Blueberry Lane Herb Farm:
Jingle Jingle Jingle
Coral Bell shook the snow from the sleigh bells while Boulder Hill galloped around the paddock. He loved rearing his hind legs to kick up the snow. He loved to hear his whinny echo between the mountains on a frosty day. He loved to entertain his pals who were sitting on the fence and cheering him on. He spouted out a tune in his usual rhyming fashion:
Snow, snow, canter and trot
Snow, snow, I go fast to gallop
Snow, snow, the mice keep warm in the barn
Snow, snow, my home is Blueberry Lane Herb Farm!
Lined up on the fence rail, Guinevere, Rasmus, and Pedro huddled close. They snuggled together while wrapped in one of Boulder’s cozy horse blankets. Indeed, they wore their warmest mittens and hats. Tilly nestled inside of Rasmus’s coat with only her little head peeking out. She was snug as a bug in a rug. Snowflakes swirled while they watched the big quarter horse romp around. They chatted about decorating the farm for the holidays with wreathes and twinkling lights. They planned to make cranberry and popcorn garlands for the birds.
“I have an idea. I would like to make Matilda’s first holiday with us cheerful. Maybe she will feel more special. If I decorate her chicken yard and put a wreath on her gate, maybe she will like me more,” Guinevere exclaimed. “That’s the spirit Guin, I like that idea of yours!” Coral Bell replied.
Rasmus and Pedro decided to venture in to the woods to collect evergreens to make wreathes. Pedro, having a generous heart with good intentions said, “Señorita Guinevere, Ramus and I will make a pretty wreath for you to give Matilda. We will decorate it with berries and a bow.” Guinevere was so excited, she hugged and squeezed them both. “Señorita! Please! You’re squishing me,” Pedro spewed. Guin, get your paws off my big rabbity ears, you’re pulling them,” Ramus squealed. Together both Ramus and Pedro pushed Guin away to break free. She fell backwards with a big PLOP into the snow bank! Guin shook off the snow and giggled.
Tilly whistled, “Attention everyone. I have a splendid idea. Let’s make holiday greeting cards for our friends in the local shelters. Imagine, just imagine how special they will feel! Pedro, I said imagine. Stop nibbling on hay. Now close your eyes to imagine!” While Pedro turned sideways to nibble more hay that was stashed in his pocket, Tilly and Guinevere were elected to make the cards since they were the best artists of the group.
With a big binky, Rasmus hollered, “Let’s play in the snow first!” Making little snowmen, tossing snowballs, and sliding around on the frozen pond put everyone in a festive mood.
Swish, shush, swoosh
Taking a break from playing outside, the two little artists settled down to make holiday cards. The faint sounds of sketching and water color painting filled the void between conversation. They quietly worked on the floor in the living room. They were very focused. A charcoal pencil dangled from Tilly’s beak while she sketched cardinals. Guinevere furiously sharpened colored pencils as she wore them down. They both dabbled water color paints on their work. Sparkly glitter was the finishing touch on each card. One by one, they set the cards by the fireplace to dry.
“Guinevere, where are you? Rasmus and I made Matilda’s wreath, come and see it,” Pedro shouted. Guin jumped up, slipped on a pencil, bumped into Tilly and fell over. The paint tray flipped up and splashed all over them. Tilly squawked, “Oh Guinevere, you look like a polka dot guinea piggy! Oh no, there’s glitter all over your fur! Finally you get to sparkle and shine!” Pedro was giggling at the scene. When Guin pushed the fur out of her eyes she laughed, “Tilly, you look like a polka dot parrot! You have glitter on your feathers too! Oh my stars, oh my gosh, oh my goodness. We have to clean the rug before Coral Bell sees paint and glitter all over the place,” Guin panicked. Rasmus closed his eyes, shook his head in disbelief of the chaos and slipped underneath his favorite chair for a nap.
Cluck cluck cluck……cluck cluck cluck
Matilda was resting on her gate while her young chicks played peek a boo around the coop. Bundled up in a coat, scarf, hat, and mittens, Guinevere ventured out to see her. She whispered, “Pssssst. Matilda. Are you awake? Taking a nap? Matilda? Yoo-hoo. Yoooo-hoooo.” One eye opened and Matilda sleepily mumbled, “Oh, it’s you. Trouble-maker. What do you want? Don’t bother me. Can’t you see I’m cat napping while my chicks are playing?”
Guinevere defended herself, “Well Matilda, I know you’re not cat napping because you don’t have a cat. So, don’t be silly! Besides, I brought you some holiday cheer. Close your eyes while I fix your surprise.” Matilda obliged. Guinevere got to work. She dragged an old chair over to the fence to use for a ladder. Standing on the chair on her tippy toes, she draped garland along the fence. She nestled cranberries and orange peels in the garland for treats. It was quite a bit of work. Off and on the chair, she moved it along the fence as she worked. Just as she was hanging the wreath on the gate, Matilda screeched, “What’s taking so long?” Out of freight, Guinevere shook so hard that her scarf got tangled around the fencepost…..and then she was stuck!
Thump Thump Thump
In the background, Rasmus was keeping an eye on Guinevere and came to her rescue. “Matilda, you are so grumpy. Guinevere told you she had a surprise, and that should make you happy. Look around grumpy girl! See how festive your yard looks! This was all Guinevere’s idea. She wanted to make your first holiday season at Blueberry Lane extra special.” He untangled Guinevere’s scarf from the fencepost as Guin handed Matilda a sparkly holiday greeting card.
Matilda was overwhelmed by Guinevere’s thoughtfulness. It was the first time she received a pawmade holiday card. With her beak, Matilda proudly pinned the card on the door of her coop. She pinned it low so all her chicks would enjoy seeing it. “Well, well, it looks like I have egg on my face”, Matilda cackled. “No pun intended there, but sometimes I think I’m a funny old hen. Even though you and I don’t always get along Guinevere, it seems I need to mind my manners. Will you accept my apology for being grumpy and impatient? Will you accept my apology for not seeing your good intentions?”
Rasmus stood next to Guinevere for support. In a proud way, he had his arm around her. With a gratified feeling, Guin batted her eyes and replied, “Yes Matilda. I accept your apology. Here’s the deal: you try to be more patient; try to see the good in others. I’ll try not to aggravate you. This is a nice holiday gift to give each other!” Matilda flapped her wings in agreement.
Feliz Navidad - Prospero año why felicidad
Pedro was merrily singing along in Spanish until Tilly shrieked for his attention. “Pedro, remember while making cards, there are other holidays to celebrate, including New Year’s Day. Jeepers, we have a lot of cards to make! Who is on your greeting card list?” Pedro put his color pencil down. “Excuse me, but I keep my list under the sofa cushion with my hay stash. I’ll be right back.”
With a small thump for attention, Rasmus chimed in, “I recommend we make one holiday greeting card list. This way, we can have all our friends from the shelters on it. When we finish making cards, we will prepare them for mailing. It must be organized. Wait for my instructions. By the way, Daisy is on my list. So is Percy. Boulder asked me to make a card for Percy. Did you remember that Percy is his Palomino friend in Colorado? Percy is coming to visit us in the spring and Boulder is so excited!”
Pedro returned with his list; he handed it to his green parrot pal. Tilly turned it to the left, then to the right. Then she turned it on a crooked angle. “Pedro, there are holes in your list. Parts of names are missing. The edges are tattered and frayed.” Pedro explained, “Pardon me Señorita Tilly, but I keep my special papers with my hay stash. Sometimes I nibble on them when I’m nervous. You know, I am a nervous nibbler. I cannot help it. This is why I need my Small Pet Select fidget sticks around. You know, fidget sticks make me less fidgety.”
After all the cards were drawn, colored, painted, glittered, folded, and signed, they followed Rasmus’s instructions. Each one had a specific job to do. They formed an assembly line. Rasmus described, “Coral Bell wrote the addresses on the envelopes already. Therefore, I will stuff the envelopes. Pedro will seal the envelopes. Tilly will put the return address label on. Guin will stamp the envelopes and drop each one in the shoe box for the postman.”
So they began…..stuff, seal, label, stamp. Stuff, seal, label, stamp. Stuff, seal, label, stamp. As the cards moved through the assembly line, the shoebox filled up. Everything was going well until Guin was puzzled. “Wait, hold it everyone. There are no stamps left.” Rasmus looked up at Guin and thumped, “Guinevere Margaret! Look at yourself. No wonder you ran out of stamps. How did that happen? You talk too much instead of paying attention.
Pedro giggled. Tilly giggled. Guin giggled, “Oh dear! Stamps are stuck all over my fur! Now how did that happen? Tilly please pick the stamps off with your beak. And be gentle, don’t wreck my beautiful fur.” As Tilly tugged at each stamp, Guin winced. “Now,” said Rasmus, “let’s get back to work and no more fur mishaps.” Guinevere rolled her eyes and scrunched up her nose at Rasmus.
Throughout the holiday season, everyone imagined the delight of the shelter animals receiving their greeting cards. They hoped that their greetings brought happiness and a sense of wonder to all. They wished a merry holiday season and happy new year full of love, comfort, and a forever home for each and every animal around the world.
Warm Seasons Greetings from Blueberry Lane Herb Farm to you!
And here are some coloring pages! Just click to download.
You can also download this whole story here!