Some designs take a long time to hatch - I've been meaning to work out a mole design for two years, but what with my book jobs and things, I've only just got round to it. Luckily I had made a little sketch at the time - in *shock horror* the back of a picture book...
I absolutely do not condone drawing in books, but this was an old battered ex-library copy which I picked up from a charity shop after a trip to the dentists, two bus rides away from the village. Happily my bus home stopped right outside a pub, so I popped in for a pint while I was waiting for it and read my book. It is an old favourite and I hadn't got a copy. It's the most beautiful story for children, dealing with bereavement and not at all mawkish or pro-religion of any kind.
Here, Mole is passing on the gift of making paper chain moles, which Badger in turn taught him. And finding myself with pencil but without sketch book, I drew a mole of my own on the endpaper and called her Milly.
In real life, moles are not at all the sweetly shy characters they are often portrayed as; they are quite fierce and territorial. It's rare to see one alive or dead, but I did find the skull of one last year. It is tiny.
See how sharp the teeth are? All the better for killing worms with.
The dark patches are, I am afraid, dried skin and flesh.
So Milly, although only 6 inches tall, is practically life sized.
And like so many of my little people, she will soon be making the long trip across the pond to someone in America. But I get to keep her for a few weeks longer - which is nice.