“Why yes Henry, I will take another cup. You’re always a consummate gentleman.”
Bitto holds out a wooden cup, nodding intently as if listening to pleasantries exchanged over the table as a poppet covered in crocheted wool stands on a chair. It brandishes a teapot mechanically, looking blankly at Bitto.
“Just to the top, no sugar or anything – Yes, I’m sure. – Please pour the tea into the cup, until it’s full”
The poppet lifts the kettle, nearly a quarter of it’s height, and pours a stream of steaming tea dutifully into the cup. Standing on chairs around the table are 3 more poppets, each with their own poppet sized wooden teacups and saucers.
“You know Jasmine, You’re right. I do think that Johnathan has grown today. – Yes, you’re right, mhmm. Boys do grow up so soon. – No, no, I’ve no plans for litt’ns myself. Much too busy. Plenty of company to be had without bringing kids on the road.”
Bitto picks up a plate with small portions of hard tack, sets one on his plate, then offers one to a poppet.
“Leeto, would you like a scone? I’m sorry it’s not a proper one, but we do have jelly if you’d care. – Oh I insist. Leeto, Please take a pastry”
The poppet picks up a piece of hard tack, and holds it up at arms length to study it intently.
“I hear that you’re taking good care of your big sister, Johnathan. She’s not well you know. – Yes, that’s right, consumption. I know it’s not pleasant to talk about, but Jasmine, you’ve got to take it easy. I saw you tromping around down in that tomb like you were invincible. – I know I told you to go down there, but – Well that’s rather hurtful, I do care very much about you.”
Bitto leans down closer to the center of the table, looking over his shoulder a moment before meeting the blank gaze of his guests.
“In fact, you’re like family, and I plan on it growing.”