Search The Web

Friday, February 12, 2016

Heart and Flowers

Hearts, flowers, candy and yes, the enormous cash-flow that have merchants blinking dollar signs. It’s here again—Valentine’s Day!

Have you noticed some of said-merchants are reaching out to the singles population this year? As though buying the Singles Sundae special, or the Longing Lattes or long-stems, will help assure membership in the ranks of the Loved and Lavished. Somewhat pitiful, but hey… whatever will increase the bottom line. It’s a clever marketing ploy, I’ll give ‘em that.

Now in MouseHouse Village, they know nothing about this originally pagan festival, Lupercalia, nor its accompanying celebration of fertility (mice really don’t worry about such things!) Nor do they care that Pope Gelasius recast the pagan tradition as a Christian feast day sometime around 496, and proclaimed it St. Valentines Day. Nope. It’s all meaningless to them.

Now love on the other hand. That’s a different story. Sir Fivel, love hearts. As you know if you’ve been following the story line, he’s known for his heart-shaped etchings on furniture he designs, especially those made for his lady-love, Fivelina. They grace many little cradles and carriage beds he’s designed for the Village babies as well. So he knows about hearts, both the wooden ones and the one he has for his true love.

And flowers. It’s a commonality in the Fivel Home to see a wild-flower bouquet on the table, or tucked on the bureau next to their bed, complements of said romantic gentlemen most any time of year. Quite frequently, I’ve seen him trudging up Downspout Staircase, work satchel in one hand, and a pretty bouquet clutched in the other, held behind his back until she opens the door. He smiles mischievously, then bashfully holds it out to her. The delight on her face is a given, every time, and the kind of devotion they hold for each other, well, that is a joy to behold.

Candy. Well, there aren’t any heart-shaped cardboard boxes full of chemicals-shaped-like-chocolates at MouseHouse Village, but delicacies abound. Dew-kissed wild-berries, the choicest, plumpest acorn ever, or a piece of sun-dried sunflower ripe with fat black seeds, tucked into a grass-made basket with a little sprig of mint and a bow… now that’s a box of mouse-lady candy, let me tell you! And these gifts aren’t once-a-year occasions either. No, they are ongoing tokens of love and appreciation.

Yup. It’s a fact. We could all learn something from God’s humbler creatures.




Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Footprints in the Snow...

February 10, 2016

Did you hear that rumbling, snore-stopping, tell-tale roar approaching at dawn? Loud enough at first to disrupt a pleasant snooze, but as it looms closer the window rattling, bed-shaking vibration dissolves any thought of sleep. Eyes fly open in recognition. Snowplow! Snowing again? Really?

Good morning, February. For sure it’s a sugar-frosted one, and to say it’s a beautiful sight—well, no argument there. Guess we knew the balmy-autumn-spring days had to end sometime. Do I like the cold? Nope. Or the icy, rutted driveway that has me guessing every time I go out whether the car will do a one-eighty before I reach the road? Nope.

Do I like the crackling fire in the woodstove? Yup. And my cozy fleeces and floppy slippers? Yup. And of course a fresh hot cuppa with a good helping of raw honey stirred in. Double yup.

Still, a girl has to get out of the house now and then, so I bundle up to step out onto BackPorch. There in the snow (yes, there’s even snow on screened-in BackPorch) are tiny—and I mean tiny footprints in the snow. Hmmm. Wonder who’s been out and about from MouseHouse even in this stormy weather. I peer closer. Definitely tiny mouse feet, no doubt about it.

And they start near MouseHouse, so it would seem that someone ventured from there of late. Yet their size would indicate a wee mousling, not Sir Fivel himself, with his tell-tale, one-slightly-turned larger feet.

And speaking of the gentleman mouse, I hear a tiny squeak above my head, and look up to see him quietly exiting their cozy home, bundled up against the snow with his heavy wool cap, a warm jacket, and a scarf wrapped about his neck, fringed ends flying in the wind. He carries his cane this morning—indicative that his leg is bothering him today, and carrying a fair-sized satchel under his arm.

“Good day to you, Ma’am…” he greets politely, nodding slightly. “Sorry about that squeaky door. Must tend to that soon…” he apologizes. I smile in amusement. “No apologies needed, Fivel… I’m sure! What brings you out this cold, blustery morning?”

“Oh, just some finished orders to deliver. Mrs. Rue is expecting her babies soon and her hubby awaits these rocker frames…” his head tipped slightly to indicate the contents of the satchel, “… he’s waiting for them so he can finish the double cradle he’s making.  By the size of her… well…” he paused, blushing slightly, “er…well, they expect more than one or two mouselings you see.” 

“My! No, I hadn’t heard. Please wish them my congratulations. I would love to hear when the blessed event occurs.”  I tried to alleviate his embarrassment by changing the subject. “I saw little foot-prints in the snow this morning, here inside BackPorch. Wondered if everyone is well and accounted for up  at MouseHouse this morning. No missing mouselings or anything?” I pointed to the tell-tale prints.

“No, Ma’am… ours are all tucked snug in their beds this morning. I just peeked in on them before I left.”

He lumbered down to take a closer look. “My, my! I don’t know who that would be, but look… it leads over to your covered porch furniture.”

Sure enough. We stepped closer to investigate. I lifted the edge of the green plastic cover, pulling the elastic edge back enough to discover the tip of a tiny pink tail hanging out between two stacked chairs.

“Whose that hiding in there!” Sir Fivel demanded firmly.

The tail disappeared, but a tiny brown face appeared in its stead, large worried brown eyes stared out at us. “It’s me, Sir. Rufus Blackwell. I couldn’t find my way home, Sir, and I don’t know where my family is.” A little hiccupped sob punctuated the latter.

“Come out of there, young feller…” Sir Fivel held out a helping hand. “You come right upstairs to MouseHouse and Mama Fivelina will get you warmed up and fed. Then we’ll see what we can do about finding your folks.”

A shivering little mound of misery eased the rest of the way out from his hiding place, and as he did, a little stain of red oozed from his hind foot.

“Why, you’re injured, young man. How did that happen?” Sir Fivel inquired.

The little mouse stared up at me apprehensively. “I’m sorry, Ma’am… I think I tore your screen as tried to get in here…”

“No harm done, Rufus. We’ll repair it in the spring. But you need to get in where it’s warm and get that foot tended to before you get an infection in it.”

“What’s an infection, Ma’am?”

“Never you mind now…” Sir Fivel admonished. “Come… you are nearly frozen…” And with that they headed toward Downspout Staircase.

“Leave your satchel down here, Sir Fivel…” I suggested. “You can pick it up on your way back.”

“Thank you, Ma’am. I may just do that.” And with that, he dropped it right there, under Overhang Roof and the two of them limped back up the stairway.

I heard the little squeak of the door as they went inside, and Fivelina’s concerned lament as she greeted them.  “Whatever do we have here…??”

Glad to head back into the toasty kitchen, I shed the layers and warmed my hands around a freshly poured mug of tea, sweetened to my liking with—you guessed it, a generous helping of raw honey.

Oh the adventures of a snowy morning at Hare Hollow!