June 6, 2016

A Homemade May Basket for Hitty Beth!

Reading of "The Rebellion of the Mules"
The Pumpkin House Hittys of Corgyncombe surprised their dear friend Hitty Beth at Towpath Cottage with a May basket! Ima and Hitty Rachel hung it on Hitty Beth's door, knocked, and then went to hide.

A May basket with a daffodil, violets and forget-me-nots.

In "A Time to Keep" Tasha Tudor has done delightful illustrations of children leaving their May baskets at the door and children dancing around the Maypole with a joyful Corgi herding the children in a circle.

Hitty Beth went downstairs, then out the door and found a pretty May basket full of May flowers!

Making May baskets is a May Day family tradition at Corgyncombe! I learned to make May baskets like the May basket above in kindergarten from my teacher. My dear kindergarten teacher Mrs. Platt had also been my Mum's grade school teacher. Now we have passed on that tradition to the Hittys.

The Towpath Cottage duckies George and Polly rushed downstairs and looked out the window as Hitty Beth was holding her May basket for them to see.
Hitty Beth figured it was from her friends from Corgyncombe because she had seen their handmade May baskets and handmade flowers before. Hitty Rachel, Ima, and Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse at Corgyncombe had made the basket and flowers. Hitty Beth's Mum has attended many Corgyncombe May Day parties.

Hitty Rachel and Ima were overjoyed to see that Hitty Beth had found her May basket. They came out giggling from their hiding place. Hitty Beth called the girls inside Towpath Cottage and they all went upstairs to see Hitty Beth's wonderful furniture!

Hitty Beth's Towpath Cottage

Hitty Beth's baker's cupboard with its many delightful drawers and rolling pin holder. Her little Kitty is sitting on the stool.

Hitty Beth is so happy with her stove!

Hitty Beth's furniture was made by talented Roy Bubbenmoyer.

An old fashioned telephone so Hitty Beth can call her friends at Corgyncombe who also have an old fashioned phone at Pumpkin House!

As she had just baked a cake, Hitty Beth invited her friends to join her for refreshments at the table.
All the Hittys and Ima were made by talented doll carver Judy Brown.

The Corgyncombe Hittys brought along a recent delightful find, a book titled "Five Little Starrs on a Canal Boat" by Lillian Elizabeth Roy.  The five Starr children were spending their summer vacation traveling from one end of the Erie Canal to the other. Hitty Rachel and Ima gave Hitty Beth a choice of which chapter she would like read aloud and she chose "The Rebellion of the Mules". The mules were used to walk along the towpath pulling the canal boat.  The book is of special interest to Hitty Beth, as her Towpath Cottage is also along a canal.

In the chapter "The Rebellion of the Mules", a worker was hired at one of the stops as they travelled along the canal, to help with the mules. The Hittys begged to read on to the next chapter "How the Mules Told on the Driver" where it was found out that this worker was up to no good, withholding food from the mules and selling their food to other boats. As their food was lessened and they grew hungrier, the mules rebelled and then pointed out the stolen food and the nasty man who stole it.

The Hittys enjoyed reading part of the story and hoped to read more at their next gathering.

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copyright © 2016 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johns