Folkmanis Puppets’ Barn Swallow Puppet

Another finger puppet from Folkmanis, this one the Barn Swallow Puppet.

Swallows seem to be everywhere in the summer, at least in this city. I see them on summer evenings soaring through the air over our parks hunting insects. (There’s a story here: there’s a bridge that divides the South Pond Nature Boardwalk in two. It arches over a narrow part of the pond, and the Zoo administration very thoughtfully left the banks without plantings — it’s a very solid bridge, supported by I-beams, and the Zoo thought it would be a perfect place for swallows to nest, with nice ledges and mud right there on the bank; they even slapped mud on the I-beams to get the birds started. The swallows, of course, decided that they like the pilings under the observation platforms better. I have, however, seen sparrows nesting under the bridge.)

At any rate, the puppet. Like the Little Brown Bat, it’s a finger puppet with wings; in this case, however, the wings are sort of floppy — not really what I expect from swallows, but if you shake your finger up and down, they’ll flap. The construction, as expected, is excellent, everything solidly joined with no visible seams. The colors are very life-like, and they’ve even managed to get an iridescent quality to the back and wings, even though the body is made of plush.

Again, like the Little Brown Bad, instead of a story there are “Facts of Interest” in the attached label. Swallows originally nested in caves, but with the advent of barns, sheds, and houses, they seem to much prefer man-made buildings. And yes, their nests are made of mud, which they carry to the nest site in their beaks, a beakful at a time.

So, here’s another addition to Folkmanis’ line of hand and finger puppets, and quite an attractive one. But you’re going to have to make up your own story.

About Robert Tilendis

Robert M. Tilendis lives a deceptively quiet life. He has made money as a dishwasher, errand boy, legal librarian, arts administrator, shipping expert, free-lance writer and editor, and probably a few other things he’s tried very hard to forget about. He has also been a student of history, art, theater, psychology, ceramics, and dance. Through it all, he has been an artist and poet, just to provide a little stability in his life. Along about January of every year, he wonders why he still lives someplace as mundane as Chicago; it must be that he likes it there.

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