Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Daisy Pine

The Forester

“Ready,” Laura sang. She closed the heavy door behind her and set off with her daughter, Summer, down the narrow, pebbled road. They had only recently moved to Pine House and they were enjoying life in the countryside.

Summer had noticed a quaint cottage on their moving day, so she and her mum decided to pay their new neighbour a visit.
The morning air was crisp, but the sun shone rays of warmth around the countryside. The light danced on the drops of dew that were resting on the ivy-smothered stone wall.
They soon reached a low gate with a sign that read Rose Cottage. Summer let them through the gate and stepped up to the cheerful, orange door. Laura rapped once. The knocker was in the shape of a strange-shaped head.
The door opened wide revealing an elderly woman. She was wearing an ankle-length, deep purple skirt with gold embroidery along the hem. She kept warm with a small pair of grey slippers and knitted jumper.
Laura introduced them both to the lady, whose name was Polly. Her smile lit up the dimly-lit corridor and it reached her eyes, showing her many laughter lines that had been collected over the years.
“Well, Laura and Summer, would you both like to come in and sit down? I make a wonderful hot chocolate,” she added cheekily.
Polly shuffled into the next room that was connected by an arched doorway. The door attached was also arched, cut out so it could swing shut to fit the doorframe perfectly.
They followed Polly through and sat down on the sofa she had gestured to. Polly then walked out of the room to make the drinks.
Summer carefully positioned her feet to make sure they didn’t stamp on the pile of tattered books on the floorboards. There were books everywhere, of all shapes and sizes. A rag-rug lay near her mum’s feet, which ran along under a small, green armchair.
Not even a minute had passed when Polly’s slippers shuffled back into the room. She held a silver tray with three mugs of steaming chocolate milk. Laura and Summer thanked Polly and began to sip their drinks. Polly nestled into her own tiny chair.
“This is delicious!” Laura exclaimed after she’d had several gulps.
Polly smiled dreamily. “Ah, I got this recipe from Tina.”
“Who’s Tina?”
“Tina’s a Forester. She lives in the third branch of the big oak tree.”
Laura sat awkwardly as she tried to think of what to say next. What on earth was a Forester?
Laura and Summer didn’t have to wait long for an explanation.
For the next half hour Polly talked about her friends Dora and Billy. She said how she frequently met up with them in her garden bush and talked about how delightful their three children were.
Once again, Summer and her mum sat awkwardly when Polly had stopped talking. They hadn’t spoken a word apart from the occasional nod of the head.
“Well, it’s been lovely meeting you, Polly,” Laura said politely. “Thank you again for the lovely drinks.”
“You’re welcome,” Polly said brightly. She lifted herself from her armchair and led them back to the front door.
“Goodbye!”
“Goodbye,” Laura and Summer said together, as they walked along the path and through the gate.
As soon as Polly was out of sight, Laura raised her eyebrows at Summer. “I’m not in a rush to go back! Wasn’t she strange?”
At that moment, Summer felt something brush past her ankle and heard a strange sound, like a squirrel giggling.
Maybe Summer will be back to visit Polly sooner than she thinks . . .

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