The morning dawned cool and slightly crisp, with a gentle rain pattering on the leaves of the trees. The formerly dusty path through the woods had turned ever-so-slightly muddy in the rain, and Mouse’s children squished through the mud and jumped in puddles.
When the family arrived in the garden later that morning, the birch trees still looked mostly green, but yellow leaves fluttered through the air and crunched underfoot. It was so cool that all the cicadas had slept in, and the only sounds were a sleepy cricket or two, and the rain.
Before heading to their own lunch appointments, Mouse and his wife dropped their children off at the tea shop, where Rabbit welcomed them with mugs of hot, cinnamon-y tea and slices of apple cake. And then all five little mice settled into the giant upholstered chair with their books.