EdiStoryal #3 – Garden Tea

Ed – i – stor – y – al   –    An article written to provide a fictional outlook on a product that inspires or sparks imagination. 

I am a maker. a storyteller can be a maker of stories. Just as a shoemaker crafts a shoe or a clockmaker makes a clock. I am a teller of stories of fiction and a accounts of fact. The EdiStoryal series is meant to set a fictional stage for stories inspired by real products and art made by The 24th Wilderness (aka, Kailee). There will be much left to the imagination and seemingly a lack of detail so as to encourage your inspiration and imagination. A few of the sets of 3 Lotus Cards that are available has a story to devour. This short story is on the 3 card set titled Garden Tea. So grab a glass of something and maybe a cookie or a banana. The Wilderness is wild and full of adventures. 🙂 Happy Reading! – Kailee

Garden Tea

Bringham Castle ~ April 28, 1817

     “Hurry, Jenny!! Lady Catherine and Lady Agnes will be here within the hour! Everything must be perfect!” Louisa said as she waved her hands toward the garden. Jenny the maid shuffled out the double doors from the drawing room, down the cobblestone steps, and into the rose garden behind the manor. She held a small tray of cookies in one hand, and napkins draped over the same arm, and cushions for the wicker seating tucked under the other arm. Louisa had picked out the fabric for the cushions herself and planned every detail down to the types of spoons the tea would be stirred with.        The whole affair was going to be grand and a match for any other lady of society at the height of the season. The fact that the little lady was only 12 didn’t phase her a bit. Louisa pranced around that day with the air of a high society lady so she could act the part of a sophisticated hostess. Her honored guests, two sisters who were long time friends of Louisa were also very sophisticated, as gentlewomen of ages 4 and 11. Catherine and Louisa had enjoyed friendship for many years, whereas Agnes was a bit newer to society (these are Louisa’s high class thoughts for the day) and the two friends took it upon themselves to model the perfect behavior for a lady of class. Thus, a tea party was planned so the girls could have an excuse to primp and pamper themselves like young ladies they had observed at the many parties they could only watch from their rooms high above the Garden. Mrs. Barryton, the housekeeper granted her permission to arrange the soiree since her mother and father were away on a social tour in preparation for the summer season. Louisa knew that once you had a caller, soon, you would have to do the calling and be the guest of the person who came to visit. So, she decided to extend an invitation to Catherine and Agnes who were overjoyed to visit, as the colder months were slowly seeping away. 
Everything was just falling into place when the carriage came rolling up and the horses hooves clopped upon the cobblestone bay in front of the house. Louisa brushed any stray hairs away from her face with her hands, smoothed out her dress (which was made just for the occasion by Rudy the house seamstress) and cordially welcomed her two guests through the house and into the garden. The two older girls bowed dipped, drew out their words, stood prim and tall with their hands politely folded, and masqueraded through the house and out into the garden with the propriety of two little queens. It almost looked silly paired with the three girls’ gowns, which were a little more suited for the winter season during evening balls. There were ribbons everywhere, lace, tulle, giant creampuff sleeves, shiny white shoes with golden buckles, the smoothest stockings and Louisa was proud of the fact that just over her night sheath, she wore a tiny corset made just for little girls. It fit perfectly, with no concern for actually squeezing and shaping Louisa’s little body. It just made her feel grown-up. 

The girls poured tea, shared cookies, and fanned themselves under the parasols that were set up around each chair. Honey from the castle’s own beekeeper was provided and even tinted to look more pink and red than the golden amber color of delicious honey. A variety of black and red teas were offered to the girls, but the governess for the sisters reminded them that Agnes should have milk with a tiny bit of tea in it since she was still so small. The girls made no mention of it and served Agnes her “tea”, and Agnes never knew the difference. They even snuck in a little extra honey just for Agnes since she didn’t get to enjoy the full flavor of rooibos or black tea. Agnes’ tea was actually quite beautiful since the red rooibos turned the milk pink, then the reddish honey turned the mixture even more pink after that. The girls even settled on making themselves the same drink since the mixture was so pretty and they couldn’t resist. 
The girls were a lovely sight sitting on the green in their crisp dresses. Louisa donned a baby blue frock that had bits of lace embroidered on the hem and neckline, and the girls each wore different shades of green. The tall poplars, the blue sky, and the lovely yellow-golden wicker made a lovely vision of color for anyone passing by. 

The tea had finished smoother than a ship sailing at sea, and the only things that were lost were a stocking or two, Agnes’ bows, Louisa’s sash, and Catherine’s hatpin. But that was because the girls had rolled around in the grass and pretended to be the horses in the year’s most exciting race, the Sceptre Derby, that was approaching in the next month. 
On leaving and bidding each other goodbye just after afternoon tea, Louisa gave them a gift that was handmade just for the occasion. The silk hankies she handed the sisters were hand stitched with lemongrass yellow thread and blue-green thread shaped into smooth curving lines and dotted with little blue hexagons. The girls hugged one another and pretended to wipe away tears with their hankies, as though they would not see each other for a long while, disregarding the fact that they were to see each other the next day for the Young Ladies Society where they further practiced reading, singing, etiquette, playing piano, dancing, and various sports. 

As the carriage rolled away, Louisa waved and shouted farewells, while in her little lady imagination, she was already planning another perfect visit and how she would have the most fun in the world. 


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