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The Furry in The Box

My sister Ruth was a big influence to me growing up, she moved back home after graduating from Brighton in sculpture. She dressed like Siouxsie Sioux in her fishnets, red lippy and a nesting crow of black hair. I’d spend evenings in her room, traumatised as she read me ghost stories about black shuck and Jan Tregeagle fleeing the devil over the Cornish moors. This year she sent me this card for my birthday, a memory of when I was about five and we had taken the dog for a walk one morning and had found a small bat, grounded by the kerb. We had bought it home, intending to nurse it back to health, however it had not survived and we buried it in a matchbox. The next morning Ruth sat on the kitchen step and I slunk past with my plastic seaside spade. ‘Where are you going?’ She asked.

‘I want to play with the furry in the box.’ I replied.

Horrified, my mother steered me back inside. I’m not sure if I can credit my sister’s gothy influence, encouraging me to play with a dead bat. Kids have this little time getting their heads around death, of living things turning into objects.


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