by Mary Norton
illustrated by Diana Stanley
Arrietty has written her letter to Uncle Hendreary and his family, but how to get it upstairs and under the mat for the boy to deliver? Pod has not gone borrowing since he’s been busy with his yearly chore of cleaning out the storerooms. Normally, Arrietty enjoyed helping him on this project and rediscovering items that have been borrowed and forgotten but she is impatient to get back upstairs to leave her letter at the designated spot for the boy to pick up.
Finally, four days later, Pod was ready to go borrowing for a new carpet for Homily. Once they get to the morning room, Arrietty gets her chance and runs to the front door and places her letter under the mat. However, once she and Pod get back to their rooms, Homily tells them of a conversation she has overheard between Crampfurl and Mrs. Driver about the boy pulling up the front hall mat for the past three days. Arrietty loses hope that he will check again for her letter.
Later that evening she went to the hole under the kitchen stove above under the pretense of practicing to get “a feeling”, but she really wanted to listen to Mrs. Driver’s conversations with Crampfurl. However, all she learned was that Mrs. Driver’s feet were killing her and she should have given her notice last May. On the third night of “listening” she finally heard Crampfurl say that he thought the boy had a ferret. He had found the boy up around Parkin’s Beck going around all the banks and calling down rabbit holes. He asked Crampfurl if there were any badger sets around. Crampfurl said there used to be one and showed him where it was, but the boy didn’t check it out. Crampfurl felt the boy was waiting for him to go but he didn’t because he thought the Boy was up to something. Finally the boy left without checking the badger set.
Arrietty must be so impatient to get that letter to Uncle Hendreary. Pod is cleaning out the storerooms and Arrietty is impatiently waiting to get upstairs to leave her letter for the boy. She must really feel trapped now that she has been out of the apartment and cannot go out again until Pod borrows.
In the meantime, it’s nice to know the boy is out looking for Uncle Hendreary and the family and also that he means to keep his word with Arrietty about delivering a letter to Uncle Hendreary. Also, that he is being careful in not telling anyone else about Arrietty and her family and the Hendrearys. He seems an honorable little guy and I think he will make a great friend for Arrietty.