Elegance can usually be found amongst the flowers most days teaching the babies all about colour, texture, scent and taste. The babies all love their lessons with her and the does go home with tiny flowers behind their ears, whilst the boys prefer daisy chain bracelets, though a couple have a penchant for the behind the ear flowers too. Elegance has always been fascinated by blooms and remembers back to when she was tiny and her mama would take her into the glade to help with the gardening. Now she takes her babies down to the garden with her too, but after school, mind you, as learning is important. The garden is still there, as beautiful as ever and forest dwellers from all over come to view it. Some have even been forbidden to walk inside, because they were caught browsing the petals once, tut tut! Just as well there were witnesses, otherwise it would have been bad news for everyone with the gates closed to all! Now Elegance has added so many exciting species to the range and every year waits in anticipation for the strong spring sun to give life to the newcomers. And she is never disappointed! Her classes are booked out seasons in advance and even in winter the baby hares are down in the glade, poking and prodding and smelling the resilient berries and winter buds. There are always quite a few winged visitors too, but that’s fine, Elegance planted lots of berry bushes for the migrating thrushes and waxwings. They add colour to all the reds and russets of the season. Every evening she leaves the glade with a freshly picked bloom and places it gently on the forest edge for her mama’s spirit to see.
Elegance is looking forward to arranging your flowers and she hopes that you have plenty of vases on hand. She will be spending some time out in the garden selecting the best blooms and leaves so would appreciate an open door at all times. There is no need to use any flower food stuff as she will be snipping the stems at just the right angle to make sure they will last. And don’t worry about the water drips over the floor, they will dry up in no time at all! Would you like to help with the preparations by any chance? Those thorns have to be removed from the rose stems – but mind your pinkies!
Fraoch is a very pretty little hare and she just loves her name. It was so different to everyone else’s and really suited her well. Though not everyone can pronounce it the proper way, but she doesn’t mind as it gives her a chance to explain the real way to do it, and that’s always interesting because nearly everyone looks up to the sky when she’s explaining. Perhaps the clouds help them with the pronunciation? Though the more times she explains it, the easier it is becoming and instead of taking a full leaf shadow of talking time it is only taking a half leaf shadow now! Then there is the part of where the name comes from and that’s exciting too! Fraoch points to the beautiful deep pinky bits on her fur and says that her mama named her after the Scottish heather, the most beautiful flower of Scotland. Heather gives the sweetest honey and makes the prettiest mountains and, she goes on, pointing to her glistening areas of white, white fur – the rarest of heathers are white and she has lots of white on her! And, she says, heather is a very beautiful but hardy Scottish plant and sometimes it has double flowers – now that’s rather rare in flowers (she thinks). The other babies all know this, as do their mothers and the visiting deer and the birds and the butterflies and the slugs. Infact Fraoch has been talking to just about everyone and she is always on the lookout for someone new who hasn’t heard the story of her name or doesn’t know what heather is.
Fraoch is looking forward to a lovely spot on your bookshelf though she would like the window left open so that she can go out and let new folks know about her name and its origin. There will be new hares and birds and snails and my goodness, so many to tell! And because Fraoch will be your forever baby hare you have to know how to pronounce it just right too, so that you can tell all your friends. Then Fraoch will retell it the proper way when she meets them all later. You do want to know how to pronounce it properly don’t you? Well, it’s the ending part that is fun. In Scottish the ‘ch’ is pronounced ‘hikh’ with the tongue near the roof of the mouth, producing a soft but strange sounding growl. Like when the humans are sawing some of the freshly cut apple branches for their wild hare and rabbit visitors to eat. So you have to ‘hikh’ and ‘hikh’ until you get it just right. And then the ‘a’ and ‘o’ is said ‘oooo’ – exactly the same noise you make when you first see my very beautiful coat! Fr .. oooo .. hikh!
Winter loves the crisp weather and grey days and no matter how nippy it gets she just doesn’t seem to feel the cold at all. And she doesn’t have the plushest of coats either as one would expect with a cold climate lover. She is sleek and beautiful and lean. When she was a baby her mama had spent many days worrying about her as she raced off on the bitterest mornings to play amongst the frost and snow, but she always came home happy and filled with tales. Now she goes thru the same worries as her mama did when her own babies race off to do exactly the same as she once did. Winter makes sure to join in their games with them, ofcourse, and the game they love the best is hide and seek. No one wants to be the seeker, they all love hiding, so Winter usually gets that job. Not that she minds though, and being so rather white and fitting in perfectly to those snowy days, she has taken a few of the youngsters by surprise as she manages to sneak right up on them! There have been many shrieks of disappointment! Winter always makes sure that the babies get a good wash down after coming in from the cold. The first thing she does is give her feet a good clean – those big furry pads can hold any manner of material so she licks vigorously away until they are fluffy and shiny. The babies all copy her and in no time at all their miniscule furry pads are just as spik. Well, er, most of them are – Winter usually has to go over a few of them with her own tongue. Usually in two scriffs they are done as her tongue is so big. And after the bath and the games they are always exhausted so Winter tucks them into bed and finishes off the day with a bedtime story. There are always cries for a Baby Hare Tailes of Adventure Story. A while ago Winter bought the book online at etsy, she was attracted to the front cover of a mama hare fondly reading to her baby in bed, and thought it would be just perfect for her own ones. And she’s not one to judge a book by the cover, but she is very delighted that it is as special inside as it is out. She bought the Full Moon version, a story a night for a whole moon, to see if her babies liked it, and my goodness! they love it! There are always cries for that night’s story to be repeated!
Winter is really looking forward to dozing comfily on your arm chair with a view to the garden. She would love the door open please so that she can go out anytime to join in the fun with the youngsters. In wintertime it is imperative that the door still be left ajar, she will going out to play those exciting search games. And if it’s too cold for you in the house then make sure to close your indoor doors then, after all, play is important in a babies upbringing, and er, probably more important in an adults! Besides it will take the house no time to warm up again. And if you fashion your rooms akin to a burrow style then you will see the beauty of always having an open door and a snug interior. Would you like to come out and play as well? You are most welcome to be the seeker, to give Winter a rest! Just mind and be careful where you tread with your big feet because the hares really do blend into the bushes and shrubs well and the last thing anyone needs is a fright of being trodden on. On second thoughts it may be best if you don’t do the seeker, you can be a hider. Just make sure to wear some dull blending in clothes. And no complaining if a tiny hare’s foot should step on yours. It will just feel like a feather falling, honestly!
Oryx is awfully proud of her long svelte ears and spends a good part of the day grooming them. The other babies are afraid to groom for so long lest the fur disappear or their tongues wear out, but Oryx has no such fear. She licks and preens and nibbles and smoothes endlessly. She asked mama if it was okay to groom for so long and mama said yes, ofcourse, groom until you have had enough, but, she added, make sure to make time for supper though because if you don’t eat you will not have the energy to groom. And make sure to attend your classes because if you don’t learn then you will miss out on important facts that you need to know to assist with your daily sessions. And, finally mama added, make sure to set aside time for playing rough and tumble with the other babies because if you get a little disheveled then you will appreciate your grooming efforts all the more so. Well, well, thought Oryx, as she took this in. She sure had a lot to do to help make her ears the very best of all. And she had already done a little reading in class, she hadn’t been ignoring all her lessons. A while ago she’d seen a picture of an Arabian Oryx, a beautiful antelope with a name the same as hers (were they sisters?) and with such long, long curved ears. The ears had spirals in them and not a strand of fur was visible, plus they didn’t flop in the slightest and nearly touched the antelope’s back. Now those were the type of ears Oryx was aiming for in all her grooming sessions. She managed to secretly tear the picture out of the class book and it was stuck proudly above her bed. Oryx was sure to have the best ears ever!
Oryx is looking forward to a comfy spot on your bookshelf, but there must be plenty of room for her picture of her antelope friend as that will inspire her to keep learning, eating, playing and grooming. Not necessarily in that order, goodness! It would grooming first, then er, the other three in no particular order. You will be welcome to watch her groom. It’s a very specific skilled task and maybe one day she will let you help her. You could hold the mirrors. Best to see a few angles at once. Just make sure to keep your hands steady at all times please. She doesn’t want to blame you for her having a hair out of place. You do love long svelte ears don’t you?
Mousa is a very pretty baby with the darkest blue eyes ever seen on a hare. Blue eyes are very rare indeed and a few of the other babies wondered whether she was really a hare, surely she wasn’t? Well, Mousa was very hurt to hear this and went crying to mama, asking if she was indeed a hare? Ofcourse you are, whispered mama, stroking tiny Mousa’s long ears and long, long eye lashes. Mousa felt a little better after hearing mama say that, but she was still hurt and didn’t want to play with other hares any more. She decided that she needed to find some new friends so she went into the forest edge amongst the trees. And soon she was scampering along the lowest branches and in amongst the shrubbery bushes with her very new pals. She was a lot bigger than them but felt so happy and right at home. And not once did they mention her very blue eyes, they just accepted her for who she was. Mousa was pretty glad about this and even though she was rather curious about their extraordinary long tails, not once did she ask them where those things came from. A few times as they ran along the branches Mousa nearly lost her footing, and had trodden on those tails, causing the owner to be flicked up into the air and pulled back onto Mousa’s rather large foot. Gosh that was scary, and er, a little funny. Then they all laughed and showed her how to patter along those tree arms safely, but Mousa noticed that they were using their tails for balance and occasionally grasping on! That was cheating she said! Then she stretched her thin fluffy little white stump out behind her and felt for balance.Mousa is looking forward to dozing on your shelf. She doesn’t mind how high up the shelf is as she is now a very good climber and may even make it to the top. She would appreciate a soft pillow though, infact maybe a few pillows as her friends will be coming along too to keep her company. So make sure to leave the window open a tiny bit for them, plus Mousa will be going out to play every day in the forest as well. You are welcome to come too. But on second thoughts maybe that’s not such a good idea. She is sure the branches will snap like twigs under your weight and goodness knows what would happen to the little tails if you were to tread upon them! Perhaps you would like to be a substitute tree? Now that would be fun!
and Juliet's baby hare Anoushka, here saying hello to Arabella, who is receiving many cuddles from Juliet!
Anoushka is a delicate but fearless youngster and has been in quite a few tussles already. And not all of her own making. Being so fearless means she won’t let anyone push her around and has ended up with tufts of fur out of place. Usually she was picked on by the naughtier bigger babies because she loves to spend her time with her nose in poetry books, and not just reading but writing too. But some of the other babies had been making fun of her, what with her being so bookish, especially regarding the poetry, because not all of them could understand the imagery or emotions, but it was perfect for Anoushka. Her mama said that she should never worry about what others say, and just be herself, and ofcourse, hit the bullys back! (she showed her a few good moves with her hind legs). She’s been reading up all about haiku, and it’s so very complicated but she just can’t be bothered with all the rules so she scribbles away with her own thoughts and verses and is usually pleasantly surprised with how they turn out. She can never find enough scraps to write on so she has taken to writing all over books that she comes by at the edges of the fields. Humans forget them when they come for picnics and they get mislaid under the blankets, so she has a little collection going. Anoushka remembers the very first time she read a poem.
‘Salt in the air, over crashing waves, clouds,
escaping the sunshine, greyness, same colour as the salt’
No idea who wrote it, or what type it was, but it was like a breath of fresh air to her and she knew from that instant that she was going to be a poetess. So she has been observing as much of life as she can so that she can write her own poems. Her very first one still surprises her a bit.
‘Angry leverets, biting my ears, very painful,
so I kicked back, hard, now I wasn’t angry’
Anoushka is looking forward to relaxing on a special shelf amongst your poetry books. She hopes you don’t mind if she transcribes verses in them from other places? or makes her own notes along the margins? Why else would they have made so much space in books if not for this purpose? And she is also keen for a little dozing off in cosy spots, so if you find her burrowed into your organic quilt and sheets then you’ll know that she is very happy. Sometimes she gets nightmares about the bullying and likes to chew the covers to pacify herself. She hopes you don’t mind if you come home and discover a few holes or shreds in them. They are only covers after all, and what’s so precious about that? As long as there is enough of them left to go over you it should all be okay eh? Besides, what with being organic means that she isn’t going to get sick as she works away on them.