Katarzyna Matyjaszek + Molly Sullivan

Jackalope

The Degradation of Childhood Pedagogy as it Pertains to Darwinian Principles of the Natural World and Educated Systems of Rational Thought Structures as Purported by S.M.E.L.L.E. (The Social Movement for the Exemplification of Lagomorpha Leporidae, Esquires)

It is common knowledge that the members of Lagomorpha Leporidae are irrefutably the most glorious and majestic creatures to grace the skin of this earth.  I am speaking, of course, of the Great Hare or “Bunny Rabbit.”  While, for most, this may seem a grossly obvious acclamation, I was troubled to discover in my recent soirees with local peers and inferiors, that some do not revere these regal beasts as would be supposed.  In fact, at the mere mention of their blatant superiority to all other animalia, and certainly mammals, I have been called “silly” and even “funny.”  I do not find my respect for unadulterated fact to be humorous at all.  On the contrary, I am downright shocked that one could so much as chuckle at a “bunny” without feeling complete and utter self revile.  To this end, I have decided to construct a kind of children’s moral yarn to nip bunny blasphemy at the source.  Education is the only cure for the sin of ignorance, and as an avid Lagomorphist it is my destiny to enlighten the masses and eliminate this injustice of gargantuan proportions.  Ehem.

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Brutus who was very stupid.  Brutus was so stupid that he would insist to all the other little boys and girls at school that bunny rabbits were not the most stupendous creatures in all creation.  In fact, he spouted beliefs that rabbits were uniformly simple, idiotic pests, asserting that they were in the Rodentia order of mammals which was, obviously, completely false.  Now, Wendy, who was not stupid, soon grew tired of Brutus and his idiotic allegations.

“I believe you are mistaken,” she said to him one day.  “For there are many different bunnies with many different souls.  For example, floppy-eared rabbits are more aggressive.  Dwarf rabbits are more judgmental.  And Violet Jackalopes are more inclined to alcoholism.”

“Jackalopes?” snorted Brutus.  “Why, they aren’t even real!”  Other pupils were beginning to gather around them in the school yard.

“How dare you!” snapped Wendy.  “Just because you’ve never seen a Jackalope doesn’t mean it isn’t real.  Jackalopes live in the roots of Grape Trees.  Everyone knows that.”

“There’s no such thing as a Grape Tree.”

“Do you hear him, everyone?  First he doesn’t believe in Jackalopes, and now he doesn’t believe in grapes either!”  The schoolyard combusted with laughter.

“Stop it!” Brutus belted in vain.  “Stop it I say!”  But the guffaws only grew.  Brutus, now mad with rage, inflated to his greatest stature and boomed above the crowd.  “Rabbits are worthless, disease ridden little fools!  They are inferior, disproportioned, sex-crazed rats, and I believe no more in their goodness, than I do in the Violet Jackalope!”  A silence fell over the courtyard like vomit, as the children stared at Brutus with wide eyes and foaming mouths.

“Let’s kill him!” yelled Wendy, breaking the shock.  And with that each little boy and girl picked up what could be fashioned into a weapon (sharpened lolly pop sticks, baseball bats, tree boughs, jump ropes, morning stars, etc), and went for Brutus.  Wendy, who was clearly the cleverest of all the children, ripped down a swing set chain.  Together, unified as they never were before, the pupils of Wolpertinger Elementary brutally bludgeoned, stabbed, flogged, and choked Brutus to death.  Charges were never pressed.  Everyone knew little Brutus deserved what he got.  And they all lived Happily Ever After…except for Brutus…

The End.

Words: Molly Sullivan

Picture: Kasia Matyjaszek

The Fox to the Chicken


The Fox to the Chicken

“I mourn you, my darling,” said the Fox to the Chicken, as he combed through the burs in his fur.  “I feel nothing but something, an ache in my chest, and certainty that is not sure.”  She clucked deep in her throat, and shook off the tears that ached in her eyes to fall.  “I cannot say something, for if I dare try, it wouldn’t mean nothing at all.”  He sighed at her words, but reached for the poker, red hot from the coals of his fire.  “This won’t hurt a bit, I’m sure of it,” he choked, pulling it from the pyre.  She trembled and shook, and covered her eyes with the delicate arch of her wing, and through it she whispered, with barely a peep, “I’m sorry for everything.”

The Fox halted there, and gazed at her form, so small beside cascades of flame.  He put down the poker, and kneeled by her side.  “You aren’t the one to blame.”  She looked up, quite startled, into his eyes, so black with hunger and grief.  “But I can’t let you go, or else I shall die, by my kinsmen’s claws and teeth.”  She puffed up her feathers and crept to his side, slow and gentle as could be.  “Then run away with me, dear, as far as we can, beyond where their eyes can see.  And there we will live, in freedom and peace, until the last of our days have turned.  Together and tethered, with glorious fetters, to the life for which we have yearned.”

He scooped her up in his arms, holding her close, against the dull beat of his heart.  “But how can we escape when I know that my family will fight to keep us apart?”  “It’s really quite simple,” she cleverly clucked, “for I’ve thought of a plan or two.  You must make them believe that you’ve eaten me, as in a pie or a stew.  Then tell them you’re taking a holiday trip, perhaps to the city or coast, and in secret you’ll send me to the home that we choose by tonight’s evening post.  There you will meet me, with naught but our love, so far from the threat of attack, your family, deceived and waiting in vain, believing that you will come back.”  After contemplating her words, and staring blankly, as foxes seem to do, he brought her to the window, lifted her high, and up to the roof she flew.

The Fox grabbed the feathers she’d left in her wake and stuck them to his face and his jaw.  He called over his cousins, and told them quite straight, that’d he’d eaten the whole chicken raw.  At first they were skeptical, as sly foxes are, but our friend was cleverer still.  “How could you have eaten the whole thing alone?” “I assure you I’ve quite had my fill.”  They chuckled at this, patting his back, and plopping down onto their rears.  “Then let’s have a drink, my dear cousin Fox, bring out the wine and the beer.”  Now, as everyone knows, foxes are drunks who need little more than a sip, but can never put down a cup full of liquor once it is tight in their grip.  So hours later, thoroughly sloshed, the cousins rolled out of his door, and at once the Chicken came down from the roof.  “I forbid you to have any more!”

With hiccups and burps he managed to pack and put his winter coat on.  In the inside pocket he hid her small frame, and, stumbling a bit, they were gone.  “Where shall we meet?” chirped out the Chicken, muffled from the thick of the tweed.  “Does Sweden sound swell?”  The Fox paused for a bit and let out a belch to agree.  Rounding the corner, the Chicken quite nervous, the mailbox came into view.  “There it is, my darling,” the Fox whispered low.  “Get ready for me to grab you.  I’ll pull you out, dear, as fast as I can and push you on into the slot.”  “Be careful with me,” she cooed in reply.  “We’re both dead if we should get caught.”  Approaching the mailbox, tiptoeing soft, with a gaze so sharp and so thin, he pulled out his love, wrenched open the slot, and stuffed her plump figure right in.

But on his way to the trains, with his lady gone, and a little too safe and afar, the Fox couldn’t see the harm in a stop at one of the neighborhood bars.  “Another drink couldn’t hurt,” he slurred to himself, as he took up a stool by the door.  “I’ll have only one!” he said to the barman.  “I’m not to have anymore!”  But “one” became four, as it usually goes, and soon after four became ten, and before he could remember the mission at hand, he was home in his den once again.  And when he awoke by the next morning’s light, with a headache that rendered him blind, there wasn’t a soul that could get him to move, thoughts of love long gone from his mind.

The chicken, however, did not have it so lucky, for the postmark was read as quite wrong.  And so she was shipped, for her plump little hips, to Chen’s Chicken Shop in Hong Kong.

THE END

Words: Molly Sullivan

Picture: Kasia Matyjaszek