Got this little idea for a bedtime story while putting my kid to bed. It is inspired by Gulliver’s travels. Some cosiness and imagination for the children, and a pinch of satire to satisfy the adults.
Once upon a time there was a little, little bunny who did not want to sleep. Papa Hare and Mama Hare sat clueless to what more they could do. They had tried warm milk and soy milk, gently rocking and rollercosters, swimming and flying. They spent all nights by their little child’s side.
But nothing made their little bunny sleepy.
One night when the little bunny was jumping as fast as he could between the living room and the kitchen, Papa Hare found a note book and got an idea.
Look here, Papa Hare said. It is a book.
But Papa, The Little Bunny said, I don’t want to read a book. I want to run like the wind.
This is not a book, Papa Hare said, this is a boat to the islands of a million dreams.
A million islands?
Exactly! With this, Papa continued and flipped through the blank pages, we can tell our own stories. All you need to do is jump on board and see where it takes you.
Really? The little bunny asked with eyes wide as plates. Isn’t the boat too small?
No, not at all. Papa Hare opened the book. Don’t you see how big it is. We can easily fit the whole house on it, maybe even our neighbours’ houses will fit on it.
Oh, I see it now. The Little Bunny stepped on board the white pages with hesitant feet. How far is it to the islands of a million dreams?
Not far at all, Papa Hare pushed the boat out on the open sea. You see this boat is fast. Maybe even the fastest there is. We are already there.
The Little Bunny looked over the railing.
You are right, he said, I see islands everywhere. Oh look! An island made of carrots! Can we go there?
Maybe an other time, Papa Hare said and put his hand on the Little Bunny’s shoulder. Today we are visiting the island belonging to the mooses. Their island has more trees than you ever seen, and the trees are so big they touch the sky.
Really? The Little Bunny searched the horizon for trees reaching the sky. I see it now Papa. We have to turn right. Oh the trees are so big.
As you wish Little Bunny, Papa Hare said and grabbed the rudder. Hold on!
The Little Bunny held on to the railing with all his strength as the boat made a sharp turn towards the big trees.
Papa! I don’t think I can hold on for much longer.
Just a little more Little Bunny, Papa Hare said, We are there any second now. He threw the anchor into the sea.
The boat stopped abruptly and the Little Bunny could finally let go.
The brave Little Bunny and his Papa went ashore.
Look at the trees! The Little Bunny tugged at Papa Hare’s arm. They are big as houses.
They are truly magnificent aren’t they. Papa Hare pointed at a crowd further away on the shore. Look at all the mooses. What do you think they are doing?
The Little Bunny squinted his eyes.
I don’t know, he said, I think they are listening to someone.
It certainly seems that way. I think they are listening to the hunter and the wolf on the stage. What do you say? Shall we go and see what they are talking about?
The Little Bunny nodded and grabbed his Papa’s hand. Do you think the mooses are kind?
I am sure of it. Papa Hare smiled at his child. I have never met an evil moose before.
I promise you, they heard the hunter say as they got closer to the stage, that the rifles will be free for all. And I will make hunting season an all year event. I PROMISE TO MAKE OUR OPEN FIELDS BIGGER!
All the mooses applauded, some even cheered. The hunter polished his shining rifle proudly as he awaited the wolf’s response.
Impressive… The wolf combed his beautiful tail with fur shimmering in the sunlight. But not imressive enough I am afraid. I promise that me and my wolf brothers will ensure the safety of our island. I promise to have every single claw sharpened. I PROMISE TO PLANT MORE TREES TO OUR BEAUTIFUL FOREST!
The mooses applauded again. They all seamed satisfied with the two on the stage.
What are they doing? The Little Bunny asked a moose with horns so big and so sharp they signaled authority to all who crossed his path.
This is a debate, the moose answered. We are deciding who will run these woods for the next moons. It is clearly the hunter who will win. Those open fields will let us see the sun, and with open fields we can also see the wolves ambushing us from far away.
You must be completely out of your mind! Another moose with a beard so long it signaled wisdom to all who saw his elegant being. The wolf will win! With all those trees we can hide from the hunters and who want to shot us down from far away.
Why can’t a moose be elected? The little bunny asked. Shouldn’t you yourself be the best at deciding what the mooses need.
The two mooses looked at the Little Bunny and Papa Hare in confusion.
Are you suggesting that a moose can run this island of ours? The moose with magnificent horns laughed. No moose has ever been a leader on this island. We are not meant for such a duty. Only hunters with rifles and wolves with claws are ready for the decisions a leadership would mean.
I actually think my Little Bunny has a point, Papa Hare said. You both signal wisdom and authority. Anyone who sees you listen. Even hunters and wolves.
You are talking jibberish, the long bearded mose said. It is rifles and claws that make decisions, not horns and beards. And if you excuse me we have to vote.
The Little Bunny and Papa Hare left the crowd confused with what they heard.
Papa, the Little Bunny said, I think the mooses are the ones talking jibberish.
You are so right my Little Bunny, Papa Hare said. We better leave them to the life they chose for themselves. Do you want to visit another island?
YES! the Little Bunny exclaimed.
Great lets go back to the ship then and set sail for the island of mice.
Behind them the wolf counted his blue votes.
5467, he said proudly. I would like to see you beat that.
You will see something, the hunter said, all in favor of me your admirable hunter as your leader, show your red notes.
They were still counting when the Little Bunny and Papa Hare left the shore.
© D. B Johansson 2020