Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mrs. DHM and the Bad Squirrels: A Fable

Mrs. DHM was a little brown squirrel who lived in the tip, tip, top of a tall Common Room House. She didn't like to cook (well, sometimes she did), but she did like to move furniture and blog and teach her children, and she liked to sing while she worked.

Every morning Mrs. DHM made herself a bowl of crockpot cereal, and as she stirred it around she sang:

"Oh, I love to cook, I love to bake,
I guess I'll make an acorn cake and send it to Mama Squirrel."

Then she dusted her wooden toys and rinsed her mason jars and put her whole house in order.

At night Mrs. DHM climbed into her bed and looked through the topmost branches at the sky. She saw a million stars. She looked at her bookshelves and saw a million books, most pre-1985. It was very peaceful.

But one day a band of red squirrels came jumping and chattering to the Common Room House. Mrs. DHM was just putting her cake in the oven, when she looked up and saw a lot of strangers in her doorway. One, two, three, she counted, and one, two three more--six red squirrels. She didn't think they were there for the singing.

Then they told her she couldn't sell her used books online anymore. They drank up her whole winter's supply of Russian Tea. They broke her broom and threw out her mason jars. Then they chased her out of her Common Room house.

Poor Mrs. DHM! She didn't know where to go. And it began to rain. She scampered up the nearest tree with her laptop. Shivering and cold, she scrambled down a chimney and out of a hole in the chimney and into the attic.

There in the dusty, quiet attic she saw a beautiful sight. The whole attic was full of vintage children's books. Bound volumes of St. Nicholas Magazine. Entire shelves of Childhood of Famous Americans. First editions of Edward Ardizzone's Little Tim books.

"My, what a lovely attic!" thought Mrs. DHM. "What a shame there is no one to share it with me. It is so big!" She catalogued two whole bookcases on Library Thing.

Then she saw a box and opened it up. Well, what do you think she saw inside? A band of toy soldiers. They had been sleeping there for years.

"Thanks for setting us free," said the captain. "Is there anything we can do for you?"

"You could march to the Common Room," said Mrs. DHM, "and talk to those red squirrels who pushed me out. But, on the other hand, we don't want to use unnecessary force. How about you stay here instead and I'll read you stories."

"As long as we don't have to narrate afterwards," said the soldier captain.

Late that night the captain woke his men and gave them their orders. There were only five of them, but they were very brave, and their hearts were full of love. After all, Mrs. DHM had introduced them to The Bears of Blue River.

They marched to the Common Room and climbed through the window. The squirrels were making so much noise about government bailouts that they did not hear the soldiers until it was too late.

"This is Mrs. DHM's house," said the captain, drawing his sword. "Will you go peaceably, or must we fight?"

The red squirrels looked at the soldiers and screamed "Lead! Contaminants!" They ran out of the house as fast as they could and down the road.

"And don't come back!" shouted the captain.

Mrs. DHM was very happy to move back into her Common Room. She thanked the soldiers and made them promise to come for potluck dinners once a week. Then the soldiers marched off through the forest, singing The Cruel War.

That night when Mrs. DHM went to bed, she was very tired. And she still missed her Sadie dog. But she looked through the branches and she could see a million stars. She looked at her bookshelves and she could see a million books. And she looked through her blog comments and realized that she had...well, not a million friends...but a lot. And Mrs. DHM was very happy once more.

With Apologies to Miriam Young and her classic picture book Miss Suzy, copyright 1964 by Parent's Magazine Press, now classified as an illegal substance.


Sebastian said...

Watch out Mama Squirrel. Your house might end up as a last stop on the underground railroad for books escaping destruction in the US.

Mama Squirrel said...

Or bookselling squirrels.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

I have a huge, sappy, grin on my face. You are a treasure.

Anonymous said...

Mama Squirrel, that was so clever and so kind. Bless you!

This is my first time here--I think I'll look around! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh! Mama Squirrel! I see you are from Ontario--I am too. :)
I'm sure liking what I am seeing of your blog so far.

Mama Squirrel said...

Hi Lisa Beth W.--welcome and come back again!

Birdie said...

How very cute and clever, Mama Squirrel! I enjoyed it heartily.

Katie said...

What a great story!