Under the Lilac bush...

Today,Spring cleaning began at Hilltop Hall,always a wonderful way to greet the new season...
Miss Moussie and the Dutchess were very busy. Together cleaning out the wardrobe!

The Dutchess is standing before a mirror,holding up a dress...

-What do you think dearest..can I still wear this ,or is it to old fashion...
-Now let me see..squeaked Miss Moussie...crawling out of a shoebox....o,but that's a lovely dress my dear..Pink roses..very romantic..if you don't want it anymore..could you consider giving it to me...If I alter it I can make ten dresses,curtains,and what ever more I can think of ....
-Then consider it yours dearest...shall I deliver it at you birds nest later...
-No need ..squeaked Miss Moussie...I will cut of a sleeve to begin with and then come back later for the rest!
-Good idea...said the Dutchess...let me get the scissors for you...
-This is great..twittered Miss Moussie...I can also make bedsheets and tablecloths for my swap shop..

And whilst the Dutchess and the moussie are busy...there's a soft polite knock on the bedroom door...and a croaky voice asking...'So sorry to disturb your ladyships in the midst of your spring cleaning...but do you have a minute...'

Surtenly ,said the Dutchess, opening the door...come in Gustave...but please don't look at the mess..O ,I see you brought with you some company....and before she could say anything more...the secret Alphabet tumbled in....whirling words..like..HI..and O MY..WHAT..A..MES...
-Sure its a mess..twittered Miss Moussie disturbed...you can not clean something that wasn't a mess before you went and cleaned it..to clean without a mess could be very suspicious...I believe THEN one is hiding something..like sweeping things under the carpet..
Both The Dutchess and Gustave looked at Miss Moussie...a bit puzzled...what did she just say...
Well....croaked Gustave,I believe a mess is just a mess...and it never bothers me...you should see the bottom of my Pond..But, dear lady's, I came to see you to ask you some advise about my..and there he paused for a while to let the alphabet whirl the word..... MENU!
-What menu Gustave, twittered Miss Moussie curious...did you invent a new recipe?
-I am always inventing new recipes, answered Gustave ,and you are very welcome to try them in my restaurant when it opens...I hope many friends will visit and that's why I am going to ask the help of the alphabet..
-I don't think the alphabet can cook old friend...do you think this a wise thing to do...It could get a bit chaotic in your kitchen,said the Dutchess a little bit worried.
-O, but they are not going to cook...they are going to help me serve,croaked Gustave...on the terrace under the lilac bush..and they are going to spell what's on the menu every day..like a flying menu card whirling through the woodlands..
-Interesting thought dear Gustave, squeaked Miss Moussie ,but then you have to do a lot of creative inventing...the alphabet can not spell everything you know..for instance they can't spell...pancakes...

There, the X from the alphabet swooped down and tapped Miss Moussie on the head...followed by the word PLANE..
-Careful ,squeaked Miss Moussie..I didn't want to offend you but hee..HOW are you going to spell pancakes.. its one of Gustave specialties..

Then the alphabet whirled through the bedroom faster and faster..and formed the words one by one...CAKE..FROM..THE..PAN....TODAY..

Oke Oke...twittered Miss Moussie now laughing..I think you can do the job...
-Yes, said the Dutches with a smile on her face..I am looking forward sitting with you under the Lilac bush...I wish you lots of luck with your restaurant Gustave
....and please take good care of the alphabet for me...they haven't been out for a while...

-Don't worry my lady..croaked Gustave...everything will be ..and above his head the alphabet whirled......OKE..

Gustave went back to his under water home...followed by the secret alphabet...
The Dutchess and Miss Moussie looked out of the bedroom window and saw the letters whirl the word CHERIO...just before they took a dive ..one by one..into the water..disappearing in the Pond..

O Dear..squeaked Miss Moussie I hope they can swim....

Its still very early when Gustave, with a big leap, pops out of the pond ... he's not alone. Behind him whirls he alphabeth .. one by one the letters jump in the grass and they form the word ...'quiet' ..
-Yes my friends,croaks Gustave .. we must be very quiet, everyone is still asleep ... Let us first go look for Mozes, he has the key to the tool shed ,there we can find all the stuff we need ..
-Nails... plaster, boards, thermos,tea .. whirls the alpabeth ..
-Certainly, quacks Gustave .. but most importantly, we need a building plan ..... and a strong man like Mozes!
-We strong, whirls the alphabet ..VERY...
-I know ,quacks Gustave .. and I am sure that together we can build something nice ..
Wait ..I will take down a few boards on the way.. ..and Gustave bends over to lift some wooden boards..
Suddenly, there's a little squeaky sound from under the lilac bush....
In panic the alphabeth whirls the word..'DUCK'...because they see who's appearing from down under..

Miss Moussie ,because that who it is...sees the letters and reads...DUCK!

- 'Duck'..she twitters..'where'..and she looks around..'where'?
At that moment exactly, Gustave, with on his shoulders the wooden boards..turns around and.....

-O,M,G,..whirls the alphabeth..

- 'Duck'..squeakes Miss Moussie ..now laying on the ground looking up..'you mean little birdies'..

Great view...said Miss Moussie..recovering from shock and sitting together with the Dutchess at the window from the Hilltop Hall Library..
The Library is a very quiet place...Miss Moussie loves it there...so,after her encounter with the wooden boards Gustave moved so elegantly..she asked to be carried upstairs to rest for a while..Now,she is resting comfortably on the chaise longue, enjoying the view..
She is watching the little ones paint the garden in pink and white...
-AAh,she sighs..so lovely...and then carefully checks her head...Marvelous,she squeaks..a bump!

There is a soft polite knock on the library door...
-Enter...says the Dutchess whilst pouring a cup of tea for Miss Moussie..enter..
Very slowly the door opens...
-Anybody there...asks the Dutchess..
Then a flower enters the room...a Daisy...attached to a long dangly arm..and this arm belongs to..Gustave..who, very shy, steps in..croaking..."I came to offer my sincere apologies..I am soooooo sorry...may I offer you this very special flower..its our first Spring Daisy from this year". Then he hops over to Miss Moussie..grabs her little hand and kisses it..
-O Goodness Gustave..twitters Miss Moussie..you are such a gentleman...thank you..I'm feeling better already..
-My dearest Miss...croaks Gustave with a lump in his throat .....When I saw you laying there my heart stopped..Good thing Mozes was there to carry you into the house..
-I will be fine dear Gustave...but please promise to be very careful in the future....there must be no more accidents while you are building your restaurant..you do have a solid building plan I hope..
Gustave stands there...looking at his feet..fumbling his tie...and then mumbles something like...'sure'..
-What did you just say...twitters miss Moussie..do I suspect some doubts...Please explain..speak up...I find mumbling to be very suspicious..

A few weeks later..to be exact yesterday,our dear Dutchess together with Miss Moussie walked the Hilltop grounds....checking the garden.

- So,my dear Miss Moussie, you tell me everything went well,..all was well on the Hilltop when I was gone..?
-Sure..nothing special happened. Mozes took great care of things..he watched the garden gate like a hawk and that's very special him being a bear..He even sat on the rooftop for a while..The only strange trespasser was a dog..!
-A dog..what kind of dog and what was he doing here..
-A itty bitty dog...with an attitude.. He came to visit the Queen..told him this was the wrong adress..but he didn't want to believe it at first..
-The Queen..? In our garden..
-Yes,..he was just a bit confused...we showed him where to go...and guess what, a few days later we saw him in the newspaper..sitting next to the queen at the Queens ball on Queens day..
-Are you kidding me dear Miss Moussie ..I could swear you are making this story up this minute while we are walking..
-O,No..this really happened..twittered miss Moussie bending over to a inspect a daisy...

Then, abruptly, the Dutchess stopped in her tracks...

-What's THAT...she said surprised....but that...that's MY DRESS..hanging in the Lilac bush..!
-O yes..that..twittered Miss Moussie..I was going to mention that to you..didn't get the chance yet..Its the construction ground..
-Well,my dresses are called many things ,from sweet to stunning...but never to be a construction ground dearest...
-Its that old fashion thing..you know ..the one I could have because you didn't want to wear it anymore..so..Gustave borrowed it from me to hide his construction..
-You mean that behind this dress he is building his restaurant...How marvellous..When can we see it..

Then a little croaky voice from behind the dress quacked..."SOON MY DEAR..VERY SOON...but until then"...and there came some letters from the alphabet whirling through the Lilacs.."SKUDATLE"....GO UWAY..

It was the middle of the night..a lovely clear spring night...the garden looked enchanted in the light of many stars shining bright..Not a leave was stirring..there was no wind.The night air was filled with the smell of sweet Lilacs and Lillie's.

The Dutchess was about to go to bed ,when,just before closing her bedroom curtains, she saw a shadow ..The shadow stood under the Lilac bush and it made a funny noise...The Dutchess tried to get a better look but unfortunately her dress...still hanging there in the bushes, blocked her view. Then she understood what was responsible for the shadow...the DRESS made the shadow...but dresses don't go and make strange noises in the middle of the night now do they..?
THERE..A light went on..a light behind the dress...this was interesting...now the dress looked like a little theatre where any moment now the curtain could go up..but still there was this funny noise...it sounded like something was boiling or simmering on a crackling fire....Now the light behind the dress became very intense..and, O my goodness..there was smoke coming out of the sleeves...The Dutchess flung her window open wide and yelled ..'Everybody ...wake up wake up ...FIRE FIRE.....',and then ran down the stairs into the garden..

Within seconds all the little woodland creatures were in a state of panic...
Miss Moussie came running ....in her hands a glass of water...she was in her night gown squeaking 'where, where...?'
Mr C popt out from a hole in the ground carrying a handbook..a manual for "what to do in case of fire..."
There was Sir Horatio....he was just running hither and thither not knowing where to run first..
Elvira came jumping from her nest in the chestnut tree...in her arm the first aid kit..
Beau had stormed out of the cuckoo clock...screaming..'Out of my way, out of my way...I'll save the Lilac bush...'He was followed by Bell who chimed with an alarm bell ..'...FIRE FIRE in the Lilacs..everybody, where is Gustave....?'
-O My goodness..twittered Miss Moussie...still holding her glass of water...'we lost Gustave..he must be behind this dress..caught in the fire..'

Then...thank heavens...Mozes appeared....pulling behind him the garden hose.
-Stand clear, he shouted ...its going to be wet...and with a big fountain of water..he was able to put the fire out....

-Shall I ggo and ttake a look behind the curtain..eh I mmean dress.....to see what happened there.....stammered Mr C...
-I'll go said Horatio .....and he was about to lift up the dress WHEN......Gustave crawled out from under it...followed by the letters of the alfabeth who spelled...SOAKED..

-GUSTAVE...there you are..we were ever so worried..squeaked Miss Moussie with a squeak of relieve...are you oke..do you need a sip of water..

Gustave stood there..dripping wet...
-No thank you..he said..I'm fine...but I'm afraid the pies aren't...look there they go..
There..our garden troupe saw ..drifting down a stream, which created by the water from the hose...three..four..five ..pies...sailing down the garden path...

-O my goodness Gustave, said the Dutches..I believe I must apologise...I thought there was a fire..
-I was just baking you all some pies ...for the grand opening ....said Gustave..and he had to clear his throat...
Now everybody looked devastated...sure..they were very relieved nothing had happened to Gustave but then again something DID happen to Gustave..so what to do next..

-I will help you bake dearest Gustave..and you can use my kitchen, said the Dutchess...we will start bright and early tomorrow..
-I'll help too,twittered Miss Moussie..I am very good in times of crisis..
-We wwill all help..stammered Mr C..I will read the recipe's..aloud..
-And I will bring all the nuts you need, said Elvira..I have a big pile stashed away..

After they had calmed down, and plans were made for the next day..all the little creatures returned to there nests...PHEW...all is well what ends well..but this story continuous ..so don't miss the grand finale..

In a few day Gustave WILL open his restaurant and you are all kindly invited..

The crack of dawn....a few early birds were singing in the tree tops,and Miss Moussie was banging on the kitchen door...

-Hello there..wake up...its time to bake some pies..she twittered very loud..
Nobody answered..
-Hello, anybody..there's no time to loose...we have to hurry..twittered Miss Moussie impatiently...please open up the door.
Still...no answer..
-Well, squeaked Miss Moussie..where is everybody..I am sure they told me to be here bright and early..Then, she decided to knock again...or..wait a minute...she could just could go in..through the crack in the wall...and enter from under the doormat..
And that's just what she did....on her tippie toes...

It was still very dark in the kitchen..nobody was there...
Miss Moussie opened the cupboards in search for pie ingredients....turned on the oven..and then made herself a cup of tea..
-O My..she twittered...how sleepy I am..maybe I will take a nap for a minute or two..I am sure it won't be long for my friends to arrive...Then ,she curled up in the Dutchess her favourite teacup,and with her little head resting on a teabag...she was of to to dreamland in a jiffy..

Because of the baking accident in the middle of the night a week ago..and because of the very very very VERY long baking day in the Hilltop Hall kitchen..(which was a success by the way)..Gustave almost forgot about sending the invitations..

There's only one person who delivers mail on the Hilltop..and that's Lingering Liam...
He is very nice...very kind hearted..he's a snail with curious ever searching eyes..a happy smile ,AND a big moustache.
Dear Liam is getting older,its getting harder and harder for him to work the snail mail trail... and for that reason the mail Liam delivers often lingers..It will get there..eventually ..but...you have to be patient..

So..You,being a Very Important Person and friend..are invited to the grand opening of Gustave's restaurant...
Be there...Saturday at dusk..there will be dinner and a show..if at any reason Lingering Liam lingered long ,too long..and the mail didn't reach you on time..please print this Very Important Post.and you'll be fine..
See you there....

Welcome welcome my dearest friend..I am so happy to see you, welcome to a very fairy garden..We are going to have such a wonderful time together..
Grab yourself a little lantern,and follow ME..Miss Moussie ...your host for this evening.
Darlings..soon the sun will disappear behind the trees and darkness will fall..let the little lights from the fireflies guide us to a very enchanting place in our garden...a place where tonight a dream will come true..a place we call..

'Under the Lilac bush'..a wonderful sight awaits your eyes, and some magical food awaits your senses..

When we walk along the garden path we can see the pond..doesn't it look romantic with all the fairy lights floating on the water..

And there..next to the pond we are going to make a stop....Why, you ask..well,because of the surprise...didn't we promise you dinner and a show..Then,to start this wonderful event.....let the show begin...

A sweet little fairy will now dance for you...in the daisy meadow..

Isn't that dreamy....I heard from Mr C this dancing fairy is famous around the globe...Her name is Margot Fountain..and she lives near a big fountain in a place called..Les Tuileries..in Paris..We are ever so proud to have her here this evening..She is Mr C's quest..and later this evening she will accompany him to the grand opening of Gustave's restaurant..

Come my friends..let us go to the Lilac bush and see whats happening...

Look,Mozes and Sir H Hog are waiting for us....
O dear....I believe they are going to celebrate the opening with FIRE WORKS...O my Goodness...I find fire works to be very suspicious..you never know if there will be a bang.....I makes me very nervous..forgive me if I, for a minute or two, stick my fingers in my ears....and close my eyes..just give me a squeeze when its all over..

-Is it over yet..was it beautiful...colourful....loud...? It was !..Then we can now wait for Gustave to appear..
He told me he would come with a big scissor and cut this pretty pink ribbon that's dangling from the dutchess her dress...yes..the dress still hanging in the lilac bush. At the very moment when the ribbon is cut..the dress will fall...and all will be revealed..

Aha,there is our favourite gourmet frog......GUSTAVE..DARLING...This is it..the moment we have all been waiting for..tell me ...How are you feeling..

-I'm feeling very proud my dear Miss M..very proud..
Everybody...beloved friends and dear woodland creatures...come gather around me...In a moment you will see before your eyes my new and magnificent restaurant..I wish you all welcome and I hope that in the future we will spend many happy ours in this Lilac place....And of course...I hope you will enjoy my FOOD...Let me hand you over the Menu card...

As you will notice the card is blanc....because this time the letters didn't want to appear on paper but ..IN THE AIR...
Lady's and Gentleman..I present to you the most amazing menu card EVER in history..THE SECRET ALPHABET!
Like butterflies...no...like bats...the letters came swiftly swirling through the tree top..they made circles in the air...swooped down an flew back up again,whilst they were spelling ..Bonjur..Bon Apeti...

Then, Gustave walked slowly and with a very serious look upon his frog face towards the Lilac bush.....there .....he cuts the pink ribbon....whilst speaking the historical words....'I declare my restaurant Under The Lilac bush..opened!!!!

The dress dropped....and what we see there dear friends is beyond words....This is not just a little restaurant ..its a DREAM...Gustave's dream..and how very happy we are for him that his dream came true...

And now.....LETS EAT...

The secret ingredient..

Secret ingredient

Like a regular Sherlock Holmes Miss Moussie searched the Hilltop grounds...she wanted to be sure everything was alright...Brrrr,she was shivering in her coat....how she longed for spring...
'I am sure Mozes took good care of everything', she mumbled to herself..'but to be on the safe side better check everything twice!' As far as she could see,with the help of a magnifying glass and a binocular,there were no strange tress passers or peculiar creatures in the garden..all was well,and very quiet.
There she saw Mozes sitting on the garden bench under the lilac bush...
'Look at my dear friend', she whispered...'How I wish I could be more like Mozes...big..and strong..he looks ever so confident..never nervous and so at peace with himself...I am but a little silly creature next to him..but I am so proud to call him my friend..I feel very safe when he is near..I think I will go and sit with him for a while...'
Whilst putting her spy equipment away in her purse she started walking toward Mozes..

Aha...said Mozes to himself....I spy a little spying moussie...and he smiled.
Seeing Miss Moussie always made him very happy....
Will you look at that, he mumbled....such a brave little miss...always cheerful...always feeling responsible...always wanting to help her friends....How he wanted to look like her sometimes...when he was about to lose faith in the world and the creatures living on it...when he went traveling to get away from it all....how grateful he was to call this little moussie his friend..When he was with her all was well with the world..Ahaa,she came his way...how wonderful..he hoped she would come and sit next to him him for a while..

Standing before Mozes Miss Moussie looked him in the eye....Mozes gave her a wink...Miss Moussie giggled....she then hopped on the bench and placed herself next to Mozes....They didn't have to speak....their friendship had a secret ingredient....it didn't need words...

They both gazed over the Hilltop...the place so very dear to them, and there they saw Gustave....hopping along....with something in his arms....it looked like a jar.
"Hmm...Maybe marmelade...whispered Miss Moussie..
Hmm..Could be honey..mumbled Mozes..
Mozes and Miss Moussie now were thinking the same thing....how they loved Gustave..for his love for food...and for his love for life..a very pasionate little fellow their friend Gustave..

Gustave..hopping merely on his way to Hilltop Hall, spotted Mozes and Miss Moussie sitting there...looking at him..
Yes,he croaked to himself....I see you my friends..but I can't wave...have to deliver something very special...have to be very careful not to drop it....
Would you look at them sitting there together....his best friends..he was ever so proud to call them his friends. A strange thing this was, Friendship..if you try to explane it you are always short on words.....How he admired Mozes...if only he could be so courageous...there were days when he wouldn't mind to be a big strong bear...it would also come in handy when he went on his shopping trip to the bees...
And there..the lovely lovely Miss Moussie....now..he didn't want to be anything like Miss Moussie..no...the only thing he wanted was to take care of her..to be sure nothing harm full could ever happen...he wanted to pick her big bouquets of spring flowers and bake her the biggest sweetest pies you ever did see..and he wanted to sing serenades...yes Like Mozes..because Mozes can sing like Caruso...To sing like Mozes that would he great...then he would serenade miss Moussie every day...

Gustave arrived at Hilltop Hall....standing at the kitchen door he gave a loud croaky call......
"There you are Gustave....said the Dutchess...whilst opening the door....'so good to see you...and I see you carry a jar my friend...whats in it...?
"This my dear lady,croaked Gustave..'this... is a secret ingredient...cant tell you more...trust me on this one....we just have to stirr it through the soup.....'

The Dutchess was about to go and say something to Gustave when suddenly in the kitchen..from the clock...a very loud Belle chimed .......SUPPER......

My goodness..twittered Miss Moussie....I believe we are invited in for dinner ....come my friend..it will be so good to see the Dutchess again... we can go tell her all is well in the garden..

Shall we follow dear reader and friend...because.. I don't know about you ,but I am very curious to know what it is ....that secret ingredient....Would you care for a nice bowl of soup..my dear.....

There are days when even the large kitchen table in Hilltop Hall is too small for all the woodland creatures that visit. Today was such a day.
Everyone was eager to be allowed inside. ...
Gustave was already busy in the kitchen .. stirring the secret ingredient through the soup....

HMMM, he mumbled ... that's going to be a great soup if I say so myself .. he gently stuck one frog finger in the soup and tasted to be sure ... Hmmm ... he smacked ... nice!
Suddenly the kitchen door swung open .... Mr. C fell in. ... He's usually in front of each row!
Because of his bad eye sight he isn't always sure in which row he really is ...this is tricky,it wouldn't be the first time he fell in to the wrong house ,but this time, Mr. C came to the right place at the right time and he fell with his nose on the right doormat ..
Dear C quacked Gustave ... there you are..how nice of you to invade the kitchen so unexpectedly .. did you smell the soup .. ?

I did I did..replied C, as he rose and picked up his glasses.... you can smell it from afar friend Gustave ..

Behind Mr C the head of Sir Horatio Hog appeared.... quite shocked by the collapse of C....it made all his quills stand up ... he looked very dangerous and grumbled ... 'C ....Why is it never possible for you to enter a door a civilised way..?'
' Oh my dear friend Horatio', quacked Gustave ...'look at yourself.. we'd better stay away from you ... you're very prickly today ...be careful...you might hurt somebody..!'
Mr. C didn't pay any attention to Sir Hog...merrily he shuffled through the kitchen ... bumping against a table leg and then searching his way to the nearest chair .... Sir Horatio followed at a safe distance while he tried to get his spines in order again....

Then..a large shadow fell on the doormat...... Mozes entered ,wearing a big smile on his bear face ...' Ahaa', he muttered ... 'soup' .. From the doormat a small echo squeaked... 'Ahaa .. soup' ... Where did this funny twitter come from... well, look who we have here.... the one and only Miss Moussie ..

'Hello Gustave', twittered Miss M...'so good to see you, and, dearest,the soup..really.. when it will taste as good as it smells... it must be..marvellous..
My sweet little Miss ..quacked Gustave, this soup is made with love ....quickly, lets go go and eat.. ..
It took a while before everyone was seated..... Elvira was hopping form one chair to another.. eventually she stayed sitting on the table next to the soup ..... And then there was Sybille. . she was very nervous....magpies and silver cutlery .. not a good combination .. Sir Horatio grumbled ...still some spines were upright..'Sybille ..Why is it never possible for you to sit still....and give me back my spoon..!'

The Dutchess ... who had observed the sweet chaos with pleasure,said..Dear friends ... there we are ...welcome to my kitchen.. I wish you all a wonderful souper ... .. Shall I be mother..dear Gustave ...and serve the soup ?.

Please do.. quacked Gustave ...the honor is all yours...Bon Appetit My Friends....

You could hear a pin drop in the kitchen where all the woodland creatures cautiously and curious tasted the soup ..

Miss Moussie looked with one eye at Gustave ,she didn't know what to expect from this hot brew..

Hmm, that tasted very nice .. and not at all suspicious ... one never knows what one could taste when something is unknown ..it could be awful .. but THIS was delightful .. She tasted a hint of brandy or liqueur ...... Visions of brushes and mops swept the cobwebs from Miss Moussies mind .. A new spring.. a new beginning, and who knows .. a new adventure. . Miss Moussie was ready ..

Sir Hog ... with haste.. took a big spoonful of soup ...then, with his mouth full ,sat very still .... Hmm ... he closed his eyes …Visions of fields filled with Daisies and Daffodils suddenly tumbled through his head ... sunshine and blue skies ... Hmmmmm, he sighed . ... Aah, that was good...just what he needed,a remedy for prickliness ... A little peace and warmth in a bowl.

Mr. C ,at first, didn’t have any vision at all .. the soup was so hot his glasses fogged.. Hmmm.whispered Mr.C..... who saw his surroundings change into a misty mystical haze ... Hmm, peculiar soup ...it makes one imagine oneself in to higher spheres .. I could swear I am drifting off on a cloud. This soup had a strange effect on him. Visions of paintings and sounds of music floated through his head . 'Wonderful soup, for an artist like me'…mumbled C.
Maybe Gustave used some strange mushrooms ..?.

After her first spoonful of soup Elvira got goosebumps ...and that’s very strange for a squirrel.
A strange twinkle twinkled from her head to the tip of her tail ... she uttered an elegant little scream ... ..AHMMMhmhmhm.. Visions of tiny squirrels came in to the picture .. A clothesline full of little red squirrel pants flapping in the wind. How could this be..she didn’t tell anyone that a tiny squirrel was on its way.. was it possible that her friends al ready knew. She looked at all the woodland creatures sitting at the table ... But they were all much too busy with their own visions which were clearly to be found at the bottom of their plates …

Bell and Beauregard ..sitting very close together ..eating their soup from a thimble ...looked at each other, smiling ... visions of wedding bells and wedding cakes hung between them .. a midsummer wedding night ... how enchanting .. There must be magic in this soup said Bell with a soft voice that sounded like a chappel bell..

The Dutchess ,sitting at the head of the table,took a good look at her quests ...they all had a heavenly look on their face ,... how sweet .. and what a marvelous soup ! ..She dreamed away to summer evenings, visions of happy garden friends, laughing, merrily sharing their dreams ...by the light of fireflies dancing ..

After everyone had filled his tummy ... it was time to go home... because, the next day…Monday ..they all had to rise and shine very early..!

Gustave stood by the door ... He friendly wished everyone good night ..

-Goodnight, friend Horatio .... I see that you have your spines back in order .. sleep well ..
-Aah .. Elvira darling .. you look radiant ... you have stars in your eyes ..very promising...tell me your secret..
-Mr. C. ..old chap... watch your step .. your mind seems to be somewhere else ... did you enjoy the soup
-Miss Moussie, my sweet ... always a pleasure to have you at my table ... You do not look tired at all ... are you going to start the spring cleaning any time soon ... Let me now if I can be of some assistant ..
-Bey now everybody ..... see you tomorrow ... and, with a big sigh, Gustave closed the door.

He looked around the kitchen .... goodness,what a mess they made….
'Gustave ...Gustave ...here I am darling ,on top of the cuckoo clock', chimed Bell. 'Thank you for a wonderful evening..we will help you clean up tomorrow.." Bell waved, and then slipped quickly through the clock door. Inside the clock her Beau was waiting... Gustave could hear him say something about,‘a best man’… and then the door closed ..

Now, all was very quiet in the kitchen ....Look at the Dutchess …fallen asleep in her chair..resting her head on her arms on the table ,with a smile on her lips. Gustave decided to go and lay next to her…he didn’t want to wake her up…and with his head on the Dutchess’s arm he dozed away quickly .. The last thought he had before he went to dreamland was..a little bit of parsley ,sage, rosemary, and thyme..can create miracles..!


Miss Moussie and Gustave were sitting in the Kitchen...It was very quiet on Hilltop Hall...The Dutchess was out..all the little creatures were minding there own buisiness,the alphabet safe and sound in the secret drawer,and the Gnome high and dry in the Cuckoo clock..So,nothing to worry about...

-'I dont know what it is'...twittered Miss Moussie...'I have this strange feeling inside...like when very unexpected things are about to happen...I don't like unexpected things...they can be very suspecious!'
-'Dearest Miss',croaked Gustave...'You worry to much,look ouside..the sun is shining...its a perfect day to go ice skating..come on...my pond is your pond...'

It really was a perfect day on the Hilltop...a bleu sky,clear crisp frosty air...and a red and orange sun...shining so bright that it looked like a big ball of fire..

In the snow a very beautiful bird was surching for breadcrumbs...he was sure to find them because our Dutchess never forgets to feed the little birdies from Chatter Creek....Today the Red Robin was very lucky to find bits of chocolate chip cookies..
Whilst he was nibbeling merrily he heard a voice sounding like a little jingling bell,it said...

-Please little Robin...may I nibble with you..cocolate chip cookies are my favorite..

The Robin looked up...to see where this little bell came from..and there it was..sitting on top of the bird feeder..an enchanting tiny creature..

Elvira takes her job as gate keeper very serious...come snow or come ice she is standing guard!
This is why she noticed the Robin talking to a little creature sitting on the bird feeder..Quickly she hurried over there to go see...

-'Goodmorning stranger',she asked with a gentle voice..'Who are you and what are you doing on top of the bird feeder..?'
-'Waiting to be fed.',jingled a voice sounding like sweet chiming bells ..
'I am ever so hungry..'
-'Then where is your home',asked Elvira curious,'and didn't they feed you over there?'
-The food was terrible at my place...chimed the little bells..and I heard from a very dear friend THIS was the place to be...in your garden! One of the greatest of greatest gourmet chefs should live here..I believe his restaurant is called.."Unexpected".
-'Well',said Elvira,'I do know a Gustave,and he is a great cook...but what I didn't know was that he started a diner..
-'My dear squirrel...it isn't a Diner..don't let the Great Gustave hear you say that...he is the most famous pasta maker ever...and his imaginary cookies won a prise in Paris..very unexpected...
-A Gourmet Chef ,in our garden,very unexpected indeed..said Elvira...I must go and find Gustave...see what he has to say about all this..But before I go, can you tell me your name, and who this dear friend of you is..the one who told you to come here..
-'My name is Bell...and the name of the friend who invited me here is Beauregard....he is very very nice with a sweet and kind look in eyes..'answered Bell.
-Beauregard....Elvira was puzzled...She knew everybody in the garden...and everybody in the Hilltop forest..but a Beauregard...Who could this be..

Elvira soon found Gustave..She heard from a little bird that Gustave was having tea with Miss Moussie in the Kitchen.
Gustave was enjoying some quiet time..looking out of the window...watching snowflakes fall..

Elvira hopped on the kitchen window seal and with a very elegant tap she politely knocked. .....

-'O ,there's Elvira'..twittered Miss Moussie..'she must be ever so cold standing guard at the garden gate all day..I will ask her in for a cup of tea'.
Whilst opening the window she squeaked..'Come in Elvira dearest,and sit yourself down by the fire'.
Elvira rushed in....taking with her a whirl of snowflakes...
She didn't take time to sit down but immediately started talking..

-'Gustave ,there is someone to see you at the gate...that is ..she is sitting on the bird feeder waiting to be fed...and she wants you do feed her...'said Elvira very exited!
Gustave,who was just stirring his tea...with four lumps of sugar..paused..
-'Did I hear you correctly Elvira'..he croaked puzzled..'I am sure I didn't understand you correctly..?'
-'He has to feed WHOM with whát...twittered Miss Moussie curious..'and whére...?'
-In his restaurant said Elvira...Unexpected...
-Unexpected ,twittered Miss Moussie,'unexpected..I knew something unexpected was about to happen..told you so..I hate unexpected things...they can be very suspicious...I want to know more about this'...and then she grabbed her bonnet,mittens, and coat,swooped down under the doormat, to wiggle herself through the crack in the wall,this wasn't easy to do wearing all this thick winter cloths..!

See how she runs.....followed in her tracks by Elvira...and ofcourse Gustave..

In the kitchen the Cuckoo clock stopped ticking...the little clock door opened and the Cuckoo came out...
-'This was the last cuckoo you will ever hear from me in this kitchen', it cuckood...'I am off...I packed my bags and I am going back to Cuckoo land...Farewell..!'
And with a bang the door closed behind him.

What happened up there..?

Miss Moussie arrived at the scene....

-'There it is',she whispered...'its sitting high and dry in the bird feeder...what a darling little creature..!'

Then..the darling little creature looked down on Miss Moussie and said...

-Hello down there....any chance you know the way to the restaurant dear mouse....

- 'You are in the wrong garden little one'...twittered miss Moussie..'There is no restaurant at our place'.

-'But there is there is'..croaked Gustave...who followed Miss Moussie to the bird feeder and now stood next to her..He was looking very anxious and couldn't stop fiddling his bow tie..

-'I know that look on your face...squeaked Miss Moussie..Tell me what's going on,and stop fiddling that tie...you are making me nervous..

Gustave took a deep breath and then and there he told Miss Moussie the great news about him winning the Great Gourmet Award and how he very unexpectedly got the idea to start a restaurant....in the garden...under the Lilac bush..this would make a perfect spot..especially in Summer..

For a minute Miss Moussie was speechless..this doesn't happen very often..

Taking her chance to interrupted the conversation between Gustave and Miss Moussie,from out of the bird feeder little Bell chimed...'Then,can we go and eat now..I am very very hungry..please I must warn you,when I don't eat on time I get very cranky and I become a very LOUD Bell'.....

Elvira introduced Bell to Miss Moussie and Gustave...they both were charmed by this little creature!

-'You are ever so welcome in my new restaurant',croaked Gustave,'but I'm afraid it will take a while before we can celebrate the grand opening..I was thinking somewhere in Spring..'
-'O dear',twittered Miss Moussie covering her ears...'take it easy dear Bell,not so loud,we hear you...'
-'What is'..croaked Gustave,'and please little one,explain it to us gently..'

Meanwhile in the kitchen...

Very slowly the door of the Cuckoo Clock opened...a familiar Gnome's face appeared.. humming..."What's this loud and disturbing racket I hear...wait a minute...I recognise that racket...its Bell's racket...!' Immediately,with a big leap the Gnome jumped down from the clock and ran out of the kitchen...into the garden..

As fast as lightning our little Gnome leaped through the garden....whilst humming, 'Bell Bell,is that you...where are you ma belle Bell......

Up,in the bird feeder, Bell saw something move in the distance...she abruptly stopped shouting...she saw a little figure coming closer...it leaped through the bushes with a very familiar leap..and it was humming a tune she heard before..

-Beauregard...chimed Bell...O Beauregard..its you...safe me..safe me......

Miss Moussie,Elvira, and Gustave, very curious gazed in the distance to see who, or what is was that approached them, and which apparently had the name...Beauregard.. !

-Leaping lizard's...croaked Gustave surprised,would you believe that..Its the Gnome..
-So THAT'S Beauregard...squeaked Miss Moussie..and started to giggle..

There, with a very courageous and also very spectacular jump, Beauregard landed next to Bell in the bird feeder...

-O...my....my hero ...stammered Bell...and then she fainted.....into Beauregard's arms...

-Goodness..what's wrong with the poor thing..twittered Miss Moussie....
-She really must have been very hungry,said Elvira...

-Indeed,said Beauregard..she was very hungry indeed...you know, its like with love...
-What is ...croaked Gustave...Bell was trying to tell the same thing...what is like love...
-Well,said Miss Moussie...I think I understand now...You have to nourish love....because when you don't.. things can go very wrong...love can disappear...or even worse..it can wither and die....so ,like our little Bell here...it has to be fed...and taken care of...
-I knew that...croaked Gustave..while he gave Miss Moussie a wink...Love is like to eat a big bowl of spaghetti...together.!.
Bell,laying safe in Beauregard's arms...sighed....and whispered....Take me home my darling....please...and she looked deep into Beauregard's eyes..
-Never fear my dear...said Beauregard...and holding Bell very close ,he leaped from the bird feeder....to disappear within seconds into Hilltop Hall...