In his prime, over fifteen years ago, “Red Head” as we affectionately named him, was a full-bodied hand puppet I purchased in New York City’s Grand Central Station. His oddness beckoned me from the window of a toy store and I stopped in to take a closer look. He was clad in overalls and a gingham checkered shirt making his appearance all the more eccentric. It was the vibrancy of his red hair and sprinkle of freckles that won my heart.
Through the years, Red Head was played with tirelessly but due to his appearance often the object of extreme roughness. Children would often be frightened by his face which did bear a strange expression and would fling him in mock fright.
He lost most of his nose through numerous battles with our Toy Fox Terrier who too appeared to react to his appearance. The dog would grab the puppet in his teeth and shake violently which eventually led to the head being torn from the torso. I placed it on a shelf for safe keeping vowing I would sew it back.
Red Head was the source of many a prank. I often tucked him into my husband’s lunch bag and would hide him in different places about the house. Another time when my close friend had just broken up with a red-haired man, I placed the puppet in her mailbox with a little note saying “Please give me another chance?” She was horrified until I admitted I was the culprit.
Yes, I think the Red Headed puppet has brought more joy to me than to my children and I humbly submit his photo to the oddball photo challenge for today.