Challenge #01654-D193: Puppet Power

Ventriloquist dummies, Muppets, they allow their handlers to be someone quite different. Some of the more famous being Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Topo Giglio the Mouse and charlie McCarthy and his handler Edgar Bergan, (the puppet is now in the smithsonian)... -- Anon Guest

They say, If you want to find the truth of a man, give him a mask to wear. And this is, to a degree, true. But if you want to weigh the nature of a soul, give them a puppet. Sometimes, the aesthetic clues of the puppet lend character, but one that lacks such cues can show you the unpublic side of the individual manipulating it.

A puppet is an avatar. A mouthpiece for the thoughts that don't make it out of a fleshy mouth without such assistance. And they are distanced from the real mouth by virtue of being a thing with no more soul than that which is given to them. It's a mouthpiece. A tool to say the things that are otherwise bottled up.

Therapist Valance found it very useful for her more... culturally restricted... patients. A puppet was just a thing, true, but her patients could make it say or do anything. Her other tool, for those not inclined to harm living things by accident or design, either a cat or a dog. Both highly trained. Animals didn't judge and, in the case of cats, didn't care. But they were soft and warm and friendly in a world that could be cold and cruel.

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