Truth be told, the theft was a monster of a crime.
For two years, the children of Grant Park Cooperative Preschool created, sketched, papier-mâchéd and glued.
Thus, the Mud Monster, a towering sculpture of imagination, glass, tiles, stones and children’s love, was born.
So when it was stolen from the school’s courtyard in March of 2009, it saddened even the most cynical of Grant Park neighborhood hearts hardened to the reality that burglaries can and do happen in a metropolis of 6 million.
“It was so devastating that finally, after the sculpture was ready — after two years, which was the length of the whole project — it was stolen from the courtyard,” Gabriela Garcia, the school’s founder and executive director told East Atlanta Patch. “Nobody could understand why.”
No one still understands, but the Mud Monster — legend has it he was born from the sewers of Atlanta’s Grant Park — is missing no longer.
He has been found, Garcia is happy to report.
“We got a call recently from a very nice family who found it in a house in Rex, Ga. and decided to give it back so we are thrilled to welcome it back.”
Except for a few missing tiles in the back, the Mud Monster is in excellent condition.
Perhaps it’s fitting the Mud Monster would be found in Rex.
Rex, after all, is Latin for “king.”
And with the Mud Monster standing eight feet tall and weighing in at more than 150 pounds, he’s nothing else if not king sized.
Today, the school celebrates his return — one alumnus, Sachal Shaikh, even wrote a song for the occasion — with a parade at 11:30 a.m. and party fit for, well, a king.
Welcome home, Mud Monster.