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Henry, Rfus
Henry's Creator

My name is Ella Watkins. I first drew Henry when I was eight. At first Henry was just a picture that I drew in my school poetry book. Most things that you draw you never draw again. However later I decided to redraw him, just to show him to Mum and Dad. Before I knew it, every time I picked up a pencil, my hand would etch the few lines that made up Henrys features. With each time I redrew him he began to change a little and I was soon drawing him with different expressions and movements. As I drew him more and more, a personality began to form. I noticed that Henry didn’t seem to react randomly to situations I set him, I began to know him. I began to understand him and the way he thinks. That’s when I realized his personality was kicking in, he was becoming a person. I now knew he needed a name. Henry seemed the right name for a goat of such status.

After a while, Henry had become quite enthusiastic with life, but I noticed something wrong. Deep down Henry had friends and he missed them. It was my job to uncover them for him.

I was sitting in the lounge room doing my maths when I noticed that the bushes outside seemed to make up a shape. Often things do this, for example a cloud. When you gaze up at the clouds they appear to take the shape of objects. The shape the bushes made appeared to look a bit like a goblin's head. I quickly drew this but when it came out on paper, it didn’t really look like a goblin, it looked a bit more like a little marsupial. I then added on a small pudgy body. The little character looked quite sensible and smart and a small green book in his hands suited him well. I soon gave him a name; Rufus.

Rufus and Henry got along well together, but two friends didn’t seem like quite enough. Three seemed like more of a nice friendly number. I decided without really thinking that a crocodile would be a nice creature to add to a goat and marsupial. I drew a thin crocodile with a head that looked quite a bit like Henrys. That was the biggest mistake with this first croc. His body shape was also very similar but with a tail and no hooves. He remained in this state for quite some time, just a picture without a personality or name. It dulled Henry and Rufus’s livliness.

Quite a while later, in the shower actually, I decided to work on the crocodile. The shower doors are glass and the steam from the hot water fogs them up. This is a perfect place to sketch pictures as you can make quick, easy and relaxed lines, and they are easily erased by more fog. I erased the memory of the previous crocodile and started a new. Eventually I sketched a shy looking crocodile face. I added an even shyer body, then a sweater over the top half of his body and sleeves hanging over his small hands. I could tell that this crocodile was a very shaky croc and could easily be frightened. I couldn’t resist. A wimpy crocodile? What better than his worst fear to be water? He became Oscar the water-phobic crocodile.

Written and Illustrated By Ella Watkins | Copyright 2008