I hope you haven't minded having to stay at Derwentwater since October because I only realized later that I had not told you that Jemima would be staying on until this month! If you did not want to stay you would have had to find your own way back to Near Sawrey, so I apologize profusely if that was, indeed, what you had to do! Today Jemima will be taking us on a tour of Cat Bells. You can see it on the map (lower left corner) just south of Lingholm and west of Owl (St. Herbert's) Island where we were last month with Squirrel Nutkin. . . .
Cat Bells has a summit of 1,480 feet. This is the view from the top overlooking Newlands Valley. . . .
|credit: Enchanted England|
Jemima is ready to take you to Cat Bells. . . .
QUACK! I've been enjoying my month at the lake--away from that noisy farm yard! The leaves are changing into delightful colors and the sun is still quite warm in the afternoons when I take my swim. I'm glad you have stayed to finish our tour of Derwentwater. Now, let me tell you about a little girl I met named Lucie. . . .
The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
as told by Jemima Puddle-duck
Quack! Lucie lives on a farm in Little-town. She is always losing her pocket handkerchiefs. Last week she lost three of her handkins AND her pinny. She stopped to ask Tabby Kitten if she’d seen them. . . .
Tabby did not answer her so she asked Henny-penny who likes to run around the yard clucking, “I go barefoot, barefoot, barefoot”. . . .
Henny-penny did not answer either. Quack! Lucie sat upon the stile. That is when she thought she saw some white things spread upon the grass way up on the hillside that is behind Little-town. . . .
So she followed the pathway up the steep hill. . . .
After a bit she the path ended where she saw some clothes were hanging on a little line of plaited rushes strung between some trees, but no handkerchiefs. This is when she noticed there was a little door in the side of the hill. She could hear a song being sung from inside. . . .
When Lucie knocked upon the door an anxious voice called, “Who’s that!?” Lucie stepped inside and saw a very stout short lady with prickles coming through her cap. . . .
When Lucie asked her if she’d seen her pocket-handkins the very stout short lady introduced herself as Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, an excellent clear-starcher. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle then took a little scarlet waist-coat belonging to Cock Robin out of the basket and began ironing it. . . .
After Mrs. Tiggy-winkle pulled out a few more things Lucie cried, “There’s one of my pocket-hankins!” and indeed it was, as well as her pinny. . . .
When Mrs. Tiggy-winkle held up two long, skinny yellow things Lucie asked if they were gloves. But no, they were Sally Henny-penny’s stockings. . . .
Then she ironed a red handkerchief that belonged to old Mrs. Rabbit. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle had had to wash it separately because it smelled so of onions. . .
Next she held up a pair of white mittens belonging to Tabby Kitten. . . .
When she’d finished the ironing she hung up some clothes to air. Among these were Squirrel Nutkin’s red tailcoat with no tail and a blue jacket, which had shrunken, belonging to Peter Rabbit. . . .
When she’d finished all her work Mrs. Tiggy-winkle made tea. Lucie did not want to sit too close because of all the hair-pins sticking wrong-end-out in her cap and gown! . . . .
Lucie helped Mrs. Tiggy-winkle tie up the laundry in bundles. Her own handkins and pinny were tied up in a separate bundle and fastened with a silver safety pin. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle locked the door and slid the key under the door-sill. . . .
As they headed down the hill Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, and other of her customers, came out of the fern to get their clothes. . . .
By the time they got to the bottom of the hill only Lucie’s bundle remained. . . .
When Lucie reached the stile and turned to thank the washer-woman there was no one there! Mrs. Tiggy-winkle had not even given her the washing bill. She looked up the hill and saw Mrs. Tiggy-winkle running, but where was her cap and shawl? Her petticoat and gown? and how small she'd grown. . . .
Quack! Quack! Why, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle was nothing but a hedgehog! Quack! . . .
Beatrix Potter adds this footnote to her story: Now some people say that little Lucie had been asleep upon the stile--but then how could she have found three clean pocket-handkins and a pinny, pinned with a silver safety-in? And besides--I have seen that door into the back of the hill called Cat Bells--and besides I am very well acquainted with dear Mrs. Tiggy-winkle!
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Published in 1905 the book was dedicated to "The Real little Lucie of Newlands," the Vicar of Newlands' daughter, who was the model for Beatrix's Lucie. Lucie's house is modeled after the nearby farmhouse called Skelgill. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle was modeled after Kitty MacDonald, the Scottish washerwoman who did the Potters' laundry when on vacation in Scotland. Beatrix had written in her journal in 1892, "She is a comical, round little old woman, as brown as a berry and wears a multitude of petticoats and a white mutch [a linen cap]." The hedgehog was modeled after her own pet hedgehog, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle. You can read more about the background of the book HERE.
You can listen to Beatrix Potter's full story and pictures here. . . .
Here is the animated version of the story. Once you get to Mr. Jeremy's story (which you saw earlier this year) skip to 21:56 to finish Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle's story. . . .
Here is the Royal Ballet dancing Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. . . .
This is the illustration I will paint from Beatrix's book where Mrs. Tiggy-winkle is dipping Tom Tittlemouse's dicky shirt-fronts into starch. . . .
First my drawing. . . .
My watercolor. . . .
This month's Peter Rabbit's Little Guide to Life advice for us. . . .
"Clean clothes are an essential of good grooming. Nothing is more off-putting than a handkerchief reeking of onion, muddy stockings or a jacket stained with blackberry juice. If you do not wish to launder your clothes yourself, regularly bring them to a reliable washerwoman such as Mrs. Tiggy-winkle."
If you'd like to learn to draw a hedgehog, Jan Brett shows you how HERE.
We are returning to Near Sawrey where our tour will conclude next month, so unless you wish to set up housekeeping here in Derwentwater, hop on Farmer Cannon's wagon. . . .
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