Of mice and dolls

26 February 2011

Yesterday I took delivery of my recent ebay quarry, which was a box of doll bits. Thirty five doll bits to be exact.  Some of the doll bits are almost full dolls, but not exactly.  Not entirely sure how old they are, but many of them are part bisque (unglazed ceramic in case you were wondering), part rag.  Some are just heads and torsos and there is a rather disturbing lady dressed in full Victorian costume, totally headless.  I know you cannot be partly headless unless you are a JK Rowling ghost, but she looks more headless than she might look if the rest of her wasn’t so lavishly attired.

I took all of them out of their tissue paper and bubble-wrap, whooping with glee I was… and have for the moment just left them on a shelf.  I need to get acquainted with them before I decide what to do with them.  I am unlikely to start taking them apart  as I did the charity shop dolls.  These have been through enough, poor mites.  They were found in an attic, and it looks like mice have already given them a fair going over – signs of nibblings on clothing and torsos, missing chunks of hair.

This close proximity of mice and dolls seems to have followed me from a poem in The Breakfast Machine and I cannot resist pasting it here.  These are evil cousins of Beatrix Potter’s Two Bad Mice:

The Dolls House

The trees that grow
from the nursery walls
do not rustle in the breeze
of an open window.

The jaws of the wardrobe
do not snap shut
when a crane-fly bumbles
into their waiting smile.

But there is a shifting of furniture
in the dolls house tonight,
a slow dragging of objects
across candle-lit rooms.

The kitchen windows steam up
and the unmistakable smell
of melting plastic
drifts from the chimney.

You will notice tomorrow
your new doll is gone.
You will find her blonde hair
lines a mouse nest in spring.