Molly Whiskers and the Blue Tentacle

July 30, 2019 Ashley Kingslund
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Fogsworth is a town inhabited entirely by animals, each with their own place in society. The town has a lot to offer, however many legs you walk on. Its high street is full of shops and cafés, and the little tavern is… well, perhaps the best that can be said about the tavern is that it is also on the high street.

A pleasant way to see lots of Fogsworth is by horse-drawn carriage. When going at a gentle clip, the sound of the horse’s hooves on cobblestones is soothing, and passengers have a chance to see the history of the town, from the high street with its mix of new and old buildings, to the rural outskirts where the road underhoof changes from stone to tightly-packed mud, and then to grass.

Another way to see the town is on foot, which is what Paul and Poppy are doing just now. The newly-named Mr and Mrs Plum are two happy beetles. Last night they had their wedding in a beautiful, old shoebox, and they are now on their honeymoon.

The couple spent the night in a tiny hotel which began its life as a beer barrel, and which now boasts twelve beautifully-decorated rooms overlooking the town. The honeymoon suite at the top of the barrel has a large window, which shows views of Fogsworth as far as the eye can see… which is a good inch or two, on a clear day.

Paul and Poppy had dated for months before Paul finally proposed, nine weeks ago. Now they were both looking forward to spending the rest of their lives together, and perhaps welcoming another little Plum into the family.

No matter if you’re tall or tiny, there is something to see as you walk through Fogsworth. Washing lines hang from the tops of buildings, with clothes of all sizes flapping gently in the breeze. Meanwhile on the ground, the pipes that run underneath the cobblestones send gurgles and vibrations that communicate exactly what its residents are up to.

Paul and Poppy listen to the music of the pipes, as they skitter down the high street. There’s no need to rush, as there’s plenty of time before their next activity. Poppy has arranged a surprise tour of Fogsworth’s art studio, which has some of the most comfortable brushes a beetle could ever hope to sleep on. She’s been saving money to buy one as a wedding present, and have it shipped home, as their old one was stiff and had started to smell. She smiles to herself, knowing Paul is none the wiser.

Paul gazes at his new wife and smiles. Life so far has been fun. He has a good job, great friends, and now the love of his life is taking him for a surprise visit to try out a new bed. He’s known about this for a while, and one of the things he loves so dearly about Poppy is that she is terrible at keeping secrets. But he loves her dearly and so has been practicing his surprised face in a little drop of dew all morning.

“Oh look, Mr Plum, an art studio!” says Poppy in mock wonder.

“Fancy that, Mrs Plum”, says Paul, both of them enjoying their new formal titles. “D’you wan to go and have a nosey?”

“Go on then”, says Poppy, giving her husband a little peck on the cheek.

They hold hands as they cross the cobbled street, aiming for a tiny hole in the studio’s old, wooden door.

Then halfway across the road, they narrowly avoid being squished under the wheels of a carriage, which is being pulled by two horses.