You awaken one morning to an unexpected delivery. Two packages, wrapped in brown paper and tied up with red string, sit in front of your door. You bring them both into your kitchen and carefully unwrap them.
Inside the first is a story book with a red leather cover and a picture of a tiny village etched in gold. In the second is a candle in an amber glass jar.
Cracking open the book, you find illustrations of a country road leading up to a small grouping of cozy cottages. In many of the pictures, animals in old fashioned clothing—aprons, bonnets, and waistcoats—go about their business. You can't wait to dive into the story.
Wanting to settle in, you pour yourself a cup of tea and light the candle. You place the candle and tea cup on a small table beside your favorite chair and curl up to read.
When you open the book, though, something unexpected happens. The flickering light from the candle illuminates the illustrations and they begin to move. The sound of creaking wagon wheels and chattering conversation rises from the book, and before you knew it, you find yourself standing on a cobblestone street in front of a busy café.
Peering inside the windows, you see a homey dining area with checkered table clothes. Every seat is filled, but not with humans. Instead the same dapper animals as were in the book illustrations sit and converse over mugs of cider and cups of tea. A badger in a white cap trimmed with ribbons scurries between tables, refilling mugs and handing out slices of fresh baked bread. No one seems to notice you watching.
Tittering laughter catches your ears, and you turn to see a group of young creatures, a trio of mice and a couple of squirrels, skipping down the road. They're carrying schoolbooks and lunch pails, clearly on their way back from a day of learning. You follow them, curious as to where they are going.
The road winds out of the villages between fields of pumpkins, ripening in the autumn sun and orchards filled with apples.
The first frost has recently kissed the earth, and leaves are beginning to fall from the trees. In one field, a fox in overalls fills a wheelbarrow with round, orange pumpkins. Perched on a scarecrow, black birds cry out, their harsh voices still merry in the chill, autumnal breeze. The farmer fox tips his hat in the children's direction but only eyes you keenly as you pass.
A little out of town, the squirrels bid their companions farewell and scurry up the trunk of a massive oak. In its branches sits a cozy treehouse with bright blue curtains and smoke curling from the chimney. The mice wave goodbye and continue down the road.
Ahead the road forks and the mice take the left, to a small cottage sheltered within a group of pines. To the right is a bridge over a rollicking river and beyond a thick forest. You decide to take the path through the woods.
The road winds under the branches of ancient trees. The shadows are long here and the air grows colder. In the distance, you hear the call of an owl, and you stop to listen. The sound grows closer then you see it, a large white owl, gliding through the trees.
On silent wings, the elegant bird swoops down and lands on the path before you. He considers you with glowing amber eyes.
Uncertain what else to do, and feeling this is a creature who deserves some deference, you bow. The owl bobs his head and extends his talons. In his grasp is a familiar candle. As the light falls across you, your eyelids become heavy, and you can't help but blink. When your eyes open, you are back in your cozy chair with the book across your lap. Beside you the candle still glows, its flame flickering over the illustrations.
With a smile, you shut the book. You somehow know you can return to that magical village any time you'd like. For now, though, you sip your tea and muse over the adventure that you just completed. It was an experience you will never forget.
Spend the change of seasons in a cozy village with friendly critters. Discover Cottagecore themed candles from our High Cottage collection.