I'm going to tell you a story. It is the story of The Beds That Went Out in the Snow. It is not a picture story because I still cannot get pictures to work. This may well be the end of fraise, and it distresses me beyond measure. So here is the beginning of the end. It is actually the beginning of the end of the Land of the (sometimes tearful) Strawberries anyway, but that's The Moving Story, with which this tale connects. I think all good stories do...
Once upon a time there lived a grandmother whose grandchildren lived very far away in another land. Across two seas, and three borders, and many mountains. At that time there were three grandchildren, though now there are four.
Occasionally the parents of the children would journey back to the land of their birth and stay a while. Even more occasionally the children would stay there and perhaps go to school, because Other Things were happening in the far off land. The grandmother lived in a small house, so she had sturdy bunk beds brought for the two older girls, while Adam, the first-born son, slept on a little bed next to his grandmother. These beds carried the children safely and snugly through many seasons of their fledgling lives.
All children grow, however, and bump their heads on upper bunks that are suddenly much lower, and fight with the sister who was once such a close ally. Then of course Other Things led to a return homeward for everyone, and the houses of the families were now mere counties apart, instead of countries. Shiny new furniture soon replaced the worn pine bunks.
I think they stood there quite some time, those faithful bunks, not at all sure of what they could be without children, even transient ones. But they still glowed warm and hopeful.
Now it so happened that friends of this family were a wild and chaotic lot. They were small in number, and most of them were very small in stature. They made up for this, however, in noise and passion and fuss. High their principles may have been, but their ability to realise anything was limited indeed. The calm and experienced family had oft set a clear example to these floundering folk, and quietly stepped in when a question of new beds arose.
The bunk beds arrived one dark night in Strawberry Land. 'Twas the start of a riotous adventure.
In early times a canopy of blue and stars enfolded the high bunk, and under night skies at all hours of the day great conspiracies were hatched and empires forged. Later and below, dark dens of caves were formed from thick walls of quilt and at all hours of the day midnight feasts and ocean voyages and piles of books flowed far from adult eye.
All children grow, however, and bump their heads on upper bunks that are suddenly much lower, and fight with the brother who was once such a close ally. Then of course Other Things led to a looming move, and the brothers didn't want to share a room any longer.
They stood there quite some time, those faithful bunks, not at all sure of what they could be without children, even riotous ones. But they still glowed warm and hopeful.
Now it so happened that the Strawberries saw that someone was looking for bunk beds. Having ascertained that the calm and sadly separate family no longer had a use for them, the Berries offered them to a big family with four year old twins. The bunk beds left Strawberry Land in a fluster of snow and a billow of frost, and set forth once more into the dark night.
If one day you see them glowing warm and hopeful, with stickers of Lego men at head and foot, do smooth your hand along their worn pine sides and tell them we loved them!