The Seasons have out paced the story of the Baggaraggs. They are stuck at the beginning of Winter and Prunella has just shown up at Grace's Home and Grace has climbed out of Bed....
Grace looked with weary eyes at the form beFore her and remembered the little girl she had watched climb in the apple trees, and wave without fear from the tops of the Poplars in summer. Grace was a young woman then, and Prunella had been a child. This person before her was not the Prunella that she remembered. It took only seconds for these thoughts to make their appearance in Grace's thoughts and evaporate, leaving her to wonder what to say. "Hello, Prunella," she began. "What Party...what are you talking about, and why are you dressed like that?" She finished this with a furrow of her brows, questioning.
Prunella Fig-Pink eyed Grace with misery. "I am cold Grace, and the Pie-rats have taken my Home. I have come for help. The party was my Birthday party...you didn't come and I am wearing my Birthday dress." She sniffed. Prunella looked down at herself, spreading the fabric of her skirt to display the fine gay print to Grace. It was threadbare, stained and thin. Prunella looked confused.
"When was your Party, Dear?" urged Grace gently.
"It was..." Prunella paused. She thought a long and confused thought. She began again, "It was, my goodness...16 years ago." The tears came to Prunella then. She crumbled and wept. "I waited and no one came..." this was all she could manage between her sobs.
Grace Tenderstitch watched this tearful confession. She was tired and her neck and shoulder had begun to stiffen with the night's arm slinging, shovel wielding activities. She longed for sleep. There was a moments indecision, that was so common for Grace before she crossed the room and put her arm around Prunella. "Come on...into the tub, nice hot bath and some nice soft jammies. We will think of what you want to do in the morning."
In the meantime, the Pie-rats had not wasted any time getting settled into Prunella's home.
In the meantime, Maybell snuggled into the soft downy feathers, under the wing of Windslow the Osprey. They were perched high above the forest in a twiggy nest.
In the meantime, Ernie the Weasel and Tisdale the snail talked long into the night about how to take back the Thread-Pusher, and what to do about the Pie-Rats.
And the forest slept under its icy blanket, covered in a frosting of snow. The wind blew softly and lifted the icy fingers of the Maple tree, as if to beckon an unseen spirit into the forest depths.