Angelica Bear was sweeping the front door walkway of her tree house at 142 Woodway Lane when she was surprised my a cheerful voice. Angelica had just moved to the Lost Forest and didn’t have any friends yet. So imagine her surprise when her neighbor Rosie Rabbit came calling with a nice piping hot apple pie as a welcome to the neighborhood.
“Hello. My name is Rose Rabbit. Everyone called me Rosie. I live just down the lane at 150 Woodway Lane. I wanted to welcome you to the area. Are you from Lost Forest? Rosie asked as she held the pie but eager to give it away because it was piping hot.
“Oh yes. I lived on Hanbury Lane. Across the forest. But I have always longed to live close to the riverbank. So when I saw this place, I jumped at it. I love it here. Have you been here long Rosie? Angelica said as she took the pie from Rosie’s hand and escorted her into her new home.
The tree house was cozy and welcoming. Rosie felt nice when she entered. She smelled the wonderful smell of cookies baking coming from the kitchen area.
“Will you stay and have tea with me? We can try this delicious apple pie that you have brought us.” Angelica asked
“Us?” Rosie asked curiously as she looked around the treehouse for other signs of life.
“Oh yes. Melinda and I. She is my daughter, She is in school and should be coming home at about half past 2. Have you not seen her? Angelica asked surprised as she poured the tea.
“Oh no I haven’t. Perhaps my Bradley has. He is also in the nearby school.” Rosie said matter a factly.
Angelica joined Rosie with the tray of tea, plates, pie and cookies. They smiled at each other as Angelica served everything.
“Mmmmm…. You are a very good baker, Rosie. You must give me your recipe.” Angelica said with much admiration. “I wish I was such a good baker.”
“Well I practice a lot. The annual Lost Forest Baking Competition is coming up and I plan to enter it this year. It will be at the Lost Forest Fair.” Rosie explained. I think you should enter too. These cookies are so good! Mmmm…you would be sure to win a ribbon.”
“Your pie is very good too. Just the right amount of cinnamon. Thank you for liking the cookies. It’s an old recipe. “
“Definitely enter the competition with me! But I do have to warn you. Shelly Badger usually wins the contest with her cream cakes. There is a rumor that even Queen Jenna has placed orders for the cream cakes. I don’t see the big deal. Just cream cakes.” Rosie said as she sipped her tea.
“Who is Shelly Badger?” asked Angelica inquisitively as she carefully sipped her tea.
“The mayor’s wife, Mayor Badger, She is quite the cook and baker. And she enters all the competitions. She usually wins. It doesn’t help that Mayor Badger is usually one of the judges.”
Angelica thought for a moment while Rosie continued to chatter. Maybe she should enter the contest. It would give her something to do while Melinda was in school and she might meet new friends in the process.
“Rosie. I will enter the competition and we will make the best bakies that one of us is bound to win the ribbon away from the Mayor’s wife. It should be a fair contest. And if we don’t win, then someone worthy of the title of Best baker in Lost Forest will reign victorious.” Angelica said excitedly.
“Oh yes, sounds like we have a lot of work ahead of us but I am all in if you are.” Rosie said immediately standing up with excitement. “This is going to be so much fun. I would love for someone worthy to win the Best Baker of Lost Forest. Not just because they are first lady of Lost Forest.
“I had better get to the supper. Melinda will be home soon.” Angelica said putting on her apron. “How about we meet later this evening and decide on what we should make. Unless you are all set with your fabulous pie?”
“I will be by around 7pm this evening. I’ll bring Bradley with me and he can keep Melinda company while we make our plans and maybe practice a bit.” Rosie said as she gathered herself and walked towards the open door to the walkway.
“Sounds great. See you then!” Angelica said as she began supper.
Meanwhile at Tiger Lair Hall, Lord Terrance Tiger, another one of Lost Forest’s notable residents had just received shipment of his brand new motor car. It was the latest model, an XR729. It was fast. It was shiny. It was beautiful. He didn’t know how to drive it. But planned on driving it anyway. He waxed it until it shined even more. Lady Eleanor Tiger walked over to her husband’s side to see what he was admiring so much.
“Is this it? What you have been making such a fuss about? A Motorcar?” she asked as she put on her gloves. She was on her way to a luncheon with other judges of the Lost Forest Baking Committee at the community center. Just then, their driver, Seamus Otter, came around with the family car to drive Lady Eleanor Tiger to the meeting in town.
“Don’t be too long admiring that motorcar. You can’t drive it. It will be just another toy for our Seamus.” Lady Eleanor said as she got in the car and was driven off.
Later on that evening, Rosie Rabbit arrived at Angelica Bear’s treehouse with her bunny Bradley and her husband Raleigh Rabbit.
“Great news Angelica. If Melinda is all done with her homework, Raleigh here, my dear husband, said he would take Melinda and Bradley to the fair so we could have time to plan and practice for the competition. He will also bring us the entry forms. What do you say? Can Melinda go?” Rosie said looking around.
“Melinda?” Angelica called.
“Yes mama?” In came in the most adorable cub named Melinda. She wore a little pink dress and a green ribbon on her ear. “Oh hi Bradley.” She said surprised by the company. She had a doll in her hand.
“Oh dear, you do look tired. I’m afraid it would be best for Melinda to go to bed instead of the fair.”
“To the fair? Oh mama, can I go to the fair? Melinda excitedly jumped.
“Oh I think it would be best if we went tomorrow. You have all day to rest up. You’ve had a long day. Now run along and put on your pajamas.” Angelica said as she turned back to her guests.
“It’s probably best for tomorrow for her to go. She came home from school and did her homework and then went out to play. That girl really knows how to play. I do thank you though Mr. Rabbit” Angelica said.
“It’s no problem. I don’t know how long this one will stay awake either. Okay we will leave you to it. It was nice meeting you Angelica and Melinda. Come along Bradley. “ From the look of it, Bradley looked quite tired as well to be going to a fun fair.
The two ladies worked carefully and compared ingredients and baking recipes. They tried to get something original and outstanding. By the time Raleigh had arrived to walk Rose back home, the two ladies were covered with flour. But the smell in the house was lovely and mmmmm.
The next day was Saturday and Angelica Bear went to the market with little Melinda at her side. She bought all the ingredients for various treats she wanted to try for the baking competition. When she got home, Angelica had finally decided that she would enter her fancy Cream cake that she had made for her sister, Eugenia’s wedding. It was the most beautiful cake one could imagine. It was 3 layers of cream, cake and strawberries from the bushes by the riverbank. The strawberries were red, lush and full of juice. Angelica frosted the cake and then put the strawberries on top of the cake for decoration.
“Hello “ came Rosie as she came to Angelica’s treehouse. “Oh how beautiful is your cake. Is this going to be your entry to the fair? Rosie asked with admiration of Angelica’s skill.
“Yes, I think I will enter this cake for the contest.” I made one just like it for my sister Eugenia’s about a year ago. Do you think it has a chance?” Angelica asked happy with her cake.
“I think you have a very good chance!” Rosie said excitedly. “I’ve decided on a lemonberry chiffon cake. Not cream but lemony flavor. It’s one of my favorites.”
The two ladies giggled as they planned transport for their cakes. They decided that Raleigh would transport the cakes in his buggy to the fairgrounds the following day.
The next day was the last day of the fair. Angelica and Rosie helped Raleigh to load up his buggy with their bake off entries and then they all got in and rode the way to the fairgrounds.
Once they arrived, the air on the fairgrounds was electric. The rides, music and food smells filled the air with coziness and funnel cakes. Angelica and Raleigh carefully placed her cake on the contest table to be judged since it was a 3 layer. Rosie placed her Lemonberry Cake right next to Angelica. The contest table was filling up. And the excitement building.
Angelica and Rosie along with Bradley and Melinda decided to wander around the fair and wait for the judging to begin. They noticed the Mayor’s wife, Shelly Badger arriving and placing her cake on the contest table. She glanced along all the cakes in line. She had a smug expression and then she walked away. The judges were beginning to mill around. The different colors and shapes and sizes of the desserts for judging excited them. Lady Eleanor conversed in private among the judges as they admired the desserts. Shelly Badger glanced at her husband, Mayor Badger, and gave him the look. The look of “I better be the one to win”. The judges tasted and admired the creativity of each dessert.
Meanwhile, back at Tiger Lair Hall, Lord Terrance Tiger slid into the driver’s seat and started the engine of the XR 379. Terrance loved the sound of the engine. Rooom, Rooom, went the engine. Lord Terrance put it into drive and off he went down Woodway Lane although not in a straight line. He drove from side to side on the winding lane and speed only increasing. He laughed and laughed as he felt the fresh wind blow on his face. Terrace didn’t care about what might be in his way ahead. Right now the road only belonged to him. He sped by trees, bushes and tiny children. It was a disaster waiting to happen. Lord Terrance had lost control of the XR 379 as he approached the Lost Forest fairgrounds. An engine could be heard coming down the lane and a screeching of tires as well as screaming and laughter when suddenly a rainbow of cake and cream and reds, yellows blinded everyone. Terrance Tiger had crashed his motor car into the dessert table. The cakes went flying like saucers.
Angelica and Rosie looked in horror with their mouths open. Their entries were now nothing bits and pieces. Shelly Badger’s cake all but disappeared. Terrance continued laughing as he struggled out of the car. “ My new motor car everyone!” he said laughing. ‘Oh dear, full of cream and strawberries?” he said as he tasted the remnants of Angelica’s cake. “Have I interrupted something? “ he giggled looking around at everyone.
The judges came forward and were going to announce the winning dessert.
“Luckily, we were able to judge the desserts before this fiasco blew in.” said Judge 1 also known as Drake Lion, of the Lion Forest Market. “And first prize goes to, Shelly Badger. Congratulations!
“Oh no it doesn’t. Did you not taste the cakes that I tasted? You all must have gone mad.” The voice heard was strong and demanding. Whose voice was it? It was the elegant and Royal Queen Jenna of Lost Forest.
Queen Jenna walked over to all of them and glanced at them up and down. And then she stood in front of Angelica Bear. “The winning cake is no. 2. The Strawberry Cream Cake by Angelica Bear. Congratulations dear. It’s about time we had a new winner in this contest. And second prize the very divine No. 3 Lemon Berry Cake. Congratulations Rosie.” And third prize goes to Caroline Deer for the savory Cinnamon Crunchies Cookies. Congratulations Caroline. The Queen smiled to the three of the winners and gave them an encouraging look and a blue ribbon for first, second prize and third prize. Each winner were also give gift certificates to the Lost Forest Market. Angelica and Rosie excitedly hugged each other. Together they had won the Lost Forest baking competition.
The next day, the new best friends were sitting down for a cup of Ginger tea and biscuits. They had invited Caroline Deer to join them. “I can’t believe we won 1st and 2nd place and 3rd prize.” Angelica said as she sipped her tea.
“Me either, Nothing beats hard work and practice. Did you see the look on Shelly Badger’s face? Oh how I hope Lester from the newspaper got that all.”
“Oh and how wonderful is Queen Jenna.” Angelica said with much admiration. The three new friends smiled and enjoyed the fall day.