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Characters in Depth:
Ulf Ritter (Quappe)

First Trilogy
All Manor of Yarns

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 I.

Prussian Yarns

II.

A Stitch in Time

III.

Tinctures & Tantrums

Second Trilogy
The Snow Queen and
The Caterpillar

IV.

There is a Season

V.

 Viennese Yarns

VI.

Orchids

Third Trilogy
Taffeta Tales

VII.

British Yarns

VIII.

Polish Yarns

IX.

Threads of Strife

Favourites Writers
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Lorraine Stanton
Vicki Wootton
Shalanna Collins
 
Ulf Ritter is the eldest son of Rolf and Karla Ritter’s numerous family. They had Hulda and Gurda, then they’d had a son who’d drowned, leaving Ulf as the eldest boy. Since the death of her son Karla had been in failing health. Her latest baby had died, which had reduced her further. Because his father would not allow any of the children to work for the Gutshaus, they were failing from lack of income, so Ulf took it upon himself to walk to the big house and offer himself for work. He was only eight years old, too young for stable work, but in consideration for his situation, he was employed.

Rolf Ritter disowned Ulf for his disobedience, but he went home whenever he thought his father was not there to take his earnings to his mother, aided and abetted by Kurt and Luise, with food provided by Emma. He was not the eldest, there being girls older and younger than he was, but he felt responsible as a boy to take care of them when his father didn’t or couldn’t.

Hulda was the teacher in the village school, and Gurda wanted to be a governess like Amalie. To that end Gurda slipped out and went to seek her employment at the Gutshaus. She was put in the upstairs tending Hildegard. Rolf blamed Ulf for putting ideas in her head.

Despite his hard life, Ulf was happy with the way things turned out for him. He was well treated by Kurt, who he adored, he was able to get help to his mother, and he was able to see his sister every day. Kurt nicknamed him Kaulquappe, tadpole, which was shortened to Quappe. A quappe is actually a burbot fish, but the name stuck anyway.

The Ritters had once been the von Puttkamer’s faithful servants, the riders in the days of horse soldiers, but Rolf’s father had a huge falling out with Hildegard’s father. The Ritters moved out, but they didn’t have a cottage so they moved into an abandoned hut in the village. Rolf’s father didn’t know how to run a cottage or farm, so they soon fell on hard times. His siblings all moved away and made their livings, but Rolf stubbornly stayed where his father had been, hoping one day for the rift between the families to mend. He was appalled that Otto had won over the von Puttkamers and took control of the estate, and humiliated that Luise took clothing and food to his family.

Unaware that the times had changed and there was no place for knights and their squires anymore, Rolf lived in a time warp hoping to see bygone days come back.

Ulf, on the other hand, was in the present, happy to work with the horses and look up to Kurt who would one day be the stableman at Schönwald.

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