47 – Witch Fever

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Dear Lucy,

 I’m the sort of mouse who likes, when reading, to impart snippets of knowledge to anyone who may be within earshot.  I think I may well stop being that sort of mouse.

On Monday I spent the morning perusing a couple of book deliveries that Millie had taken receipt of whilst I was away.  ‘Bitten by Witch Fever’, an account of wallpaper and arsenic in the Victorian home had a rather funny excerpt, which I’d read aloud to Millie whilst she was filing her monthly invoices.  A German scientist by the name of Leopald Gmelin had reported in a Berlin newspaper that a strange ‘mouse-like’ odour could often be detected in damp conditions where wallpaper containing arsenic, was present.  I thought very little of this brief impart of humorous information and even less of Millie’s sudden announcement around lunchtime that she was taking the afternoon off.  Having already arranged to go round Millie’s for tea, her parting mumbled words “I’m popping off early to intercept the waffles” held no worries in my mind other than whether she’d remembered to stock up on maple syrup.

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When I arrived at Millie’s around 4.30 that same afternoon, to my horror, not only were there no waffles in sight, but, the cottage was in complete chaos.  It didn’t take me long to conclude that Millie hadn’t left early to intercept any waffles, but rather, had spent her entire afternoon inspecting the wallpaper after coming to the rapid conclusion that her cottage smelt of mouse and hence must be full of poisonous arsenic.

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Now, at this point I could have offered up the suggestion to Millie that her house was bound to smell of mouse due to the fact that she was, in actual fact, a mouse smelling mouse.  However, fearing Millie might think that I was implying she stank and looking around at the already half stripped walls, I decided to keep quiet and perform the most logical course of action required in a panic situation of this gravity; that of checking to see if the casserole was ready whilst considering new designs for Millie’s walls.

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I am including with this letter the series of designs that Millie chose as her favourites.  After a week of full on DIY we’ve pretty much completed most rooms and am, as I write, just adding the finishing touches to the trompe l’oeil in the study.  I think we shall celebrate the completed restoration with a well-deserved plate of waffles; it’s been a tough week!

Lots of love,

M. M.

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Moris’s recent activity has been inspired by a number of sources which he’d like to tell you about.  Obviously, the wallpaper debacle is explained in the letter, however, his layout for the letter was inspired by the Edward Bawden Scrapbooks, a fascinating read published by Lund Humphries.  Moris’s trompe l’oeil design for Millie’s study was inspired by some snaps shots of Stephen Courthauld’s bedroom, recently sent to him by his friend Dave, who lives in Eltham Palace London.

Do you have a favourite designer?  Morris would love to hear from you, so please feel free to hit the comments box.  Morris will get back to you mouse style.

© All images and story content copyright of lynncf

 

46 – International Book Giving Day

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Dear Lucy,

To avoid disappointment down at the depot this year, Millie decided to enforce an outright ban on all things Valentine.  Instead, she and Gertrude organised a giant book swap for International Book Giving Day.

Everyone arrived at work with a small selection of books from their private libraries, each containing, as per Millie’s instruction, a nice message to the new owner, hand written on the title page or thereabouts.  Everyone was also asked to make a special bookmark to pass on to a friend.

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An inspired idea by Millie which ensured everyone was remembered on Valentines, although as far a productivity was concerned, not much mail went out today due to most mice spending a distracted afternoon with their new reads.

Happy International Book Giving Day!

Love M.M.

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Have you shared a book for International Book Giving Day?  Morris would love to hear about any swaps, so please feel free to hit the comments box.

Morris will get back to you mouse style.

© All images and story content copyright of lynncf

45 – The Mice of the Round Table

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Dear Lucy,

Having had a whale of a time at the jousting tournament, Tommy and I decided to spend a while longer in Medieval England.  After a few days heading south Tommy started to complain of an annoying, but not unpleasant tasting, greasy stain on his fur.
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I had warned Tommy previously that butter, in the absence of a Tupperware container, wouldn’t travel well in warm weather, but after failing to heed my advice, his insistence that all would be well if he packed up some supplies in a hessian parcel inside his backpack was evidently now resulting in a terribly oily mess all down his fur.

Making a pit stop for tea and snacks, we soaked up what butter we could with what was left of the bread and flung the oily pack on top of a nearby stone to dry out in the sun.  I must have only been half way through my tea when Tommy jumped up with a start and began shouting at a local scoundrel who was seemingly about to ‘half-inch’ his backpack.  What ensued next I can only describe as a furious exchange of riotous angry squeaks which went on for several minutes until we all calmed down, and discovered that the thief wasn’t a thief at all, but a rather nice young mouse by the name of Arthur.

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Over a fresh brew of tea we discovered that Arthur had recently come down to London with his brother to attend a knight’s fighting tournament.  In his capacity of temporary squire, Arthur was entrusted with his brother’s equipment.  Unfortunately, just the day before, Arthur had been larking about with his brother’s sword and having become a bit over excited with his advance lunges accidently flung the weapon into the Thames.  Arthur pointed to the sword sticking out of the stone next to Tommy’s pack and asked if we might help him retrieve it.  Happy to help a fellow mouse in trouble, the sword was already beginning to loosen with the butter melting from Tommy’s pack so we decided to squeeze out what remaining oil we could and within minutes Arthur had pulled the sword free.

As a thank you, Arthur invited us back to meet his friends at the local tavern.  We had a great evening of chat and medieval entertainment around what Arthur thought was the best table in the house.   Since returning home Arthur has written to tell of some exciting news.  Some days after our departure he and his brother noticed some strange writing on the blade of the sword that we pulled out the stone.  The inscription read, “Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone is the rightful born king of England’s mouse kingdom.”  With his new found status and wealth Arthur has ordered a round table just like the one he took a fancy to at the tavern and is making plans to appoint a cavalry of Knights to protect the Kingdom.  Arthur’s brother was the first to be appointed in recompense of Arthur losing his favourite sword.

Hope this letter finds you well!

Love M.M.

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Have you ever had an accident with something you’ve packed in your bag?  Have you ever had a good night down the local tavern?  Morris would love to hear from you, so please feel free to hit the comments box.

Morris will get back to you mouse style.

© All images and story content copyright of lynncf