This mini-story is based upon the characters in the new children's book, Tales From The Glades Of Ballymore.
In a recent story, Rachel Rabbit had made a new friend - Chauncy Squirrel. Chauncy was an old squirrel and had recently injured one of his legs in a fall from a pine tree. Rachel was concerned about him and went to visit Brigit Badger - the Ballymore doctor. She treats injuries and uses herbal medicine for diseases. Dr. Badger agreed to go with Rachel and visit Chauncy. She also suggested they take Branna Bluebird with them in case they needed to send a message back to Ballymore.
The next morning they walked a half-mile through the woods to Chauncy's tree home. It took less than an hour. Of course, Chauncy was there and was quite happy to welcome the unexpected visitors.
After hugging Chauncy, Rachel introduced her friends.
"This is Brigit Badger. She is our Ballymore doctor, and she would like to look at your leg. This is my friend, Branna Bluebird. She and her family operate the Ballymore messenger service."
Chauncy said hello to everyone and offered them some tea.
While having the tea, Brigit asked about the accident. Then she looked at his leg. The fall occurred about two weeks ago, but the leg was still swollen.
After the brief exam she said, "I'm sorry, but your leg is broken, and it needs proper treatment. I don't think it's a bad break, and you'll be fine after I set it. Unfortunately, you're going to have to come to my office and probably stay for a couple of days.
Chauncy was concerned but not about the treatment. He was concerned about how he was going to get to Ballymore and back. He certainly couldn't walk. Normally, in a situation like this, the patient was flown by swan ambulance to Dr. Badger's. The swan ambulance is a specially fitted stretcher that Stoddard and Sean Swan use to transport patients. This time, however, the glade was too small an area for the swans to land. Another method was needed.
Dr. Brigit said to Branna, "Please go and ask the weasels to bring the medium-sized ambulance here. Also, alert the ducks, and have them bring the raft to the rabbits' dock."
Branna left immediately.
Dr. Brigit noticed a book leaning against a wall. It was a dictionary.
She asked, "You have a dictionary here?"
"Yes, I like to study the words occasionally," said Chauncy.
She was astounded. "You can read?"
"Yes. When I was young, my family lived near a hamlet south of here. They held classes in the church. I would sit outside on the window sill and watch and listen. I did this for three years and learned to read and do math. I didn't learn to write because I had nothing to write with."
"That's wonderful," said Rachel. "Jonathan Owl teaches reading and math in Ballymore. I would not be surprised if he would like to talk to you about helping."
"I'm not sure. Ballymore is a long way away, but it does sound interesting," said Chauncy.
Rachel said, "We also have a small library."
It was obvious that Chauncy was interested. There wasn't much for him to do here where he lived. His wife had passed on two years ago, and the children had moved south to be closer to the hamlet. There was a wonderful selection of food available in the hamlet, and getting nibbles was easy when no one was looking.
The animals around the glade mostly stayed to themselves. They had their own families that kept them quite busy.
"Well let's get that leg fixed first," said Dr. Brigit.
"Yes, doctor. I agree," responded Chauncy.
"Please call me Brigit or Dr. Brigit. Everyone else does." Dr. Brigit placed her paw on Chauncy's shoulder and smiled.
They continued to talk about Chauncy's life and Ballymore. Before they knew it, Wilde and Wilder Weasel arrived with the ambulance. They carried Chauncy to the dock where the raft was waiting. The trip across the pond was quick, and they arrived at Brigit's cottage just before 2 bongs in the afternoon. Chauncy was then carried to the room where Dr. Brigit fixes things like broken legs. They gently laid Chauncy on a soft padded table.
Dr. Brigit said, "Now, I'm going to give you an herbal drink that will put you to sleep, and when you awake everything will be fixed. Later, I'll give you a different medicine so you'll feel very little discomfort."
"I'm ready," said Chauncy.
Rachel went up to Chauncy and hugged him. She had a tear in her eye. Chauncy wiped her tear and said, "There is nothing to cry about little one. This is a simple operation and we are friends. And in another hour we will still be friends, won't we?"
"Yes," sniffled Rachel and hugged Chauncy again.
Dr. Brigit asked everyone to wait outside. "The operation will only take about one hour," she said.
They waited and waited some more. When you are waiting for something important to happen, time slows down, or so it seems. It really sloooowed down for Rachel.
But finally, Dr. Badger came out and said that she was finished. Chauncy was fine but groggy. They went into see him and held his paws. Chauncy mumbled a hello.
Brigit asked, "How much is thirty-three divided by eleven?"
Chauncy thought for a while and then slurred, "Thwee."
Everyone looked at Brigit. After a while she said happily, "Correct!"
The animals laughed and Chauncy smiled from his bed.