Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Scratchin in the Dirt" BY Mavis Mudd...."Raising Young Uns"

 " Around here, I am known as the Queen Mother. Why, I have hatched more chicklet eggs than you could eat in a month.... Oh Drat! Did I really say that? I cringe at the very thought of a hard boiled egg!

     "It is because of my vast experience in mothering that it was assigned to me to warm and cuddle the 5 orphaned duck eggs abandoned by Pittypat- who simply disappeared without a trace!

  "  Some say she'd her fill of sit, sit, sitting on those eggs day after day after day, and decided to follow her dreams- to strike out on her own. Perhaps  to waddle off to Italy and sing opera, or learn to fly a plane (seeing as how her wings don't actually work properly) or maybe become an actress in Masterpiece Theater movies.....
 But I do not believe it for one minute! It is my considered opinion that more nefarious  forces are at work here. Take, for example, the manner in which her nest was left uncovered. Neither a strand of straw nor a blade of grass covering the tender little egglets! And what about the 4 pawed footprints left in the mud leading to and from her nest?? And nary a duck print to be seen! And what of the soft downy feather trail leading into the woods? It doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to figure this one out. Indeed, it falls to me to report the unspeakable... Pittypat has been kidnapped! 

      "I warned her, 'Don't build your nest neath the arbor where bloody varmints go slinking about in the wee hours and various villains lurk when the moon comes out. 'OH, but I do so love the shade and the scent of Morning Glories above my head', she drawled.  Poor genteel ducks are rather feeble minded, unlike we chicken folk who know best.

    " As you can see, I have MY nest 3 feet off the ground in an old tub tucked safely in the potting shed.
 I fear we shall never again see our dear PittyPat or hear her lovely little Quackity Quack again. Who is the nasty rogue that has perpetrated this dirty deed?
'I didn't do it!! I eat Little Friskies.'

      " I can't help but think of my dearly departed RED ROOSTER-Put in a pot by a desperado!
 It is my intention to pass out a petition to be signed by all the birdfolk in the Hollow, calling for a TRAP to capture the hoodlum of which we speak!!  I am sure the Lord of the Manor will oblige us. Yes, that is just what I will do,  as soon as I get off these eggs! 

"Well, look here! My new little hatchlings. One wee chick and one wee duckling. I was sittting on 7 eggs and this is ALL I got! Nevertheless, PittyPat would be so proud of this lovely little cotton top.
It is easy to see who daddy is...
And I expect him to live up to his obligations in the future, after I raise this young un to be a proper little worm eater and dirt digger.
   My stars, she is growing like a weed! My little chicklet is growing at the appropriate rate.

  Good grief, she eats TWICE as much as the chicklet, I am all afrazzle scratchin in the dirt for worms!
But the siblings do adore one another.
Of course, I have named her PittyPat after her dear mama. My little chicklet is Gretel.
      "How on earth can I  teach her to be a proper little chicken when all she wants to do is run to the creek and splash about in the water? And what about roosting in the treetops? The poor little thing can barely hop 4 inches from the ground. Oh, this is going to be more difficult than first thought...
I am afraid she will soon be leaving home.... and hanging out... with this motley crowd.
I will miss her...
 I hope she will write home often."


  1. Oh how I enjoyed this story and the photos!
    What a wonderful way to wrap up a day Jeri.
    Thank you so much.
    warm regards,

  2. Oh dear! Poor little PittyPat; I am so glad you have her little duckling and kudos to Mavis Mudd for so selflessly stepping in to save a fellow feathered friend!

  3. OMG you are an incredible writer of fun, fantasy, whimsy and all sorts of other animalia lore! MAVIS, YOU ARE THE TOWN CRYER, the dirt digger, the best! THis was a wonderful post Jeri, I can see why you have been awarded such honors...I could sit and read and chuckle and nuzzle close to one of your reads any day......Oh, I so need that now, with such a busy schedule at school. GIVE A HUG TO ALL THE CREATURES!!!! Love, Anita

  4. What a sweet way to start the day. I'm sorry you lost Pitty Pat one, but look at sweet Pitty Pat two, with her little 'do' like dad's. How cute. What a good mother Mavis Mudd is. Gretel and Pitty Pat look really cute together.


  5. Hi Jeri, Anita told me to visit your blog (I also visited your blog on the book you are working on). Your work is very inspiring to me and Anita as we also dream of publishing children's books. I would love to talk to you some time. Could you please email my wife Anita (rivani@bethel.edu) so we can contact you if that would be all right. Also, if you have the time, I posted a little story on my blog. It is not anything as wonderful as what you have done, but I did try to play with writing so as to create a slight twist to better enforce the "moral" I was trying to convey. I wish you the best with you work. Can't wait to see it completed.

  6. Penny, I guess you know who inspired Pittypats dreams of flying a plane?

    Heather, Yes, dear old Mavis has a sharp tongue but a soft heart.

    Anita, My critters hug you back< hope you don't mind a bit of mud on your dress!

    Rainey, Aren't those two adorable together, I made a movie of them, but can't get it to post on here.

    Ruben, I am visiting your blog and will send an e-mail. Nice to meet you!

  7. HI JERI!!!!

    Oh, your visits are a delight! ANd thank you for the wonderful and flattering comment on my drawings...they are quick simple, and coming from YOU, I feel very validated. My style is as simple as you can get, but being the busy school teacher that I am, I simply can't put in too much time to draw. However, after a 40 year hiatus from drawing, I am picking it up again thanks to dear friends such as Penny, The Dutchess andn Pat Cabrera and of course, Ruben. I see that you said you left him a message via my email address but I find nothing in my box. I am wondering if you can just resend the message to:


    I don't know if he gave you the correct address!

    Your work is impeccable and we admire your work and writing!


  8. Ooh poor Pittypat, it's such a dilema, leaving her goslings all alone to fend for themselves.
    Thank goodness for Mavis Mudd, indeed a Queen in her own right...
    She's taking wonderful care of those babies and Gretel and PittyPat are so delightful together.


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