Stafford the Tiny Tree Frog was out of bed in a flash. He plunked on a party hat and hopped to his round kitchen table. Cut fabric lay before him. After looking down at it for a moment, he jumped happily up and down. The frog was excited. Before him were the materials for a fine early fall morning coat from his very own drawing. Basil, cousin and trusted friend, then chose the accessories: red heart buttons, blue satin ribbon, wee bells, and pearl beads.

Cousin B also sent a request to Water Whimble Thomas in The Coves. "Do you think you could make one of your seashell hats for Stafford? He is sewing his first coat. It is to be completed for Masters Wendell and Jacob's arrival from The Hillside in a week. We all know what fine tailors the brothers are! So, because Staffie wants his creation to be a grand surprise, he is quite nervous. A party hat from you would please him ever so much."

Thomas replied that morning. "I would be delighted. Sebastian and I will hunt for sea treasures this very afternoon."

(to be continued from The Woodlands - Caelumen)