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Otto's famous sausanges, hot dogs, and meats in Woodstock has a new mural: Its story...

RITA A. LEONARD - This new magical mural has appeared on the Woodstock Boulevard side of Ottos famous Sausage Kitchen. A 33-foot-long "magical mural" has just been painted on the north exterior wall of Otto's Sausage Kitchen, at 4138 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard. The fantasy mural features fairies, castles, flying horses, and a large central "tree sprite." The friendly "Lord of the Forest" in the artwork is a three-dimensional figure which incorporates a support column and adjacent benches as part of the sprite's hands and feet.

Artist Mike Smith of "Mad Mike Murals" completed the painting in February. "I'm doing random fantasy ideas from my childhood," he told THE BEE of the work. Otto's staff told us, "He paints all our murals here. He usually comes by about four times a year to create seasonal murals for us, but right now he's touring in Europe with his band."

Otto's is owned by the Eichentopf family, whose German heritage includes many favorite fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm. Most German folklore features romanticism about natural spaces, especially forests. German fairy tales can include tree sprites as part of their woodland lore. These spirits can be either friendly or fearsome, ruling the forest with a powerful presence. The "bark" on the tree sprite in the new mural was painted so it could be seen in either mood, although probably Otto's staff would vote for "friendly".

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