Every hour or so throughout the day after his Yule party, Old Possum’s doorbell rang with visitors, just dropping by for a minute.
Nearly everyone brought gifts wrapped in crinkly tissue paper or leaves or soft bits of leftover fabric, all tied with ribbon. Each of these were placed among the growing pile of book-shaped packages under the community tree.
Several of Mama Chipmunk’s grandchildren brought pawfuls of dried orange slices, tied with loops of string, ready to be hung on the tree.
Squirrel brought a bowlful of nuts for Possum’s lunch.
And, precisely at three o’clock, Rabbit, Mama Chipmunk, and Raccoon arrived for tea, bringing with them a giant thermos of hot spiced tea, mince pies, and shortbread cookies studded with dried cranberries and fragrant orange peel.
(Late December 2023)