You are on page 1of 3

The View from a Window

The once magnificent sash window had been stripped of its ivory paint, and now hung dismally on the walls of a previously elaborate country house. She sat in her old rocking chair, the movement of the chair echoing the monotony of her increasingly tedious life. Her cough broke the silence that hung over the desolate house, with the exception of the occasional pitter-patter of paws as mice danced through its many rooms. The room was dark; its former glory had long diminished beneath a thick carpet of dust and debris. Inhaling a long, desperate breath she looked out over the countryside. The suns golden fingertips extended over the valleys below, brushing the land with a sprinkling of golden light. The sing song of birds filled the empty room as they soared through the sky, twisting and spiralling in and out of the many trees that stood proudly on the landscape. The elderly lady was suddenly filled with a rush of excitement as she saw a cluster of tiny rabbits just below her window. One reminded her of a certain character she had written about years ago. His glossy grey coat had the same blue hue as Peters had. Her imagination intensified as the blue tinge of his coat transfigured into a smart blue jacket. The womans troubled face sof tened into a gentle smile as out of a hollow carved within a majestic oak bounded yet more rabbits. A brown bunny leapt towards Peter, and together they played amongst the overgrown grass. As the old ladys intent gaze fell upon the brown rabbit the tuft o f fur on his head transformed into a woolly green hat and his brown fur accentuated to form a chocolate coloured jacket. Her eyes sparkled with understanding as she recognised this rabbit as Benjamin, who had befriended Peter a long while previously. The old woman closed her eyes, remembering the day when the story involving these two bunnies had drifted into her whimsical mind with such ease as a pen drifting across paper. It began when Benjamin had stumbled across his cousin Peter, but had been amply surprised to find him looking poorly and dressed in nothing but a red cotton handkerchief! As he had questioned Peter, Benjamin learned that Peters clothes had been lost and then used to decorate the scarecrow in Mr. McGregors garden. Unfortunate little Benjamin was very dismayed by this news, and so he and Peter had set off hand in hand to retrieve the stolen clothes. When they had arrived at Mr. McGregors garden the missing clot hes could be seen decorating a menacing scarecrow. After collecting Peters clothes the lady recalled the two filling the red cotton handkerchief with onions from Mr. McGregors garden. She chuckled as she remembered their shock at finding the farm cat prancing between the numerous vegetable plots that dotted the land. Fleeing beneath a woven basket, the two characters had been dismayed when the cat had curled up to sleep on the top of their hiding place. After enduring a very frightening five hours trapped under the basket the two rabbits were relieved to see old Mr. Benjamin Bunny, who chased off the cat before escorting Peter and his son home. Its odd how things stick in ones mind. Although countless aspects of the old ladys life had faded into insignificance as time progressed, there were a number of things she could recall like they had happened only yesterday and the tale of Benjamin bunny was just one of them.

Looking back out of the window her gaze pivoted to the serene lake which rested towards the eastern side of the garden. Its tranquil turquoise waters glistened like sparkling diamonds as the sun reflected off the glossy surface. The lake was bordered by an array of kaleidoscopic flowers which embellished the garden like jewels on a drape of fabric. A large frog swam through the lake; his long legs making him look almost human in appearance. Mr. Jeremy Fisher! Of course she knew that lanky physique! 1906 had been the date as they had met over a mug of warm tea. Chuckling, she recounted an adventure hed had when he had gone fishing for minnows for supper. His outing had been fraught with difficulty, the most notable occurrence being when he was swallowed by a giant trout, only to be spat out again soon after. When poor Mr. Fisher had admitted defeat hed headed home for a dinner of roasted grasshopper with ladybird sauce and salad, shared with his two closest friends. An extensive orchard was but a few metres from the lake, and the nearest tree accommodated a make-shift swing that reminded her of one her father had made when she was a young girl. Every evening she would sit on the swing, the familiarity of its flight conjuring up new and exciting stories. When the weather was pleasant she would let out her two pet bunny rabbits, watching them for hours as they frolicked around under the suns gentle grasp. Day after day she would draw them, only stopping when the pastel skies were replaced with a vast stret ch of ebony, adorned with the occasional star. She had been heart broken when theyd died . It had hit her hard. The grief she felt had been overwhelming. Yet her own imagination and hard work had meant that they could live on for many more years, not only in her mind, but in the minds of thousands of children across the world. A cluster of mice scuttled across the seat of the swing. The old lady delved into her memory. What did they remind her of? She pondered for a second... then it came to her. Peering closer she noticed that each mouse clutched a tiny piece of garden twine in their mouths. They scampered up the exhausted rope which attached the swing to the oak tree. One by one, each mouse weaved their own piece of twine into the thin remains of the rope until it was sturdy and strong once more. The Tailor of Gloucester! That was it! The mice in that story had helped the tailor to make his coat, just like the mice in her garden had helped to repair her swing. It was Christmas Eve and the mayor had commissioned the tailor to create a coat ready for his wedding the following day. The tailor sent Simpkin (his cat companion) out to buy a twist of cherry-coloured silk. When the tailor falls ill, the mice decide to complete the coat; with the exception of one buttonhole because they ran out of twist! The forlorn chime of the grandfather clock echoed in her ears at its stark Ding Dong rang out through the house. As her attention returned to the inky black room she felt all the happiness inside her evaporate. T he darkness gripped her like a persistent cold, its clutches drawing her ever further into its depths. The world of Peter and Benjamin was many miles away. She sighed. Her imagination had always been robust, yet she found it harder and harder to escape into the stories in which

her mind had once strayed so freely. How she wished she could draw again. Every time she lifted a paintbrush or quill her hand was filled with the throbbing pang of arthritis. A mere trip into the garden below was enough to cripple her aching joints for weeks afterwards. She missed Tom Kitten, the mischievous cat whod once almost been made into a roly-poly pudding! Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle was another one of her favourites, as was Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Squirrel Nutkin, Miss Moppet, Samuel Whiskers and of course her beloved Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit. It saddened Beatrice. The only way Miss Potter could bring these characters to life once more was to inject some of their personality into the wildlife she saw through that decrepit sash window.