This mini-story is based upon the characters in the new children's book: Tales From The Glades Of Ballymore
Chauncy Squirrel has been previously introduced in "A Red Rose" and "An Ambulance For Chauncy".
Saturday morning there was a knock the squirrels' door. Rachel answered and was happy to see Chauncy Squirrel standing there. Chauncy lives about a half-mile south of Ballymore.
"Wow, Chauncy!" she said and hugged him.
"Hello, Rachel. I thought I would visit Ballymore and you today."
"I'm glad you did. Come in, please. I'll make some tea."
Chauncy was carrying a book, Flora of the British Isles. Rachel noticed immediately and enquired about it.
"When I go on a hike, sometimes I bring this book to identify the trees I see in the forest. I'm particularly interested in the many kinds of nuts they produce," he responded.
Rachel began learning to read last year, and she liked Chauncy's idea. He let her look at the book. It was beautiful with many illustrations.
"I've seen many of these trees. Can I go looking for trees and nuts with you?" she asked.
"Of course. I would love that," he said. "Let's take a bag with us to collect the nuts. Some we can eat, and some we can save to begin a collection."
After tea they began their hike around Ballymore. It was sunny and not too cold, a fine day for a hike. Shortly, they were at the frogs' cottage and Finn was sitting on his dock. He was bored. He liked adventures, and there were no adventures today.
"Hi, Finn," said Rachel. "This is my friend Chauncy. He lives just south of here. We are going on a hike for nuts. Would you like to come with us?"
Finn said hello to Chauncy. A nut hike didn't sound particularly exciting, but it was the best offer he had so far.
"Sure, I'll go," he said.
Finn saw the book Chauncy was carrying but wasn't particularly interested. He was much more interested in adventures. Reading was boring, and books were of no value as far as he was concerned.
Rachel took the book and showed Finn some of the illustrations of the different nuts. Each one had its name printed underneath.
Finn said, "I've seen many of these nuts in the forest."
He pointed at the pictures and said, "This is an acorn, and this is a pine cone."
Rachel said, Yes! Exactly right and the words under the pictures are the names - acorn and pine cone."
"Hmmm," said Finn.
They went into the woods behind Finn's cottage and began collecting different kinds nuts. Finn knew the names of most of them. Then he found one he was unable to name. He showed it to the others, and they couldn't name it either.
Rachel said, "Well, let's look in the book. It will tell us the answer."
Finn was surprised. "It will?" he asked.
"Yes," said Rachel. "That's why we brought it with us."
She gave the book to Finn and asked him to find the picture of the nut he had just picked up. After a couple of minutes, he located it.
"I got it!" he said excitedly.
Rachel looked at it and said, "Yes, you did. Here is its name written under it."
Finn stared at the word.
Rachel said, "This is a hazel nut."
"You mean this book can tell us about the nuts?"
"Oh, yes and much more," answered Rachel.
For the rest of the morning, they continued to collect nuts. Some of them were very tasty. Finn used the book to find the nuts they couldn't name. Rachel read each name and a description to him. It turned out to be an interesting experience for Finn. Perhaps books had some value after all, he thought. Perhaps he would consider learning to read.
We will see.
© 2012 Robert N. Brooks
The weekly Story about the animal residents of Ballymore is available for free syndication to family-oriented blogs and websites. For information, please contact me at: ballymoretales(at)gmail(dot)com.