed into a very dark and musty corner of the cellar and forgotten. No one ever visited or looked at him anymore.
As the years danced away from my childhood to a grey haired granny my thought's turned to clearing out this dark and musty room at the bottom of the house.
So Scarecrow maker, that is when I spotted Mawkin crushed up against the musty damp cellar wall looking very miserable, bedraggled and broken.
On seeing him again, happy memories flooded back to me of that one very special Christmas a number of years ago.
But what had I done - he no longer looked like the majestic being you had once created. Spiders and insects nested in his body, dust and grime covered his face and the crow and mouse had all but disintegrated. They both were almost beyond recognition. When I asked my family what I should do, I could read it in their faces. Mawkin was only fit for the dustbin. I knew deep down that they were right.
With deep remorse and with tears in my eyes, at losingsuch an old faithful companion, I quickly picked Mawkin up by the neck ready to put him into the
As I went to lift him up,his head came off in my hands, and his body slid to the ground ina tangled heap in front of me.
Just at the very moment I spotted a beautifully hand written letter on brown parchment, flutter past my eyes and rest on the floor next to me. Intrigued I picked it up and read the message.
It was from you and this is what you wrote:-
"Dear Scarecrow Owner,
"As you know there is a scarcity of scarecrows - please look after this creation of mine.He will get weathered and watered over the years, but he will grow in character and be
your constant friend and companion. I was tempted to give him a name but decided you must choose one yourself. He would appreciate the occasional chat and listen to whatever you tell him. He
would like to be given new straw from time to time. I created him with much love, devotion and lots of magic from the earth around us. I do hope you enjoy him as much as I did making
The Maker of Scarecrows (P)
Scarecrow maker, I knew then that I had to restore Mawkin to his former glory. There was no time to lose. I could not give up on such a faithful old friend. Much work had to be done.
With needle and thread in hand I immediatelystarted to repair the crow that had sat on his head and replaced him back where you had originally put him on top of Mawkin’s
battered old hat. I dustedhis face and body down, repaired his features and the beautifully crafted hessian mouse was sewn back onto Mawkins leg.The spiders and insects
seemed to look on with approval as they scuttled into unknown corners of the cellar
Mawkin’s head was rightfully attached to his body and fresh straw courtesy of pumpkin the pet rabbit was stuffed into the gaps of scarecrow's clothing. I found a nice large pair of green wellington boots and fitted them onto Mawkin,
Would you believe it scarecrow maker, Mawkin could now stand unaided (the original broomstick handle supported his weight along with the fantastic new green wellies)
Finally I gave Mawkin a lovely pair of felt gloves filled with straw and fitted them on to his fat filled arms.
Mawkin looked wonderful and as a final tribute I put fairy glitter dust on his cheeks so that he truly was once again magical.
So scarecrow maker, you will be pleased to know, that he now stands pride of place in my conservatory raising many a smile to all who meet and greet him. I am sure that he smiles back. Yet again he can listen to all the troubles of the world and give back that reassuring old look that says everything is all right.
I do not know who you are, if you are really truly magic and if you are still on this earth but let me tell you that your wonderful legacy lives on in Mawkin for generations to come.”
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