small souls

My mum calls me "druid" because she read somewhere that druids believed everything alive and inanimate had a soul. In childhood I had the sense my stuffed animals and dolls were soul-filled creatures, and I treated them as such. I still do. I am not able to throw away anything that is shaped like an animal or person, for the fear it will feel abandoned. So I have hundreds of stuffed animals, figurines, and dolls tucked away in every corner of the house. I keep them in pairs or groups so they won't feel lonely.

My mom thinks it's a sickness, and in fact I've read about a similar diagnosable condition. But I think it must have been the puppets. What else could be expected from raising a kid in a puppet theater where foam and wooden figures move around and talk, and are cared for with great reverence? It was the puppets, mum, the puppets!

Photo: my first try at making a hand puppet, for the Quinnipiac class; and a stuffed Garfield I found in the street last week. Washed and revived of course.