A Creature in the Forest
A Creature in the Forest by Jerry Wennstrom

A Creature in the Forest

from A Second Wind: Art Resurrected

By Jerry Wennstrom | Posted 8/6/23

Often, when I walk the trails of the Whidbey Institute, I run into groups of children from the nearby Waldorf School, walking daily with their teachers.

The joyful small children, with oversize, snack-ladened backpacks, often touching the ground behind them, chatter and yelp excitedly as they make their way along the trails. Sometimes I would run into the children sitting in circle in a clearing, talking, and having their snacks. Noticing me as I walk by and wave, they often go silent and stare like little chipmunks with cheeks full of nuts.

One day while walking the trails, I spotted a decaying old partial tree on the ground and noticed that it looked like a dragon with eye sockets, nostrils, and a mouth area. After looking at it for a while, I decided to define what I saw by placing white rocks in the eye sockets with black rocks in the middle of those to give the dragon eyes. Then placing a stone in each of the naturally occurring nostril holes and a row of stone teeth in the mouth area the dragon was complete. Laughing at the silliness of this creation, I went on my way.

A day or two later, I was walking the same trail and heard a group of children ahead of me walking with their teacher. They were doing the usual chattering and screeching when all at once, they came upon the dragon and all began screaming and yelling "Dragon!" It seemed to me they were having fun over-reacting to the dragon I had made; however, I suspect it was more of a distraction than the poor teacher trying to manage these overexcited kids wanted to handle at that moment.

After a short time, I heard the teacher regroup and continue along the trail ahead of me. Following from a good distance, I finally came to the poor, insipid dragon to see her stone eyes, nose, and teeth had been removed and thrown to the side. I assumed the teacher, in her attempt to calm the unruly children, had taken the big, bad dragon apart.

While walking the trail again several days later, I saw that the dragon was put back together again in different form. During my walks over the following months the dragon would appear, disappear, and continually change.

It has been a year or more since I first created the dragon in the woods; and it appears, at this point, that she may finally have found her equilibrium. She remains intact, for the most part, and continues to go through interesting changes. It appears the children have made the benevolent dragon their own.

©2022 by Jerry Wennstrom. All rights reserved.

Jerry Wennstrom

This feature is from A Second Wind: Art Resurrected by Jerry Wennstrom and is printed with permission from Pomegranate Seed Productions. more

Jerry WennstromArtist and writer Jerry Wennstrom was born in New York, where he lived-out the first half of his prolific art career. The superficial post-Andy Warhol-Soho-art-scene in the late '70s repelled him. ...