Grumphy Pig Again
“Good morning!  Mr Grumphy Pig
“Tell me what you're doing there,
“And why you've got those straws and sticks
“All so twisted in your hair?
“Be off! and don't you bother me,
“I’m busy as can be!
“My satin coat is all to wash,
For I'm going out to tea!
“I’ve received an invitation “To the animals social
“You can help to make me pretty
“But you cannot go with me! 4
So Johnny’s got the clothes brush down,
That hangs on the high hat stand
He’s got his pail of water full
And a bar of monkey brand. 5
And he’s scrubbed old Mr Grumphy
Scrubbed him well with all his might,
Till his skin shines bright like satin,
That is much more pink than white. 6
“One thing troubles me! Said old Grumphy “Tell me if my tail’s all right,
“For I have a sad misgiving
“That it's not curled up quite tight! 7 So they've curled it in a circle
Cobbler waxed it firm and fast
Tied a knot of ribbon through it,
And old Grumphy’s dressed at last.
With his cane and fine new eyeglass
And a Xmas cracker frill
Mr Grumphy’s proudly stalking
Up the New Road to the hill


The Animals Soiree

To C.J. D-J                        Oct 1909


The moon like a yellow lanthorn,
Shone bright behind the trees,
When a distant sound of drumming
Was wafted on the breeze

I wondered who could drumming be

And followed up the sound
And when I reached the Flodden strips
The reason there I found.

Where the grass was smooth and shortest,
Were platforms made of sand.
Two hundred bunny rabbits there,
Drummed in the rabbit band.

The pigeons sat on the branches,
The owls sat on the walls,
And the pheasants sold the programmes,
To the weasels in the stalls.

And dogs, cats, mice, rats, badgers, gray -
Sat in a circle round.
And squeels, and grunts, and squeaks and snorts
Mixed with the drumming sound.

The drums went on increasingly
Young, old, fat, lean, good, bad.
Each rabbit did his level best

And drummed away like mad.

A prodigy owl was singing
In pinafore and curls
A ditty that was all made up
Of tremulae and twirls.

A weasel in a long tail coat
Spoke till he had no breath
Then choked, which was a mercy
He bored the beasts to death.

Then Reynard Fox, that gay M. C
Said "Weasel" Hold Enough!”
And handed petrol toddy round
Till all had quantum suff.

Then the fun was fast and furious,
Harder thumped the Bunny  Band,
Till the sweat ran off their whiskers
And fell pattering on the sand

The badger danced the can - can
The black pig from the sty
Kept on pirouetting wildly,
With an eyeglass in his eye.

When a turkey took hysterics
And fell down with a flop,

No one paid the least attention.
They danced too hard to stop

A hedgehog did the Highland fling
With straws stuck in his hair.
When the old cow soprano
It was more than I could bear!

So I crept off very softly,
In the moonlight down the hill,
As I listened on the doorstep,
Rabbit drums were beating still.

Now next autumn when ‘tis moonlight
You shall go with me to see
If the animals are holding
Their annual Grand Soiree.


Grumphy Pig
To C.J. D-J
Good morning Mr Grumphy Pig!
All so cosy in your sty”
You shake as if you were laughing
But a tear shines in your eye. 2
“Good morning Little Johnny Boy”
“I've laughed until I cry
“And that's the reason why you see
“A teardrop in my eye.” 3
My mistress brought my breakfast here And said” now eat all that, “And if you want to please me well
“Get quickly very fat! 4
“I eat it up and did not leave “Enough to feed a fly, “Then buried deep beneath the straw, “Lay sleeping in my sty.
I heard the rat folk talking near “Come here my children dear “We’ll get a right good breakfast here, “In old Carmugeons pen” 6
They clambered up the slippery trough, Ten hungry rats and lean.
The look upon their faces showed,
Their appetites were keen.
I laughed and laughed, t’was such a call, The ten rats run away
Said Mr Rat “Old Grumphybore “May eat us if we stay”! 8
I laughed and laughed until I cried And that's the reason why,
You saw a teardrop twinkling in
The corner of my eye. 9
“You might have left a tiny bit”
Said Johnny for the rat”.
“Not likely! Said old grumphy Pig
“Who wants a rat that's fat”!

THE HILL HONEY It was mid night!-A full moon sailed serenely in the sky and flooded with its light all the Hill as well as the "Big Hoose" at the foot of the Hill. The garden lay bathed in the moonlight, birds were all asleep and the few flowers that were awake were busy sipping dew. The yellow and red wall flowers made the air sweet with their scent and here and there a night flying moth rested on their sweet blossoms. The moon was beginning to feel bored, there was nothing interesting to be seen, and was meditating seriously pulling his fleecy white cloud quilt over himself and going to sleep. When,! suddenly! he sat up and peered over the side of his boat and all idea of going to bed vanished. He had seen something in the garden that very much interested him. A young West wind was flying round and round the house, blowing on all the blinds and then peering into the rooms. All the bedroom windows were open for the night was warm and the day had been baking hot more like mid summer than April. The blinds of the bow windowed bedroom waved with his breath and peering in he saw a dressing table with a lot of tortoiseshell boxes and brushes on it hairpins lying about, he turned away, this evidently wasn't the room he sought. Next he tried a window over the greenhouse, here he saw a safety razor lying and he stole away again. The next window was half the hidden with stems of Virginia creeper, he peered in over the window box. This dressing table had a small pair of military brushes on it and a photo of "Mummie" in a gold frame. This looked more like what he wanted and when he saw a small suit of tweed clothes folded neatly on a chair, he flew right into the room. There on the bed in the corner was the person he sought. The moon sailed down from the Dene where he had been resting on the tree tops and tried to peer into the room too. John was sound asleep, and dreaming, when the West wind blew gently on his face and whispered "Wake up! Wake up"!! and come with me! John rubbed his eyes and was turning over to sleep again when the West wind blew harder on his face and whispered louder in his ear Wake up! and come with me up to the Hill, the fairy folk are out! This was enough and John was wide awake and out of bed in a moment and in another had got into his clothes. Then out onto the windowsill where the West wind was waiting for him and jumping onto the back of his friend was quickly borne away over the big trees in the Dene to the Black Plantation. "Well! I never did! said the moon and sailed after them up to the Hill to see what they were going to do. The West wind put John down where the thick branches of an old fir tree made a comfortable chair for him and sat down beside him. The tree they were on hung over the wall near the hummel, and from where they sat they could see a large circle in the field, mown till the grass was smooth as green velvet. Sheep had fed on it all day by order of the fairy policeman. Quite a large crowd of fairy folk were gathered around the edge of the circle and every now and then the crowd was increased by new arrivals. Some came riding on mice, some on rats, some on rabbits or hares, these last seemed to be a kind of omnibus and carried quite a lot seated in two rows along their backs. The air was full of bats each with a couple of fairies on its back whilst like the rabbit and hare omnibuses, the owl airship sometimes had as many as 20 on board if it was a big barn owl or long eared owl. As soon as their load of fairies was landed in the field the various animals they had ridden or driven were led away and tethered in rows by the hummel wall. "What are they going to do? asked John. "It's a court martial,” whispered the West wind and they are going to sit on a dormouse. "What ever for? asked John and tried to picture to himself how they could all get room to sit on one dormouse. Hush! Said the West wind, "it has something to do with honey, but don't talk or they will run you out.” Just then they felt someone grinning behind them. You know the cosy comfy feeling a grin gives you, they turned round and here close behind them was the Moon, peering through the pine needles of the fir tree. The fairies were all gathered around the circle and no more seemed to be arriving. An arum lily was placed inside the circle with its stem stuck in the ground, (it must have come from the garden of the “Big Hoose”) and round this began to gather a curious lot of animals and fairies. Some had brought shooting sticks and camp stools but most just stood about. Presently a rat walked in to the circle, with a cracker paper surcoat on and after blowing on a box tree whistle read something that was written on a willow leaf he held in his paws.” “What's he saying"? said John “He's telling them to be silent for the King is coming" replied the W. wind. All was silence! except for a distant sound of grunting and sniffing which got nearer and nearer. The crowd of fairies looked round and there were Mr and Mrs Badger out for their evening walk and heading straight for the circle. The fairy policeman rushed at them shouting "Go away"! Move off! You can't come here." but it was no use, the badgers came steadily on. Then a crowd of fairies rushed at them, some tried to push them one way and some another as Mr Badger nosed and grunted himself in to the circle followed by Mrs Badger. "You must go away"! they shouted into his ear but it only tickled him and he sat down against the Arum Lily nearly on the top of it, and scratched his ear with a hind foot whilst Mrs Badger sniffed at the fairies near her and made them feel most uncomfortable. Matters were getting serious, for the King might come at any moment when a bright young weasel ran up to Mr Badger and shouted "The Quarry field wall is full of honey some bumbles have stored there and the Lanton badgers were busy digging it out and eating it as I passed just now.” "Hurry up"! or you'll be too late to get any! Off went Mr and Mrs Badger as hard as they could trot and once more the fairies stood in silence waiting for the King. A procession now appeared coming from the Young Plantation. First marched a lot of fairy policemen, who looked rather like newts and wore green and gold uniforms with bachelors buttons all down the front and all down the back and on odd places all round. They carried long thorns like those on Myrobilla plums. Next came a band of about 20 frogs some croaking a kind of tune and some playing on things like bagpipes made from boon tree whistles and the spotted bags of calreolarias (these must have come from the Big Hoose Garden). The noise was weird but martial and John remembered once hearing it before when he looked out of his open window in the middle of the night, coming from the direction of the tennis court and wondered if it was made by young owls being fed. After the band came the King, all in green and on his head a cap shaped like a mimulus flower. In his hand he carried a spear of what seemed like one of Grannie’s tortoiseshell knitting needles and on the top a small coral hand which John was sure used to be on Grannies dressing table but got lost and the Jack daws were suspected of having carried it away. After the king came a crowd of courtiers all dressed alike, they wore cloaks over one shoulder of scarlet poppy leaves and the rest of their suit was of overlapping butter cup leaves having the look of gold armour. They looked very gay and each carried under one arm a hat made of a red dog hip with the inside taken out and a sweeping guinea fowl feather at one side of the brim. You could have heard a pin drop as the king took his seat in the Arum Lily flower. The police formed a row in side the circle and the courtiers grouped themselves round the King. A little brass bell was hanging in the tree just where John was sitting and he thought it must have been left there since the time last Summer when all the schoolchildren had tea there because of Uncle Joe's wedding. Now a big spider ran up the branch and began beating it with a stick – and the Court Martial was opened. Down in the circle an extra large lizard policeman with a pea cock feather in his hat was reading from a book. John made out that the wild bees of the Black Plantation had lodged a complaint that the Dormouse had broken into their honey store and not only eaten the honey there but had used the store as his bedroom for the greater part of the Winter. When lately they went to get some honey having finished another store, they found the storeroom broken into, a hole in the roof and sounds of snores coming out of it. On going inside there was the Dormouse sound asleep and he refused to awake and the place was in a horrid mess of moss, acorns, and dead wood mixed with honey. Then they went and told the police to remove the thief. “Was the store yours”? asked the King turning to the Bee store keeper. "We hire it from Mrs Rabbit who lets lodgings" replied the Bee. "Call Mrs Rabbit"! "I will question her anon"! said the King in an aside to lizard – "Now, said the King tell me all about the honey". A fearful buzzing like bees swarming started and the air was thick with bees all telling the king. "Clear the Court!" shouted the king waving his sceptre over his head to keep the bees off. "Only the bee store keeper must speak." So the bees were ordered out of court and sat outside the circle doing their whiskers and hair for the rest of the trial. The bee Store keeper and his under store keeper were all who remained before the King. "Proceed! said the King "Your Majesty! said the largest and fattest of the bees. "All last Summer we gathered honey from the flowers especially from the heather blooms and worked hard all day filling out storerooms, so that in Winter when there is no honey on flowers we could still have honey for the hive, "Food hoarding" muttered the King Make a note of that"! How did you store it. "We put it in cells and sealed them up". Were they the kind of cell you got when you opened the store and found it empty with the Dormouse in it? asked the King. "Cell is short for cellar “your Majesty whispered the peacock feathered policeman. The bee looked puzzled and said “The cells were in the comb.” “Comb” said the King “whose comb?” “Ours, we made it of wax to store the honey in.” A comb of wax is no good for any purpose” said the King and turning to the policeman whispered “Note what he says, he is not a reliable witness!” We filled several stores with honey” continued the Bee “and then fastened them up and about September 1st we sealed up the store in Mrs Rabbit’s house.” It was quite full of honey, we built up the door and left it” ““In March this year having finished the honey in our other stores, Bill and Tom and I went to “Mrs Rabbit’s store to get some honey. We undid the door, but could not open it something was against it inside. Then we looked all round with Mrs Rabbit and in the flat above the store we found a large hole into the roof of the store. There was a strong smell of honey and warm and stuffy air came up from it and sounds of snoring. I went into the hole and found this big Dormouse asleep and a dreadful mess of acorns, moss, sticks and small stones all about stuck with honey to the Dormouse and all over the floor and in the middle of broken comb and half covered with honey was this Dormouse. It was a sickening sight. We tried to wake him but it was no good, he just grunted and hit out at us at us with a fore or hind leg. He got Bill on the jaw and upset him into the run honey and poor Bill is there still stuck fast, and drowned in honey. We then went to the police, they had a terrible job getting the Dormouse out and the police before they got a rope round him was stuck in the honey too and more and more had to be got to pull the others out. The store was about full of stuck police before finally they hoisted him out on to a burdock leaf and so dragged him off, still asleep but every now and then hitting out at the police "most vicious". I have not seen him since"! “When he was safe shut up police formed rows and we sent a regiment to gather up and store all the honey they could get off their clothes.” “But the Dormouse we dare not come near! “ and he had to be left with all the honey on him for although asleep he was vicious still and kicking out unexpectedly had brained several of our soldiers already.” “How much honey had he eaten” asked the King. “More than half of it Sire” said the Bee “his whiskers were dripping with it and what he didn't eat he destroyed.” “We bottled some of the honey again but it has a taste and smell of dormouse, which is most disagreeable and only in case of famine could our people eat it even then I fear it will make them sick.” “Stand aside,” said the King to the Bee and call Mrs Rabbit. After a little delay filled in by the bees whose buzzing again getting loud as they discussed the case had to be called to order. Mrs Rabbit was led into the circle on the arm of a policeman Mrs Rabbit held her hand over her heart as though it was palpitating and her ears twitching under her bonnet showed she was nervous. She had a gay flowered chintz dress on and a woolly crossover, a red and white check apron and had a black straw bonnet on her head. She was a fat, comfortable looking person. She carried her knitting and had a bunch of horsehair under her apron strings to stick her needles in. She knitted all the time and when she got agitated knitted the harder. “Are you the Mrs Rabbit who lets lodgings?” “I am” said she. “Where is Mr Rabbit”? asked the King. Mrs Rabbit raised a corner of her checked apron and dried her eyes on it and blew her nose and said "Tom’s dead." "When did he die" asked the King. "Last Autumn he went away and never came back" sobbed Mrs Rabbit. "But he may be alive still," said the King. Mrs Rabbit made some Reply but her sobs drowned her words. “What is she saying”, he asked a policeman. “Please your Majesty she says there is no doubt that a fox got him for she found his hind foot near fox earths and she knew it was his because it had a leather boot on . She had made him a pair out of a bit of leather she found near Watty Henderson’s The Sadlers”. “Poor Woman!” said the King. “Have you no family”! “All married and gone,” said Mrs Rabbit. “You let lodgings continued the King. "Where is your house?”Over there! and the rabbit pointed to the tree in which John was sitting, but he cowered down in the branches and although every eye was turned to it, no one saw him – for at the same moment the W. wind blew in their faces and made them blink. "How many lodgers have you" asked the King "tell me all about them"! Mrs Rabbit dried her eyes, for she liked talking, and began to knit hard. She said "At the very top of the house live Mr and Mrs Wood Pigeon they are decent folk but a little noisy. Under them live two owls but they had notice to quit for they are dirty in their habits and drop feathers and fur balls down on to my front door step, and a dirty door step is the thing I cannot abide. Two squirrels have the next flat and a nice tidy couple they are and their house furnished most beautifully with moss – quite a picture. Under their rooms is a small store where they have acorns and beech mast arranged on shelves and next door is a tiny room generally unlet but last Autumn a fat dormouse who seemed very sleepy time came and begged for it so I let him have it. He shut himself in and I saw so no more of him till the bees came and brought the police. On the ground is a store room I have long let to a colony of bees as a honey store. My own rooms are down a steep passage under the tree and my front door with “Mary Rabbit” on a brass plate on it you will find between the two big roots of the tree also “LODGINGS TO LET “on a board halfway up the trunk. “Then the dormouse had deliberately dug a hole through the floor of his room to get at the honey” said the King. “I can't think” said Mrs Rabbit – "such a quiet nice gentleman as the dormouse was, would do such a thing. I think he must have fallen through the floor and some of the squirrel’s moss and nuts must have gone with him. It was always a shaky floor. I dare not walk on it, “said she drawing her ? figure up to its greatest height. “I'm sure I’ve many a time felt the whole floor shake when that big spotted wood pecker gets hunting in the back of the tree.” “Nonsense” said the King, "the dormouse took the rooms with the intention of stealing the honey which is proved for he was covered with honey and fat from feeding all Winter on it". "So be it," said Mrs Rabbit and walked off to her house and in by the door that had MARY RABBIT on it "but he was a nice quiet gentleman," she added “and no trouble to anyone – I'll say that for him." "Bring the prisoner" ordered the King, and silence fell on the crowd. But they waited and waited but no prisoner came and those who had brought sandwiches eat them whilst the King had some honey dew brought to him in a large King cup. Still no prisoner appeared and the big spider was ordered to again ring the bell in the fir tree. This had the desired effect for presently a large barred door that was fixed across the mouth of a big rabbit hole opened and the policemen and their prisoner emerged. The prisoner was a most woe begone looking little dormouse, very sleepy, very sticky and about like big caddis fly grub so covered was he with little bit of sticks, moss, acorns and earth. On one side of his honey smeared little head a small yellow toad stool had got stuck looking like a much too small cricket cap and gave him a pitifully rakish appearance. His chin was sunk on his chest for he was more than half asleep – and a tall policeman on each side of him led him along by his ears which they gripped with tongs like those you sometimes get in chocolate boxes. Behind him came three policemen armed with long thorns with which they kept pricking him for the double purpose of keeping him awake and making him keep moving on. He was at last forced in front of the King and here showed signs of curling up and going to sleep but a more vicious prick than usual made him kick out a hind leg suddenly and caught a policeman on the side of his head and laid him out unconscious on the ground. The other policemen and some of the crowd ran for stretchers and water and heather beer, the water to pour over him and the beer to revive him inside. In the end he was got onto a stretcher and borne off to Dr Mole’s house down by the alder tree. All this time the prisoner was curled up in a ball and lay with his tail round his head fast asleep. "Wake up the prisoner"! called out the King and two policemen with peacock feathers in their hats unwound the prisoner and pulled and pinched him into a standing position with the aid of the tongs. "Ask him" said the King "if he is guilty? or not guilty"? but the prisoner didn't answer but stood with shut eyes sound asleep. Then the King got angry and asked what use the police thought they were if they could not even wake up a prisoner so they tweaked and prodded him with renewed zest and the dormouse opened his eyes. "Are you guilty or not guilty?” shouted the King at him, the dormouse was heard to mutter something. "What's he saying" asked the king. It sounded like "I didn't go for to do it your Majesty” said a policeman. "Didn't – go – for–to – do – it” repeated the king slowly "what does he mean by that?” “I don't know” said the policeman “but that is what he said.” "Ask him again. Why bless my soul "shouted the King “you've let him go to sleep again. Can't you keep the prisoner awake for five minutes at a time" "Wake him up again." So he was prodded awake once more at least he opened his eyes. "Now ask him if he eat the honey?" A sleepy murmur was all the answer from the dormouse "What's he saying” asked the King "Just the same thing, I didn't go for to do it replied the policeman. Didn't – go – for–to – do it” repeated the King “but he did go for he was there" and he’s covered with honey now so he must have eaten it”. “He did eat the honey didn't he?” said the King turning to the Bee storekeeper. "Certainly"! Said the storekeeper, he couldn't keep eating it for he was up to the eyes in honey when we found him” "If there is any doubt" said the King turning to a policeman "smell his breath." The policeman seemed reluctant to do this but on the King shouting angrily at him "Do you hear smell his breath!" after telling Tom or Jack to hang onto his paws he gingerly leant forward and smelt the dormouse’s mouth. "His breath is simply reeking horrid of honey, your majesty." Just as I thought said the King. "The prisoner is Guilty and I sentence him to be banished for life to the Ford Woods beyond Till"! Signing to a page he ordered him to phone for the motor van to be waiting at the Stick Quarry in ten minutes time, and to another page to saddle one of the royal dragon flies and warn the Royal Boatmen to be in waiting with a large strong boat at the Washing Pool in 20 minutes time to ferry him across the river. Then the prisoner was led and poked and pricked in the direction of the Stick Quarry. The fairies got their various steeds saddled and harnessed and went home to bed. "I am going to see what happens to the mouse” said John beginning to climb down the tree but the West wind caught him in his arms and they flew together to the Stick Quarry. Here to John’s great surprise he found his engine and truck, the one his Uncle Francis gave him, waiting with steam up. The prisoner was pushed and pricked into it and the engine started down the New Road followed by the West wind and John. The Dormouse was curled up fast asleep in the truck. The bumping seeing dreadful and the little engine nearly upset several times as it went at express speed over the rough parts of the road and also at the Saddle Room Corner – past the cottages it went across the main road and through the fields to the Till. There it came to a stop where the grassy spit runs out into the river at the Washing Pool. Under this bank was a boat made from a big bit of bark and on it were seated two frogs gazing at the sky and grasping a large oar in each hand. Into this boat with much trouble the sleeping dormouse was dropped and the little engine steamed back to the house in the Stick Quarry. The Dormouse lay curled up like a ball on the bit of bark whilst the frogs toiled at the oars, for they were bad rowers and the Till was in flood. "Bertie!” called out one frog to the other – "Shall us"? "Yes let's"! replied Rowley– so they stopped rowing got both to one side of the dormouse and tipped him over into the river turned the boat and went home to breakfast. The plunge into the cold dark water banished the dormouse’s sleep entirely and when he rose to the top he started swimming with a will, but what could a little dormouse do against the stream of the Till in flood. He was swept away down the river as if he had only been a willow leaf. "Oh! Don't let him drown. Do! do something" cried John in an agony to the West wind. "I'll do what I can but I can do nothing really but blow you know! I'll try to blow him towards the far bank. The poor little dormouse was already nearly exhausted and they could just see now and then his nose and the top of his sleek head appear above the waters – his little toad stool cap had been washed away and was now swirling round and round in an eddy over a submerged tree root. The West wind blew all he could but the extra waves his breath made only served to overwhelm the dormouse still more. On he was swept in the stream and there seemed no hope for him as he was half drowned already. Luckily at Soapwort corner there was a big fir tree lying in the stream with still a root or two holding on to the Food bank. Into its branches the little dormouse was swept and had just enough life left in him to hang on to them and climb up out of the water and lie down exhausted on the trunk and he was safe for a little while at any rate. "He is alright for the present" whispered the West wind to John "and I am going to carry you back to bed before anyone wakes up at the Big Hoose and discovers you are not in bed." So he flew to the Virginian creeper covered window and deposited John inside – promising however to go back to see what the dormouse was doing and come back and tell him. Just as John was dropping off to sleep he heard his window blind blowing into his room and the West wind sat down on his bed. "Don't worry any more about the Dormouse he is quite alright" but John sat up in bed and would hear all there was to tell about him. When The West wind returned to the river he found the dormouse running up and down the river bank crying bitterly and wringing his paws in despair, now and then he would run down to the waters edge as if going to brave the flood and swim across to the Milfield side but the water looked too dark and angry and he dare not venture to put more than his toes in. Ever to get to his beloved Hill again seemed hopeless. The West wind was very sorry for him but could do nothing but blow softly on him and help to dry him, his coat which with its long swim was now clean and free from the honey and only needed drying to be nice and silky. Tired with running up and down the little dormouse sat down amongst the Soapwort on a little trunk of wood and gazing up at the Hill sobbed bitterly and broken heartedly still – he would never never, he felt see his beloved Black Plantation again and what was a little dormouse to do, all alone in the big world of the Ford woods, here he gave one or two heartbreaking sobs. "Shut up!” a gruff voice shouted "Stop making that noise" the dormouse looked all round but could not make out where the voice came from, but the West wind knew. It had seen a little lattice window open above where the dormouse sat and a hairy face with long whiskers and a red and white night cap perched between the ears, gaze down to see who was sobbing. After the shouting the dormouse got up and looked about him and found he was close to a tunnel of Soapwort stems tied together at the top and at the other end of the little tunnel was someone's little front door. It had a knocker fixed to it and a brass plate on which was engraved "Timothy Water Rat Esq.” Water-Rat with a hyphen. He had just spelt out the name when there was a rattling of a chain at the other side of the door and sounds of the turning of a big key, the door slowly opened and Timothy Water-Rat Esq himself appeared. It was a queer object that the Dormouse saw and not a very reassuring one and had there been any where to run and hide he would no doubt have done so, but the house was so near the river there seemed no where to run to and he dare not go into the river again. Timothy Water-Rat Esq was dressed in an old pair of grey tweed trousers, the braces of which hung in festoons on each side, and his white starched shirt had evidently been hurriedly put on the top – he wore a red and white striped night cap with a red tassel dangling over one ear and on his feet a pair of wool worked slippers with Lily of the Valley worked on the toes. He looked very hairy and had eyes like black boot buttons and spoke in a very fierce voice but was really a kind hearted old soul. "What do you mean by making that abominable noise outside my window, how do you expect anyone to sleep with that going on"? "What's the matter with you anyway"? Can’t you speak? said the rat as the dormouse stood sobbing in front of him. At last through his sobs he managed to say "They have banished me from the Big Plantation on the Hill they said I had stolen and eaten the wild bees honey." "That's what all the fuss is about" said the rat. "You're in luck that's what you are, this is a far better place than the Big Plantation. There ‘s no water there” continued the rat. The fact of having a river near didn't somehow appeal to the dormouse who sobbed "I’ve no friends here and I'll never see my home again. Boo Hoo”!!! "Come be a man and make the best of it, "never" is a long word". “Folks are often glad to be clear of their friends and relations for a bit – it does them good to see the world.” The dormouse however kept on the sobbing. "Stop that noise at once"! said the rat angrily as the dormouse gave an extra loud sniff, or I'll throw you into the river and it's flooded and you’ll find there are worse places to be in than the Ford woods." So the Dormouse dried his eyes quickly with his tail and stopped his sobs. "What's "your trade" asked the rat. “Please sir I am a paper hanger." "Well if you want a job you can paper my smoking room for me it has got dirty with the chimney smoking last winter from the Jack daws dropping sticks into it. As you will not be sleeping much now till Autumn you can then Spring Clean the rest of my house till you can look about and make a home for yourself but remember he added no more sobbing or out into the water you go! Now that you have thoroughly wakened me up, you can fill a pail with water and bring it to my kitchen door and then get breakfast ready whilst I get dressed and shaved". The rat went into his house and appeared again in a minute carrying a small pail like those gaily painted ones you can buy for 1d at the seaside. Giving it to the dormouse he pointed out where three steps lead down the sand bank to the waters edge. Then telling the dormouse to look sharp and remember at the first sob into the river he would be thrown, he retired into his house muttering to himself – "Honey! honey! Fools not to know that dormice don't eat honey!” The dormouse took the gaily painted pail, filled it with water, carried it up the steps carefully, and in by the door that had "Timothy Water – Rat Esq" on it and shut it behind him - and that was the last the West wind saw for he hurried away to tell John what had happened. "You are sure he would be kind to the dormouse”? asked John. “Quite!” said the West wind, everyone knows Timothy Water - Rat is a kind old soul. And here ends the tail of The Dormouse and the Hill Honey. Some day perhaps I'll tell you how the dormouse got back to the hill and eventually became a captain in the Kings Body guard and had many honours heaped upon him. THE END

Mr Tait

To C.J. D-J.


Wee Johhnys running shouting

“Wait for me Mr Tait

“What have you in your buckets

“That makes them such a weight


“There are scraps from the kitchen,

“They’ve given me such a lot,

“I’m going to the stackyard

“To boil them in the pot.”


“I’ll boil them in the big pot

“With meal and water mix

“Then throw them out in handfuls

As dinner for the chicks.”



to C.J.D.G.



"Rain drops, rain drops.
Running down the pane
Do stop! do stop!


 Let me out again!
I've played at being horses
I've played at keeping shop
I've nothing else to play at
So please dear rain drops stop!


The peartree leaves are dripping
A blackie that I know
Is sheltering by the yew hedge
He wants the rain to go.


The butterflys are hidden
The flowers are draggled too
And Rumble Burn is calling
So stop dear Raindrops do!



On a wet day in 1909

Christian Margaret Grey's poems and stories for children. Written for her first grandson Cuthbert John (John) Dixon- Johnson the son of her daughter Christian Elfreda (Freddie). John was one in 1909.










Further Adventures of the Dormouse or "Why the cow, and the rabbit, and the old Kangaroo Came marching down the Hill.”

You remember how in a former tale I told you about the dormouse getting into trouble over some heather honey stores on the Hill. How he was tried by the fairy King and by him found guilty of breaking into them and was banished to the Ford Woods. How old Timothy Water – Rat took him as his servant and how he lived comfortably with him in his house at Soapwort Corner. It was now Autumn, the Soapwort flowers were all withered and the beech tree leaves beginning to turn red and the Dormouse was beginning to feel sleepy. It was harder work in the mornings to awaken in time to get the house cleaned and old Mr Water Rats breakfast ready than it had been during the Summer. He also got very sleepy early in the Evening and once or twice had dropped off to sleep during the day, so the Dormouse knew his sleepy time was coming on and he ought to be seeking a cosy place to curl up in for his long winter sleep and also ought to be laying up a supply to eat when he was beginning to wake up in Spring. So he went to Mr Water Rat and told him that he must leave his service and seek a place where he could spend the Winter in safety. Mr Water - Rat was sorry to lose so good and quiet a servant but there was no help for it, but he asked the Dormouse to remain with him as long as he could. He also asked where he thought of going to make his nest and was astonished when he said he wanted to go to the garden of the Big Hoose. "But you were banished from that side of the river. Is there no chance that the fairies will find you there and punish you for disobeying the order of the Court"? he asked. "If I can only get across the river and up to the garden I shall be quite safe!" said he, "for there is a deadly feud between the Hill fairies and the garden fairies and once in the garden I am quite safe!! No Hill fairy dare venture into the garden and no garden fairy dare venture out without risk of being caught by the Hill Guards." "Well!” said the Rat "So be it and when you are ready I'll take you across Till." So the Dormouse remained in Soapwort Cottage as long as he dared. One day however he slept nearly all day so that evening he told Mr Water Rat that he must seek his Winter nest at once. Now Mr Water – Rat had a meeting to attend next morning at the Boats Harbour in Moorland Square and said that if he would be ready on Soapwort Pier at 10 o'clock sharp he would take him across the river on his back. Next morning at 10 A.M. punctually the dormouse was all ready – waiting. He was dressed in his every day clothes in case he got wet crossing the river but had his other suit neatly folded up in a red pocket handkerchief and carried it slung on a gubbie stick over his shoulder. He wore a brown linen smock frock with a leather band round his waist and a buffalo Bill hat and a red tie and putties and looked very neat. His other clothes of which he was very very proud, he had lately bought at the General Stores at Cat Corner, they consisted of a red coat, breeches and stockings and a purple tam – o – shanter and they were really very smart indeed and the Dormouse was justly proud of them. Old Mr Water – Rat came hurrying along presently and called to the Dormouse to jump on his back, to sit well up on his head but on no account to tickle his ears, for if he did the rat would have to dive as he could not bear being tickled. The Dormouse sat very quietly on Mr Water – Rats head his bundle of best clothes on his knee and took great care not to tickle Mr Water – Rat for after his experience of swimming in Till once before he did not want to risk having a repetition of it. Mr Water - Rat landed by the boats and the Dormouse with his other clothes in his arms jumped off his back and after saying "Goodbye", kind Mr Water – Rat dived under the bank and was gone!. The Dormouse felt sad to say goodbye to his friend but it could not be helped so brushing away a tear he began to examine his other clothes to see if they had got wet. Finding the Tam – o – shanter a little damp, possibly from the tear, he laid it out in the sun to dry. The warm sun and the rippling of the water however soon made him feel drowsy and he dare not sleep there as it was too much in the open. Looking about for a safer place he decided to make for the tumble down wall with the old hedge trees that formed the boundary between the field he was in and the next. Shouldering his bundle of best clothes he made a rush across the bit of grass to the safety of the wall and creeping into a hole there was soon fast asleep with his head pillowed on his bundle of other clothes! When he awakened, he peeped out of his hole and, was surprised to find he had slept so long that it was moon light and feeling afraid if he did not make haste he might have to curl up for his Winter sleep before he got into the Kingdom of his friends The Flower Fairies shouldering his other clothes he set off. The moon was big and bright but the brighter the moon the darker the shadows and every tussock of grass has a dark shadow behind it. The Dormouse sheltered in these shadows and often peering out all round took a quick run to the next tussock of grass and so on down the hedgeside. Once when rushing from one shadow to the next he found himself almost butting into something soft and warm. His heart nearly stopped beating with fright as he swerved to the shelter of a big stone and sat down panting behind it. He need not have been so scared for it was only a rabbit who was just as scared as he was but it might have been a weasel or a cat, or anything that would like a Dormouse for supper. He had now reached the little bridle gate in the corner of the field and creeping under it found himself in the field next the main road, which had rows of stooks and standing in it. He sat down at the foot of one and untying his bundle hunted amongst his other clothes till he found a crust of bread he had put by from his breakfast and a few acorns. He had just nibbled a bit of bread and was eating an acorn for dessert when a black shadow fell over where he was sitting and he had just time to creep right inside one of the shieves when a big owl pounced down to where he had been. Quietly he crept up and up the straw till he was right in the middle of the stook where the string goes round and there he sat and trembled. It was a long time before he dared to look out even. When he did all was quiet and no sign of the big owl. Except that his "other clothes" were scattered about and the crust of bread gone. Creeping carefully out he gathered them up quickly inside the stook folded them up again tidily and together with the remaining acorns tied them into a bundle ready for continuing his journey in the morning and creeping up into the middle of a sheaf was soon fast asleep. He was awakened by the sun shining into his face and found it must be near mid - day so eating some barley corns for breakfast he started off again on his journey. All was quiet in the field and he got on fast and was soon through the gate and on to the side of the Main Road. Here it was necessary to be careful for cars rushed along it, people with dogs might be on it or some bird of prey watching from either hedge. He took cover in a clump of dockens that grew close to the edge of the dusty road and as soon as the road both ways seemed clear of traffic he took his courage in both hands and scurried across to the other side and sat down in the hedge root to regain his breath for he had run across as quickly as he could. Here a big toad saw him and came and sat down beside him but the Dormouse was not very sure of his intentions as he saw his eyes fixed on his “other clothes” for the bundle lay at his feet. So picking it up he hurried up a turnip drill, for this field was planted with turnips. It was pleasant and cool under the turnip leaves but soon he began to get sleepy so choosing a turnip top where a broken leaf bent over and made a nice little sheltered bedroom he hauled up his other clothes over the bulge of the turnip and pillowing his head on them nibbled am acorn and was soon sound asleep. Next morning he climbed to the top of the tallest leaf near to see if he was heading in the right direction and found by following the turnip drills he was heading away from the drive gates of the Big Hoose. So he started off across the drills shouldering his gibby stick and singing a little song to himself for he felt happy as he was getting near to safety now. By mid – day he was across the road and into the drive. Here he travelled up one side under the over hanging ivy and so felt pretty safe – but he was getting very sleepy so he hurried on as fast as he could sometimes running little bits. He was half way up the drive when something pounced on him – he managed to jump in amongst the thick ivy but his bundle of “other clothes” was clawed off his stick. He dare not stop but ran on, he had had a dreadful fright and been nearly caught. At the top turn of the drive after listening and hearing nothing he ventured to look out from the ivy and saw, down the drive a black kitten tossing his “other clothes" up in the air and catching them. His beautiful red coat and the blue breeches to be treated like that and the purple tammy would be all muddy and spoilt and he had taken such care of them. Two big tears rolled down his hairy cheeks but he had to hurry on for he would not be safe till he was through the yew hedge path into the garden besides he was so dreadfully sleepy. Now granny who lived in the Big Hoose happened to be in the garden and saw something moving amongst the ivy that partly covered the sundial. She stooped down and found and lifted up a very sleepy little Dormouse. "Little Dormouse!" she said, "you should be in your nest, it's not safe to sleep here, a cat might come past and find you!!" but he only murmured something about "Ford woods – Flower Fairies" and also about "best clothes and drive". She put him down on the seat in the summer house and told him to lie there till she came back for she knew of a hole that would just suit him to sleep in and would go and see if it was all right then he could go into it and curl himself up in it for the Winter. Whether he understood or not she didn't know for he made himself into a little ball and lay where she put him. She hurried off to a hole she knew of in one of the garden walls. It was just the place for the Dormouse, a couple of tits had lived in it all Summer so it was quite aired. She got some nice drive moss from the potting shed and lined it comfortably then gathered some acorns, dog hips, and corn ears and put them in and then went for the Dormouse. He was still lying like a little ball of fur fast asleep. She picked him up gently and put him into the moss lined hole and put a stone at the door so no big paw could get in to claw him and yet he could get out if he wanted to, and so left him still sound asleep. Then she thought of what he had murmured. "Ford Woods. Flower Fairies" and thought I believe it is the Dormouse the fairies told me of who was banished to the Ford Woods. She also understood why he would come to the garden for she knew all about the Fairy Feud. She also remembered what he had said about the drive and the "best clothes" and went down there to look for them and sure enough there was a little red coat, very muddy lying in the middle of the drive. Later she found a little pair of blue breeches ?hauked up in a rose bush and after another long hunt came on a purple tam – o - shanter under the ivy and not far from it the red hanky and the gibby stick. She took "the other clothes" into the "Big Hoose", brushed the mud off them and mended a tare in the breeches made by the cats claws. Folding then into a neat parcel and after labelling it "MR DORMOUSE" locked at them away in a corner of one of her desk drawers. Next day she went to look at the hole where she had put the dormouse. Nothing seemed to have been moved and stooping down to listen she heard little snores coming out of it. So she knew the Dormouse was fairly off for his winter sleep.

Chap II The Fairy Feud

I must now tell you some particulars of the Fairy Feud. You have heard me mention so much of this story has to do with the consequences of this feud and warfare. Long long ago there was no Big Hoose or garden and all the Hill from Crookhouse boundary to the river belonged to the Silver Moonbeam fairies whose King has his palace near the Black Plantation. After the Big Hoose was finished being built a garden was made and walled in at one side of it and inside this wall strange foreign flowers with their strange foreign fairies came to live. The Hill fairies did not like this bit of their land being taken from them to be colonised with foreigners but said nothing much about it for those who lived in the big Hoose were always great friends with the Hill fairies and loved the hill as much as the fairies did. Time passed on and the foreign Flowers fairies increased so in numbers in the Garden that they began to look out for fresh ground outside the garden where they could plant colonies of their inhabitants – there the trouble began. A large party of roses settled themselves outside the garden wall, fenced themselves round and called themselves a Rose Garden. The Hill fairies were very cross and did all they could to annoy them and stop any tendency towards spreading their wings further. They sent their soldiers down from the Hill laden with bags of nettle seed. Robin – run the hedge and thistle seed and sowed the Rose Garden thickly with them and when all the seed they had planted grew as it is mostly did it nearly choked roses for the Great War was on and there was no one left to dutch hoe or weed the rose colony. Next little colonies of flowers from the Perennial Border came out from the garden to settle the paths in the Tennis Wood. These the Hill fairies took care either died or took the oath allegiance to the Hill Fairies King and so became wildflowers. The same thing happened round the pond. Great clumps of perennials planted there either died or became puny and wild. Needless to say the Garden fairies were very angry at such treatment and if a wild flower ever appeared in the Garden it was at once pulled up and thrown out and eventually burnt on the rubbish heap. Things went on like this for some time – the Garden fairies getting more and more crowded and uncomfortable and yet not daring to venture out side the Garden Wall for fear of the Hill fairies. It' got unbearable to the Flower Fairies and they determined to take vengeance on the Hill fairies and having done so to bargain with them to have more land. So after a large meeting it was decided that the worst thing they could do to the Hill fairies was to steal their beloved Fairy Queen from them and refuse to give her up till more land was granted to them in which to plant colonies. The plan how to carry her off was made and all bound over to the greatest secrecy. It was decided that the best time would be on the evening of the Great ball, which the Moonbeam Fairies were to give in honour of a visit from the young Heather King of Yeavering. He had been for a tour round the world and was returning to his own Kingdom to reign being now of age. They were to dress some of their own fairies in the green livery of the Moonbeam fairies and mixing with the Palace servants wait their chance and carry off Queen Dewdrop. We shall hear presently how they succeeded in their cruel plan. The night of the Fairy ball arrived. All had been excitement and bustle in and about the Palace of the Silver Moonbeam fairies for they wished to do every honour to the young Heather King their near neighbour. Earlier in the evening he had arrived in his aeroplane heralded by a flight of black cock and attended by his grouse guards. Now the ball was in full swing. A thin silver moon shone over the palace and did not cast much light on the Hill but the stars twinkled clear in the rather frosty air. The palace was bright with glow worm lights, every tower and terrace and pathway in the garden was outlined with glow worms, and their lights in their soft beauty shamed the shaded electric lights that shone from the great ballroom windows of the Palace. The Royal band played dance music that made everyone feel they must dance. Fairies were there from all over the Hill in lovely dresses of colours more beautiful than those worn by the rainbow and pages and footmen glided about with refreshments of King cups filled with honey or in the dining hall prepared supper which was to be at 12 o'clock. The most beautiful and admired there was the beloved Queen – fairy Dewdrop - in her dress of moonbeams and her fair hair crowned with a wreath of Rumble Barn daisies (I told you before a story of the Rumble Barn daisies and how and why she always wears a wreath of them on her head on all state okay occasions.) Out side in the shadow of the garden was a group of what looked like royal footmen for they were dressed in the royal livery of green and bachelors buttons - with them was a rickshaw and over this a long green filmy scarf was laid. Watching for a chance when the King had left the ball room, a page in royal livery stole quietly up to the Queen where she was talking to the Heather King and bowing said "May it please your Majesty – his Majesty sent me to say he desires to speak with you quietly, he is in the pavilion in the Garden". The Queen fearing something was wrong seized a gauzy green scarf the page held to her and threw it over her head telling him to lead the way. He led her down the path to the Pavilion and there where the paths divide at the side she felt herself suddenly seized from behind, the scarf drawn tightly over her head so she could neither see nor make any noise and she herself being lifted and then carried hurriedly away. She heard the gate leading from the garden close quietly, she felt herself lifted on to the seat of some kind of carriage the scarf tied tightly over her and then that she was wheeled swiftly away – she did not know in which direction nor could she call for help the gauze scarf was too tightly fastened over her mouth. So the Queen was stolen! A little while later she was missed from the ball room – someone had seen her go into the garden, the Heather King amongst other saw her go but the page who came for her could not be found. No page had carried any message to her. A search was made of every room in the Palace and of every path in the garden, but no Queen could be found – foot prints, but not the Queens were traced to a garden door but not beyond for the grass was short all round the garden and no footprints could show on it. Then the soldiers were called out and soon search parties were all over the Hill and for a week they never stopped scouring the Hill and all neighbouring hills for any trace of the Queen - or for anyone who had seen her. No clue of any kind could be found as to her whereabouts. The search parties came home, they had been every where and could hear nothing of Queen Dewdrop, and the King settled down to wait in a state of grief and melancholy for some word of his beloveds Queen. Where all had been so gay now everyone walked about sadly and mourned for their Queen who had been so cruelly stolen from them.

Chap III

"The Cow and the Rabbit and the old Kangaroo “Came marching down the Hill “They said that the Queen to the King was true “But had vanished against her will “And where she had gone to no body knew “But the Cow and the Rabbits and the old Kangaroo (Old Fairytale )

Now you all know “The Black Plantation” well for you have all had tea up there in Summer and after tea have played at tig over the big trunks of the fallen Scotch firs and tripped over their branches after the trunks have been taken to the saw bench in the Stackyard and stumbled into the holes left by their roots which are now covered with ling and bell heather. You also know the plantation of young firs growing on a clearing in the big plantation. These young trees grow so close together that you have to push hard to get in amongst them and then it is only at the edge of the planting. They seem to push you out as hard as you push in and their twigs get fast in your hair and they pull your hat off and the pine needles scratch you and get down your neck and altogether it is so disagreeable that you say, “It isn't worth while pushing my way through here, it will be quicker to go round about and so you go round the young plantation. You never dream it is the fairies who are preventing you going through – that it is! For they have ordered the trees to allow no one to pass through the young wood. If you could push your way in, which you can't, but if you could you would probably find nothing inside but trees and more trees for the fairies on guard would lead you where there was nothing else to see. But if they allowed you to go right into the middle (which they won't do) you would come to an open space amongst the trees where the grass is smooth like green velvet. In this place you would see a little house made of intertwined branches and thatched with moss and if you peered in at the door you would see a three beds made up of bracken and heather and soft green moss. There would be a big bed, a smaller bed and a very small bed. All sidy by sidy. It isn't the 3 bears who live there so you are quite wrong! The big bed is much bigger than the biggest bears bed. Outside the house there is a slanting passage leads down into the earth. If you follow it you will find you are in a subterranean passage and if you follow on you will come to a thick moss curtain and if you push it aside you will find you are coming out by a door that opens onto that thick mossy bank at the edge of the Big Plantation. The moss curtain will fall closed behind you and try as you may you will not be able to find the road in again. You will wonder who lives in this little house well - three friends live there together under the protection of the fairies. It is the sleeping place of the Cow and the Rabbit and the old Kangaroo. How they became such friends and where they first met I know not but perhaps the fairies may tell me someday how it was or they themselves may some evening when I am on the Hill in the dusk and they come out to feed, tell me their history. On the evening of the Great ball that the Moonbeam fairies gave to the Heather King these three friends had been out feeding near the Quarry. About midnight, on their way to bed, as they got near the end of their passage they paused to listen to the band that was playing so gaily in the Palace ball room – and to admire all the bright lights that outlined every tower and pinicle of the Fairy Palace. They seated themselves on the rail in the shadow cast by the big hedge trees and listened. They had been about half an hour there when they noticed a group of people running quickly in their direction. They sat quite still in the shadow and presently saw some men in the Royal livery running as hard as they could and pulling a light rickshaw in which was someone all covered up so they couldn't make out who it was. Just as the rickshaw flashed past them, a voice called out "Help! Help! for the Queen!” It was the Queen being stolen! At that moment the scarf had loosened slightly from the Queens mouth and seeing the three figures she managed to shout to them before the veil was tightly drawn over her face again – and the rickshaw hurried off in the direction of the quarry and the New Road. The three friends looked at each other in surprise, they were slow thinking people. Then the Cow said "it's the Queens voice!" and the Kangaroo said "someone’s taking her away against her will!" and the rabbit said "let's stop them taking her away"! The rickshaw was nearly out of sight and travelling quickly when the three jumped off the rail and before they got any where near it, it had reached the top of the New Road. The rickshaw runners took no notice of the Cow and the Rabbit and the old Kangaroo, they could keep out of their reach easily. “We must do something to frighten them,” said the Cow. "Let's make a noise like a regiment of soldiers marching" said the Rabbit “ and they may take fright when they think the soldiers are here and leave the rickshaw and run away.” So the three friends started to make a great stamping noise like a regiment marching and also made a noise like a band playing and so the Cow and the Rabbit and the old Kangaroo came marching down the Hill, but the rickshaw guards only looked over their shoulders and seeing it was only the C and the R and the old K hurried on. This isn't going to answer said the cow. "We’ll pretend we are mad and go after them like mad things." So they hurried on as near as they could whilst twining straws round their ears. It was now getting near the sheep houses so yelling and skrieking and going through all sorts of antics like very mad animals they don't madly down the Hill. The rickshaw went faster and faster and faster and faster danced the three animals and galloped and howled after it. It' turned into the Paddock and the Kangaroo was just about touching it when------- it vanished------- at the wall into the Rabbit House Wood. The three animals looked at each other in amazement for the rickshaw was gone they climbed over the wall but saw nothing at the other side but a streak of grey mist rising from the ground and melt away in the branches of one of the trees. They wandered round the garden and house but no trace of any rickshaw or of the Queen could they find. Then they silently returned up the Hill and to bed in their little house. "Someone's stolen the Queen." said the Cow sadly as she lay down on her bed. "I'm afraid they have" said the Rabbit shaking its ears solemnly. "There’s no doubt about it," said the Kangaroo. “I don't know where they have put her” and each sighed in turn. Soon they were all sound asleep for they were tired after their long run also after being a regiment of soldiers and after pretending they were mad, for it is very tiring work. and if you try being a regiment of soldiers with a regimental band when you are only three – you will know it. End of volume II To be continued perhaps!!

Next morning at dawn they awoke and each had that horrid feeling of ‘something’ on their conscience. At first they didn't realise what the weight was on their mind but soon they remembered. "The Queen is stolen,!! Someone must tell the King she was taken to the Rabbit House Wood” but who was to do it was the question. "Cow is the person she is the biggest" suggested the rabbit. "No" said the cow "I am far too shy. I couldn't do it." The Kangaroo is the one to do it. Look what long jumps he can give he would be to the palace before he had time to feel shy". “I wouldn't mind doing it in the least” said he “but you see I am a foreigner and it wouldn’t be seemly for me to do it whilst you two were here, why shouldn't the rabbit do it?" The rabbit thought he was too small and said so but the other two poo-poo’d the idea and both said the rabbit must be spokesman and they would all go to the palace as soon as their breakfast was finished. After breakfast they made themselves look as nice as they could and as they thought in suitable raiment for going to court. Mrs Cow had on an heirloom purple velvet bonnet that had belonged to her grandmother "The wooly cow" also a small three cornered shawl. The Kangaroo wore a bowler hat and the rabbit a cricket cap. The rabbits ears kept twitching also his nose for he was very nervous but neither of the others would hear of him shirking his job of spokesman. Their first difficulty arose when they got to the entrance of the palace yard where a big bell hung and when the cow pulled it a footman in green livery and bachelor buttons came they asked if they could speak to the King on a matter of great importance. The page led the way and the rabbit and Kangaroo followed him but the cow couldn't get through doorway the others pulled and pushed and tried her end on and sideways but no way could she be got through. I’ll wait here till you come out said she, rather pleased she couldn't get in, and promptly lay down and munched grass The rabbit and kangaroo were taken into the Kings room where he was sitting looking very gloomy and forlorn. They bowed till their ears touched the ground. "Rise" said the King "and be seated", they rose up and each seated himself on the very edge of a chair, they were shy people! “You say you have seen the Queen since she left the palace. Please tell me all you know.” The rabbit cleared his throat and the Kangaroo gave him a push with his tail to make him go on. The rabbit then told how they had followed a rickshaw down the Hill and had seen it disappear in the Rabbit House Wood. That as it passed near the Big Plantation someone covered by a green veil raised it and called to them as they sat on the rail "Help for the Queen!" before the veil was tightly drawn over her face and the rickshaw hurried off in the direction of the Stick Quarry and the New Road – they tried to stop it and how finally it seemed to melt and fade away like a streak of mist at the top of the trees. Then said the King “it is the flower fairies of the garden who have taken her away now we know whom we have to fight. Did you see no wheel marks or footprints in the garden. “No! we looked carefully and saw nothing but the streak of mist rise up into the top of the tall trees. I am very grateful said the King to you for telling me this for it is the only clue I have had as to the road the Queen went. You must both be suitably rewarded. There are three of us said the rabbit there’s a cow waiting outside who couldn't get in by the door. Then said the King we will go to the door and find the cow and this they did and found the cow comfortably cropping the Palace grass. “Bring my sword” called the King to a footman the animals fell slightly perturbed but hoped for the best. When the sword was brought the footman was whispered Kneel down and all knelt down in front of the King who touched Mrs Cow on the shoulder and said “Rise up Lady Cow” then to the Kangaroo "Rise Lord Kangaroo" and then to the rabbit "Rise Lord Rabbit” and when all were on their feet again he said the Big Plantation is yours for life and your house will remain under the protection of the Hill Fairies for ever “While Rumble Burn runs to Till Ye three have eatage on the Hill.” and promising to report to the King if they heard anything more about the Queen they bowed low and retired.

Chap IV The Witch of the Bizzle

That Spring there was a lot of influenza about and Grannie was for some days in her bedroom till she got clear of hers. She got tired of having nothing to do but read and the only view from her bedroom window was across the rock garden with its little paths and steps to the big elm trees at the back of it that grew in the Rabbit House Wood. One of these trees that grew near the Greenhouse door had had a big branch cut off it near the top a little roughness had been left and the rain had made a green mark on the bark on either side of the broken branch where the rain ran down making a green stain on the bark. She was gazing one day at this stain when she thought she saw something move near the mark and the mark didn't look so like the mossy green stain as it did. In fact she stood by the window for a long time looking at it and then was sure there was something more there. Yes! she could distinctly see something move up in the tree and the green mark wasn't so like the stain as it was and more like a green gauze veil against the tree trunk in fact she could now see quite clearly it was someone with a veil over their head. In fact it was the Fairy Queen far up in the elm trunk looking out of a little window or opening in the trunk. She only saw her for a few seconds when she vanished and the green stain looked as it usually did merely a stain on the bark. Grannie however had seen it and was sure now where the Fairy Queen was hidden. What could she do? She thought and thought; – The tree was bare of leaves to above where the green mark was - as far as she could see only a small trail of ivy wandered as high up the trunk as the green mark. She was very puzzled what to do! She could get ? to put long ladders up but to do so would only draw the attention of the Flower Fairies who would then know the Queen has been discovered and would then move her elsewhere. No they must not suspect anything. She must think of something else. Next morning when she was dressing for breakfast she again distinctly saw the form of the Queen in the same place high up in the tree with her green gauzy veil over her head. What could she do? Who could she get to help her? Then suddenly she thought, Oh there's the dormouse, he could go up the ivy trail it would make a ladder for him. I'll go and seek him after breakfast, he must be awake now. I hope I can find him! After breakfast she went out and looked in the hole where she had put him for his winter sleep but it was empty and she could find no trace of the Dormouse, indeed the original owners of the hole, a pair of blue tits were busy having a spring cleaning in it. She went down the Sundial walk and called “Dormouse Little Dormouse" as she went but there was no answer. When she got near the yew hedge she thought she heard a little squeaky noise and looking amongst some dead leaves blown into a heap she saw the Dormouse dressed in his everyday clothes but looking well and very wide awake. After asking if he had had a comfortable bed in the hole she had found for him to spend the winter in she said in a low voice, I have something important I want you to help me with but it is a profound secret. Can you climb the Forsythia plant to my bedroom window the one over the kitchen I can then tell you what I want you to do for me. The Dormouse looked pleased but said please might he have his best clothes to do the message in. Of course you shall have them they will be all ready for you and will be on the windowsill when you come to my window tonight. I'll be waiting at my window for you tonight at 10 o'clock. At ten o'clock that night on the windowsill was the Dormouse. She told him how she had seen the Fairy Queen Dewdrop who had been stolen away and was now she felt sure, imprisoned in the big elm tree at the back of the rock garden. She would like the Dormouse to climb up the ivy trail that goes up the tree to where the Queen appears, speak to the Queen, tell her from her that she had seen her and wants to set free. Ask if she can advise us what to do or if she can help us in any way. Oh said the Dormouse, I quite forgot but I'm afraid I can't go up the tree for near the top of that tree is where the Owls barrel is and they have a nest there now and, he paused, well owls like dormice!! but I know that owl said Grannie he often comes onto my windowsill when I call and I am sure if I introduced you to him as a friend of mine he would not think of hurting you – I’ll call him to come here. He is a wise bird and may help us. So she gave the owl call and it was answered from the Tennis Wood, then again and the answer came from the Kissing Gates and after the 3rd a big brown owl flew silently down onto the windowsill. The Dormouse looked a little pale when Grannie introduced her friend the Dormouse to her friend the owl but was reassured when the owl said he'd do anything he could to help. Now said Grannie what can we do Dormouse will go up the tree and take a message to the Queen that we are planning to get her away and back to the Hill again but honestly I don’t quite see what we can do. The Garden Fairies have her so much at their mercy and we must not let them guess we know where she is. "Can you suggest anything owl!” she said turning to him. The owl looked very solemn for a minute or two. No doubt he said these fairies are very powerful so we must get someone more powerful to help us. "Who is more powerful" asked Grannie? The owl meditated for a while with his claw to his forehead. Who are more powerful than fairies? Why a witch is! We must get a witch to help us "I don't know any” said Grannie. Neither do I said the owl – there was a long pause then the owl said "but I know a wizard, at least I think he is a passed wizard at any rate he knows a witch and if he asks her she will help us. Let the Dormouse go up and see the Queen tomorrow and if she approves he can tell us, then we’ll send him to find the wizard tomorrow. He is an old Black cock and he lives on the Rape Hill plantation. “We can show the Dormouse where he lives and then he can go and find him and get an introduction from him to the Witch and can go on to where she lives and ask her help,” said Grannie. And how long do you think it would take a dormouse to do all that? said the owl. "A month of Sundays and then he wouldn't be there". Owl was just a little bit inclined to be contemptuous of the dormouse for he was very small and the way to Rape Hill was long and rough. I'll tell you what I'll do I'll carry the dormouse on my back for besides the Dene and its burn he would have a perfect jungle of a corn field to find his way through. Will you do that Dormouse? “Yes” said the dormouse in a sort of "in for a penny in for a pound," tone of voice "I’ll do my best". We'll watch the dormouse climb up the tree tomorrow and wait till he comes down and tells us what he has seen. "What's the witch’s name Owl?" She is called the Witch of the Bizzle and is a very powerful witch indeed and if you displease her she can bring on thunder and keep it rumbling all over the country side but she can do a great deal for her friends and if she likes can get the Queen home to the Hill again. Next day was bright and sunny, too sunny for the owl, who did not dare to venture out till the dusk. Grannie and the owl watched the dormouse in his best clothes climb up the ivy trial and gradually get higher and higher till he came to the green stain on the tree when he disappeared. They looked up and waited for what seemed a very long time then the owl called out in a loud whisper "There he comes" and away up in the green moss stain appeared the little figure and they could make out the gauzy green veil above him. He seemed to come down very slowly but at last he got amongst the grass at the bottom of the tree where the pet dogs graves are and so came running forward. "It's all right" said he. The Queen is delighted we will try to get her away. She had seen Grannie at her window but did not know how to draw her attention for the guards (who) were always watching her. Today fortunately they were sent to get honey dew – otherwise the dormouse could never have got up the tree. She has two tiny rooms inside the tree one facing the sun where she sits all day spinning spiders webs into silk and the other where she sits all night spinning moonbeams. She is longing to get home again and cried when I said we were trying to get her away. I never saw a fairy cry before, far less a Fairy Queen, I was sorry for her said the Dormouse I'll do anything for her – so will I said the owl. I'll be ready to start as soon as it is getting dusk tonight and we’ll go to seek the Wizard. As soon as the sweet June dusk had settled down on the garden of Milfield a big brown owl might have been seen to rise up from the Rabbit House Wood and over the tall trees in it. It gave the "Kee quee" call as it rose and Grannie waved her hand to it. Some blackbirds and sparrows shouted rudely after it but it went on its way undisturbed and Grannie saw it fly over the Sheep houses and gradually be lost to sight passing the big elms in the Dene. "I can't see him" said the Owl to the Dormouse as they neared the Rape Hill Plantation "he’s generally just about here but I’ll fly right round it. Oh! There he is! He's dancing!” The dormouse peered through the owls feathers and saw a large bird walking along the top rail of the plantation fence like a tight rope dancer. Its claws were large and the rail narrow, every few steps the bird gave a pirouette and nearly fell off but steadied itself again with his wings and tail which it spread out, then it did some more steps and again had to gain its balance with the help of its wings and tail then another pirouette and so on till the end of the fence when it turned round and came back to where the owl and dormouse were waiting near the thorn tree in the fence. Here the Black cock spread out its tail and wings bowing to the owl, turned and stared at the dormouse. "What's that you've got with you there"? "It's only a dormouse", said the owl. “It has a note from the lady of the Big Hoose to you.” The dormouse produced the note and handed it to the Black cock who still continued to stare at the dormouse. Well! he said again he seemed to want an answer so not knowing what to say the Dormouse said "Thank you!" "That's wrong," said the Black cock you should have said "how well you dance – meaning me" said the Black cock. "You do dance beautifully” said the dormouse. “Was that what you were doing when we arrived?" "My dancing is considered perfection! Where’s the letter?" He put on a pair of large horn spectacles and read it – then he said "it's a difficult thing you ask me to do but I'll do what I can for the Fairy Queen and the Lady of the big Hoose they have always been kind to me and let me live here for years. There is only one night in the year that the witch can help you – The Eve of St John – that's the Beltein when witches have most power and many are about. "What day’s this?" asked the Black cock. "What day‘s this? Saturday" said the Dormouse. No, Friday said the owl. I think it's Monday said the Black cock cos that's my washing day and I tied up my bundle this morning but I want the day of the month. Has no one got an almanac? The Owl and the Dormouse both shook their heads then the Black cock after a great searching amongst its feathers produced one and started to turn over the pages over and over. "Tomorrow s the day!" it shouted and shut up the book with a bang. "You must be at the Bizzle by full moon tomorrow night. The magic Saint John's wort will be then in full bloom for a few minutes and then fade, if the Witch will she can give you a leaf from it. Its property is to make the impossible possible, if your not there, then you must wait till this time next year. I'll give you a note to the Witch and ask her as a favour to me to give you a flower. You must take care of it, if you get it, as the night where all witches and evil spirits have power a very Walpurgis night, in fact." “Well!" said the Owl "I'll go on as far as Hethpool tonight and rest there till dusk tomorrow when we'll go on to the Bizzle". "You must be in time for the witches dance tomorrow night or all will be in vain, that is half an hour before the moon is full the dance begins and the flower begins to grow. Good night" and the black cock began to practice it's dancing again and took no more notice of the Owl and Dormouse, not even when they waved to it and called "Good night"! "Over the Quarry Field Plantation and down over Lanton farm they flew, stopping now and then if the owl caught sight of a mouse or bird he fancied and so arrived in time – up the College valley to Hethpool. Here the owl alighted on an old fir tree on Hetha Hill and said he would roost on it for the night. He was going, he said, to get his supper in the stack yard near and he’d advise the dormouse to get his too but about the root of the tree, but not to go far away in case he got lost, or lost this fir tree. The owl then flew down to the stack yard and the dormouse could see him flitting about amongst the stacks. The Dormouse then gathered some seeds and corn and made his meal and then climbed up into a forked branch of the fir tree, curled up and went to sleep. Next morning the Dormouse woke early after a good sleep and saw the owl like a big ball of feathers near. He was sound asleep, and would not answer when they Dormouse spoke, just went on the snoring and making scraping noises with his beak. The Dormouse climbed down to the ground and found some haws that he breakfasted on then climbed up again near the owl, but he was still sound asleep, so there seemed to be nothing for him to do but curl up and try to have another sleep.. Hethpool Lynn was near and it's water sang a soothing lullaby which soon sent the Dormouse to sleep again. Evening began to creep down on the Bizzle, a rosy sunset had melted to dusk and the tall rocks and boulders had blended into a general hazy grey and around on all sides on the far hill tops could be seen the blaze and smoke of belfires, gray shadows seemed to move about in the Glen but too indistinct to show what they really were and the burn like a silver streak wandered round the boulders and down the valley. Two huge Golden eagles sat at the summit of the Bizzle motionless, like forms of bronze, and now and then was heard the croak of a raven as they flew past to their nests in the rocks. A little figure came out of the rocks – the Eagles stretched their wings and turned their heads down to watch her. She had a tall pointed hat on her head and sparkling buckles on her shoes and was followed by a large black cat. She looked all round the flat place at the bottom of the Bizzle, then up into the sky where a gleam of light appeared that was neither from the Belfires nor left by the setting sun but was the harbinger of the rising moon. Higher rose the moon and touched with silver some of the stones of the Bizzle and they gleamed out clear and the little river like a band of silver ran down the Glen. More shadows or shades seemed to fill the vale gray and mysterious and fleeting and sometimes a furry something rushed across and in behind a boulder. A fire was lit, one didn't see how or by whom it just was lit, the witch cast some sticks on it and said something and it blazed up. Then she stood still and gazed down the glen. Something was coming up it – a big owl flying low – its feathers here and there touched to brighter colour by the blaze of the fire. The moon was higher now and lit up the points of the rocks and they made deeper shadows. The owl alighted silently on the ground near the witch and something emerged from its feathers holding a letter in its paw. The witch took the letter and read it then said "you are just in time, I'll try to keep a flower for you as my friend the Wizard of Rape Hill asks me to do. If I get one for you you must at once put it carefully away and let no one see it for all sorts of queer spirits are about tonight – some may want to steal it from you. The dance will soon begin for see! the flowers is beginning to grow." The Witch pointed to something on the ground. The Dormouse and Owl looked at it, it' looked like a big jellyfish. It was quivering slightly. The moon rose higher and began to fill the valley with its light. The witch cast more twigs on the fire, it blazed up higher and scattered sparks around. The jellyfish quivered more and more and pushed up lumps here and there on its surface. More twigs were cast on the fire and something out of a packet was thrown on and made the flames rise high like forked tongues of some fiery monster, then the witch called "Join hands"! and somehow a large circle was formed. The Dormouse clasping the witches red skirt with one fore paw and with the other the point of the Owls wing feathers. He could see no one forming the ring as if he stared at any one place it was just mist there like a wisp of cloud when the Sun is clearing up things for a fine day after a foggy night – if you looked away you sometimes saw strange figures for a moment out of the corner of your eye, the swish of a white garment, the tall ears of an Elf, the glaring eyes of a cat or the big round ones of a hare. The ring was now formed round the fire and the plant. "Dance"! shouted the witch with a kind of shriek, "quicker!" shouted she "quicker!" The ravens croaked and the Golden Eagles flapped their wings and clouds of bats came from the rocks and nooks of the Bizzle and flew about the ring. "Quicker! quicker!!" shouted the witch and started to sing. The Dormouse hardly ever touched the ground with his feet the pace was so fast, he got swung between the Witch and the Owl. The Owl could keep himself going with the help of his wings. Then the music changed to slow and weird entoning all on one note except the last of each line which was a higher or a lower one turn about.

The Witch’s Song

Witch and Wizard, Elf and Sprite, Gather here this mystic night. Ghost and Wraith and Goblin dread Spirits all of darkness bred. Kelpies come from watery nooks Fairies, Bargeists, Brownies Spooks Bogle over with Banshees prowl The Kobolds and the loathsome ghoul. Here they join our mystic danse Will-o the wisp and wild fire glance Hooting owl and croaking frog, Rieving tod and howling dog. Here we go deasle, deasle, deasle Deasle every one, On mystic night in bright moonlight Our magic has begun (Chorus) after each verse very quick!

The Dormouse was glad to go slower as it was quite out of breath but the witch shouted "Chorus!" and they were all off again quicker than ever. The magic plant was now growing quickly and had formed four stems. "Quicker! Quicker!!" shouted the Witch and off they went again round and round after that came the slower bit, the faster they danced the more the plant grew. It was quite big now and had four large flowers coming on it like large buttercups but of gleaming white that seemed all colours as the light from the fire shone on it. Now they went so fast you could not distinguish anything – all was a blur. The Eagles yelled from their rocky perch and the ravens croaked below. Everyone sang as well as they could but the Dormouse and Owl were too breathless to sing. The moon was now full and the Glen was all flooded with its light and the flower its buds fully opened seemed to have a bunch of electric lights in the middle of each flower. Then with a call of “Halt”! everyone stopped. I say everyone but no one was to be seen but one felt that they were crowds of "somethings" all round. The Witch held out her hand and from nowhere a silver sycle was put into it. She went to the flower and cut off the four blooms and the plant gave a shiver and a sort of groan as she did so, and collapsed into the form of a jellyfish, the fire rose into a huge flame and sank into a heap of gray ashes and the Eagles yelled and flew away. The Moon hid its face behind a cloud and all was still but the feeling of being one of a crowd remained. The Witch came up to the Dormouse and pulling a big burdock leaf folded a flower up in the leaf and pinned it with a thorn and said "Here is the flower! – go away – from here as quickly as you can in case it is stolen. Give it to the Fairy Queen – the first wish she wishes with the flower in her hand she will get! Don't lose it for if you do I can do nothing for her till the Saint John's wort blooms again a year hence"! The Dormouse thanked her and mounted on the owls back with the flower tight clasped under his arm and the owl rose up into the air. The Owl turned and waved and so did the dormouse and they were soon flying away in the moonlight down the College Water. All went well till they got close to the little wooden bridge over Glen where the owl gave one or two wobbles as it flew. What's the matter asked the Dormouse. I'm getting cramp in a wing said the Owl I often do, it may pass off. Just then the owl did something like looping the loop. The Dormouse seized his feathers with both hands and hung on – and dropped the parcel of burdock leaf with the flower inside it. "I've lost the flower! Oh! I've lost the flower! You ought not to have bumped so” and the dormouse looking out from the owls feathers saw the burdock leaf parcel fall slowly till it reached the grass of the field close to the nose of a sleeping cow. The owl by this time had alighted near the cow and the Dormouse ran to pick up the parcel – but too late as just before the Dormouse got to it the Cow put out a long tongue swept the parcel into its mouth and swallowed it. The Owl hooted - the Dormouse shouted but too late the parcel was down the throat of the cow!

The Moondaisy dedicated to Hope by the Authoress A Tale of a Moon daisy I'll tell you a tale of Moon daisies said the West wind as it sang amongst the fir trees in the Dene. And the Bairn climbed up into the old Scotch fir and sat in its forked armchair, and leaned against its warm rosiny stem to hear what his friend the West wind would tell him. "See!" said the wind " just below where Rumble Burn jumps over its little water fall, on a grassy ledge overhanging a little pool lives a colony of Moon daisies. They dance in the breeze all day and smile up at the nice warm sun and welcome every bee and butterfly that comes to kiss their bright, happy faces. Every evening as the sun goes to bed behind the big beech tree it waves Good night! to the daisies. They shut their eyes and nod their heads and go to sleep as good little flowers should. Every morning the sun peeps laughing over the old hawthorn hedge and calls "Wake up before little Moondaisies" and they open their eyes and nod to him with their bright morning faces. All day long they dance in the wind and smile in the sunshine till once more the Sun dips behind the big red beech tree and sleep and night come hand in hand. One day a large Cardinal butterfly in ropes of crimson and gold perched on one of the Moon daisies to rest. They daisy gazed lost in admiration of its bright wings covered with powdery feathers and gorgeous hues. Never! Never! had the little daisy ever dreamed of anything so beautiful and when the butterfly spread its wings and flew away it left some of its coloured dust on the cheeks of the daisy. What a proud little daisy it was, all day with its red painted cheeks but Alas! The dew came in the night and washed it all off, and the daisy fretted for the bright colours of the Cardinal butterfly, till it began to look quite droopy and withery. One drowsy Summer afternoon I sound of tinkling bells was heard in the air and from the far side of Rumble Burn where the midges dance flew a fairy page in his uniform of green with bachelor buttons and tinkling bells and on his arm he carried a basket. All the little moon daisies held out their hands to the fairy and smiled their sweetest and danced their lightest except the discontented one who stood with hanging head and never saw the fairy at all. The daisies knew he was gathering flowers for the Fairy Queens crown for always she wears a wreath of Moon daisies on her head, and all the little daisies knew that if once they touch her golden hair they would never wither or die but become fair white pearls and be beautiful for ever. Carefully the fairy page gathered each little Moon daisy and laid it on a bed of moss in his basket but the discontented one remained drooping on its stem for the fairy thought it was withering and so no use for the Queens wreath. That night when she went to the Grass hoppers ball the Fairy Queen’s wreath was of the Rumble Burn daisies and now they are round shiny pearls and reflect the colours of the opal for ever. When the discontented daisy was left all alone it drooped more than ever and fretted more and more for the colours of the butterfly since it had now lost all chance of becoming a pearl like its sisters. One day a sudden crash in the air overhead made it look up in time to see the aeroplanes of Mr Bee and Mr Dragonfly fall to the ground. Mr Bee splashed into Rumble Burn and was carried away to the big river and was seen no more but Mr Dragonfly rolled under the shade of the Moondaisy and lay still. The little daisy bent lower and lower over him to admire his green and gold shiny wings and the shimmering brightness of his body and sighed oh! if I could only be beautiful and clothed in bright colours too. The Dragonfly who was only a little stunned by his fall looked up when he heard the daisy sigh and saw the little discontented face of the Moondaisy as she bent over him. "It is easy enough to become coloured" said he "No difficulty about that! The really difficult thing is to become white after you have been coloured" "Oh! Please Mr Dragonfly" said the daisy "do tell me how to become a clothed in bright colours like the Rainbow and I'll never never ask to be white again"! The Dragonfly who was good natured and hated to see anyone sad was sorry for the little fretting Moon daisy left all alone. If she was sure she really wished it he said he would show her how she could be coloured like the Rainbow and become the admired of all beholders. " It is however" he added " a somewhat painful process and you will never return to dance on the edge of Rumble Burn again" "I don't mind what I suffer to be beautiful like the Rainbow I am tired of Rumble Burn with no one but silly sheep to talk to" said the daisy. "Very well then!" replied the Dragonfly "so be it. You must begin by going through the somewhat painful process of pulling yourself ". The Moon daisy began to try to pull itself. Bravely it tried, waving wildly about on its stem first bent nearly to the ground on one side, then on the other, sometimes twisting wildly roundabout on its stem. Still its feet remained fast in the soft mossy carpet. "I'll help you" said the Dragonfly, and putting his arms round its stem he tugged and pulled with all his might till he was also quite tired and breathless when! there was a little wrenching noise a scattering of pebbles and moss, the Moon daisy's feet were suddenly loosened and the Dragonfly fell backwards onto his tail. The Daisy was pulled!! and lying flat on the ground!. Waiting a moment to regain his breath the Dragonfly seized the daisy and flew high up into the air with its stem clutched in its feet. Away he flew high over Rumble Burn, over the elm trees in the Drive over the chimney pots of the "Big Hoose" and did not come to earth till he got to Far Whitton Hill. Here in a stony hollow he deposited the Moon daisy. In this hollow amongst the corn, weighted with large stones the end of the rainbow is fixed, and here the two elves who guard it were busy playing a game of battledore and shuttlecock backwards and forwards through the rainbow. No sooner had the dragonfly told them why he had come, than one of the elves seized the Moon Daisy, threw it high up into the air and hit it with the battledore through the rainbow whack came the battledore of the other elf, back shot the daisy, bang came the other battledore and away went the moon daisy, bat, bat, whack, whack through and through the rainbow, till the daisy was so giddy and bruised it could remember nothing more. When it regained consciousness, it was to feel the cold night wind blowing in its face, sweet with the scent of night flowering stocks, whilst from near its roots came sounds of sleepy breathing and an occasional little snore. It was too dark to see anything so shutting its eye the daisy was soon sound asleep again nor did it wake up till the Sun with its yellow face was looking over the old yew hedge. A bent old man was leaning over his spade and peering at the Daisy and exclaiming "Bye Well I never did!" and muttering something about "telling Missus," hobbled away down the garden path. Looking around the daisy found it was in the garden of the "Big Hoose" in the middle of a flower bed and all round it were dwarf pink roses rubbing their eyes and yawning. "Am I beautiful" wondered the Moon daisy." "Am I all the colours of the rainbow as the Dragonfly promised" and it went through such antics trying to see itself that the little roses all quite wakened up and stared at it in amazement. "Am I beautiful" asked the daisy. "No"! promptly replied the roses. "Your petals are all colour. You are only a sport and would never be looked at at a Flower Show"! So they hugged themselves tighter and tried to look with contempt at the Moon Daisy although she was in the centre of the bed and higher up than they were. For were they not all pink? Every rose and every petal. Baby Dorothy Perkins of the bluest blood!. There was a sound of footsteps and the old gardener and the Missus came up the path to the bed where the Moon daisy was still trying to see if it was coloured as the Dragonfly promised. "There! what do you think of that for a flower, Mum? The old lady put on her eyeglasses and bent over the Moon daisy. "It is perfectly lovely, Tomkins she said, "Such gorgeous colours I never saw before! Every colour of the rainbow glistens on it as it waves in the wind! How it has got here puzzles me. There is nothing so lovely in all the garden! It is shaped like a Moon daisy but no Moon daisy was ever so exquisitely coloured. I'll ask some of my"friends" who know all about flowers to come to tea tomorrow and show it to them. Perhaps they may be able to tell me its name and family." At intervals during the day the "old Missus" came up the garden and putting on her eyeglasses had another look at the wonderful daisy. The old gardener as he went about his work every now and then came and had another look at the daisy and chuckled to himself as he thought how jealous the "old Missus " friends would be when they saw it, for they had nothing so lovely to display in their gardens. All day the daisy continued to get more and more unbearably stuck up and proud. A heavy shower of rain fell in the middle of the day and the daisy could, for a little while, till the sun came out, see its bright colours reflected in the raindrops. The dragonfly had indeed kept its promise. She was all the colours of the rainbow and the admired of all beholders. "I am the Queen of the Flowers," she thought "for I am the most beautiful of all, and tomorrow I shall hold my court and all who know about flowers will come and bow down and pay homage to me." Butterflies and bees came attracted by her bright colouring but none stayed long for she had no honey to give them. The bees hurried on to the next bed where the tall Madonna lilies grew and flew away laden with yellow pollen to their hives to make bee bread from it for the hill bees and came hurrying back for more, all through the Summer day. The little roses scented their bit of the garden sweetly and towards evening a maid gathered some of them to decorate the dinner table. The daisy was too proud and stuck up to speak to lowdown people like the little Dorothies. Night drew on and the Sun set and dusk closed in. The daisy was too excited to sleep and besides she was annoyed by the little snores and sleepy breathing of the little roses at her feet. She clapped her leaves together to wake them up but they slept so soundly the noise didn't disturb them. She turned to the flower bed nearest where the stately Madonna Lilies grew and tried to get into conversation with them, but to her question if they didn't wish to be coloured as she was instead of white, they just continued to wave gently in the night breeze, and murmured in chorus "We are Madonna lilies, we are Madonna lilies" and the daisy thought them stupid and not worth talking to. Next morning the sun rose laughing over the yew hedge and soon the whole sky was smiling back at him. The daisy woke up when it shone on her face and thought "it is my garden party today it is only right that the sun should shine to do me honour, for I am the Queen of the Garden." The garden paths were all raked and the grass cut all ready for visitors. All that afternoon the old Missus brought one party of the visitors after another to see the Daisy. All were surprised at the beauty of the daisy and it's wonderful colouring and all said they never had seen so lovely a flower before. Each thought where can I get a cutting of a similar one! Late in the afternoon an old Professor was brought to see it. Taking the head of the daisy between his fingers he gazed at it through a magnifying glass. "Yes!" he said, "I quite understand how these colours have been produced. It is really a white moon daisy but the mixture of iron, coal tar and sulphur in the soil probably resulting from certain chemical manures you no doubt have used and the constitution of the soil combined with certain conditions of the atmosphere, have been the cause of this production of colouring matter in the flower. A little laugh was distinctly heard and seemed to come from a dragonfly balancing itself on a Madonna Lily flower. The Daisy not understanding the words the Professor used and thinking they must be complimentary, held itself still higher on its stem till it thought it was as high as the Madonna lilies at least. Darkness came over the Garden and all the flowers were asleep except the moon daisy who was too busy thinking of all the admiration and compliments it had heard. Presently a soft thump thump noise she heard coming nearer and nearer to the bed where she stood waving gently in the wind and dodging the night moths who called every now and then to ask if she had any honey to spare. They didn't admire her and one annoyed her by saying she was too stuck up and useless to have honey. The thump thump nearer. " I am so beautiful" thought the daisy that even at night my admirers come to pay homage to me - the Beauty of the Garden." The thump thump was very near now and something sniffed at the stem of the daisy, it felt a sharp shoot of pain and knew no more. Morning dawned in the Garden the sun looking over the wall shone on the little pink roses and they opened their sleepy eyes and smiled back, but there was no daisy shining like a bit of a rainbow in the middle of the bed. The old Gardener hobbled down the path and stopped to admire the daisy but......... its place was vacant he stopped and hunted amongst the leaves and the roses but not a trace of it could he find, but then on an extra soft bit of soil was the trace of footmarks that he knew only too well. "Drat the rabbit", he exclaimed and hurried up the steps to the Rabbit House Wood. The hatch door was open and amongst the hay inside was a fat sleepy rabbit with dirty paws and its head pillowed on the withering head of the Moon daisy. So this was the end of the Discontented Moondaisy.
The Dormouse lifted up his voice and wept and wailed. "What can we do to get it back? It's your fault Owl! Can't you do something?" "Nothing" said the owl. "We have no emetic ! it's gone!" Just then a big gull that had been hawking up and down the field for moths came and asked what was wrong, they told about their loss and what could they do. "It's no use looking at the cow it's got the flower inside it and evidently intends keeping it" said the gull. "Go back and tell the Witch she may be able to do something." "Do you think you could or would?" wailed the Dormouse. "It's the only chance you have." "Then I'll go" said he "but Owl has the cramp in a wing." "I'll take you as far as the Bizzle for I'm on my way to my sleeping place on the Solway," said the Sea gull. "I'll risk it" said the Dormouse "if owl can't take me back from here I'll walk." "My wing will probably be soon all right I often have cramp in it" replied the owl. "Come" said the gull "jump on to my back and I'll take you to the Witch". The mouse was soon seated on the gull's back and in a short time was put down near the Bizzle where the Witch was busy tidying up her abode after the crowd of visitors she had had. She heard the sad story but said she could get no more flowers, they were all gone. The poor Dormouse was a pitiful picture, weeping floods of tears and his fir all draggled. After a few minutes of thought the Witch said "I'll tell you what I can do, I'll lend you my broomstick! It will take you to the tree where the Queen is imprisoned and if she mounts it, it will carry her to the Fairy Palace on the Hill then if you press a button on the broomstick and say "Abracadabra!" it will fly back to me. You can pick up the owl as you pass." The Dormouse was delighted and thanked the Witch most heartily then sponged his face with his hanky in College Burn and the broomstick was let out from its kennel in one of the rocks. "Sit well back amongst the bristles and hold on" said the Witch then touching a nob the broom was all lit up with electricity. It rose into the air and waving to the owl and the Sea gull, the Dormouse was carried high up into the air and then headed for the Glen Ford. It seemed only a few minutes till the broomstick landed where the owl sitting on a post at the little wooden bridge at Lanton. "Come along Owl!'" shouted the Dormouse "get on board"! The Owl climbed up and seated itself beside the Dormouse amongst the bristles. The broom rose high over Lanton Hill and headed for Milfield. "I don't like this kind of carriage" said the owl, "it's as bad as the sun, it makes me blind." "It isn't a carriage it's a horse" said the Dormouse and they argued the question till they saw the Wizard and several friends dancing in the moonlight at Rape Hill. They waved to him but he only stared, the bright thing in the sky draw drew his friends attention from the dancing. Then the broomstick turned down to the Dene, across Sheephouse field and so to the tall elm trees behind the Rock garden, there it stopped where the Fairy Queen was imprisoned. The Owl would go no further, said he was tired, the light was so painful his eyes ached – he wanted to get his slippers on and sit in his armchair and read the papers. The Queen was waiting at her window and the Dormouse handed her on to a seat on the broom stick. It blazed with light as they rose over the Rabbit House trees. The Queens guards were blinded with the light and didn't realise what was happening but later they saw them running across the Sheep House field – gesticulating wildly and pointing up to the Broomstick but the Queen and the Dormouse waved as they headed for the hill they were all left staring. It seemed not many minutes before they came in sight of the Big Plantation still bathed in Moonlight. Every thing seemed asleep as they landed in the garden of the Palace and the Dormouse said he would send the Broomstick home to the witch. But you'll come into the Palace with me and I'll tell the King how you have saved me. I'd never have got home without your help. "Better not" said the Dormouse "for remember the King banished me from the Hill. I've no business really to be here." The Queen made him promise to come to the Palace after breakfast to see the King and by then she would have told him all the Dormouse had done for her and he would want to see him. The Dormouse promised. The Queen asked where he would spend the night, the Dormouse said he'd try to get Mary Rabbit to put him up. The Broomstick then landed quietly in the garden of the Palace, the Queen jumped off and shaking the Dormouse by both paws said "remember tomorrow or rather today at 10 AM you will come to the Palace" and he said he'd be there and the Queen opened the door of the palace, and went in. The Dormouse touched the nob on the broomstick and said "Abracadabra" when it rose up into the air and the Dormouse watched it, a streak of light heading for the Bizzle. Next morning the Dormouse after having been well brushed and tidied up by Mary Rabbit and very shy went to the Palace to see the King. The King welcomed him and over and over again and thanked him for what he had done for the Queen. The King clasped a broad gold collar round his neck and proclaimed him "Baron Dormouse of Quarry Field" Capt of the Kings Body Guard with a suite in the Palace. The Dormouse thanked the King and kissed his hand but had said he'd rather if the King didn't mind just live in Mary Rabbits house. The Quarry Field he gave to the Dormouse for his own sporting Demesne. And that's why you so often see the door mouse there with a gamebag full of poochies over his shoulder. The Dormouse didn't say how uncomfortable he found the gold collar was being too wide but later on he got Mary Rabbit to cut some of the fur off his neck till he got accustomed to it. He was told there was to be a big ball that night to celebrate the Queens safe return and in honour of the Dormouse and as Capt of the Kings Body Guard was to be there in his uniform all resplendent in gold and scarlet and diamond handled sword and dagger. When he got outside the palace he found everyone in a state of great excitement about the Ball. Kings messengers flying in all directions. Fairies on dragonflies heading for the stores at Cat Corner and Red scar where the dressmakers and tailors live to get new dresses and new suits for the balls. Fortunately wild roses and foxgloves were in flower and many pretty ones could be made out of these, but they had to go some way to get them as orders had gone forth that ever flower that had a bell had to ring it for joy. It turned out to be a lovely starry night and a bright moon shining. Glow worms were all over the palace and Hill and every glow worm did it very best. Never was there such a ball. Every one was there. Mr Water - Rat in his carpet slippers that had Lily-of-the-Valley cross worked on the toes, The Owl family in a row on a branch till the little owls went to sleep and had to be taken home. The Wizard of Rape Hill did beautiful steps and pirouettes on the Palace wall and everyone said how beautifully he danced so he was quite pleased and danced harder than ever. He also danced a reel with Lady Cow who had her heirloom bonnet on fixed with a big hat pin. "Ld Kangaroo" was seen waltzing with Mary Rabbit and John and the West Wind and the Moon were all there. None of the garden fairies were there till they sent a deputation praying the King to forgive them and they would not come out of the garden again then at the Queens wish he forgave them and they were all asked to the Ball. The Heather King of Yeavering arrived with his Grouse guards and in the middle of the ball a glare appeared in the sky and everyone stared up at it and wondered for they knew it wasn’t the moon for the moon was fast asleep with his head on the West Winds shoulder and the Sun was away at the other side of the world just then. Nearer and nearer came the light till it reached the palace when it turned out to be the broom stick opening of the Witch of the Bizzle in her sparkling buckled shoes and she proved to be the best dancer of the lot and the life and soul of the party and when she treaded a measure with the wizard everyone clapped their hands and cheered so loudly that the noise could be heard in Wooler. And so they danced till the Sun looked over the side of the world to see the fun and all the glow worms went out they were so sleepy and the owl airships were ordered and the hare omnibuses and all the various conveyances and the bat riders and all went to their various homes saying there had never been such a ball before. The Witch of the Bizzle promised the King she would set her vole guards round the garden of the Big Hoose and no flower fairy would be allowed out of it. Then her broom stick rose into the air and headed for the Bizzle and dawn rose on the Hill and the birds began to twitter and Baron Dormouse with his gold collar, went home to bed. The End

"Little Brown Burnie" (College Burn)
For Christian Ruth

A little brown Burn came dancing,
Down from the heathery hill,
Laughing and chattering and singing
As little brown burnies will.

All dimpling smiles in the sunshine
All laughter amongst the rocks
Going a ringing round the boulders,

And pulling their green weed locks.

With foam crown and waving tresses
She jumps the Lynn with a shout                        (Hethpool Lynn)
And swirls the water and splashes
To wake up the lazy trout.

Away by the rough grass meadows
By a road the Burnie knows
The rowan and bending willow
Trying to kiss her as she goes.

And the wild ducks downy nurslings
Are rocked as she dances by
Scattering the lacy frog spawn
To the hungry salmon fly.

Away by the high stone archway                        (Kirk Newton)
Where an iron monster glides
Behind a thicket of alder

Another wee streamlet hides.                              BOWMONT

Hand in hand they dance together
By the broomy grassy knowes
With liquid diamonds splashing                         (Glen)

The heads of the drinking cows.

By the banks of tall dark fir trees
Where the dipping swallows fly,
And the roaring white cauld water
Waves its rainbow veil on high.

By rocks where the old grey otter
Has his burdock shaded home,
By deep pools and sunny shallows,
The little brown  Burnies roam.

Thus they play, and dance, and dimple

And sing, and chatter, and laugh,
Till they meet a stern duenna
Waiting by a Ewart Haugh.

And she makes them walk beside her,
Says their ways are wild and rude
But she will teach them to behave
As good little rivers should.

Two cross sulky little Burnies
Pass Ford Forge and Etal Wood
They'e tired of don'ts, and cants, and musts,
And it bores them to be good.

But by Twizells shady Nutwood,
Madame Tweeds large school they meet,

Lots of little rivers in it
All are good ,and prim and neat.

Then the little Burnies join them,

Grown so proper, grown so staied,
Smiling sweetly in the sunshine,
Glancing pensive in the shade.

Below the cliff where Norham's Castle
Frowning, guards the English side,

An electrifying whisper's
Borne upon the blowing tide.

"Little Burns come quickly, quickly,
Come and play and romp with me,

For I'm waiting here to greet you
In the playground of the sea!"

So the Burnies smile and dimple
As they faster glide along,

And they dance a merrier measure,
And they sing a gladder song.

When the weedy old stone arches,
Bear the road to Slumber town                        (Berwick on Tweed)
And the antiquated canon
From its walls look frowning down.

There the salt tide rising, falling,
Feeds the whelk and acorn shell.

Bears out on its swelling bosom
Burnies that the sea loves well.

And all the donts and cants and musts
Are derelict upon the bar.
The wee brown Burns are far away
Where the big white sea gulls are.

And now they dance and sing for aye.

As happy as happy can be
For they've found the best of playmates in
The breezy sparkling sea.

The End

Christian Ruth Grey was the first daughter of Gervase Minto Grey , the poet's youngest son. She was born in September 1922.
Elfreda Hope Dixon Johnson was the third child of Freddy Grey. She was born on the 2 April 1912.
Christian Margaret Grey had seven children, of which four: Ivar, Freddy, Eric and Gervase had children themselves. Freddy's children were brought up at Croft in Durham and Gervase's in Uganda. Perhaps this is the reason that Christian wrote the names of the local places into her stories? No poems or stories have been found for Ivar or Eric's children. They may have been lost or perhaps, as their children were brought up locally, they would not have been written down.