Many long time upon time, my Sister and Nieces decided to try and cheer me up one drear night – it worked by the way! The result follows under these introductory ramblings. So, bearing this in my sponge-like grey matter – actually I think mine is rather a fetching shade of puce/purple striped with fluorescent burgundy – I’ve been cogitating on nebulous floaty thoughts about possibly thinking about doing something with the idea. Mayhap a paragraph that may entrance another to add their words in syncopation – or not – with mine and others.
Anyway, read this that follows and see if you understand the mightiness of being silly. I cannot now recollect who wrote what part, I just love the whole of it.
“then we should at least write something positively entertaining and oozing with madness for her…”
Dear Claudette, here is a story just for you.
It begins in a little valley of trees. In the woods a goat, we shall call him Steve, was attending a tea party with his friends who were…
Sirfluffy, the most mysterious, but fabulous, rabbit of Cotton Hills, whom was well known for being a rabbit that wore a mask, sat next to…
none other than Leonard, the infamous Llama of mammoth proportions (he having eaten too many pieces of legal paper as a young llama)..and notorious for long winded discussions on the ethics of picking flowers. On his right was…
Percival Pickings, the most notorious swoon causing ferret in the forest. So dashingly handsome, birds would fall from the trees in his presence from fainting. The last guest at the tea party was Castor the…
…chameleon. He’s a chameleon. What you except? A vampire? No. Castor is a chameleon. Nothing special about him. He just has telephonophobia.
Steve had been planning the tea party for a long time. In fact, he’d had to walk to Castor’s to deliver the invitation personally, since he’d refused to pick up the phone. This journey had taken Steve three weeks, since he had to stop every few minutes to eat…
It wouldn’t have taken so long if the buttercups on the side of the road hadn’t looked so tantalisingly delicious. It was one of Steve’s great weaknesses, buttercups. They lingered just on the edge of his eyes begging to be eaten, and Steve just couldn’t say no.
He finally made it to Castor’s place as was not at all surprised to see the telephone sitting upon the top of Castor’s chimney.
He’d often wondered how Castor had managed to get it up there but had never asked.
What was surprising though, was when he found Castor bouncing…
on Percival Pickings head. There were packets of dried strawberries scattered over the floor, several upturned cakes, and thousands of what looked like weevils, happily munching on the contents of his pantry.
“Whatever has happened?!” Steve blurted out in his ruggedly goatish voice. Never had he seen Castor’s house in such a mess before.
Castor turned to him, his face covered in flour.
“Oh its dreadful! I saw a leaf… it was red, red I say!!! It’s not autumn yet, it can’t possibly be red! not yet!”
“yes, yes I understand that” Steve said calmly. Although it has already been said there was nothing unusual about Castor other than his telephonophobia, he did at times tend to freak out about things.. things like early autumn leaves it seemed.
“but what is so dreadful about a red leaf this early and why are you bouncing of Percival’s head?” he glanced down at the sleeping ferret beneath Castor…
Castor turned to him face absolutely mortified by the question…
“what is wrong?! what is wrong?! I shall tell you what is wrong!”.
[and anyone who knows Castor, and what happened last year, will know exactly why he was so upset.]
“That it is spring and not summer!”
Steve stared at Castor. “I think my friend that you have been out in the sun too long. Yes, that shall surely be the reason. And, have you by any chance been drinking home-made strawberry wine again? Hmm…” This he asked as he raised an eyebrow towards the dried strawberries scattered over the floor.
Castor turned a lovely shade of rosy pink and answered with a embarrassed mumble. “I might of panicked when the telephone rang as Percival was visiting. It makes me jumpy you see.” Castor nodded his head down at Percival. “It’s mostly a blur until I saw the red leaf outside my window!”
It was then that Percival chose to wake up with a rowdy, “An we stuff her in that oven, ’til she’d cooked so brown!” He paid no heed whatsoever to the Chameleon upon his head as he sat up.
Despite the nonsense it so often spurted, Percival had a most wonderful singing voice, even when rowdy. It was just one of his many attributes that left others swooning in his wake. Usually it was females, but he had on the odd occasion captivated the hearts of a drake or two (male ducks in this case, not giant winter dragons).
He looked to Steve, a lop sided grin forming, “Why Hello Steve… Are you aware there’s a buttercup hanging out your left nostril?”
Steve turned to the left, just in time to notice two wrens falling past the window, obvious victims of Percival’s singing charms, and blew fiercely through his left nostril. The buttercup shot across the room and globbed itself on the glass, sliding slowly downwards until it hit the sill and lay there in the afternoon sun, a sodden mess.
“Ahem”, Steve cleared his throat, “Thank you Percival. Much appreciated.”
“I say”, said Percival, rising to his feet and staggering a little, “Leonard would have a field day if he knew what you’d been up to. Chomping buttercups again, eh?””
Steve spluttered, taken aback by the thought of another “discussion” on ethics of flower picking.
“What…no…yes…oh what’s it matter? Castor, get off Percival’s head! Now what has been happening here, and why all the fuss about a red leaf?”
Castor slid down Percival’s back and stood with his head hanging down. He was a pitiful sight. Suddenly Steve swung around to the oven, remembering Percival’s waking song. “Owls above”, he exclaimed, “You haven’t actually stuffed someone in the oven have you?”
Castor’s little tail twitched tentatively but he didn’t lift his head.
Percival took the spotlight and swaggered over to the oven… “You know I think I do recall stuffing something in there… but I can’t be sure what… Best check and see I ‘spose.”
Steve would note, upon horrified reflection, just how casual Percival had been about the possibility of someone actually being in there.
For the meantime however that would have to wait. As Percival tugged the door open a rather ruffled and flustered looking rabbit fell out. Their face flushed a rosy red, and the slightest hint of a toasted brown fur coat, suggested that the little thing hadn’t just been stuffed in there, but that the oven had been turned on as well.
“Dear buttercups and all things obscene!! What the blazes have you been doing to this poor creature!?!?!”
Percival looked quite shocked to see the rabbit tumble out, Castor was less so…
“I thought you said it was turnip pie you were making, Castor! Some bloomin’ turnip that is!”
Castor’s eyes went from Steve, to the rabbit, and then to Percival. “Well..it was going to be, but he ate the turnip” pointing at the rabbit, “and I had to cooking something!”
“Well you darn well didn’t have to cook me!” replied the rabbit in an agitated voice “And with no basting sauce either. What’s this world coming too? Doesn’t anyone know how to cook these days?”
“Now that’s a bit uncalled for” Percival turned upon the raggedy raging rabbit. “it’s not Castor’s fault he’s never been very good at cooking. I, on the other hand, make a rather delicious mouse pie and find your remarks quite offensive.”
The rabbits attention was drawn back to Percival again… “It was you!” they hopped up and down on the spot madly, “You shoved me in that confounded oven!”
Percival stepped back, just out of range from the rabbits powerful pounding feet, “now lets just deal with this calmly… I didn’t know what I was stuffing in the oven, I was looking away at the time. I just did what Castor told me to!”
This didn’t seem to calm the rabbit, “I oughta pound you up good!!!” he drooled, crazy mad at Percival.
Steve thought this a good time to intervene and stepped in, sweeping the rabbit up by the scruff of its neck in his teeth…
“ow… oook ere…” he muffled through clenched teeth…
The rabbit was having none of it and began squealing in utter fear, “Oh sweet mushrooms he’s going to eat me!!! not even cooked, but raw!!!!”
Castor looked on absolutely horrified, but Percival began to convulse in little shakes of laughter at the oddity of everything that had been happening…
Another wren flying by dropped from the sky, even his laugh was swoon inducing…
The rabbit stopped squealing and stared at Percival “And what are you laughing at you murderous ferret? Are you stark raving mad as well as homicidal? Save me from this carnivorous beast or I shall haunt your every waking hour!”
Percival wasn’t the least perturbed by the rabbit’s threat and laughed even louder “He’s not carnivorous…he eats buttercups. And I sleep a lot so it won’t bother me” Percival began to guffaw and doubled over at his own joke. A small Robin fell down the chimney.
The rabbit spluttered “Completely and utterly insane!” and reaching up, grabbed Steve’s whiskers and yanked hard. Steve let go in surprise and the rabbit fell to the floor in a puff of brown soot.
“What’ho all!” a voice boomed from the kitchen doorway, “all come for a visit did we?” Leonard stood in all his gargantuan stature in its frame. “Looks like you’ve been having some jolly good fun!”
(Leonard had developed a rather interesting British accent in his early childhood, everyone suspected it was from all the legal papers he had eaten. They’d been from a British law firm… that and the British comedy he often watched.)
He trotted into the room, as one with cleaved toes does and looked round pleasantly unawares of what was really going on.
“I don’t suppose any of you know what happened to all the buttercups on the road to here?”
He looked round eager for an answer, and found everyone’s eyes drifting towards Steve and the now whiter rabbit…
His cheery disposition soon faded and a look of disappointment filled his big ‘cow like eyes’….
“Oh Steve… I had expected so much more from you… We’ve talked so many times about eating flowers being unethical…”
Steve hung his head low and the rabbit saw it as its chance to escape. Not waiting for another horrid thing to happen it fled with great speed out the kitchen door and into the from garden with a squeal of relieved freedom.
The kitchen fell into silence as the rabbit fled and Percival’s laughter died…
Leonard had stopped mid sentence as the rabbit dashed to freedom. Steve, anxious to avoid any “discussion”, quickly seized the opportunity to distract Leonard by enquiring “Any word from your uncle yet, Leonard?”
Leonard turned from staring at the empty doorway “Uncle…? Oh…yes… he called by yesterday to give me the news personally. Great sort Uncle. Always goes out of his way to help, you know.”
Castor, eager to keep the attention away from himself, asked “And…what did he say?”
“Yes”, joined Percival, not keen on listening to another “discussion”, “What did he say? Are you going? Has he forked out for your fare?”
“Indeed he has, and a fair amount more for spending as well.”
The others gathered round positively intrigued, “So you’re going then?” Percival asked eagerly,
“OOOOhhh its so exciting! When?” Castor was shaking in sheer excitement now.
“In a weeks time. I’m catching a bus to the station. then a train will take me the rest of the way.”
“Oh how delightful! I’ve always wanted to go on a train…” Castor sounded wistful now and gazed absently beyond Leonard, clearly he was off in a day dream.
Steve snapped to attention, “A weeks time?! Oh but how shall I have my tea party then?! I’ve been planning it for so long…”
“A tea party?” Percival cocked his head, “And just who was going to be invited to this little get together?”
All eyes were on Steve now, even Castor’s had been draw back to reality by the question.
“well all of you of course… but it was to be in a weeks time and Leonard shall be gone then…” He looked despondently at the floor.
Leonard felt terribly bad about it all… “I’m terribly sorry about leaving and all but I might not get the chance again… Could we not have the tea party a little earlier?”
Everyone seemed to like this idea and even Steve brightened up again, “Oh that is a wonderful idea. Everything is practically all ready anyways, a few days earlier would be no trouble!”
There was an all round cheeriness once more and smiles passed between everyone, the earlier situations quite forgotten.
“I suppose we’d better get this mess cleaned up before we leave you Castor, everyone has got outfits to organise for the tea party and such.”
The kitchen was restored to it usual tidy self in no time and everyone bid farewell as they headed towards their respective homes.
It wasn’t many sleeps later that the day of the tea party arrived and all the guests trundled up Steve’s front path to the picnic spread of afternoon delights and snacks spread out to eat.
There were berry tarts, home-made lemonade, shortbread biscuits, mince pies, cumber sandwiches, turnip pie, nut sauce, roast mouse, seasoned grasses of several varieties, all sun dried over the last few months and much much more. It was a mouth watering buffet to the guests and they eagerly found places to sit, mostly in front of their favourite dishes.
The guests list was complete when the mysterious and fabulous, mask wearing rabbit of Cotton Hills, Sirfluffly arrived and told of the most astonishing thing that had happened to his cousin but a few days ago…
The others could not help but launch into great outbursts of laughter when Sirfluffy’s cousin was none other than the rabbit that had been in Castor’s oven, though no one dared tell Sirfluffy as much for fear of retribution on their cousins behalf.
And thus we come to the end of our long winded tale and bid you adieu!