Welcome to the World of Bilberry Woods!
If you haven't been there imagine ancient oak trees, brambles and ferns. Meadows of wildflowers in the spring and golden chanterelles in the autumn.
There is the Lake with hundreds of white lilies floating in small groups by the shores, and this is where you are most likely to find Croaker the Frog windsurfing.
The Lake is surrounded by slender silver birches whose white trunks are nearly blinding in the bright sunshine and in the moonlight they are like cool marble statues.
When the autumn comes, the green leaves of the birches turn bright yellow, and if you didn’t know better you would have mistaken them for gold coins hung from the branches.
From the Lake, you can follow the River and walk on a well-trodden path past the Higgins Brook (the Old Pine Tree Crossing) which takes you to the other side of the River or you can carry on towards the Village Shop run by Hartwig the Hedgehog. Past the Shop is the Village Hall which stands to hug an ancient Oak Tree where Ollie the Owl lives. He looks after the Village Hall, like making sure that the wood burner is on before any Village meeting or party, but more often than not he forgets to do so.
From the Village Hall Lane forks into all directions and whichever way you go, you will find little houses dotted around. Some carved inside tree trunks, some part of living trees and some small stone cottages.
These are the homes of Bilberry Woods inhabitants like Pedro the Penguin who is often having a cup of silver tea (which is hot milk with sugar served with your best china) with his friend Bernard the Badger.
You might also spot Benny the Bat who is flying between the trees or you might see Findlay the Fox, Henry the Harvest Mouse and Oscar the Orangutan exploring the woods.
If you go upstream from the Lake, the land will gently rise until oaks and birches give away to pines.
These red pines are the oldest and the tallest in the woods, and they are like pillars supporting the sky above. It is said that their top branches dwell in the Heavens themselves and that the angels sleep on their beds of evergreen needles.
Amongst the pines, you might see Ernest the Brown Bear who is a very contemplative bear, yet not a very talkative one and sometimes he seems to be living in his own world where the reality and myths blend together and where legends are the only history forgotten.
If you carry further on, the river gets narrower and runs faster, and eventually, the trees grow shorter and shorter until there are no more trees.
You have arrived at the plains of tundra, and further up you can see tall peaks of ice and snow. You would think that this is where all the habitation ends, but you couldn’t be more wrong!
Carry on, and you’ll find Hector the Arctic Hare working on his latest snow plastering job. If you get hungry head towards the southern slope of the tallest peak and you can stop to eat at Fleming’s Lodge where you are greeted by a very friendly family of Arctic Foxes who has been running the restaurant for generations now.
You might also see some of the Onni the Polar Bear’s family members and you are most likely to see the sky full of magical Northern Lights that sweep across the indigo sky at night, creating most magnificent displays of colour.
Bilberry Woods inhabitants love their woods and everything and anything that lives in there.
Sometimes they argue and most certainly gossip, but whenever there is a great need they always pull together, and after all, they all just love a simple life with plenty of food and drink and good company.