Inside the Apple

There is a faint rattle as something moves inside the little wooden apple if you shake it. It is scarcely taller than an inch, shiny red with a yellow patch and a tiny wooden stalk that is pressed into a hole on the indented top. I really can remember my sense of surprise when I was shown how to open up the apple by twisting the top and bottom sections. Inside is a tiny wooden coffee set. There are two cups and two saucers as well as a coffee pot which even has a minute lid; each piece is decorated with a simple brushstroke design of a red flower with a leaf on either side.

For a while I tried keeping the apple in the doll’s house but somehow, I couldn’t find a narrative that worked: why would the little dolls have a coffee set in a giant wooden apple? It just didn’t make sense. Eventually I moved my little felt mouse family into the doll’s house. Like Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca, the little mice seemed quite at home in the doll’s house and were perfectly suited to keeping a coffee set inside an apple.



The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter describes the antics of two little mice, Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca, in a doll’s house.