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Gotta hand it to my zuppet collection

I have a wild and cool collection. I collect zuppets. Zuppet is the name I have given to what most people call a puppet.

A zuppet is a hand puppet that is wild and crazy like a zoo animal or a person with a cool job or a fairy tale character.

I got the idea for the name after learning about the Muppets.

So you might ask how does a 9-year-old girl start collecting zuppets? About a year ago, I went to Macy's in Manhattan to see Santa Claus. While there, my brother, sister and I wrote letters to Santa in the children's toy department. On one of the shelves, I saw these incredibly cool puppets. I really wanted one and put them on my letter to Santa.

On Christmas Day, I opened my gifts, and there were puppets. The two that I liked the best were: Piggy with an apple and a dog with a bone. That was the start of my zuppet collection.

My zuppets are really fun because they let you use your imagination. You can play alone or with friends. The more you collect, the more shows you can create and perform. I even have team competitions with my sister and friends where we see which team can tell the best story with only two minutes to brainstorm an idea.

When I first started doing shows, I made a stage using chairs and blankets. I asked my dad if he could build a stage. In one night, using the poster boards from old projects, boxes, an old curtain rod, white sheets, a red fleece blanket and duct tape, my dad made a real puppet stage.

I collected about 14 zuppets. My collection includes: Awesome Tiggy (a pig), Albert (a dog), Snuffy (a mammoth), Larry (a parrot named after a cool guy who works with my father), Steve (a cow), Mr. Happy Pants (a monkey), King Candy (a king), Sally (a cowgirl), Diego (a dragon), Bella the Ballerina, Lucy the Lion, Taylor the Tiger, a mix-n-match monster and several more including a marionette named Marion who hosts each show.

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