Warning: Contains Spoilers!
He was lost and afraid and something evil was pursuing him, rattling and creaking through the barley.
Aufwader’s Thoughts: Ah yes, I’d forgotten that Whortle has a dream in which he predicts his own death and it is never brought up again. Genuinely, you would think he might take a second to sit up in his nest and think, ‘Hmm, that sure was a creepy dream I just had where I was being chased through the field. Hmm, the Ancient sure did warn me about walking straw. Hmm, maybe that wasn’t an ordinary nightmare, I’d better be careful and not go wandering alone if I can help it’. But no, sorry Whortle, your dooooom is already written and published, so no life-saving insights for you. (We just know this kind of thing is the reason Robin calls himself ‘mouse killer’ – boy does he love to pull the rug out from under them at every opportunity!)
On to the main star of this chapter: Dimsel ‘Savage Goddess’ Bottom, a mouse after my own heart. Forget Fleabee, if Mabb was going to go looking in fields to find her next high priestess, she’s got a willing candidate in this young Fennywolder. It’s a real shame that Dimsel is put out of action at the end of this chapter; she’s the most developed ‘mean older sister’ the Deptford universe has ever had, and in some ways her character is hampered by being part of the main Fennywolde Games storyline. She might’ve been a great secondary antagonist, had she been allowed to get involved with the water voles. Ah well, at least Iris and Lilly can go on terrorising the neighbourhood on her behalf.
Matt’s Thoughts: I know Dimsel Bottom was a character in The Crystal Prison, but somehow her vicious streak never registered with me. (Possibly she was overshadowed by Alison Sedge in that particular book.)
While we know various mouse characters go through periods of religious doubt in the Deptford books, wondering if the Green is really there at all, Dimsel’s open blasphemy is in a new league altogether! Still, I was rather satisfied with her comeuppance in the end.
And poor old Twit …we know that he will come through this a stronger mouse, but seeing him realise how everyone perceives him is rough.