So before I began today's (short) story I would like to introduce you to two new villagers, Basil and Betty Hazelwood. Actually Basil and Betty lives in Eaglewood, the neighbouring village of Sugarbush Valley.
But even before I introduce you, let me first tell you about the hard time these two gave me. As you might know, I had Basil for quite a while, packed away, as neither him nor I was ever sure if he wanted to live in one of my villages, but something always kept me from trading him or sending him as a gift to a fellow collector. So when I stumbled upon the wash day set with Betty, I took it as a sign to get Basil out of his hiding place and get him a family.
A week went by and when I finally had a chance to take Betty and Basil out of their respective boxes and plastic bags, I was very much frustrated and irritated with the two of them. First of all (as you can see in the picture) Betty was much taller than Basil and her flocking and colour was way different.
My first thought was to just undress them again and put them away. Not that I'm a chauvinist or anything but I didn't like Basil being shorter than his wife. So I put them aside.
When I got over my bad mood I decided that they would both undergo some changes, so I changed their clothing. And YES, that was much better and I was way more satisfied. But Betty's dress, puzzled me. Most other Sylvanian mother's dresses had aprons, but this one didn't! Why not? Wasn't she supposed to do laundry.
Then I got another bright idea... I never was happy with the dress of mother Emma Furbanks (I loved the dress, just not on Emma)... it didn't suit her and as she works in the Realtor office, I didn't think she needed an apron, so Betty and she swapped dressed. Betty was starting to look like I envisioned her (more on Emma later). But Basil's shirt didn't look right (I was feeling particularly fussy and OCDish apparently).
So I had another look around and found the perfect shirt for Basil... and Ta Daaaam... Meet Basil and Betty Hazelwood. The Eaglewood Orphanage Managers. They have been taking care of the orphans of the Subridens area for many years (not that they ever have more than one or two), and are great at their job. Both are caring and loving, and they will never let an orphan be adopted if they themselves don't feel 100% satisfied with the new parents. They have one daughter Evie, who is currently on a camping trip to the Northern parts of the country.
And now that you've met Basil and Betty, lets have a look at the story.
It was a coolish overcast day in Sugarbush Valley. Mae Mulberry was hanging out the washing, hoping that the cool breeze will dry it, before it starts raining.
Mae was startled by a rustle in the bushes, and when she turned her head she found three little critters staring at her wide eyed.
Mae (surprised): Oh my goodness! Children...?!
Squirrel girl (scared): Good morning madam, pardon us. Where are we now.
Mae: Sugarbush Valley, but what are you doing here. Where is your parents? What are your names?
Squirrel girl: Oh sorry, I am Alyssa and this is Helly and Pumpkin. We are orphans and are lost.
Mae: Oh my, that is terrible. Where are you from?
Alyssa: We are from Pumpkinsville. There was an orphanage, but it burned down. We were supposed to go to a new home in Grinpa, but the lady their scared us so we ran away.
Mae: Oh my dear child, don't worry, we will work something out.
As Mae uttered the words, all three children ran into her arms and started crying. They were shivering and obviously terribly afraid. Mae felt helpless.
Mae started to look around for help, if she can just catch a glimpse of Katrina Whiskers in the florist. But as luck would have it, Buster Slydale came running pas the Laundromat, obviously in a hurry.
Mae: Buster! Buster! Stop!
Buster: Auntie Mae? What is wrong? And who are these critters.
Mae: Never you mind Buster, please hurry and go and call your mother.
Buster: But I should be in school, she will have my heart if she ...
Mae: Buster! Your Mother! Now
Buster quickly realised he should just have to face his mother, as there is obviously a much bigger crisis here, then him getting into trouble so he ran off again to go get his mother.
Of course Velvette was furious when she realised Buster was not in school and gave him a good talk, while the hurriedly walked to the Laundromat, but Buster's problem soon came to and end, when Velvette realised what was going on. With a stern warning to Buster, and promises fromhim that he will return to school immediately, Velvette focused her attention to Mae.
Velvette (worried): Mae? Who are this, and what is going on.
Mae (calmly): This is Helly, Pumkin and Alyssa. They originates from Pumkinsville, but after the orpahage burned down they where placed in Grinpa, from where they escaped.
Velvette (sarcastically): Oh of course they wanted to escape from there, it is such a nice place.
Mae: What should we do? We can't take them back there?
Velvette: I know exactly what to do, but we will have to follow the right channels, so first we are off to the Mayor's residence.
Velvette, Mae and the children made their way to the Mayor's house and as always he invited them into his home with open arms. Calmly and with a caring expression he listened while Mae relayed the happenings of the morning to him.
Hugo: Poor poor children, this must have been a terrible ordeal for all of you.
Mae: What will we do? I'm not going to allow them to be send back to that place.
Hugo: Well, unfortunately we will have to let them know, that we have found the children and that they are safe, but as they are in our jurisdiction now, I think we may just get to keep them here.
Alyssa: Please please we don't want to go back there. I have a little brother Alfie that was adopted by a kind family. Alfie writes me often, or I guess his new mommy does. Maybe I can live with them, please. And I've heard the people talk that little Pumpkin here has a daddy that lives in Oxbridgeshire Maybe if you contact him, he will let Pumpkin live with him. I just don't know about Helly.
Hugo: My dear child, I wish it was that easy, but how do you know all this.
Alyssa: I have a letter.
Hugo took the letter from Alyssa and with every sentence he read, his eyes became bigger and bigger and his shoulders slouched more and more. He couldn't believe what he was reading, but the letter was official and he wondered out loudly where she got it from.
Alyssa (looking scared): Uhm ... I stole it. I'm sorry I know I shouldn't have, but I needed proof of who we are.
Hugo dropped the letter to the ground, and turned to Mae and Velvette.
Hugo: You ladies will not believe this and Mae you might not like hearing this ...but it seems as if our own Edward Mulberry might be the father of little Pumpkin here. And even more baffling is that it seems as if Alyssa's brother Alfie and Alfie Walnut-Furbanks, who were adopted by Kenneth and Emma are one and the same boy.
Mae: What? No! How? Edwards wife died years ago and ... oh ... OH... NO! Impossible!
While Mae sat down to gather her thoughts and her nerves, Velvette went upstairs to call the Hazelwoods. They were the caretakers of the Orphanage in Eaglewood, the neighbouring village.
Basil and Betty Hazelwood arrived at the Mayor's residence to find a very distressed Mae Mulberry. The babies have fallen asleep, tired from all the drama they had to endure, but little Alyssa was as strong as ever, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate.
In turns, Hugo, Mae and Velvette told Basil and Betty the story of the three orphans. Betty was over the moon to have three new children to care for, while Basil was more worried about the rules and regulations. Mae was very disturbed about the fact that her nephew had to go to an orphanage but after Hugo and Basil explained to her that they had to follow the rules, she was a bit more satisfied.
While Betty quietly waked the babies, Basil walked over to Alyssa to meet her, and explain to her how things will work
Basil (softly): Hey Alyssa, I'm Basil. You may call me on my name, but if you prefer Uncle that is fine too. Betty and me will take you to our house in Eaglewood. You, Helly and Pumpkin will have to stay with us, until we have sorted out everything. Please know that this might take a while, but you can rest assured that you will be very happy with us and we will take good care of you.
Alyssa: Will I see my brother soon?
Basil: That depends on Mr and Mrs Furbanks. They are his parents now and will do only what is in his best interest, and of course you will have to understand that they will first need proof that you are who you say you are. Does that make sense?
Alyssa: I guess so.
Soon everyone was ready to go. Basil promised to be in contact soon. As it was almost evening they can only start their research the following morning. He made Mae promise not say anything to Edward yet, as they were uncertain if he even was the father...
TO BE CONTINUED...