There was once a place not well known. Not a notable place, nor an odd one. It was a place not meant for stories; it was not meant to be remembered. But it was a good place, and that’s what mattered.
Somewhere in the mountains, in a valley, in a field, by a river lay the peaceful village of Laurum Hills.
The villagers who lived there were a simple folk. The men worked, the women cleaned, and the children played. All throughout the village could be heard the lilting nursery rhymes the children sang:
“O, my little rabbit! My rabbit so furry and kind! O, my little rabbit! How I wonder what’s there in your mind! Do you dream of carrots and flowers? Do you sing little rabbit songs too? O, my little rabbit! How I wonder what you do!”
The village had a long tradition of honoring the rabbits. Some tales said they were sacred, that they’d guided the village’s founders through great peril and given them their home. Nobody knew for sure, but they always made sure to show their kindness, just in case.
Then came Charlie the Rascal. Charlie was a young boy about eleven years old. Nobody really knew how old he was, so he was probably ten or nine. Charlie was a most peculiar boy, most peculiar indeed. Though Charlie was only eight, he had a tuft of gray in his mostly brown hair. Some villagers thought he was blessed by the rabbits, a sign of their care. And so, curious young Charlie was naturally drawn to the rabbits.
One sunny day, Charlie decided to visit his rabbit friends. He trotted down the dirt path, past the brick layer, the farmer, the baker, and the peach cobbler. He skipped down the grassy, poppy-covered hills until he found what he was looking for: the rabbit hole.
“Hello Mr. Rabbit! Come out and play with me!”
There was no response.
“Hello? Mr. Rabbit, don’t be shy! It’s me, Charlie!”
Charlie was certain the rabbits were in there, but there was still no response.
“Oh, Mr. Rabbit, please do come out! Come out or I’ll be very sad!”
Then, he heard a rustle. And there it was; from behind a blueberry bush was a little white tail.
“I’ve found you, Mr. Rabbit! Hooray!” and Charlie leaped and grabbed the rabbit.
He hugged it close and snuggled its soft, brown fur while it squirmed and wriggled playfully. He stroked its head and stared into its glassy brown eyes as it nibbled on his fingers. Charlie loved Mr. Rabbit, and Mr. Rabbit loved Charlie, he was sure of it.
That night, Charlie felt particularly happy. It wasn’t a hard task for a seven-year-old to be happy in Laurum Hills, but today had been an especially good day for Charlie. He strolled down to the baker for a sweet roll before bed.
“Why hello there, Charlie! Been out in the fields, have you lad?”
“Yup! I saw the rabbits today, Mr. Baker! We hugged and played and it was the bestest!”
“Ho ho, sounds like quite a day, my boy! Now go off to sleep before it gets too late. Six-year-old boys got to have bedtimes, you know!”
Charlie went back to his cottage cheese, which was of course in his cottage. As he spread the cottage cheese on his fresh sweet roll, he thought of what happy adventures he would have with the rabbits tomorrow. And after switching off his single candle, young Charlie drifted off to a pleasant slumber.
The next morning as the sun came up, the townspeople came out for breakfast and morning-song. After a hearty meal of greens, eggs, and ham, the men got back to working, the women got back to cleaning, and the children got back to playing. One of these men was the town fireman, who had never worked a day in his life, except for putting out campfires after night-song. The fireman’s name was Jed. Today he noticed something most peculiar. Jed put down his succulent sandwich, wiped his face with his favorite napkin, and announced:
“Oh fuck! The town’s on fire!”
The village people were shocked, taken quite by surprise, in fact, as they realized how silly they had been to not notice the flames earlier. It had been such a nice day and it simply must have slipped their minds. The villagers hustled and bustled, scurried and fled, but they just couldn’t seem to find the way out. The fire was very very big, you see, and formed a very large and very nasty ring around the village. The clear blue sky burned with red flame (but don’t think this made it purple or anything, only a reddish blue) and the bright yellow sun was blotted out by plumes of smoke, black as pitch. The puppies and kittens scampered and barked in fear. The village people also scampered and barked, though this was fairly normal behavior for them. The buildings were collapsing, crushing all the stands, tables, lamps, yams, squashes, papayas, zucchinis, and raspberry tarts.
From the grassy knolls in the meadow outside, the weather was quite nice. The birds fluttered and the butterflies chirped. The bumblebees buzzed, the hummingbirds hummed, and the ladybugs harmonized in a lovely baritone. The rabbits all hopped out of their rabbit holes, eager to greet the new morn. They all sat in a line and watched the fire in the distance.
It was nearly six in the afternoon by the time the fire had burnt itself out. The villagers were all fine, except for the ones that were dead, which was all of them. The blacksmith was burnt white, the whitesmith was burnt black. The town friar cried, the town criar fried. The baker was baked, the stone mason was stoned. The fish were boiled, the chips were oiled, and the farmer was broiled into a sack of barbecue crisps. The cat was roasted, the burglar was toasted, the cat burglar was burnt at the stake when he boasted. Yes, everyone was dead, certainly no one alive, except for possible a young boy of five.
Charlie the Rascal had just awoken from the nicest beauty sleep he had had in a long time. He’d woken up for morning-song, but just felt so good-jolly-nice that he fell right back to sleep, and now here he was. Today was the day that he got to see his rabbit buddies again. Yippee! Charlie stepped through the door, ambled through the avenue, stepped over a peddler or two, and went down to see the rabbits.
“Good morning, Mr. Rabbit!”
The rabbits stared, their eyes unblinking. Unfeeling. Uncaring. The other humans were gone; they now had Charlie all to themselves.
Mr. Rabbit hopped his little bun-bun hop up to Charlie. Mr. Rabbit leapt first. Charlie was eviscerated in a matter of seconds, thirds, fourths and all the other little bits he could be eviscerated into.
As Mr. Rabbit wiped the blood and kerosene off his puffy puff paw, he turned away and spoke:
“My name, child, is Montgomery.”
The moral of the story is:
Never stick your dick in crazy.
(the sequel to this story can be found here: http://theonlyjoe.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/sequel-to-a-certain-tale/)