Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Naughty Little Bunny

... a cautionary tale

Hippity-hop, hippity-hop.

The chocolate bunny skipped along the path. An empty yellow Easter basket dangled lightly from his paw. His burden of chocolate eggs was gone now. He had hidden them all for the children to find.

But he was a lazy little chocolate bunny. He had slept late and started late and taken too much time.

All his brother and sister chocolate bunnies – the good little bunnies who loved the children and got up early and worked quickly – had finished long before.

And they were long since gone.

Theirs had been the work of morning, his the work of late afternoon. Very late. Now, like a brightly colored egg, the sun was slipping behind a purple hill. Easter day soon turned to Easter night.

And the lazy little bunny was alone.

Hippity-hop.

He skipped along nervously.

Hippity-hop.

How quickly the darkness came!

Hippity-hop.

So dark. How he wished he had gotten up earlier. How he wished he had worked harder.

Hippity-hop.

There were tales, legends. The wise old bunnies spoke in quiet whispers …
Of him.

Him.

He who came out at night.

Only at night.

He dealt harshly with any bad little bunnies that he might find wandering about alone through the darkness.

Quite harshly.

Hippity-hop.

Don’t go out at night, the old bunnies said. Get home before dark or he’ll find you. He’ll find you.

Hippity-hop.

He. Him. It. The thing that all chocolate bunnies feared but would not name.

Hippity-hop.

But such things could not be. They were just stories. Old bunny stories. They …

What ... was that noise?

The chocolate bunny stopped in his tracks. He twitched his nose and looked from side to side.

There was nothing.

He looked up and then looked down.

Nothing.

But behind him? What if there were something behind him? What if …

His little heart went pitter-pat. He steeled his courage, all the courage a chocolate bunny could find, and forced himself to turn his head. He looked behind him …

But there was only darkness and the wind.

He let out a sigh. And then he laughed.

What a stupid little bunny he was! He was almost home now. Through the rustling trees he could see the lights of Chocolatetown. Almost home. Stupid bunny!

There was nothing to fear, he told himself. Nothing to fear. Only stories. And he turned his head towards home once more.

But the path was blocked.

He froze in his tracks. The empty Easter basket dropped softly from his hands. Help …

The naughty chocolate bunny tried to scream for help, but the scream did not come. Voice and breath did not come. Help did not come.

Silently, deliberately, Count Chocula sank twin fangs into his neck and began to feed.

This narrative should be spoken in a Boris Karloff imitation to accompanying animation or puppetry. A Hannibal Lecter voice would work, too.