I decided to give my Scapegoat Doll a story. Stories are sometimes easier to swallow than real life, so here goes…

Holding other Houses

There was woman who wanted badly to be free. She watched birds fly and wished that she has their freedom, and that she could be a bird.

The woman gathered feathers and crafted them together to create an elaborate bird costume, with a beaked helmet and feathery sleeves. The woman wore the costume and watched the birds. Time passed and the woman believed that she really was a bird. She never took off her costume.

One day a curious bird came down to sit next to the woman. He admired her beautiful helmet and feathery sleeves and thought she might be a bird from the neighboring hillside.

The bird fell in love with the woman, and she with him. For a time, they lived happily together. They had a child.

Eventually, the bird discovered that the woman was not really a bird. The bird flew away and left the woman with a broken heart and a baby bird.

The woman named the baby bird, BB, for Baby Bird. The woman placed BB in a cage to keep her safe, because she thought that BB was all that she had in the world.

From her cage, BB tried to get attention from the woman and to make her happy. However, BB could not satisfy the woman. BB only reminded the woman of her lost love and all of the things she was not.

The unhappy woman began to gather and collect bird houses. The woman never removed her helmet, and did not see that it was in disrepair, but the sick blind birds flocked to her and the woman thought her life was full again.

The woman filled the bird houses with injured or sick birds. The birds could not fly and could not remind her of the bird that flew away.

The woman forgot about the bird that flew away, along with BB in her cage.

BB became lonely and hungry. She learned to operate the food dispenser in the cage herself and comforted herself by building a big nest.

After a while the woman remembered BB and came to talk, mostly to vent her frustration. The woman was still hurt but couldn’t remember where her hurt came from. The woman was angry about having to deal with all the sick birds in her bird houses because she said the sick birds never appreciated all of her sacrifice, and that BB never appreciated her either.

BB tried to listen to the woman and make things better. She gave the woman some of her white feathers, but the woman just put them back in the nest, saying they looked better there.

Alone, BB thought and thought of possible ways to make the woman happy. She tried to sing for her, and make nests for her, while she continued to listen to all of the woman’s anger and frustration.
Not matter how hard she tried, BB never made the woman happy.

BB forgot to learn to fly because all of her thoughts were centered on pleasing the woman.

Time passed and the woman became more and more bitter and angry from her hurt and having to care for the sick birds. So much so, that she became blind to BB, not noticing her at all.

Forgotten, again BB sadly watched the birds in the trees. BB watched as they chattered and wondered what the other birds were like.

One day, another bird came over to BB’s cage and chirped at her. At first, BB did not know what to do because she had never peeped, so she just looked at the other bird. The other bird was curious about BB and her nest, so he came back everyday. He taught BB to chrip and eventually how to get out of her cage and fly.

BB chirped happily in the trees with her birdy friends, until the woman snatched her up. The woman’s hands had become claw like and rigid from all the bird house maintenance, and she used them to form a cage around BB. The woman was angry that BB was out of her cage and peeping, but more angry that BB had found happiness and did not give that happiness to her.

The woman caged BB in her hands this way for some time, but BB’s friend found her and taught her to make herself small and wiggle free from the hand cage.

BB enjoyed freedom again, off in the trees with the other birds.

But the woman’s cries and wails could be heard near and far, so BB decided to fly back to visit the woman. BB still cared for the woman and still wanted very much to please her.

When BB approached the woman, the woman tried to cage her again. The woman tried over and over, but BB had become good at flying. She told the woman that she would leave her forever if she continued to try to cage her.

Years and neglect had turned the woman’s helmet and sleeves to tatters. But costume had become part of the woman’s body and she had to wear it.

BB told the woman that she would visit her and help her repair her shambled bird outfit, but only if she agreed to never try to cage her. The woman reluctantly agreed.

The woman was glad that BB did not abandon her, as did that bird from long ago. She slowly understood how she had created her sadness and how she had created BB’s sadness. The woman realized that she needed to try to be a person and not a bird.

The woman did not try to cage BB again, but BB was always afraid to trust her.

Today, the bird and the woman try to make whatever is left between them grow into something good.

Holding Other Houses: Scapegoat Doll

3 thoughts on “Holding Other Houses: Scapegoat Doll

  • February 10, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Wow! I’m nearly speechless…very moved. Thank you for your story.
    Christine, I have a question with regard to your blog. I’m not really computer savvy so I’m wondering: if I click on “follow” on your blog home page, what will that do? I’m not sure if that is connected to you or to another organization. Thanks for the advice.

    PS~I have done quite a bit of visual art therapy for myself primarily based on losses of loved ones. I just recently bought myself a digital camera and am learning how to use it. A future project is to take photos of the art work I have done and start showing it on Facebook. I would love your input when that time comes. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful gift.


  • July 27, 2010 at 1:56 am

    An amazing story you’ve spun. I’m on my phone and can’t see the piece all that well….going to look closer at all your work later.

  • August 1, 2010 at 3:25 am

    I just discovered your wonderful blog and read your Scapegoat story. I look forward to spending more time tomorrow looking at your site. I love what your are doing. The Scapegoat is very compelling — entrapment and upward movement. We are all trying to move up and escape something mortal and get into a less earthbound life. Keep reaching up.


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