Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sir Chidester: Letter Three

Dear Thomisina Basilina,

At last I am able to sit down and write you a few words! Oh, Thomisina, do you remember when I was a wee lad and refused to eat my brussel sprouts?

Now I would give half of Gumberry Castle (were it still mine) to eat just one brussel sprout.

What do you think? I have spent half the day trying to coax down Ludwig the Noble from the branch of a tree.

How did this happen, you may ask.

Well, Thomisina, dear pink-cheeked nursemaid of mine, I will tell you.

Yesterday we ate our very last green gumdrop. "Alas, Ludwig my dear companion," I said, licking the sugar from my fingers. "There are no more gumdrops!"

Ludwig hung her red head and seemed sad. All day today, as we walked on our path in search of our fortune, I thought hard about what my good bird friend might eat for tea.

Suddenly, as I walked into the shade of a tall ginko tree, I cried: "Bingo!" Ludwig popped down from her place atop my hat and flapped her wings.

"By George," I said. "By Basil! I know what we'll have for tea!"

For Thomisina, I had just remembered what you taught me when I was as short as your stockings.

Birds eat worms!

And there were plenty of those about. As Ludwig prepared our tea, I pushed the toe of my noble boot underneath a rock, and then with one deft FLICK! I flipped the rock over. Underneath were a wealth of worms.

I thought Ludwig would be delighted!

But when I presented the worm on the royal Gumberry platter, she squawked at me--yes, squawked!--and flew up into a tree.

"Oh, DO come down, Ludwig!" I yelled up at her, but it was no use.

Finally I decided I would show her how delicious worms really are!

My dear Thomisina, worms are NOT delicious. Even though I pretended I was a bird, the worm was NOT delicious.

And to make matters worse, Ludwig the Noble sat up in the tree and laughed at me.

"Our tea is getting cold!" I shouted up at Ludwig, in a very un-noble way. I did not feel happy.

I did think tea time was ruined, and an adventure is no fun at all without a good cup of hot tea.

But just as I was bowing my handsome head, Ludwig remembered she was a noble bird.

She flew away for a minute--I thought perhaps she would not come back!--but then she came back.

Ah, Thomisina, the tea was still warm. And though carrots are not quite as sweet as gumdrops, Ludwig and I enjoyed the crunch! for a change.

And as you know, the most humble of food is delicious when it is eaten with a friend.

I remain your well-fed and well-dressed,

Sir Chidester the Gumberry

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