Saturday, November 18, 2006

The mermaid's tail

More than a dozen years ago a dear friend gave me an elaborate terracotta mermaid which I hung on the wall above the hot tub at the old Shady Rest. When Zorg and I moved to Ballard, we brought the mermaid along and she became part of the patio decor.

Our neighbors here in Ballard have a little boy who makes Dennis the Menace seem like a cherub. The kid, about 5, is, I'm sure, well intentioned but "exuberant" would be an understatement.

The little girl next door often plays in our yard; when this little boy joins her, suddenly half of the equipment in my garden shed has been hidden under the front porch, our cats are fleeing for the hills, and ladders are falling over. Today he crawled into the space under the back porch stairs (because it was there?), came crashing back out and cracked the tail off the mermaid. Initially he wasn't particularly alarmed, but when he saw me standing there, he looked, if not guilty, at least surprised. I said "never mind," and stuck the mermaid tail upsidedown in a planter, thinking "I'll get another one."

Tonight I discovered terracotta mermaids aren't readily available, at least not via in the internet. Google "terracotta mermaid" and you get only a few hits; ironically, the very first is a description of this mermaid I submitted to David Hobson's gardening site a few years ago.

Unfortunately, it's not easy to repair terracotta with glue; cracked pots are usually stitched together with wire. I plan to call down to Herban Pottery, where I believe the original mermaid came from, to see if they have a replacement. Otherwise, stay tuned for adventures in glue.

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