In the Kitchen of the Baggaraggs, everyone was talking at once. There were suggestions about what to do, how to fight, and bits and pieces of past glories that were offered to substantiate battle plans. Grace Tenderstitch tried to patiently listen to every suggestion, but inside her self there was a battle raging that was as real as the one that was about to be fought at the Garden Gate. She looked at all of her sweet companions and felt that she would give up any of her possessions in order to keep them safe. She would not sacrifice any of them for a sewing machine.
Murray looked up at his mistress' face and saw the consternation written there. "What are you thinking Grace?" he said.
"I am thinking that they can have the Thread Pusher...I don't care, I can get another one. I would not like to lose any of you in a Battle over a simple sewing Machine."
"And than what Grace?" asked Murray. "And then what do they take from you?"
"Already they have invaded our woods, and have harmed you and Murray," added Swain.
"Will we allow them to Live here in the Baggaraggs? You know they will try to take our home, and drive us out...filthy rats." This from Ernie the Weasel.
"No Grace, we cannot turn back now...this thing is decided for us," Murray finished.
Grace Tenderstitch Paused and looked around. Her heart was beating very fast, she swallowed to still it, as she said "I will go and try to talk to them."
"There is no talking Grace, they did not come here to ask for help. They did not come to find out what could be done to assist their People. They did not come to open a Bakery, Pie-rats or no. They came to take our Thread Pusher and to inhabit our lands. I think they have come for the very Baggaraggs itself," said Murray angrily.
Deep inside Grace there came a realization. The thought opened itself like a curtain pulled back to reveal a bright morning. And the thought was this: There are some things that cannot be appeased. There would be no making this right, there would be no negotiating, no peace. The moment was hugely uncomfortable for her. There were no words that would fix this, no actions to repair it. This was something ugly that could not be made even a tiny bit beautiful. She feared the outcome for all of them.
There was the sound of a cry at the Garden Gate followed by "Attack, Attack!"
There was the call of Tisdales Shell, as Grace Tenderstitch rushed forward to the door and out into the Garden. She hastily grabbed a flat shovel as she went. Her companions scrambled to her aid and Murray charged ahead, growling and barking furiously.
"Get back, Get back," she cried as the rats swarmed toward her and her companions. The weasels and the badgers were fighting hand to hand , as the Pie-rats tried to gain the inner garden.
Grace rushed the Gate with her shovel swinging wildly, Sweeping rats into an arc in the air, as she went. She was yelling at times almost incoherently, but mostly what she screamed was "Get out Get out." She was smashing and swinging the shovel with a horrible force, so that all around her gave her a wide birth, so as not to be tossed high into the air with a smack of the shovel.
Swain the Cat, fought a group of rats who could danced warily around the end of his deadly skewer. Murray's teeth found a home in the backs of some who were fool hearty enough to try him.
And in the Darkness overhead, there came a scream of warning, as Windslow swept down with Maybell upon his back. Down he came with others of his kind, bringing Talons of Death. Grabbing, snatching, clutching, their silent wings cupping and covering their deadly business, as the rats screamed and tried to flee.