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Voyage of the Born Eater Part Two

Scottish Charity Number: SCO40701

COOK – INN Musselburgh operating in Edinburgh & East Lothian

      28th April 2019.

Voyage of the Born Eater, part Two.

(Last week we left our three intrepid heroes – Reiver the cat, Barney the dog, and Eugene the gardening pixie – about to embark on a new adventure in the land of Narnia. Barney wants entertainment, Eugene wished to find out what veg & fruit they were growing this season – and Reive just wanted more tuna).

The going got hot as the heroes plodded along through the great fruit forest. Unlike last time, when it had been a snowy winter’s day, today the sun shone mercilessly out of a deep blue sky. Birds sang from the tops of the raspberry canes, which were a good eight foot tall. Reiver scowled as he tried – and failed – to climb a cane and take out a bird. Barney, and even the kindly Eugene, tried not to giggle as the fat cat slid helplessly down the stem of the great plant, singeing off leaves by the stress of his passage as he descended. When he reached the bottom, Reive had a ‘crown’ of leaves on his head and body, stuck to his fur by the tiny hairs on the leaves’ undersides. The other two pretended not to notice his new, green ‘outfit’ as he stood up, shook himself and walked onwards as if nothing had happened.

Presently the raspberries receded from view and they came to a small hill. At the top of the hill there sat a little cottage with a bright yellow roof. Outside the cottage, weeding the garden, was a blond woman in a blue dress like the girl from CS Lewis’ ‘Wonderland’. As they passed by, the adventurers could not help peering in through the generous greenery of the garden trees.

“Hello”, said the woman, getting up. Apparently she was not fazed by either green cats, dogs or pixies. She waved the trowel in the direction of the cottage’s front door.  “Would you like some refreshment”?

Reiver, who didn’t ‘do’ many three-syllable words, just looked up at her with big, hungry eyes and wound his way through her legs, getting leaves stuck onto her shoes. Barney barked a firm ‘yes’, and Eugene, still partly hidden by the dog’s fur, just nodded nervously. He wasn’t used to big people noticing him, because he spent so much of his time avoiding their attention. The woman went in, and came out with a tray containing two plates of meat, a big teapot, cups and a ripe melon. Quickly identifying the food which was right for each of them, she doled out the provisions and poured them all tea. The woman, whose name (predictably) was Alice, told them about the contents of her kitchen garden (to Eugene’s delight), and about the big news in the kingdom.

It transpired that a character known as the ‘Hatter’ had moved into the area, and was making life difficult for honest, working people by getting up in the early hours and lying down in gardens around the neighbourhood. Nobody was getting any sleep, worrying what he was up to. Alice and her neighbours on all the other hills had tried talking to him, but he just warbled words they didn’t understand. It looked like this would go on forever.

“What kind of words is he burbling”? Lisped Eugene, curiosity getting the better of his shyness.

“Words like ‘variable stars’ and ‘fish eyes”, said Alice nervously. “It sounds like he’s a sorceror making a potion. “And that big, scary hat! People are afraid he’ll turn them into frogs”.

Entering a huddle, the three animals discussed what could be happening. Eugene, who often dug his garden after dark and who had read about the night sky in the library, quickly came up with a plan. The adventurers would await the night, and then go and talk to the Hatter. Alice was thrilled. They napped until after dark in the garden, until the rustling leaves on a nearby bush alerted them. The Hatter was coming into the garden to lay down.

Barney jumped up. “Boo”! He barked, knocking the Hatter over with his enthusiasm. The big hat came off of his head, and underneath he was only a tall, wavy-haired man of rather slim build.  It had been the headwear which gave him an arresting appearance. Underneath the big dog, he was challenged to answer questions by the tiny pixie. By morning the mystery had all been solved. Soon, Alice came out into the garden to see what all the fuss had been about. She saw the Hatter clearly for the first time. “You look much nicer without your hat”, she remarked.

Smiling, the now-hatless Hatter threw himself on her tender mercies. He was an astronomer, it turned out; and he’d been looking for stars and meteor showers up in the sky. The big hat was to keep his head warm when the nights turned cold. He had taken up this career because he had no warm place to go and sleep at night. Alice’s heart melted at his tale. She offered him her garden to observe from, and a nice warm bed to sleep in during the day. As long as he cooked dinner and told her stories about the stars. Eugene, thinking their job was done, prepared to leave. “Why would a meteor need a shower anyway”? Grumbled a hungry Reiver, who wanted to stay for breakfast.

“Hold on a minute,” Alice insisted. “Now I have something for you”. She went into the little cottage and brought out a tiny set of golden dentures. Eugene’s eyes popped. “I couldn’t help noticing your dental challenge”, Alice explained. “These were left here by a faery dentist many years ago, as payment for a favour. I’ve never had a use for them until now”.

Eugene tried them on. They were a reasonable fit. He chomped them up and down happily. Reive and Barney hid their eyes from the dazzle. He thanked Alice profusely, and they headed home. Coming through the fruit forest again, They heard a welcome sound; Duncan calling Reiver for dinner! As the fat cat thundered happily into his house, Barney and the still-grinning pixie made a dash for number nine, where their own dinner was being served.

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66 bags were given out today, because of a bumper donation by Morrison’s and Tesco! God has provided each of our households with a bag of vegetables; and a bag of bread, cakes and fruit. That’s 33 homes, and in them, maybe 75 or more people fed today. 🙂

Many thanks to our stalwart chef, Clive; to all our lovely volunteers, and also to all our avid readers. Please do post comments on the website, so we can see what sort of blogs you’d like to read!

Don’t forget, folks; the ‘Cook-Inn’ helpline number is 07531 436 389.

God Bless, all. Have a good week. See you next time.

Janine, Duncan and Reiver the irrepressible fatcat. xx

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