Chapter 3

The midday sun shone over Redwall Abbey. From its red sandstone walls, down to the pond in its grounds, over to the orchards, Redwall was truly a thing of beauty.

Abbott Mitchell was an otter in his mid-seasons. He and his wife Abbess Jannet had ruled Redwall for many long seasons, since they were both not but twenty seasons of age.

The Abbott looked out from his bedchamber window at the wondrous abbey that the creatures had chosen him to rule. He smiled to himself.

"Good afternoon Father, erm what are you still doing about up here? Its almost noon." The good Abbott turned around to se Brother Fred the mouse in charge of the infirmary standing in the doorway.

"Oh, hello Brother, um I was actually about to come down, shall we walk together." The two friends descended the stairs chatting away about the recent activities I the vast abbey.

"Well Father I hope you and the Abbess are prepared for tomorrow, your two score season jubilee feast! Ha poor old Friar Conner, he’ll have his work cut out for him, the whole of Mossflower Wood is supposed to be coming!"

"We’ll see brother but if I know the friar, he’ll have everything in order. He always does."

Contrary to the Abbott’s opinion, things could not have been going less smoothly for poor Friar Conner. He was an enormously fat squirrel, he’d given up his love of trees for his love of cooking many seasons before. Now though, he was up to his paws in trouble.

"No Foremole you may not bake your Deeper ‘n ever pie yet all the ovens are full"

"Burr, goo an boil ‘e head zurr. Thurr be an empty oven roight yurr."

"Thats for my cheese and celery flan you fiend, out of my kitchens out, out, out!"

"Friar, what’s that I smell burning?"

"Oh no the vegetable pasties!, help me get them out of the oven Fuerla. OWOWOWOWOW, the pan is even burn’t, Ow. Oh my!" The friar picked up a small, black, crisp object from the pan, "No, their ruined, ruined!"

Fuerla, the young mousemaid that was the friars assistant, patted him on the back gently.

"It’s all right friar, we can always make more."

"More, more! Fuerla there’s no time to make more! The feast is tomorrow! We’ll never get all of this done in time."

Fuerla sighed and helped the friar up, "No sir we probably won’t but we have to try! Foremole go down to the cellars and see what old Tubbspike’s got ready for the feast please"

Foremole trundled off down to the cellars to see his good friend Jem Tubbspike. Jem was rather skinny for a cellarhog, but that was said to be because he survived a whole season on stew and October Ale.

When Foremole arrived he saw a rather strange sight. Jem Tubbspike was standing atop his largest barrel with a bung mallet in one hand and a stool in the other.

"Foremole quick get off the floor, clamber up ere next ta me."

Puzzled, Foremole did as he was bid, climbing up to sit on the edge of the barrel next to his good friend.

"Bo urr zurr, why do ‘e be up on top o’ this yurr gurt barl?"

"Because, there bee’s somebeast in my cellars that shouldn’t be!" Jem said angrily.

"Oo’ be’s it zurr?"

"If I knew that friend I wouldn’t be up ere swinging my old mallet like billyoh. I think it might be a rat or some other type of vermin>"

"Nay nay zurr this be’s ow you’m find out what be’s a hid’n,"

Foremole jumped down and spread his digging claws out wide

"Burr, thurr be’s a gurt verminy creature down yurr, run away quick loik!"

Jem watched a small shape dart out from behind a cask of Elderberry wine, it bolted to the door but Foremole caught it by the back of its small woven shirt.

"Bo ur, zurr gaffer Foremole. Let I go, there bee’s a verminy creature down yurr." It was baby Gurrb, Foremole’s small grandson.

"Why do e’ bee down yurr caus’n poor old Tubspoike to lose is’ wits, silly choild.."

"Cause if’n oi don’t zurr, Oi’d never learn ow to sneak oop on creatures." the baby said with great sincerity

Foremole smiled "Boi okey e bee roight. You’m gonna grow up to be a gurtly wise choild, now be off."

Gurrb dashed off up the cellar steps leaving Foremole and an indignant Jem in the cellars.

"You mean ta tell me I was being scared of a small molebabe? I need to lay off the dandelion wine."

The two friends laughed and Jem showed Foremole all of the drinks he had ready for the following days’ feast.

"I got’s October Ale, about six barrels full, Elderberry Wine, four firkins, eight casks of dandelion and burdock cordial, and this." he pulled out a small barrel that seemed to wobble in his paws.

"This is a funny little thing, it was supposed ta be a good cask of regular burdock cordial, but it came out very flat, so I got creative and added all sorts of different herbs, berries, et cetera. This is the final product, I calls it Jem’s Special Burdock Fizzy, should bring the dibbuns some fun tomorrow.

"Boi okey zurr, you’m got enough drinks ere to float this yurr abbey, lets us test’m zurr."

"I was just about to say the same mate," Jem said as he hammered a pour spout into one of the barrels.

Sazacus was the warrior of Redwall Abbey. He was a rather large mouse, with broad shoulders, and long legs. He could trace his ancestry all the way back to a mouse by the name of Dandin who, in turn was a relative of Gonff the Mousethief of old. The blood of Gonff, flowed through Sazacus. This particular day, Sazacus was the only creature in Redwall who wasn’t thinking about the approaching feast. He was standing atop the west wall, looking out across Mossflower Wood. This wasn’t strange for the warrior, he often stood vigil on top of the walls, but today was different. Today he had been visited by the spirit of Martin the Warrior!

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