As written by Cameron Lawton - thank you xxx
Have you ever wondered why toy-makers figure so highly in folk tales? Why fairy stories often have them as central characters?
I’ll tell you – it’s because creating toys is a little bit magical and I speak as a “witch who makes things”. There is real sorcery in watching a little person come to life as you craft their limbs, their body then stitch the parts together and finally give them the spark of life when you make their face. Are they a smiley person (animals are people too, you know) or a sad person? Unsurprisingly most of my bears, rabbits and little people are happy ones.
This is the story of a very magical little body called Polly Pantaloon, although of course I didn’t know that at the time.
The Tale of Polly Pantaloon
It was very irritating being able to feel her pretty sparkly boots and her stripy-stockinged legs but not seeing them. It was only when her eyes were stitched in that the little blue witch could open them and look around. She was in a very untidy house that smelled of dogs and cooking and a large pair of hands were threading strands of blue hair into her knitted head.
Polly squinted up at her creator who smiled back at her. “Just sit still for a minute and we’ll get your hair finished. Then you can have your pointy hat on and you’ll be a proper witch.”
Polly tried to say something but her mouth was a bit new and she had to work it a couple of times before the stitches stretched. “Are you a witch?” Her creator nodded and patted the blue head gently to keep her still. Polly squinted down and noted her outfit – she was all in blue. Her pointy hat with the sparkly band was sitting on the arm of the chair, she admired it. Beautiful hat, she thought. I’m going to like it here.
“You aren’t going to be here, Blue Witchy.”
“That’s not my name”
“I know - but you won’t tell me your name. I’ll call you Blue Witchy for now.” Polly thought about it and realised that she couldn’t tell her name. It wouldn’t come out, she tried again and hiccupped.
“There, there, don’t worry about it. When your name comes out right, you’ll know you’re home. It’s a magical thing. I just make you, I don’t keep you here. You’re going to a very special home and you have a job. Most of my little friends are just company for small people, newcomers, but you are going to a grown-up lady who needs your help.”
The knit-witch packed Polly into a cardboard box and padded her up with shredded paper so she was comfortable for her journey. “Travel safely, Blue-Witch”, she said, as she closed the box with another comforting pat on Polly’s head then she cast a sleep-spell on her little protégé so that she wouldn’t feel the bouncing around of her travelling.
The light of the box being opened woke the little blue witch up and a delighted squeal of “Oh you are lovely” Two pairs of green eyes met and it was love at first sight. The little witch jumped up into the waiting arms and said
“Polly, my name is Polly Pantaloon” and realised that she really must be home.
“And my name is Cazz,” said her new friend as she sat the little blue witch down leaning against a tree trunk to take her photo. “And you, Polly, are going to be the mascot for Operation Blue Witch Squadron.”
Over a cup of tea and some biscuits, Cazz explained that the Blue Witch Squadron sent parcels of greetings cards to men and women serving in the RAF in a war in a faraway country who didn’t see their families and were often sad. Polly thought that sounded a very good idea. Cazz showed her the website and Polly leaped in delight – that was her picture, before she even got here, on a broomstick!
A few days later, Polly was watching as Cazz did her other job which was making beautiful cards for special days. Sometimes she sent these to the people in the war so that they could send them to their families. Polly had an idea.
“Do lots of people make cards?” She asked. When Cazz nodded, Polly said “And do you know them?”
“Well, yes, I know a lot of them.”
“Could we ask them to use my picture to make cards so everyone gets to know about the Squadron?”
So that is what they did – a very clever friend called Andy made a drawing of Polly and another clever lady called Hayley turned it into an acrylic stamp and it was sold to raise money to send to the RAFA as a way to say thank you for the RAF's help in sending the cards out to the men and women. It's a lovely stamp showing Polly, sat against her tree, having a rest before she continued her fund-raising work.
Polly hopes thats lots of people will buy her stamp – she'll even tell you where you can find it. She says to go to www.obws.webs.com and look in her shop. She is £7 with £2 from every sale going to RAFA