The new Uncle Si now stands next to the bale of hay where the original scarecrow once sat, and nobody knows how it got there.
Ball Ground City Clerk Karen Jordan said the new scarecrow just appeared Tuesday morning.
“(It was) a random act of kindness. It could be any number of things,” Jordan said Wednesday.
The original scarecrow, modeled after the popular “Duck Dynasty” character, took four moms from the Ball Ground Elementary School’s fourth-grade class more than 40 hours to make, and went missing last week.
On Friday, Ball Ground Police found what was left of the scarecrow at a 16-year-old’s house in Canton and arrested the teen on a charge of theft by taking.
“We discovered after a little investigation that a juvenile had taken it. I made contact with the juvenile who lives a little further away and he admitted to taking it,” Police Chief Bryon Reeves said Monday. “It was nothing but ashes, it was completely gone.”
Despite the demise of one of their favorite scarecrows, Ball Ground residents were quick to forgive.
Allison Martin, one of the parents who spent hours working on the original scarecrow, said that it was important to forgive the teen.
“To begin with, we were kind of upset; the main reason we had done ‘Duck Dynasty’ was because of the background and their beliefs and we truly believe in them, and as a community we have to forgive,” Martin said.
Jordan said that the new scarecrow, left anonymously on Main Street this week, shows how people in Ball Ground appreciate the Christian values and the close community represented in the show.
“It kind of goes back to Ball Ground being a close-knit community, looking after each other,” Jordan said. “Everybody’s happy to have him back, and think it’s great that (it was) a random act of kindness, that somebody did that.”
Jordan said she heard about the new scarecrow when she got a call from someone driving through downtown.
“Somebody called me riding through town and said there’s a new scarecrow downtown,” Jordan said. “I said I’d be down through town in a bit, and sure enough, there he was.”
Jordan said nobody is sure who put the new scarecrow up, but everyone is glad they can see Uncle Si’s scarecrow face again.
“It could’ve been him (the teen who took the original scarecrow), it could’ve been someone else,” Jordan said.
Police in the small town said a concerned resident reported spotting the original Uncle Si sitting on a neighboring front porch, after it was stolen. But when they arrived at the house, the scarecrow was gone, again.
After a search, police said they found the scattered and burned remains of the straw-stuffed character in the yard of a juvenile’s home, who admitted to taking the scarecrow. The 16-year-old was released to his parents following his arrest, Reeves said.
City Manager Eric Wilmarth said that the teen expressed remorse for taking the scarecrow.
“He was just passing through downtown Ball Ground and thought Uncle Si was pretty cool and wanted him. (He) just didn’t think about the consequences, and I am sure didn’t think there would be so much publicity,” Wilmarth said. “The young man has expressed remorse — he is sorry for what he did — it’s just one of those things you can’t back up and undo.”