Over his dead body

Fiona Tabastot






By @ftabastot


Yesterday David Pearl did a masterclass. He asked us what would be the item we would never buy over our dead body and what would be its story.


So here is the story of Leon*.


Leon is a bird, faded blue duck to be precise. He has a knot around its neck reminding him about its captivity and some white dots all over its body, making him look like he’s been unwell since birth. He has extremely disturbing eyes, making you feel watched wherever you are in the room. He’s like a beaked mona lisa, but without the smile. No, in fact Leon looks sad because he actually is. He’s only had one dream since he was born: flying.

But you see, Leon is just a ceramic bird, a kitch and not really a tasty decorative bird. He knows he’s not really attractive and has never had a lot self esteem. It must have something to do with his family.


He has really few memories of his childhood. The only thing he can remember was this dark day of 2011. Surrounded in bubble wrap with his 2 brothers, stuck between a tasteless carpet and some bottles of Romanian wine, Leon was even too uncomfortable to enjoy the landscapes between Bucharest and London.

After long hours suffocating in a cheap plastic his owners finally released him. He hated them since the first minute. But for some reason the feeling wasn’t mutual, they loved him. Leon reminds them about Home. The smell of wood, grass and clouds. Their little nineteenth century village surrounded by the mountains, the horse-drawn carriages passing by the gates every day and the quiet and repetitive sounds of the cows chewing over and over.

They hung him up and his brother in the kitchen so they could remember the taste of home each time they have to eat another strange english meal.

He’s a family gift, a strong symbol for this couple leaving the nest. What an irony for a bird that can’t even fly.


But few days ago Leon’s dream became true. He flew for the very first time when I accidentally knocked him off the shelf he had been on for years.
Leon is dead. But before dying he had a chance to fulfill his dream. And not all the ceramic birds can say that much.



*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

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