As most of you have already heard, our very own Silly Tilly has miraculously returned to us.
She was first seen yesterday on Bricklebush Lane with a mysterious stranger. According to young Quincey Hackberry who was up in his tree house reading a book at the time, he looked up and saw two people standing in the middle of the road. An unidentified stranger was patting Tilly on the shoulder and whispering in her ear. This person then left on foot and disappeared around the bend in the road. Quincey says that Tilly picked up her suitcase and headed into town on foot. She was dressed in one of her usual flowered frocks but was wearing the most outlandish pair of multicolored socks he had ever seen.
Our staff has been working day and night to uncover the truth about Tilly.
What follows is to the best of our knowledge, what led up to this remarkable event.
On that fateful day when Dr. Woodbine pronounced that Tilly had expired, her body was taken to Gussman’s Mortuary. That evening when Mr. Gussman went downstairs to begin his work, to his astonishment he found that Tilly was still alive, but in a deeply catatonic state. He quickly put in a call to Tilly’s next of kin, Willy Nilly Milly and explained the situation. Milly swore Mr. Gussman to secrecy and made arrangements to have Tilly transported to the Switzerland Psychiatric hospital that Milly frequents. She explained to Mr. Gussman that one mentally ill person in the family was quite enough thank you very much, and would he please keep quiet about the whole affair.
That very night, a pair of strange men showed up and whisked Tilly off in a black limousine. Mr. Gussman was instructed by Milly to bury an empty casket. She paid for his top of the line ‘Dearly Beloved’ model too, for which Mr. Gussman says he was very grateful.
So, our Tilly has all this time been receiving expert psychiatric care in one of the finest hospitals in the world at Milly’s expense. We don’t have any details of her treatment or the cause of her unexpected catatonia, and Milly is not answering our phone calls.
In any case Tilly has been re-ensconced in her little cottage. The museum signs have been taken down and things put back to rights for her to live there again. Though she wanted us to convey her delight at how all her things had been preserved so nicely for display, especially her bug collection. She said she is happy to keep them in their glass cases and anyone who wants to come have a look, is welcome at any time.
It has certainly been a shock to our little town to have such an astonishing thing happen, and there are many unanswered questions. But for now we will just have to be content with having Tilly back with us. Her memory is very hazy about her experiences and she says she would just as soon forget all about it.
She is busy right now pouring over the seed catalogs in preparation for her Spring garden and plans to attend the very next meeting of the Bogwillow Entomology Society. A gala celebration is being planned as we understand it. Orrin Keifer is bringing his Titanus Giganteus beetle to display for the event. A rare treat indeed I’m told.
It’s a happy day indeed in our fair town. Drop in and say hello to Tilly when you get a chance. Just don’t bring any chocolates with you as a welcome home gift. We have it on good authority, that she is sick to death of the stuff. Evidently the Swiss have some sort of thing about their chocolate.
* * * *
Dr. Rubber Duckie, ( ) and the Little Red Hen were standing on the ridge of Chinkapin Hill overlooking Bogwillow.
( ) speaks first.
(So Doc, does this let us off the hook?)
Dr. RD flips through the legal brief. . .Apparently we have been absolved of any further responsibility. Here are the Judge’s signatures right here. ….pointing to the notarized Hancocks of said persons.
Little Red: Fanning herself with a hankie… Well, that is certainly a relief. I don’t think I have had a good night’s sleep ever since that day in the Judge’s chambers.
Dr. RD: It certainly has been stressful. We should all have a little holiday to unwind.
(): (Sure, great idea. But we still have to deal with her day in and day out. She’s been cranky lately too. More than usual.)
Dr. RD: Waddling back and forth across the road…. She is my most challenging patient there’s no doubt about it. But I must confess to you, she is a fascinating one.
(): (Easy for you to say. You don’t have to live with her!)
Little Red: Well, she is a quite capable homemaker. She just tends to wander in her attention to a distressing degree. I think she can be rehabilitated myself. I am not one to give up easily!
() : (Don’t kid yourself Red. You can’t push her around. She’ll dig in her heels on you every time. Lord knows I’ve tried.)
Dr. RD: Well, I don’t know about you two, but I have to be going now. . . Oh my goodness, look at that.
Dr. RD stood still, pointing his wing westward.
Little Red and ( ) peer into the distance. And there, standing by a huge Beech tree stood the unmistakable figure of Thaddeus Gromwell, holding a gnarled walking stick as tall as he was. They all gaze at him for a long moment, and then Thaddeus slowly raised his hand to his head, grasped the dreaded pack rat hat and waved it at them.
Two wings and a punctuation waved solemnly back.
Little Red: Well I never….
(): (Good riddance you big hulking nut job) ….. though he said it in a quiet voice for once.
Dr. RD: Looks like we will ALL be sleeping well tonight.