Celery threw back his head and let out a hearty laugh. The tension crumbled and they all started to relax. Asparagus came down from the rock and they all chatted happily.
“Come on up to the granaries,” invited Celery. “We’ve special food supplies stashed away up there, and I think this is quite a special occasion.”
They all munched eagerly. It was exciting to be meeting new people. There were many tales to be told and so much news to hear.
Broccoli decided he would stay for the Summer. He could rest up a bit and catch up with all his relatives. The girls, or even Herbert and Ashley, could come and fetch him if he was needed. Celery was delighted. He had always thought of Broccoli as a fine soldier and would enjoy his company. Asparagus turned and faced them all.
“And I,” he announced, “If everyone approves, would like to go to Grassholme with Juniper, Rowan, Ashley and Herbert, when they travel back.”
There was a silence. No one at Housestead wanted him to leave. They would miss him too much. They always did when he went off on his travels. They all gazed at him.Finally, Great Uncle Celery spoke:
“Take my good wishes with you, to everyone at Grassholme,” he said.
Rowan and Juniper smiled, and Ashley and Herbert cheered.
As the day wore on, back at Grassholme Button Mushroom pottered about in the woodland, noticing the primroses, bluebells and wood sorrel about to open out in shades of yellow, blue and white. Every few minutes she gazed at the horizon, watching for the silhouettes of Juniper and Rowan against the skyline.
Back beyond the hills of Selset, without a murmer Prunella swallowed the medicine that Grace gave her for her cold. They wrapped her picnic blanket snugly around her shoulders and shut her in her pen. Georgia went back out to double check that the pen gate was securely locked. Prunella gazed up at the stars above and yawned.