Sometimes when there is a great fear of something , the idea of it gets submerged in to a deep pool of unconscious forgetting. Somehow, because it was just too frightening to contemplate, the thought gets folded away at the bottom of a drawer, and pushed deeply to the side. It is somewhat like an unwelcome gift that we cannot bring ourselves to discard but do not want to acknowledge either. This was what had happened to Tisdale when he was talking to the citizens of the Baggaraggs. He had told them "I don't know what is coming," when in fact Grace Tenderstitch had told him what he could expect. He had not told them a lie, but in Truth his fear of the Pie-rats had genuinely made him forget. Have you ever had that happen to you, that you have totally submerged a fear, by just plain forgetting about its Existence? Deep within the unconscious pool of forgetting, there were bubbles of fear that were descending, rocketing their way to the surface of Tisdale's Brain.Those unwelcome bubbles were bursting with the knowledge that he had with held the identity of their enemy from the Baggaraggs inhabitants.
But, The citizens of the Baggaraggs did not know that the Pie-rats were in route to their home,and they readied their defense of the Place. Animals know instinctively how to fight. They are not negotiators. Ernie was busy handing out rusty and ill used Ouchers. Tisdale had glued carpet hooks to his shell, and was helping others with the same armor. He had the moles tunneling and creating pits that would be filled with pine sap. There were sentinels on the roof, the Ravens with their iridescent feathers, scanned the air and the forest edge for signs of trouble.
I do not know what they would have thought if they realized that their common enemy would be a band of Pie-rats. I am not sure it would have mattered, maybe only to have made the task more grim, and somehow more serious. Pie-rats were after all, a blood thirsty group, known to leave whole towns in ruins and inflict the Plague. (The Plague is a VERY old Story.)
The children were placed in the corners of the House, with their Mothers standing guard. Those children would be protected with the very lives of their Mothers, they would fight to the death to protect their little ones.
Those that were able, carried brambles to the edge of the Garden fence. The now leggy Parasoles of the Nasturium leaves hid the thorny spines of briars. The afternoon was soon becoming evening and Tisdale wished he could stretch out each minute to twice its length in Time. He struggled with the Knowledge that he had not told them all that he could have. And he wondered what to do.