...come into the woods,
for I'm afraid we are not ready to leave yet, no,
but give me your hand and we will take you with us and you will see why.
Into the cool green we go, the seeping damp, the air surprisingly warm on our skin. We follow the path, a slow meander, voices murmuring through the trees, quiet footsteps ahead, the rustle of leaves, the distant chirp and chatter of birds.
Hurry now, and hush, for there is One who must not hear us. Quick! Light feet and haste!
Here we are now, look, everyone is here, I don't think we are last. There is a little work to be done, for we are here for a very special reason.
There is a birthday, here in the woods. A Very Significant 8th Birthday, and we have been invited along to celebrate.
There is a flurry of activity as little wood nymphs and rabbits dash and scamper and scuttle, pulling streamers out of the trees, balloons out of burrows.
A mad dash to prepare, arrange and assemble, for the Birthday Girl has not arrived yet. And she does not even know we are here!
So, as she is 'out for a walk' in the woods with her Nan, the bustle of activity continues, until all is ready, all is set.
Until it is time to gather together the scattered dearlings, the wayward rabbits and knights, the Tweedledums and Tweedledees, and hustle them all out of the clearing, for a little bird has told us She is on her way!
And for a moment this little dell rings with excited shrieks and squeals and hoarse whispered shouts,
'She is coming!! Quick! Hide! Everyone hide!'
And then a giggling hush descends, and everyone takes their place, the excitement quivering in the air, a tremor in the leaves.
'Here she is!'
Oh the little face as she is surrounded by her family and friends as they spill out of the trees around her, the round eyes and astonished countenance, and we all cheer and clap and our voices echo up into the treetops above:
Happy Birthday to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Happy Birthday Dear Darling♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ ♪♫•*¨*•♫ Happy Birthday to you!♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ ♪♫•*¨*•♫.........
And then the games begin in ernest, the cakes magically disappear, and the Birthday Girl, aka The White Queen, holds court and regales us with fantastical Tales of Great Adventures.
And the day draws in, the sunlight finds us and persuades us to stay, the forest echoes with the glad little voices. A joyful sound that will linger long after we are gone.
And happiness gathers.
Oh! Are you leaving? Must you?
No, we are staying, for just a while longer.
The weather is mild and surprisingly dry for November, we have sandwiches and tea, and birthday cake to come.
We love it here. We are not ready to go.