Tucked about halfway between nowhere and somewhere, lies the tiny, pastoral Village of Houndstooth Falls. Nestled between steep hills and cradled by the widest and deepest bend of the Tweed River, the Village center is marked by few establishments – namely, a small schoolhouse, which shares space with the Village Library, and the Tweed Valley Hunt Club, the central social hub for the Village’s country-fied denizens.
The Village’s thick surrounding woods are broken here and there only by an occasional cottage, wood shed or stable. Its guarded seclusion has made the Village an ideal home for many a forest creature, both big and small…which brings us to our purpose here—to make the acquaintance of Charlotte, the small gray fox who lives at the end of Cottage Lane.
If ever a creature was drawn to the mystique of the great beyond, that would be our Charlotte. A top-notch adventurer, an avowed over-achiever, a recognized scholar of A.A. Milne*, a handwriting enthusiast and always the life of the party, the Charlotte we have come to love never disappoints. Charlotte’s styling is spot-on, her tastes trend-setting. Credited with giving 21st century meaning to the “fox stole”, Charlotte never leaves her den without her signature scarf.
School, in Charlotte’s opinion, is something to be fill the time between activities outside of the classroom, though she’d never miss art class on Tuesdays or cello lessons on Wednesdays. Or pizza lunches on Friday for that matter…and certainly NOT library day on Mondays. Thursdays’ weekly spelling tests, however, cast such a dreary pall over that day that practically nothing can erase it. Poor Thursday.
After school is a different matter. Ever in search of a new hobby, this week Charlotte is busy organizing field trips for the local chapter of the Tweed Valley Mycological Society. Don’t go wandering off too far, though. She’s bound to be on to something else soon enough.
New interests may, and very often do, come and go, but Charlotte’s first love is sewing, a legacy of her Grand-Mum-Mum, under whose tutelage Charlotte excelled when she was just a small fox cub. If you listen carefully as you walk past her den, you will probably hear the hum of Charlotte’s sewing machine late into the night as she stitches herself a new frock or a gift for a woodland friend.
Reference is made to Charlotte’s October book report entitled, ”A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh,” for Ms. Butterworth’s Third Grade Class, Houndstooth Falls Elementary School.