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Children gather in the downtown square for candy and fun
Mercrow returned to sailor after kidnapping
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Sisters Krystan and Erin Hatfield of Gainesville join in on the fun dressed as Alice and the White Rabbit. - photo by NAT GURLEY

One of the most popular “squarecrows” was back in her downtown spot on the square Thursday, just in time for Halloween.

The scarecrow was slightly worse for her kidnapping experience, but flopped happily in her boyfriend’s arms.

Local artist Fox Gradin, whose Celestial Studio overlooks the square on Main Street, made the “mercrow” to compete in downtown Gainesville’s Halloween squarecrow contest. Gradin said the mermaid scarecrow was missing when she went to work last Friday.

“I saw she was gone and made a missing person poster,” Gradin said. “Then I went one step further and made a sailor who was crying and missing her. The very next day after I put him out, they brought her back.”

The sad sailor with a crying pumpkin face debuted on Tuesday — the mercrow was returned on Wednesday.

“It looked like they tossed her out of the back of a truck,” Gradin said. “She was sprawled out near the sailor. I put her back together. She looked like she’d been kidnapped.”

Downtown Gainesville stirred interest by putting a missing scarecrow post on its social media page with a photo of the bereaved boyfriend.

Now the page shows a photo of the reunited couple.

“She obviously had some adventures,” Gradin said. “I think somebody’s mom found her and made them return her.

“I wish she had more of a documented adventure,” Gradin said, “that someone had gone a step further and put her in different places around Gainesville and posted it on the Internet.”

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