NOT so long ago, as a matter of fact recently, I would say, in a modest little home lived Minky and Blinky, a loving pair of adventurers and readers of books. Blinky was bull strong, rock-willed and a rather passionate fellow. Minky, on the other hand, was beautiful, elegant and dazzlingly red-haired. And, ah, yes…then there was their extraordinary, sweet and joyful cat, Muffinpuff. Adorable Muffinpuff! All three lived in a nestled yellow house on Baldwin Street. A quaint street. Quaint. But Quite.
And so begins…
MUFFINPUFF’S FALL FUN AND WINTER DELIGHT!
(Or a collection of delectable and divine tales)
HARKENS THE FALL
THOUGH not a welcome time for many a folk, particularly as it signified the end of the blissful summer days, the arrival of fall in October in the waning year marked the third quarter of the calendar, the time before the start of winter, the farewell of short shirts and linen fabrics, or as they say, Halloween month. A dreary, solemn time for some. A festive, whole-hearted time of falling leaves and oaky hews for others.
For Muffinpuff, it was the beginning of fern followings, tasty teas and fun, oh fertile fun!
Sweet Muffinpuff enjoyed many a delightful games and activities during the fall months. There was checkers, rope-on-a-stick, backgammon, scratch-a-mat, fiddlesticks & tricks and so many others. Particularly, she enjoyed spending mornings and evenings in their cozy home with Minky and Blinky, whilst sitting down several times a day for a splendid cup of tea, naturally.
One delightful morning, Muffinpuff was in an extraordinarily playful mood. Unable to sit still for even a moment, she was not able to join Blinky for some tea and biscuits. Nevertheless, keen on exerting her energy in some fashion or other, she and Blinky thus devised an elaborate game of listing all the reasons why they loved Minky. Two hours later, they still had not decidedly reached a conclusion.
HALLOWS EVE, FALLING LEAF
HALLOWEEN was always a time of certain mischievousness from Muffinpuff. Scary, goofy, tricksy, bright costumes were indeed a must for the kitty with a keen eye. She particularly liked to dress up as a furry rabbit during Halloween. Muffinpuff’s bunny feet naturally assisted her in this regard and she was more than happy to hop around gleefully whence gathering the countless assortment of candies, cupcakes, chocolates and hearty smiles.
When All Hallows Eve did eventually come this particular year, Muffinpuff was feeling rather unwell. Dispirited and saddened, she sat at home rather dwellingly and sighed loudly, for she could not collect her usual tally of treats. Time went by drudgingly when suddenly Minky and Blinky emerged from the chilly night and into the comforting surroundings of their warm abode.
Behold! They each had in their hands two great bags of chocolaty, chewy goodness! In a hodge podge attempt of costume begetting, Minky and Blinky had cleverly dressed up as a dignified King and Queen and royally strolled under the glowing street lamps of Baldwin Street. Carefully gathering up trick or treat goodies from the more than happy neighbours, they had returned triumphantly to present them to an ever excited Muffinpuff, who had thought the evening all but lost!
A good deal of smiles, hugs and general good cheer were exchanged and the night swept swiftly to a calming close, mouths filled with sweets. And none but Muffinpuff’s face had the grandest smile of them all!
A BIT OF CATNIP? – A brief poem of interlude
Tarts, cakes, mint and tea,
Muffinpuff and Blinky grabbed joyfully!
The day cloudily spoiled with rain and sludge,
But smiled they did through nibbles of fudge.
Where’s the catnip?
There’s the catnip!
Good glorious glee!
Have a pinch, no need to flinch,
For the day will brighten happily!
FURTHER down the eloquent street of Baldwin, there humbly lived another curious cat; a tub full of laughter, a belly full of joy. A good, strong, hardy cat: Mr. Huggles. A fancy cane he had, a monocle to see, blink he did oh so frequently. A top hat of endless length sat high, perched upon his soft, fuzzy head. A soft, orange mane he also had, to say the least!
Mr. Huggles, how do I put it…enjoyed eating. So very much. Whether roast beef, lamb shanks, peas and carrots, French bread, Viennese bread, short bread, baguettes, biscuits, croissants, peanut butter, shrimps, tuna, salmon, anchovies, jelly beans, cheese cakes, walnuts or custard cakes. He loved it all! His appetite was never satisfied and oh so large.
However, nothing was bigger than Mr. Huggles’ heart. He loved everybody and showed it daily. Regular pettings, purrings and hugs, his friendliness had no boundaries! Minky, Blinky and Muffinpuff adored him immensely. They were, naturally, very good friends. Mr. Huggles and Muffinpuff particularly enjoyed sharing mid-afternoon tea on a daily basis. Muffinpuff would regularly prepare the tea – whether mint, strawberry, peach or some other enticing flavour – while Huggles would always bring a generous quantity of biscuits, cakes and chewy delectables.
Their friendship was grand, as was their love for weekly afternoon appointments of croquet, lawn bowling and table tennis (whenever Mr. Huggles would be up for it).
One lazy day, sitting on yonder pile of school papers, Muffinpuff was vehemently emphasizing to Blinky how she missed Minky more – who had gone that night with her friends for some splendid fruit cocktails and shrimps. To settle the matter of who missed her the most, they decided to each bake a cake, and the one with the sweetest, being worthy of Minky, to be declared the victor of the argument. But who to decide such a contest? When behold! There was jolly good Mr. Huggles tapping on the window with his cane, having just arrived to visit his good friends. A sound judge of delicacies to say the least!
In a flash the cakes were made, but before they could say ‘plump pistachios,’ Huggles had, in his excitement, eaten both cakes! Suddenly, there was a turn of the door knob, and lo! Minky had returned!
‘Silly tubby!” she exclaimed, and they all laughed joyously with glee.
CHILLY evenings usually followed Halloween, and it was no different on quaint little Baldwin Street. The restaurants glittered with savoury spices and the small shops bustled with people. The gentle whisper of a faint Fall wind began to blow ever more harshly. Muffinpuff minded not such things! Smiles and laughter followed her everywhere.
One such chilly day, out she went with Minky and Blinky to fly her favourite kite. Gloriously it flew through the whirling winds and tumbling clouds! Ran swiftly did Muffinpuff, hopping across the crisp grass and perfect puddles.
Onward and onward glided Muffinpuff with her cute little kite. Avast! Before she could react, suddenly the poor feisty little thing became caught on a long, grasping tree branch. Frown did Muffinpuff, but only slightly. Minky and Blinky caught up to the contemplating kitty, and together they devised several clever, yet quirky methods of retrieving the said kite. Alas, all for naught were their efforts. The day crept into dusk and all seemed lost. But as if their sadness and despair could be heard far off, out from a nearby shrub leapt the most petite and sweetest sparrow that Minky, Blinky and Muffinpuff had ever seen! Up she flew onto the branches above, and with a soft flick of her tiny beak, freed the grateful and ecstatic little kite! Many thanks were shouted as they waved the sweet bird on her merry way, tweeting and chirping happily under the fading sun.
As the three adventurers slowly trotted home in the pleasant, yet cool evening, a sudden silence could be heard. Peaceful it was, as the cold wind had stopped blowing ever so suddenly. In the heavens far above the cloudy skies opened up, from whence came a soft, gentle flow of snow. Sweet, beautiful snow! On it fell, onto Muffinpuff’s little pink nose and Minky’s shining red locks. The sky became a coat of white snowflakes. And so they skipped home, smiling broadly, their hands (and paws) held high, clutching the tiny falling particles of snow.
SHIMMERING SLOPES AND FRIENDS SORELY MISSED
MINKY was away one chilly morning to go ice skating on the curvy glace. Muffinpuff and Blinky were left to themselves for the time being.
After playing three encapsulating games of checkers in the basement, they playfully decided to make a jolly snowman outside. Naturally, before this could occur, a snow fight broke out between the two friends. Little balls of snow flew across the fences of Baldwin Street. Even poor Mr. Huggles, passing by, had his hat hit by a particularly glistening ball of fluffy snow, released from the soft clutches of Muffinpuff’s two paws.
Eventually, with the help of a haughty Huggles (still trying to paw off the wet snow from his hat and monocle), they were able to make Mr. Snowman, his scarf, hat and all. Short he stood, but very stout he seemed! Laughing heartily as they gave Mr. Snowman a big smile, Muffinpuff and Blinky both suddenly sighed, wishing Minky was there too.
AN UNEXPECTED (AND VERY WELCOME) SURPRISE!
A harrowing, harsh wind coldly sped Blinky along one day on his way back to Baldwin Street. Once home, and passing the time away diligently, he was suddenly surprised by a letter from dear Muffinpuff! Still away on her enchanting ski trip on the graceful slopes of Mount Mittens, she had taken just a pinch of time to write a warming letter of love with her two soft paws. The words almost seemed to glitter along the page like a brilliant shimmering of stars:
The air is clear and fresh
And the snow makes me smile,
Though I stay here only for a while.
Minky and Blinky, I do miss thee,
Eagerly I await the day
When again it is just us three.
THE PASSING WIND, AROUND THE CORNER LIES SPRING
THE stretching Winter had finally passed and bright sunshine once again dawned on Baldwin Street once more. Greenery, finery, trees and berries! All was anew again.
After an amusing game of fiddlesticks and tricks, Blinky and Muffinpuff sat by the green, gratifying orchard, gazing at Minky playing with her beautiful red hair. Bemused, Muffinpuff seemed deep in thought, pondering a curious riddle since midday. Suddenly, without warning, she leapt to her four feet, smiling insatiably and exclaiming triumphantly, ‘I’ve got it! Never despair or cry out in vain, for Love comforteth like sunshine after rain!’
ON A FINAL NOTE…
Her fur so soft, her heart aloft,
Her paws so cute with glee!
Chubby cheeks, more hugs she seeks,
Up by the window on she leaps!
Oh nice warm tummy you make us smile,
Don’t you fuss, just stay awhile!
Your eyes so keen, you ball of fluff,
Muffin Muffin Muffinpuff!
Muffin Muffin Muffinpuff!