Our scarecrow rocks

October 29, 2011

My son has a lot of big ideas.  As much as I want to encourage his creativity, some of his plans get shot down immediately.  

Like the time he wanted to host a family concert in the front yard.  He thought it would be great if we made matching shiny outfits, learned a rock-n-roll song, and hung posters all over town advertising our performance. 

He thought the front steps of our house would make a perfect stage. 

He considered every detail.  My husband would be the lead singer, and he didn’t even have to wear a shirt if he didn’t want to.  (Many lead singers don’t, according to my son.)

Watching my husband belt out a rock song shirtless on the front steps would almost be worth learning to play the electric guitar.  But alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

My son was dismayed when we gently refused to participate in what was affectionately dubbed the Wald Family Concert Series.  Sorry folks.  That one isn’t going to happen.

Other ideas are a bit more realistic. 

This summer, my son became deeply concerned that our strawberries were being eaten by the birds.  He thought a scarecrow seemed like a pretty spooky thing, and he was convinced that the birds would think so, too.

He turned down my suggestion to purchase one of those little decorative scarecrows people put in their yards in the fall.  He wanted a larger than life, real deal scarecrow to rule over the back yard.   

As summer turned to fall and winter migration began, my son watched the flocks peppering the trees and power lines with trepidation.  You’d think he’d stayed up too late watching Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds.’

It didn’t matter that our strawberry patch had already gone to seed.  In his child’s mind, something had to be done. 

I printed out the instructions from a web site.  We’d need two sticks eight and four feet long, some straw, rubber bands, string, a pillow case, and some old clothes. 

A few Saturdays back, we dotted through town collecting supplies.  There was a festive feeling in the air.  I had no idea how much fun building a scarecrow with a five-year-old would be. 

We returned home with our scarecrow fixings and set to work.  First, we made a large wooden cross out of the sticks, and dressed it according to the directions. 

We got rashes on our arms stuffing the straw into the clothes.  I nearly fell off the ladder while pounding the eight-foot stick into the ground with a rubber hammer. 

The pillowcase head is a bit lopsided.  The hat sits askew.

Aside from a few startling trips to the dumpster after dark, when for a split second I forgot why there was an eight-foot man standing in the middle of our garden plot, our smiling scarecrow is not the least bit scary. 

The deer still leave undeniable evidence that they’ve been jumping the fence.  The birds still love our trees. 

He isn’t scaring anything away, but our scarecrow still rocks.  We are considering teaching him to play the electric guitar.

This article first appeared in the Lewistown News-Argus and the Sidney (Mont.) Herald on October 29, 2011.