WhiteFeather
Moppet: detail
2007
found/mixed media
Collection of Tod Pardon, New York.

Netted coyote skull, fabric, human hair, found doily, beeswax, seagull wing, bone, found wooden spool entwined with handspun human hair yarn, cowrie shells, ribbon, waxed linen.

Stuffed completely with human hair. Moppet dangles a wishbone from hair yarn, like a treasure.

An excerpt from a short story about Moppet by Kari Haines:

"Stiff limbs twitched in animation, and the little poppet sprung away from the wall to go on its nightly prowl. It scurried stiffly amid the shadows like a wayfaring rodent in search of food; however, it was sniffing out the acrid smoke of nightmare that hangs over a sleeping child.

Moppet locked in on the scent of a bad dream in progress. Having footless legs, unable to carry it further, it used its one wing to reach the window to the child's bedroom. The wing was a present from its maker, but was a consolation prize: the Bogeyman had stolen poor Moppet's arm. He wanted the fresh stuff of nightmares, for to loose them back on the children, so that their hearts raced and they cried out in the darkness of their rooms. Tired parents would wash it away with song and a cool glass of water.

Finding a fidgeting fey tucked deep into bed, Moppet pulled out a hair fishing line and tossed it into the miasma of the child's distraught aura. Catching the nightmare, Moppet skillfully tugged and then pulled the gossamer grey from the end, spinning it into a tight little ball of forgetfulness to place within its own hair-stuffed body. Fear crunched and crackled in protest within the creature's fabric-covered frame, as Moppet reached into a doily pocket to extract a magic sewing needle. Plucking a hair from its perky pony tail, Moppet threaded a yellowed bone needle and hastily blanket-stitched the bad dream securely within itself.

As the poppet crept past the child's mirror, it saw its reflection through the netting that covered its skull. This netting kept its soul intact, as its eyes were but empty sockets, the flesh long since fallen away, leaving only whitened bone. A permanent ghoulish grin of teeth etched its features with a memory of playfulness. It was impish. It loved its miniature shell earings, picked from a beach on the Bay of Fundy. It liked to shake them to and fro and feel them clack against the hollowed out bone of its skull. Its body was covered with a French tulle, a pastoral setting, an idyllic countryside dream. Boasting the color blue at one time, the fabric had become waxy, clouded and dulled with the negativity sealed in, night after night.

Its body now full of bad dreams, Moppet peg-legged back to the studio. As the sun came up, all movement became hampered by the light that worked upon the dark dreams, evaporating their presence within Moppet. In sluggish stop motion, the little poppet climbed on the work table and fixed itself back on a hook on the wall just as the door to the studio opened."

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