Folkmanis Puppets’ Rat In a Tin Can

553FB0D4-AF81-4191-8697-440DD7FAF3A5I seem to have another Folkmanis puppet lurking around, this one the Rat In a Tin Can. The Folkmanis website describes him as being ready for a playful picnic (note the napkin in one paw). However, it seemed to me that he might just as easily be a waiter in an upscale rat restaurant: his black-and-white pattern might almost be taken for formal wear.

This one is, as usual, solidly constructed, the rat covered in black and white plush, with tiny little brown felt paws, a brown felt tail, and brown felt ears. The can is lined with gray plush, while the outside seems to be made of the kind of reflective fabric that you might find in the lining of the latest high-tech winter wear. There are, however, a couple of oddities: the napkin (which makes a crinkly sound) is rather awkwardly attached to one paw and tends to flip up, although this is perhaps something that will correct itself with use. And for some reason, the tail is attached about halfway down to the rim of the tin can. When the hand is inserted (and happily, this one is just big enough that I can fit my hand inside), the rat comes about halfway out of the can.

The label, as we have come to expect, includes some facts about rats and a story about an encounter between a rat and a goat. (Needless to say, the story involves food.)

Oh, and the can does remind us, “Please don’t litter.”

(Folkmanis Puppets, 2016)


Robert M. Tilendis lives a deceptively quiet life. He has made money as a dishwasher, errand boy, legal librarian, arts administrator, shipping expert, free-lance writer and editor, and probably a few other things he’s tried very hard to forget about. He has also been a student of history, art, theater, psychology, ceramics, and dance. Through it all, he has been an artist and poet, just to provide a little stability in his life. Along about January of every year, he wonders why he still lives someplace as mundane as Chicago; it must be that he likes it there. You may e-mail him, but include a reference to Green Man Review so you don’t get deleted with the spam.

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