Ralfie and Jemima

Ralfie and Jemima

Sunday, 21 March 2021

The Oyster Rabbits

Let us welcome a new family to Riverside. 

They are called the Mariners. 

The Mariners are Oyster Rabbits. 

Oyster Rabbits love to live on or near the sea. They are also excellent swimmers and divers and they love to eat seafood.

The Mariner children are called Matse and Madita.

Matse and Madita were born on the ocean. They lived on a boat with their parents and travelled northern oceans. They are very excited to find out what it is like to live on land.

The parents are called Mikkel and Miri. They have built this beautiful lighthouse near the river for their family. 

The river of Riverside does not need a lighthouse, but I guess the Mariners, being Oyster Rabbits, do.

Mikkel was born into a long line of sailors. He is used to having calluses on the inside of his paws from steering a boat and to the tang of salt and algae travelling with the breeze and clinging to rabbits' clothing and furs.

His favourite dreams are of foaming waves and his favourite colour is blue.

Miri used to live on an island in the southern oceans. She was a champion swimmer and diver in her youth and won the Golden Wave (the island's highest award for water sports) three years in a row. 

Her favourite words are Matse and Madita.

Today the Mariners are checking on their new lighthouse. They need to get some furniture before they can move in.

Suddenly a little beige rabbit is walking along the pier towards Miri. It's Jemima. She is pushing her toy pram in front of her with Quackie inside.

The Mariners have already met the Periwinkles. 
"Hello, Jemima!" Miri says. "Are you coming for a visit?"

"Oh nooo," replies the little rabbit girl. "I come for staying. Mommy want bath me every day this week, so I run away. I stay with you now."

"Oh dear," smiles Miri. "Don't you like to bath? It makes you smell good and your fur shine."
"Nuh-uh. I don't like wodah."

"What about Quackie? I'm sure she likes water!" Miri says optimistically.
"Quackie only likes the river and the pond. No bathtubs," Jemima says firmly.

"All right," Miri proposes, "then why don't you let Quackie take a swim right here in the river? I'm sure she'll be grateful for the exercise." 

Quackie seems very happy indeed, as she swims in the water next to the pier in little circles. She looks at Jemima as if to say, "come and join me!" 
"I think she wants you to swim with her," says Miri. "But the water is still very cold. You should wait until the summer." 

Then Miri explains to Jemima all the wonderful things you can do in the water. Synchronized swimming and water ballet. Water skiing. Snorkelling and diving. Beach ball and water aerobics. Or simply lying on your back and letting the water carry you. You can swim in competition or search for a long lost underwater treasure...

After a while, Jemima takes Quackie out of the water and pops her back into the pram. She gets up and tells Miri that she will give the bathtub another try, maybe there is pirate treasure stuck somewhere at the bottom of it.

"My dears," Miri says to Matse and Madita, "could you please accompany Jemima back home?" 
"Sure Mom!" The siblings reply.

All of a sudden Ralfie Hazelnut appears on the wooden pier, a little out of breath. "Your momma told me to find you. She thought you might be at the lighthouse. Are you goin' away, Jemima?" Ralfie frets.

"No Ralfie," Jemima answers. "Just home now, to da bathtub. Wanna come too? I think you should, you look real dirty." 

"Aww, I don't like bathing so much...", Ralfie says evasively.
"You can play with my little pony after...," Jemima adds astutely. She knows he loves to play with her ponies, because he always asks about them when he is at her house, admiring her collection and combing the ponies' hair.

"Okay", replies Ralfie while sucking on his lollipop and off the four children go to Jemima's house.

The Mariners say HELLO

and wish you a MARVELLOUS week.

đŸ€ ⛵ đŸ€

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Let's Take The Car (Part 2)


On the same day another well-known family went for a drive. 

There was a friendly zombie snowman on the side of the road that hadn't stood there before. Even though christmas had long passed, he was wearing a santa hat and holding a christmas wreath in his right tentacle.

"Hello! Do you need a ride?" Fudge asked the snowman. The snowman smiled and declined. 

Maybe he was waiting for the sun to get a bit warmer and melt him, so he could get some rest until next winter?

The squirrel from earlier was there too, but this time he did not seem to be in a rush. 

He chattered something into the ear of a chubby little bear cub. 

"Don't you just love Riverside's wildlife, Pickels?" Fudge said to his dragon friend inside the car. "There are always interesting animals to admire, as soon as we leave the house."

Pickles nodded. He didn't care much for wildlife, though. Longingly, he sniffed at the packet of toffees that was tucked behind him on the seat. He knew that Fudge would probably want him to wait with snack time until they had finished their errand. Why? Because Fudge had started the new year with something really stupid... so-called "good" resolutions! 

Ew. Pickles did not like them at all, because they had to do with awful things like eating three packets of caramel a day instead of four, brushing his teeth before bed and washing behind his ears. And Fudge expected Pickles to do the same.

Today, Fudge was planning a surprise for me! He was driving to my house to gift me with some chocolates from Lindt. Wasn't that a sweet idea? Especially, since it wasn't Valentine's Day, Easter, or my birthday. Fudge was simply being attentive. 

Fudge passed by the chubby bear cub and Mr. Squirrel.

The squirrel hopped from the bear's shoulder onto the back of Fudge's car. So that was why he wasn't in a hurry anymore. Apparently he had thought up a way of saving time by hitchhiking.

A little while later Fudge arrived at my house to give me the Lindt chocolates. They were delicious and I thanked him and it was all very touching, because I had never before been gifted chocolates on a random day by a tiny little BiWuBear before.

On their way back, Pickles was lounging on the back seat of the car inside his woolen sleeping bag, burping happily. There were cookies and chocolates and fudge and sweets scattered across the floor in front of him.

Suddenly Fudge saw another snowman. He drove more slowly.

This one was definitely hoping to get a free ride. Fudge could feel it. 


He didn't look like a friendly tentacled zombie snowman, though. Just friendly.

Fudge got out of the car and walked up to the snowman, smiling. The snowman smiled back.

"Hello, how are you? Do you need a ride?" asked Fudge.

"Um..." the snowman stuttered awkwardly. "Actually, I was looking for somebody... anybody... interested in chocolate. My best before date is about to expire. You see, I am a leftover from christmas and nobody wanted me."

Fudge was struck by the snowman's candour. He was now in a rather serious dilemma, though. Several dilemmas. 

On the one hand, he liked chocolate very much. It was his favourite food after fudge and caramel. On the other hand, he had made a new-years resolution which he wanted to stick to.

Also, he had never eaten anyone whom he had had a conversation with!

Finally, Fudge patted the snowman on the shoulder and said, "Would you like to come home with Pickles and I? We could forget about your best-before-thingy and spend some quality time on the sofa during the next few days, reading books and having lots of hot milk and fudge."

The snowman seemed to ponder this for a while and then he exhaled and laughed out loud simultaneously and said, "Okay, let's do it!! I knew this was going to be my lucky day. But I had never imagined anything like this... Are we friends now, Mr. Bear?"

"Sure, we're friends!" Fudge replied happily. 
"And my name is Fudge, by the way." 

The snowman's name was Choccy. 

Fudge could sense how excited Choccy was as he followed him to the car. 

"Let's go home Choccy! Pickles and I will show you our house. It's called Caramel Cottage and I'm sure you'll enjoy staying with us. My warm milk with fudge is the best in all of Riverside, did you know..."

And off they went. 

Sometimes I am a bit concerned at Fudges' habit to collect people off the road or from the forest and keep them as lodgers or friends at Caramel Cottage, but, fortunately, he seems to have a knack for meeting strangers that turn out to be really good people, as we were already able to find out in a post called "And the winner is... Fudge??".

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Let's Take The Car


It was another cold winter's day in Riverside with several degrees celcius below zero, so nobody (who could help it) would go anywhere on foot. 

The Periwinkles decided to go for a little drive. Their car was a convertible and, unfortunately, the roof's mechanism had broken the day before, so they had to create an alternative using a blanket for James and Julie and a scarf for the children.

Jemima's best friend Ralfie Hazelnut was staying over for the weekend, so he came along for the ride, as well as Quackie, Jemima's rubber duck.

The car radio was playing one of Jemima's cassettes and the children were singing to the intro of "Lamb Chop's Play Along", Jemima's favourite childrens' TV show.

Suddenly something furry and orange landed on the car's engine hood. James hit the brakes. 
It was a red squirrel and it seemed to be clamouring about something. It was normal for squirrels in Riverside to seem to be chattering, but this one sounded like it was speaking English!

"I'm late, I'm late - don't burn me on the grate!
I hope you can forgive me love, for I will compensate!"

James and Julie gazed at each other in disbelief and then returned to stare at the squirrel, that had crossed the engine hood and landed on the other side of the street, on top of the high mound of snow.

It turned toward the opposite side of the street again and went on chattering: 

"I'm late, I'm late - bad breaks accumulate!
If you should not believe me hon, then no one will relate!" 

This time, everyone heard it even more clearly. 

"Mommydaddy, squirrel's in a rush!" Jemima exclaimed. Ralfie nodded energetically. Though they were certainly intrigued, they were not as jaw-droppingly amazed as the parents at talking forest animals. 

James and Julie stared at each other one more time. Julie whispered, "Am I the only one getting rather strong Alice vibes here?" she asked, probably referring to the White Rabbit from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. And then, in the unreasonable way adults often have (even when they are rabbits in Sylvania), they shook their heads once more in disbelief and chose to forget all about the incident in a sudden attack of amnesia.

Ralfie and Jemima on the other hand spent a while pondering the squirrel's words. They guessed that Mr. Squirrel was referring to his wife when he said "love" and "hon". 
As James resumed driving, the children saw the squirrel cross the road once more and join another one of his kind on top of a heap of snow. If it was his spouse, they hoped she would believe whatever it was that had happened to him and, more importantly, forgive him for being so late, because they did not want her to fry him.