To Order: Lady Grace, A Children's Story
Lady Grace is a children's story about Sage and Felicity Faithful, a young chipmunk couple living in the San Bernardino mountains in California, awaiting the birth of their first baby.
As teachers they seek to instruct their students about the importance of living in harmony with other woodland creatures while caring for their environment.
Chapter One- The Ponderosa Pine
Sage, short for Sagacious, and his wife Felicity Faithful, two chipmunks, lived in a warm, cozy burrow, located under one of the large roots of an old ponderosa pine tree. The entrance to their home was through an old hollow limb half-buried in the soil, but large enough for them to scurry through unnoticed.
The tall ponderosa that hovered above their burrow stood more than one-hundred feet high. Its rough blackish bark had deep furrows and ridges, and it had short, dark green needles. It provided shade to the antiquated log cabin owned by Mrs. Newman, their only human neighbor, which was situated nearby. Its yummy seeds were enjoyed by a variety of woodland creatures, including chipmunks, squirrels and nutcrackers.
“Sage,” Felicity called, “dinner is ready.”
Sage had been busy working in the tiny schoolroom that was attached to their home. He was the schoolmaster for all the young chipmunks who lived in the neighboring forest, and he had been busily preparing the lesson plan for the next day’s mathematics class. His wife taught music and art, in addition to caring for their comfy little home nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains in beautiful southern California.
“Dinner smells wonderful!” Sage exclaimed as he entered the kitchen and gave his wife a tiny kiss on the cheek.
“We have crisp apples and nuts, with a sprinkling of seeds,” Felicity replied. “Your favorite!”
Sage washed his hands and then sat down at the head of the table. Besides teaching school, Sage was a fine craftsman and had built most of the furniture in their burrow. Their table was made from a small pine cone used as a base to support the top, crafted from a lovely piece of dark brown bark. Felicity’s utensils were hand-carved. Her serving spoon—one of a set Sage had made from twigs for her birthday—easily ladled out generous portions of food into their bowls, created from the shells of two acorns.
“Delicious!” Sage declared after eating a few bites, and Felicity smiled, pleased that her dinner had been a success.
After clearing the table and washing the dishes, Sage and Felicity retired to the parlor, where they usually relaxed, reading, singing or talking until bedtime.
Sage had a big, comfy armchair to recline in, where he could stretch out his long, tired legs. This recliner had been fashioned from an extra long pine cone. He had filed off all the pollen-bearing scales on one side so it was flat, with just a slight curve. Felicity then sewed together two long pieces of fabric, torn from a hiker’s red woolen scarf, and stuffed it with pine needles for a cushion and headrest.
Felicity relaxed in her little rocking chair, a gift from her Aunt Jane and Uncle Jasper. The back and legs were made from twigs and bark, and the seat was covered with green and red flannel. Her greatest treasure, however, was a small upright piano, inherited from her mother. Their tiny little home was sparse but cozy, because it was filled with love.
Sage spent some time that evening correcting his students’ papers, while Felicity crocheted a new jacket for her husband. The yarn was a gift from one of their students, who found it while rummaging around in Mrs. Newman’s trash can. It was dark navy blue; a perfect color for the esteemed head master.
When his class work was completed, Sage picked up the weekly newspaper.
“Uncle Jasper has certainly written a wonderful article this week,” he said, after reading his editorial titled, Community Relations.
“He’s so wise, Sage,” Felicity replied proudly, “and he always gives such good advice. I’m not the only one who thinks so; I’ve heard many of our neighbors say as much.”
“And he’s right about living and working together harmoniously,” Sage said in return, referring once again to Uncle Jasper’s commentary. “All of the forest occupants must share the same space, so what happens to one of us happens to us all.” He sat quietly for a few moments and then said, “Why don’t we take a little trip tomorrow after school to visit Uncle Jasper and Aunt Jane?”
“Oh, that would be lovely,” Felicity declared. “I’ll bake a nice little nut cake in the morning to bring with us, and some of that tea Aunt Jane loves so much. It will be delightful, Sage.”
Felicity then arose from her seat and went into the kitchen to get her cookbook. Rejoining her husband once more, she leafed through the pages until she found the recipe she wanted.
“Oh, good,” she exclaimed. “I have all the ingredients I need in the larder. I can bake my cake before music class in the morning, and it will be done by the time school is over and we are ready to leave.”
Sage and Felicity spent the rest of the evening quietly talking about their lives and good fortune. They knew how blessed they were to have so many good friends and bright prospects for the future.