Monday, September 15, 2008

The Moose And The Mouse

This is Mudgy Moose with his pal Millie Mouse sitting on his nose. Five incarnations of them made their debut as public art in Coeur d'Alene this past Saturday. How amazingly wonderful!

First it shows what can happen when the "doers and shakers" decide to do something for the community, especially the kids. It is also a wonderful example of how the public and private sector can work together for something really worthwhile.

Inspired by Boston's sculptures of Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings, local author Susan Nipp wondered what sort of similar project she could come up with for Coeur d'Alene. Moose are plentiful in the area so Mudgy was a natural; what more opposite could there be than a mouse? And what could they do together? Why, play hide and seek!

Mudgy was first to be "it". Unknown to him, Millie found the best hiding place to be in the curve of his antlers. Off he went in search of his little friend. He checked all her favorite haunts around town but could find no more than good natured chuckles. Exhausted after awhile he took a rest in City Park before wandering over to the lake for a drink - and there was Millie's reflection! She had been nestled in his antlers all the time.

Local artist Terry Lee created faithful renditions of Charles Reasoner's illustrations; they were placed around town with the generosity of private citizens' sponsorship.

The proceeds from the book sales will benefit the Library Foundation and the North Idaho Health Network sees it as a way to get kids physically active by sponsoring community walks!

It was a beautiful September morning. The sky a brilliant blue, the temperatures in the low sixties. I had a couple of hours between appointments and decided to follow the trail. By the time I reached City Park it had really become a game of hide and seek for I could not find that Moose anywhere! Diligence paid off. I found him catching his breath and could almost hear Millie giggling.

Mission accomplished I wandered back into town to visit Figpickels Toy Emporium, the place for Mudgy and Millie merchandise, and chanced upon owner Susan Sommer. I told her I was a blogger and wanted to write about the project. Her enthusiasm was infectious. The Saturday kick off had been a huge success.

We chatted for awhile, the book is available locally at Hastings and they are hoping Amazon will pick it up. Coeur d' Alene has taken a giant step forward in becoming a city known for it's public art art. The kids win and the community wins. It is uniquely Coeur d'Alene's. No other community will ever have anything quite like it.

Oh, yes, I did my part too. I am the proud owner of an autographed copy of the Mudgy and Millie story! Take the walk; it will put a smile on your face and some community pride in your heart!


Sylvia K said...

What a fun day! I love them both. Just the kind of distraction we all need right now.

Anonymous said...

Like you, I love public art and communities that invest in it.

I live in such a community and find it endearing.

Is the Mudgy and Millie story a children's book?

Dogwalkmusings said...

GYMA, yes. Mudgy and Millie is a children's book available through Figpickels, Hastings and hopefully Amazon. I understand there is no plan at present to do a follow up. I would love to see that change and have it become a series!