|Trumpet dance. old postcard.
Baby corn lullaby
Rock-a-by, hush-a-by, corn ba-by mine.
Wrapped in your silk garment, soft and exquisite.
Rock-a-by, hush-a-by, lit. one, dear,
Nobody can harm you when the moth is near.
When you close your eyelids in sleep.
Angels will keep your delicate watch.
They will bring you dreams, my dear
Now they are coming, now they are here.
Through the mail one day the youngsters received a box with a postmark from Nebraska on it. Opening it they saw the strangest doll imaginable, all neatly packed in broken tissue paper.
This was a lady doll made entirely of corn husks and corn silk. Silk was for hair, of course, and very real hair. A set of thin, soft scales were bound together for the head and body; A flat piece is laid over where the face ought to be, and a string is drawn tightly around it about an inch from the top which makes the head and neck very neat. Watercolor paints were used to create clear blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and other features. Curly brown corn silks were then pinned to the hair, and two stiff rolls of armshells were presented.
Then the lady was dressed in the finest clothes. She was wearing a gathered waist, large sleeves, and a very full skirt. On top of it was a hood, nice to look at. Like her cloak and umbrellas, they were made entirely of corn husks.
The letter that came with the doll stated that it was made by a little girl who lived on a farm in Nebraska and made husk dolls for fun at first, but since she learned to make them so good, a lot of the dolls have been sold. What started just for fun is now a source of profit for her.
The letter also said that in making the dolls, this little girl always soaked the husks to soften them and to prevent them from tearing while making the dolls.
When searching for a name for the new visitor, the children decide that “Cornelia” is the name that best suits her nature and general make-up.
When Papa was asked to suggest a last name for the young lady from Nebraska, he said he thought “Shucks” might be as appropriate as any, so Cornelia Shucks was contacted.
On the same day that the young lady arrived, the children caught some nice clean corn husks and put them in the warm water. There were corn-side-thin white bits, butter-colored streaks, and dark brown ones—variety enough for any doll’s wardrobe. After an hour or two of soaking, the husks are removed from the water and wiped as dry as possible and then ready.
After much scrutiny of Cornelia’s figure and style of dress, young Wests was able to create respectable-looking scale dolls. Of course, the first were frivolous clumsy, but after a while these children managed to make and dress up lady dolls as good as Cornelia Shokes herself. Margaret Colson Walker
|Corn Lullaby – Sheet Music
Baby corn cob doll
“Children of the corn have been nature’s favorite dolls for many years. When the tender roast ears were brought in from the garden, all the children agreed that they were sucklings, just as good as they were, and that to alter them in any way would spoil them.”
All they needed to do was open the green shell a little and there lay the most beautiful creamy white baby corn wrapped in the finest of silk garments. Florence held the baby corn close in her arms and as she rocked her to sleep she sang to her a soft little lullaby which she and the others had made up. Charlotte and Mama also helped them out a bit with melody and lyrics. As Florence sang to the infant in her arms, the others joined her, always singing softly, and letting the song fade almost to a whisper at the end that the child might not miss the music when he could hear no more.
Corn Baby was then tenderly placed in a cradle Tom had made by gluing two circles of wood for rockers to a clapboard reel box. The wooden circle he cut into two parts once had a strip of tape wrapped around it in a store.” Margaret Colson Walker
|On the left, a cradle of corn husks. Right, a corncob baby wrapped in a threshing husk.