‘Autumn Story’ is a 1980 children’s book, the third of the four seasons in Jill Barklem’s Brambly Hedge series.
In it the young mouse, Little Primrose, wanders off and finds herself in unchartered territory. In the picture at the head of this newsletter you can see this territory illustrated and, hiding under a toadstool you can just make out little Primrose Woodmouse hiding, lost and alone. As I write, ‘Unchartered territory’ feels like a good description of Autumn 2022…
In the story a search party is set up and everyone sets out in the gathering gloom to look for Primrose; it is a tale reminiscent of the lost coin and lost sheep parables of Jesus and just as in the parables there is great rejoicing upon her return home.
Primrose is found and brought back to the giant oak tree where she
is dried off and warmed up and where the Harvest Supper can go ahead after all, as everyone celebrates her safe return and the hedgerow fruits and nuts are gathered in.
It is easy to be despondent at this time of year as the nights draw in, the heating bills go up, and food prices escalate; it is easy to be overwhelmed by the economic forecasts and the world news.