Redbird Pays It Forward

Winter Wonderland — Popular Christmas ornament “Redbird” has established a snow-time food table for yard squirrels.  Redbird is also the founder of the Small Critter Food Bank (SCFB). On this snowy Friday morning he has set up his table of cheer beside the Upper Pond on the grounds of St. James Cottage.

“I make a good living sitting on the tree every year.  I just wanted to share, a little” said Redbird as he squared up some walnuts.

The recent influx of high quality homemade pineapple jam at St. James has resulted in large donations of store bought jams and preserves at SCFB.  Toast and walnuts are also on the table.

Why squirrels?

“My heritage  is mostly grouse, duck and petroleum” explains Redbird, “but  my mother had a small fur tuft and always bragged that it was grey squirrel.  I enjoy the company of squirrels. I admire their work ethic.  We’re trying to make a little holiday for them here.”

If you’re making the dash, get there early.  Scurries are expected when Tree Angel stops by to make a brief glitter this afternoon.


The Price of a Hair Net

St. James Cottage, Holyoke —  On Groundhog Day Theo van Winkle-Fadel awoke to a caustic pineapple burning a hole through her 50% fairy tale kitchen, but quick thinking resulted in pineapple preserves and a potato sack on her head.

“Every New Years Day I take a nap until Ground Hog Day.  This year when I dig out the first thing I see is this smoking pineapple.  I don’t know where it came from” said Van Winkle-Fadel.  She later conceded the fruit may have been purchased during a sleep walking episode to River Valley Coop.  “What I do know is that I’ve never seen a piece of fruit with 0% natural sugar and a negative pH.”

Van Winkle-Fadel is certified in ECR (emergency culinary rescue) and moved quickly to make a pot of jam but when she reached for a chef’s hat they were all gone.  “How can you jam without a toque?” she asked.

All her culinary head wear had been stolen “by a sock elf.”  In a mad scurry to find a solution she espied a mesh bag in the potato bin.  “I have the same hat size as a five pound sack of potatoes.  That’s what saved me” she boasted smiling.

“It’s  a shame” remarked an onlooker, “she had time to get something nice.  She didn’t want to spend the money.  What’s the cost of a hair net?  The arts are a hard knock life — look, even the jam jar is only half full.”

Van Winkle-Fadel will, at least, not starve.


Delightful, Strange and True

The 21st century — Meet Dr. Robert Fludd aka Robertus Fluctibus, the delightful gazillionth great Uncle of Theo Fadel.  A physician and alchemist, in the year 1616 he was the first Englishman to comment on the Rosy Cross publications newly released in Germany.  Theo has just illustrated a new edition of one of these, The Chemical Wedding.  This did not come to light until after Theo finished the illustrations and she has no idea why Dr. Fluctibus is trying so hard in this image NOT to make the Vulcan sign.

“It’s not so strange,”  says Theo “They often throw me a bone like this from the far side.  Also, I’m known as a joker, but this one seems to be true.  There’s a lot of inbreeding and complex arrangements in European ancestry but as a child I did have extra fangs growing from the roof of my mouth.  That alone confirms . . . a lot of things. And I didn’t make up the book either.  Gavin at Small Beer says it’s coming out next year and I believe him.”

After four hundred years Small Beer Press is expected to release John Crowley’s new edition of  The Chemical Wedding in 2016 AD.