Is it just me, or do you agree that scarecrows are sort of creepy? I mean, they're created to sit silently out in the cornfield with the intent of scaring birds or other creatures. Then in the autumn, faded and tattered they remain, with fixed expressions staring off into space. Like morbid mannequins, they bide their time, content to stay and seemingly unfazed whether their duties were accomplished or not.
Cornfields were few and far between when I was a kid growing up in suburban Southern California, so these guys randomly appeared in small backyard gardens or as novel, holiday props. Some of our older and creative neighbors had fun with Halloween, setting up elaborate seasonal displays on the path towards the doorstep. Most of these were just to create a little atmosphere and amusement before the trick or treaters could get to the goodies. Of course, there was always the trickster in the neighborhood who would be sitting there unmoving, dressed as a scarecrow or some other stuffed dummy, just waiting for the unsuspecting kid to walk by so he could jump out and scare the living bejeezus out of that poor soul. Having two older brothers, I was pretty used to being tortured like this and expected to be frightened at every turn. But I did take an extra glance any time there was the possibility that a human being was inside any part of the Halloween decor. Just a quick glance though, because ultimately there was a nice person waiting at the front door ready to hand out treats.
You might have guessed, the theme at Illustration Friday is "Stuffed." Rather than thoughts of settling into cushy, comfortable chairs after a full meal or cuddly, fuzzy animals, I'll be waiting with my friendly (hopefully not too scary!) scarecrow. We're almost ready to fill a few bags with treats, here. And I promise, no tricks! ;o)