Once upon a time there was a little felted mouse named Matilda. Matilda was born and had lived her whole life in the Lakes Region of West Vermont . . . . a beautiful place to be sure . . . . and a place where many people want to live.
Matilda was a mouse with dreams. She loved to read books and often read about faraway places, places most mice could never dream of visiting. Matilda visited these places often in her imaginations and thought about what it would be like to go on such adventures.
Sometimes she would look in the mirror and picture herself standing in places where green rolling hills nestled between hedgerows filled with blackberries and where daring knights slayed dragons in great battles fought outside ancient ivy-covered stone castle walls . . . .
Where the sun rose and set on heather covered mountains . . . . turning purples and pinks into russets and golds that dazzled your eyes and made your heart beat faster . . .
There was much more to see than this . . . she would think as she gazed out upon her Vermont vista . . . more than maple covered hills and log cabins . . . and pristine lakes . . . and her soul was filled with sighs and a great longing for adventure . . .
And so she did what any self respecting Vermont Mouse who liked to cook would do . . . (Did I mention she liked to cook? Oh, she loved to cook!! Her Cheese Souffle's rose higher than anyone elses, and nobody could bake a cheese quiche worthy enough to rival her creations! Her cooking skills would put even a rat named Ratatouille's to shame!)
She searched low . . . and she searched high . . . for some way that she could escape and have the adventure of a mouse-lifetime. The perfect vehicle for such an adventure . . . a magic carpet of sorts . . .
And then she found it . . . the perfect vehicle for escape . . . a magic tea cup . . . and so . . . she packed up her trusty pinch spoon . . .
And popped the cup into a small wicker basket that she had lined with oodles of pink tissue paper and she closed the lid . . . . and she wished and she wished and she wished really hard . . . three times, because as every self respecting mouse who loves to cook and have adventures knows . . . three is the magic number.
And she held her breath and she waited . . . for what seemed like years, but was really only days . . . . and there were hours when she thought the journey would never end, days when she felt quite giddy and dizzy with all of the ups and the downs . . . and the to-ings and the fro-ings of such a journey . . . not to mention the excitement.
She could hardly contain herself, such was the excitement in her heart and then, with a thud and a bounce the journey was over and she could hear voices which matched her own giddiness and excitement, and she held her breath again as the lid to the wicker basket slowly creaked open . . .
She grabbed her pinch spoon and peeked her head up out of the basket. My My! Her little nose twitched with excitement and anticipation! Where was this new land?? Where had she arrived??? And she was greeted with squeals of delight and of joy!!! And hugged so tightly she could scarce breathe almost . . .
This was a land filled with
Low sloping Clocks that gonged . . . .
Tall ticking clocks with brass pendulums that swing this way and then swing that way . . .
Wooden clocks with antlers and tinkling tunes and wooden dancers and strange birds that jump out and go Cuckoo over and over again before bouncing back into their small wooden houses . . .
Tall glass reindeers and short fat cherubs . . . some even sleeping on feathers . . .
Short black dogs made of tin, with funny accents and smelling faintly of . . . her favourite short bread biscuits . . . .
Another black dog, with a warm wet nose, and a long wagging tail that wanted to nibble her ears with a hearty hello . . .
And two sets of warm, loving arms to greet her hello. One is tall and skinny and talks funny too . . . but the other is soft and round in an "I love to cook and eat" kind of way that only a mouse who also loves to cook and eat can understand. She has a voice that doesn't sound funny, but most familiar.
Her wee little cup had not fared well in the journey, but no mind . . . there was a larger more ample cup to make her feel welcome and quite at home . . . and tea pots wearing hats . . .
I think I'll like it here, she thought to herself, as she settled into the cup. I think I'll stay a while. Let the adventure begin. ☺
(My cousin Martha sent me this lovely handcrafted needlefelted mouse doll for my Birthday. Created in Vermont by a talented craftsperson named Lindsey Bowles, she landed on my doorstep right on my birthday. Impeccably and perfectly timed. Thank you dear cousin and Lindsey! I am delighted and can't wait to cook with Matilda! Everyone needs a whimsically inspiring cooking companion!)
Talk about something small and wonderful on a Monday. This is it!!
My heart is full.
In The English Kitchen today . . . . Apple and Blackberry Rice. Seriously simple and so delicious! You just have to try it!
Have a beautiful week filled with adventures, and an abundance of small and wonderful things, that is my wish for you. Don't forget along the way . . .
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And I do too!