The only sounds were the clicking of her heels on the cobble stone walk, twittering birds and the soft sound of dripping water from the tree branches. Princess strained on the lease when a squirrel scolded over their heads. “No girl. Let’s go.” Marie tried to be stern but found it hard not to chuckle at the squirrel tormenting Princess. She leaned down and picked up the squirming little dog. “Your feet are wet already. I hope there isn’t carpet inside.” Marie opened the white picket gate with her foot and approached the white cottage with a green door and shutters. Green window boxes were full of ruby red geraniums and dainty white baby’s breath. Dark green ivy spilled over the sides and trailed down the bone-white stone walls.
Marie set Muffin’s carrier down for a second and turned the large old fashioned key in the lock. The heavy green door squeaked when Marie pushed it open. She paused in the foyer and squinted in the dim light. The foyer contained an antique grandfather clock and an ornate oak bench. There were three oak doors that lead in different directions. Marie turned to her right and went into an old fashioned library with shelves overflowing with antique books that filled the air with a mixture of sweet smells, a floral scent and vanilla. An old book smell that she loved. She placed Muffin’s carrier on the low backed burgundy couch in front of the stone fireplace with kindling arranged inside. A wooden box contained small logs. Marie opened the carrier’s door as Muffin stretched and poked her nose out. “There you go.”
“Come Princess. Let’s do a bit of exploring, shall we.” She returned to the foyer and discovered an alcove hidden behind one of the doors, with steep stairs, leading to the second floor. She turned towards the third door and entered a charming, enchanting kitchen. A large stone wall contained two alcoves. One contained a large gas stove and the second was a well stocked pantry. A round oak table was in front of three large windows that looked out onto a neatly manicured garden. Then she spotted a note on the table.
Help yourself to anything you want. The cook has stocked the fridge and pantry. Come to the main house when you get settled. There is a path across the meadow if you want to walk.
All the best,
Marie pulled the red lease out of her blue jeans pocket. “Princess outside.”
Princess was at her side in an instant wagging her stubbly tail and rear end.”Woof.”
“Okay. Let’s go.” Marie unlocked and opened the green dutch door with a stained glass window.
The sun was low in the sky when Marie walked along the sandy path with Princess at her heels. She paused at the corner by a rustic wooden bench in front of the gnarled apple tree. “Princess someone has looked after this cottage and garden. It is in pristine shape.”
“Woof.” Princess put her wet paws on Marie’s legs as she asked to be picked up.
“Oh look at you. You are soaked already. We will have to get your blanket from the car before we go back inside. Down.”
The evening was warm and the air felt humid after the recent rain that still dripped from the trees and bushes. Marie paused at the back gate and looked at the little stone bridge that arched over the creek and the stone path through a meadow full of wild flowers and tall grass that swayed gently in the slight breeze. There was another cottage and large stone house on the other side of the meadow. She turned back towards the garden when she heard whimpering nearby. Princess pulled on the lease eager to find what was in the lilac bushes.
“Easy girl.” Marie approached the bushes slowly and pulled the branches to one side. Two little orange and white kittens huddled in a bed of leaves. “The poor darlings. No Princess. Gentle.” Marie picked up the squirming crying kittens and tucked them in her sweat shirt’s large front pocket. “I hope Muffin adopts them. Let’s go. We can do more exploring tomorrow.”
The sky had a rosy glow when Marie piled her luggage in front of the grandfather clock before returning to the library. She had already named the kittens Curly and Moe. Marie shivered even though it was a warm evening. She rubbed her arms and smiled when she noticed Princess and Muffin cuddled on the large dog bed, in the middle of the room, with the kittens nestled between them. Marie went to the kitchen to prepare dinner. When she opened cans of cat and dog food, there was the patter of little feet padding across the black and white tiled floor. “Hungry are you?”
Marie had been looking for a change, and one had almost landed in her lap. Tomorrow she would go to the big house and meet Uncle John. Uncle John said in his letter he had difficulty getting around due to his crippled, and crooked legs. Marie was followed by three cats and a dog when she headed towards the library with an egg sandwich, tall glass of milk and a banana.
If you have enjoyed this story then maybe you would like to go to my amazon author page and check out the information about my children’s books, Bess’s Magical Garden and Gramma Mouse Tells a Story.