THE SKIN HORSE

ON BEING REAL:

It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”

 

― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

 

* * *

 

I found a neglected bouncy horse on the side of the road, waiting for the garbage truck. Immediately, the Skin Horse from The Velveteen Rabbit came to mind, so I threw it in the back of my trusty Subaru and brought it home. To prepare the horse for its new incarnation, I had to cut it off the metal frame; remove the saddle and other molded elements that were in the way, then cover these with Bondo to remake the body; and skin / tan a number of hides to attach to the form. The Skin Horse has since traveled to Philadelphia for an Alt Taxidermy competition, put in an appearance at Art Beat, and took part in the Buchanan Art League's "All Creatures Great and Small" show.

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