Mesquite Animal

One of my favorite things is something my father made by hand when he was twelve years old. I didn’t know this thing even existed during the time he was alive. Maybe it was at my grandmother’s house or it was put away so us kids couldn’t ruin it.

It’s some sort of animal he carved of mesquite, a gnarly wood that is plentiful in Texas, where he grew up.

It’s in great shape for being sixty years old.

3 inches tall by 5 1/2 inches long

What amazes me is how little carving he had to do. It is all one piece, nothing glued or pieced together. As if he found this animal already made in the tree, he just had to cut it away.

It has two eyes, a pot belly, a tail, front legs split from one branch…

Two butt cheeks, back legs, and a tail.

I don’t know what type of animal he meant it to be… a dog? horse? pig?

It never fails to fascinate me. This simple piece of mesquite that shows enormous imagination.


10 thoughts on “Mesquite Animal

  1. My first reaction was “that’s sweet”, though the form itself isn’t inherently beautiful or exquisite, but the precise details are surprising. And maybe what touches me is that it took time to see the form before it was completely realized by his carving. It seems as though he added the carving as a guide, to help us see the vision he had, give us direction. As in “do you see what I see? If you shorten this part just a bit…”

    My world can move very fast some times, and things like this, where someone takes the time and brings a tiny moment into focus, it slows and halts and feels full of good things.

  2. They take a mesquite tree and shred it. Then they take the wood chips and soak them down in vat of vinegar for 40 days and 40 nights. Next they squeeze out the mesquite juice through a cheesecloth. Add to ketchup.

    Just kidding, I have no idea.

  3. I was just coming here to type that that lovely (slightly haunting/moody???) sculpture looks like bear to me but I see that max beat me to it (smile). I get why you dig it so much Kitty. It really is composed beautifully – from all angles shown… Affecting. Thanks for sharing.

  4. That’s it, Sulya, something clicked when Max wrote that. Someone told me that when I first got it, that it was a bear. I just couldn’t remember it.

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