A Realm of Woodland Creatures


It’s the stuff of cartoons and claymation, daydreams and childhood fantasies. As a kid, we had various toys of stuffed or wooden animals, and a few pieces of forest items to provide cover for them. A cloth log, rough and plain on the outside, opened up to reveal a hidden world of retreat for a family of chipmunks. A roaring fire was in the center of it all, and there was even a table where the family would have its dinner. In my mind, all of this was plausible, all of it was rife with cozy possibility.

The imagination can make a hearth in the middle of a winter forest. I wanted to believe that they felt the same comfort and warmth that we did. I longed to think that a chipmunk family could come together at the end of the day, put on their little nightcaps, and snuggle into their sleeping compartments until the sun peeked in the next day. Kids can will such happenings into existence. That’s the magic of childhood. The magic of Christmas.

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