As I turned the page into April my diary was looking a tad spacious for the Easter period, but as luck would have it, a letter containing an invite from my friend Wilbur on the 4th soon filled my empty windows.
Wilbur lives in the grounds of a beautiful old estate, with a fine Georgian house full of art and antiquities. The house and gardens are open to the public daily so it’s well known in the area. Very little, conversely, is known of the equally impressive mouse estate built in the Victorian era and located just behind the pet cemetery of the big house.
After spending an interesting few days exploring both estates, Wilbur introduced me to his friends Palmerston, Gladstone and Clemie, who live in the kitchen gardens of the big estate. Now, it’s somewhat unusual for mice to include chickens among their close circle of friends, since chickens have been known to snack on the odd mouse, but, the delivery of a monthly cheese scone, procured from the visitor cafe by Wilbur, has ensured an entente cordiale between English mouse and French hen for the last few years.
Wilbur warned that Clemie hadn’t quite been herself of late and told me not to be surprised if I found her a bit testy, but after a short chat I thought her to be quite a nice chicken indeed. The simple cause of Clemie’s malaise was due to nothing more than missing her daily walks around the kitchen garden whilst incubating her eggs. Wilbur was delighted to learn of the cause to Clemie’s ratty behaviour, not because he reveled in the misery of others, but because he is the sort of mouse who likes to find a solution to a problem. Mid conversation, Wilbur had disappeared in search of his thermometer, and after comparing the temperature of Clemie’s nest to that of the mouse greenhouse, suggested to Clemie that he and I might look after her clutch whilst she took the afternoon off.
Kind as Wilbur’s offer was, we soon discovered egg sitting to be quite a boring task, so to while away the time and surprise Clemie on her return I suggested we spend the afternoon decorating Clemie’s offspring in readiness for Easter. Wilbur went for a delftware style, inspired by the china in the kitchens of the big house whilst I experimented with a more traditional folk art design.
Being delighted with the newly decorated eggs and as a thank you for our hard work, Gladstone and Palmerston treated us to an evening ride around the estate, which was all very pleasant and sedate until the pair simultaneously spotted a discarded cheese and pickle sandwich over by the compost heap. Without warning we found ourselves the unwilling participants in a high-speed sarnie race, eventually won by Wilbur who went flying headfirst into a mountainous dollop of chutney after Gladstone, who’s scared of snails, came screeching to an abrupt halt in the final furlong.
Clemie laughed so hard that one of her eggs started to crack. It’s looking like her brood will arrive in time for the Easter weekend and she’ll be back to her old cheery self once more.
Morris would like to wish all his readers a very Happy Easter, and if you don’t celebrate Easter then a very happy bank holiday weekend.
Morris would love to hear from you, so please feel free to hit the comments box. Morris will get back to you mouse style.
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