The disturbing death of Cock Robin

The rhyme surrounding the murder of a robin was always going to attract the spookiest of illustrations. Plus, there’s something just wrong in the death of a robin. They are so sweet and friendly. My cat once brought me a dead robin on Christmas morning. It was like she just knew it was the right (wrong) day. Way to ruin Christmas, Violet!

02_death_and_burial_of_poor_cock_robin_900 cockrobin_national cockrobin_gut Cock-Robin-Owl-188x300Even the Disney version made in 1935 is discomforting.

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But Walter Potter takes the (double stuffed) biscuit. I was taken to see his work in a museum as a small child (literally, about five years old, floods of tears all the way home) by my grandparents, who obviously applauded his philosophy of Oh look at that sweet little thing, I must kill it and stuff it.

We saw kittens having tea and getting married, rabbits in the classroom, and this, the Death Of Cock Robin, the only prominent inaccuracy being the cow. As in, it isn’t one. It appears to be something covered in chicken feathers, which is probably for the best. Although, I have to say it’s impressive. I know a taxidermist, as an embalmer we share many jokes, but it has to be said her job is harder than mine. What goes into stuffing a deer, building a wire frame, preserving the hide, reconstructing anatomical shape, that stuff’s hard work. Upsetting, sad, hard work.

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Imagine if the scale was correct and owls not far off as tall as cows?!

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