The Muffin Bunny of Babson Court

Paul Arthur Jensen

Samuel first appeared on July 3, 1999.

The Garden in 1999

The Inn at Babson Court was open only four hours, when a car from New Jersey drove into our parking lot. Our first guests arrived - two very active little girls, nine and ten, accompanied by their very frazzled grandparents. Cooped-up in a car for the long ride, when finally let out, their little bodies almost exploded with pent-up energy. They ran, helter-skelter, around the rose garden, bouncing from fish pond, to apple tree, to lilac hedge, and down the path that led to... you get the picture.

To calm the children (and give their grandparents a rest) I decided to give them a personally guided tour of the Inn. As the three of us ascended the main staircase, I heard this very deep voice behind me say, calmly and firmly, "MUFFIN BUNNY!" I heard the voice reverberating throughout the glass atrium. The little girls, on the other hand, heard nothing. Before I could stop my mouth I heard myself say, "You know, here at The Inn at Babson Court we have a Muffin Bunny". The two children gasped in unison, "Muffin Bunny"? There was such awe in their little voices that I thought to myself, "Hey this works."

I continued, "In the morning, if you have been very, very good, the Muffin Bunny will leave you a basket of fresh pastry. If you are bad ....... YOU WILL GET NOTHING AND YOU WILL STARVE!"

My two young friends became very, very, very quiet.

The Atrium

Then I heard a faint chuckle behind me. I turned around and there, in front of me, stood a creature. It was and is a pouka, about 4' 6" tall. Though I'd read about them, I never dreamed they actually existed. And I certainly never expected to meet one.

It was standing there smiling ........ no, laughing at me. However, its eyes were full of tears. I learned later that his name was Samuel, not Sam - no, no, no ........ Samuel! The children and I had roused him from a deep lethargy.

Now, to completely understand what I am saying, it is important that you know more about his background, starting with his father Samuel Ts#kchn*tk IV and his mother Martha Kft*stp?p.

The two of them arrived here in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1699 along with William Stevens and his family. Stevens, given a large grant of land by William III and Mary II, intended to make Gloucester his new home. Samuel and Martha decided that this might be a fine place for them to settle also.

When the present house was completed in 1740, the two of them felt that their hearts would explode with happiness. Married in the spring of 1508, at last, they felt they were in the right place. It was time to start their family.

Samuel Ts#kchn*tk V (our present Muffin Bunny) was born on June 21, 1741 exactly at sunrise.

In spite of the Revolutionary War that followed, as well as other social disturbances, Samuel's childhood was idyllic, partly because his parents were wonderful, partly because the Stevens family was pleasant to be around (a little quirky, but pleasant), and partly because he was really a good kid. This last statement Samuel never uttered. It is an educated guess on my part.

Then the War of 1812 changed everything.

Mr. and Mrs. Ts#kchn*tk had developed a strong attachment to the people of Cape Ann. Seeing everyone's way of life threatened, they felt the need to help. You see, it was possible for them to protect the settlement. They were "adepts". One of their many talents was the ability to change the direction of any moving projectile. They could actually stop Royal Navy cannon balls from hitting their targets. They performed this feat with great skill and success, until in 1815, the war ended.

When peace was at last declared, they felt so relieved that, like the children on our staircase, emotions long pent-up could not be contained. They needed to celebrate ....... and celebrate now! They did not realize that it would take time for all the British ships to hear that the war was over. It would take still more time for the fighting to stop completely.

Unfortunately, it is possible for immortals to die. Samuel and Martha Ts#kchn*tk were killed by stray cannon fire from one of the several uninformed English warships. It was an explosion that shook the entire harbor.

Little Samuel was left alone. No amount of consolation by well meaning friends could do any good, could soothe the pain. Much to everyone's despair, he slowly slipped into a severe catatonic state, brought on by loneliness and grief.

Then ... he completely... disappeared.

It was the screams and howls of the children's laughter that brought him back. The two little girls were adorable and smart; their laughter was contagious. And yes, they needed to be calmed down before they hurt themselves or others. Very smart people often have this problem.

Since I first set eyes on him, Samuel has been a joyful companion and trusted friend. His help, encouragement and humor have made all that is wonderful about life in this small corner of the earth possible.

The Crypt

How do you show appreciation to someone who has no need of "things", no desire for "power"? My partner Donald and I thought about this for some time. Finally, we could think of only one way. The answer came to us when we realized that Samuel's parents never were provided with a suitable resting place. This realization brought about our decision to provide a crypt for them beneath the house they loved so much.

Therefore, on November 1, 2003 (All Saints' Day) at 7:00 PM there was a simple memorial service in the catacombs under The Inn at Babson Court to dedicate their final resting place, to celebrate their lives, and to show our appreciation to their son, our gentle spirit of hospitality.