Matilda Finds a New Home

Matilda Finds a New Home
A children’s fable by Jan Luthman
Chapter 1

Matilda Finds a New Home

Matilda The House Mouse
Matilda The House Mouse

Jonathan and Robbit were wandering up the meadow together: at least, they were wandering as together as a rabbit and a snail can. Jonathan slid gently in between tufts of grass, while Robbit bounced happily from side to side above him. The sun was shining, but they could feel a sharpness in the air that hadn’t been there the week before.
“Winter’s coming,” Robbit called over his shoulder, “Autumn’s almost over.”

“In America,” Jonathan puffed after Robbit’s bouncing tail, “Autumn’s called Fall.”

Robbit came bounding back.

“Why?” He asked, sailing over Jonathan’s head.

Jonathan paused, his spectacles had fogged up and he couldn’t see where he was going.

“Because,” he explained, polishing his glasses slowly and carefully, “That’s when the leaves fall off the trees.”

Robbit stopped bouncing.

“That’s clever,” He said, nibbling at a long green stem of grass, “Are all Americans clever?”

Jonathan finished polishing his spectacles and put them back on again. Behind the thick glasses, his eyes looked enormous.

“I expect they’re just like us.” He replied, and began sliding up the hill again,

“Just like us?” Robbit was impressed, “Does that mean they can talk with animals the way Farmer Jack and Mrs Katie do?”

Mrs Katie was Farmer Jack’s wife. Her real name was just Katie, but everyone in the meadow called her Mrs Katie because that seemed a more respectful thing to do.

“I suppose some of them can,” Jonathan was getting out of breath; he wished Robbit would stop asking questions. Instead, Robbit stopped hopping.

“Look,” He said, pointing up in the air.

“Where?”

” Up there,” Robbit pointed with his paw to a great big holly tree that grew next to the farmhouse.

Jonathan looked.

“Wow,” He breathed.

Clustered in amongst all the dark green leaves of the holly tree were hundreds and hundreds of the brightest red berries he had ever seen. So bright, they seemed to glow in the sunlight.

“I’ve never seen so many on the tree before,” Said Robbit.

“Going to be a cold, hard winter,” Said Jonathan.

Winter In The Meadow
Winter at Farmhouse Fables

“Why?” Asked Robbit.

“I read it,” Explained Jonathan, “in a book. It said that, if there’s going to be a long cold winter, Nature makes sure the trees have lots of berries and nuts and acorns and things so animals won’t starve.”

Robbit was impressed.

“That’s clever,” He said. He thought for a bit then added, “is Nature American as well, then?”

“Course not,” Said Jonathan, “Nature’s for everyone: all of us.”

In the distance, they heard the sound of the Old Farmhouse kitchen door opening: a few moments later, Farmer Jack came striding down the meadow, a great big axe in one hand.

“Hi, Farmer Jack,” The two of them called.

Farmer Jack glanced across to where they stood.

“Why, hallo Robbit,” He called back then, seeing the small round figure at Robbit’s feet, added, “And Jonathan, too.”

Farmer Jack waved his axe in the air.

“I’m off to cut some logs for the fire,” He said, “it’s going to be a cold winter this year.”

“See?” Jonathan hissed at Robbit, nudging his paw, “I told you.”

Robbit and Jonathan watched as Farmer Jack strode off towards the woods.

“You’ll have to dig yourself a nice deep burrow, Robbit,” Farmer Jack called out over his shoulder, “and you’ll need to find yourself a large warm pile of leaves, Jonathan. Why don’t you try under the old oak tree?”

Go to Chapter 2 of this story of
Matilda Finds a New Home
The Old Oak at Farmhouse Fables

Please leave a comment about this story