Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
A Wild Menagerie
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For the past several weeks, there has been a vendor hawking curious wares on a street corner near my home. I chuckle and smile every time I see him, which is often, because he is near my home. The merchandise is so eye-catching, unusual, and, well, just plain quirky. I had some extra time today, so I stopped to take a closer look.
I spoke briefly with the vendor. He hails from Billings, Montana. He buys these objects in pieces, welds them together and paints them, creating objets díart. If you are into that sort of thing. They are made of aluminum, so they arenít as heavy as you might think. The smallest items sell for around $35.00 and the larger ones go for several thousand dollars. Lawn ornaments? Garden decorations? I donít know what you call them, but itís a fascinating menagerie of wild animals and an assortment of other oddities. There were golfers, fire hydrants, pink flamingoes on steroids. I saw garden benches, frogs, and wildlife-ish door knockers. For patriotic folks, he has a Statue of Liberty.
Iím not sure who would buy this chicken. Someone who owns a fried chicken establishment? A farmer who sells eggs from free-range hens? And why is the giant chicken being guarded by a blessed Mother Mary who is balancing on an orb?
Here's one for the avid sportsman. Yes, we have lots of those in southwest Louisiana.
What is that expression about when pigs fly? Hmmm.
Iíve always liked gargoyles. But these are just so . . . large. And I adore turtles.
Just makes me wonder. Does anyone buy this stuff? Or do they simply chuckle and smile when they drive by? In case youíre in the market for a giant standing roaring bear, the man says he will only be here a couple more days. Then heís heading back north.

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