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Wallace Mac Siabann


So here he is Wallace Mac Siabann (siabann-Gaelic for soap). Up and ready to face the elements or more that likely, up and ready to be battered by them. I’m told I don’t have to bow my head in shame this year because it is ‘well massively better than last years attempt.’ Thankfully the bairns don’t agree. They believe our previous effort was much superior. This despite its construction leaving a silhouette in the garden of hay that resembled a chalked outline of a murder victim; never a good sign. He also I will have to admit, gradually disintegrated over the month. Partly due to a combination of the weather conditions and quite frankly my bad design. The pre-schoolers involved in the making can’t be faulted for their building skills. Our considerable efforts resulted in their mother saying and I quote ‘it’s a bit worrying that you and the children have managed to make the creepiest scarecrow in the town.’ Of course that was not my intention, in my head last year's scarecrow was what I considered an actual scarecrow. Hay, scruffy, old clothes, you know the sort. Nowadays most seem to be effigies of people or characters. Given we don’t actually have to scare the birds this leaves the path open for creativity and humour; that is just fine with me. In my mind's eye last year’s scarecrow was environmentally friendly being made of hay. It had numerous flowers inside its pockets, clothes and boots. We even had plants all around it and a treasured feather found in the garden as a moustache. Unfortunately the brilliant idea of having a pot filled with a bright red fuchsia to represent its hair was just a step too far. As the rain beat down ever heavier and the sun gave him no mercy; so the plants suffered and shrivelled and prepared to uproot themselves to find a more suitable home. The inspired plant pot head sunk further into his neck and my vision of a ‘ living flower-crow’ covered in multi-coloured blooms cascading down and around his frame dissolved and collapsed, rather like his body. In the next Blàs story scarecrows make an appearance. I think I will make Stroma, the narrator in the books, a better builder of scarecrows than I. However, I have been reliably informed that when perusing last year's photographs; ‘your attempt still makes us crease up in laughter’ well, what can I say? If all we achieved was to make others laugh, well I for one am happy to take that.

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© 2020 by Ceitidh Hutton