Dan Szczesny

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The Mad Owl

The Mad Owl in Fred Mold Park

The Mad Owl in Fred Mold Park

ST. JOHNSBURY, VERMONT – Fred Mold, a local weather man and naturalist would be thrilled, no doubt, to have a park in his home city named after him. But I wonder what he’d think of the Mad Owl. This “ride” is peculiar in the annals of Dangerous and Awesome Playground Rides.

I get the impression that the Mad Owl was not originally designed to be a ride, but rather a fun sculpture. But based on how smoothed down his metal back and ears have become, it’s clear that many children have climbed aboard and taken this owl for a ride.

Or rather, the Mad Owl has taken them for a ride. You see, nearly ever corner on this fantastic creature is sharp, and some of those points are even rusty! Just look at the points his eyebrows alone come to. Even a small slip on the Mad Owl will send a child straight to the ER for tetanus shots!

His design all but guarantees children will sit on his serrated back which likely becomes boiling hot in the summer, and grab hold of his sharp eyebrows. The beautiful Mad Owl is a template for all that’s dangerous and awesome about the playground of the olden days. Perhaps Fred would just climb right on and give the Mad Owl a fling. He seemed like a guy with a sense of humor.


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