May 10, 2023 The May meeting was held on the porch of the Brayton home, Green Animals, a property of the Preservation Society of Newport County. Paintings on diplay done by member Jean Gadsby.
photos by Janice and Bobbie
Original scarecrows made by Mary Mendonca, club memeber, wife of Green Amnimals creator George Mendona, ourclub honaray consulant, for Green Animals 2009. Named "Mabel and Sam".
Once upon a time, in the township of Portsmouth, there was a magical kingdom called Green Animals. This kingdom was so peaceful and beautiful and a home to many different animals that were carved from the shrubbery by a great wizard called Big Joe. One day, Big Joe decided to teach his apprentice George the art of caring for those “green” animals and he hoped that George would follow in his footsteps. And he did! For forty nine years, George became the wizard of the kingdom and during that time, he fell in love with Big Joe’s daughter and married the fair maiden named Mary. All was safe in the kingdom under George’s watchful eye until one fate-filled day. George was working tirelessly in the gardens that very day creating beauty from the plants, shrubs and trees that were planted there when he noticed that his vegetable garden, in particular the peas, seemed to be under attack by the birds. He became very concerned that his vegetable garden would be cleaned out leaving nothing behind for the villagers to eat. George needed some help! He was certain that he needed to create something to protect his harvest from the birds and decided to make a scarecrow and place it strategically in the garden to protect his peas from harm. During the winter months, George worked skillfully to carve a piece of wood to make the head of the scarecrow. He would call this guy “Sam” and dress him in some of his clothes to make the birds think that he was in fact out working in the gardens and show them that he was not going to take any of their thievery nonsense! So when Sam’s head was completed, George and Mary dressed a form to be used for Sam’s body in a tan shirt and khaki pants with suspenders. Sam was the likeness of George and proudly took position in the garden to protect what was there. One day Lady Brayton, the property-owner of Green Animals, needed to speak to George. She was walking toward the vegetable garden when she spotted who she thought was George working in the garden. She called to him and continued to talk to him wondering why he was not responding to her. As she got closer she was about to get quite a shock! This would be her first introduction to Sam. A very startled Lady had quite a laugh once she realized that she had been talking to the garden’s scarecrow. In fact, she thought it was so amusing that she went back to her castle and sent her house maiden to the garden to ask George a question knowing full well that this worker would be surprised and hopefully would be amused by what she would find. And she was! After Lady Brayton’s introduction to Sam, she felt that he needed to have a wife. George went straight to work and started to carve a woman’s head and when it was complete, he named her “Mabel”. He told Lady Brayton that Mabel was ready to go to the garden but she was not going to let that happen until ”she” bought her outfit for the garden. So while in New Yorksire, Mabel’s beautiful outfit was purchased to include a very expensive hat for the time. Forty Dollars! Mabel would be stunning next to her most handsome Sam. In the years to follow, Sam and Mabel protected the gardens and also became proud parents of a son and a daughter. They named the boy George and the girl Mary after their guardians. Year after year, Lady Brayton let all her friends know about her beautifully dressed couple and their children that worked along with George and Mary in the garden and they all came from nearby Newport to see what the family was wearing. Today, Sam and Mabel and family help Jim, the appointed wizard, by protecting the grounds from the birds that may stop by.
They attend all the activities that are held on the grounds and even dress up for Halloween during October’s Harvest Fair. Jim works tirelessly to make sure that all goes well and that there are enough forms for those wanting to create a scarecrow to place in their own garden. Sam and Mabel watch over all of the families that come by to participate in the festivities. George still looks after all that occurs on the grounds and Sam and Mabel continue to grace the gardens at Green Animals helping Jim guard the beauty of the plants, shrubs and trees planted there.
And they all live happily ever after!
Worked from 1906. Around 1918 animlas started by "Big Joe" Correria.
Late 70s children: George and Mary 1940-1989, and in 1939, George married the fair maiden named Mary.
A Lady: in medieval Europe, a woman who was a powerful land or property owner with authority over an area, castle, or community such as a manor