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Hello everyone, this is Asclepius. We are delighted to bring you a wonderful story, written by Deloria, and narrated by Cordelayne Valkaris. Background music is “Swamp Mists”, by Smartsound.
A Rabbit Hole
Written by Deloria
There is a tree. We can start with that.
At the foot of the tree is a rabbit hole, and in that hole lives a rabbit, of course.
The tree is old. Very old. Gnarled and twisted and alone in the way that old things tend to be alone when they get ignored or shoved aside or avoided altogether. There are no other trees near, though this is the deepest part of the forest – it sits in a clearing all by itself. And if you had to guess which type this tree was you would win a safe bet on “The kind that other trees avoid”, if trees ever got to have the choice in the matter.
Probably not, but it’s a wierd old tree.
The rabbit hole then. Bigger than you’d expect and easily mistaken for a badger den or something like that, but cosy obviously. Rabbits don’t usually need the sort of headroom this particular rabbit hole seems to be offering. The closer you get to it the larger it becomes – until suddenly you stand there right next to it and the hole is bigger than you are, even though the tree is still the same size and shape.
Or is it? Something about the way it leans – almost like a new angle in its branches – twisted and heavy and creaking and different. leaning over you. But that might just be the light. That tree though – You need to tilt your head to see it all up this close. Tilt and look up. Look up. Look sideways. Look again.
The light in this glade is strange by the way. It never quite gives you the whole sense of the tree or pulls it out from its own shadow – which is what light is supposed to do. It can’t even manage to pierce the hole nestled at its roots, although the sun is direct and scorching on your back. Not surprising though – that big black hole just digs too deep into the roots. Funny. It really seems too big to be a rabbit hole after all. You could fit through it yourself. Step closer and see.
So hard to see down there. All the way. The light just doesn’t… it doesn’t seem right. For a start it’s too bright. Hurts the eyes.
And too warm. The sun on your back like burning fur and the whole place is too just warm and the only place where you wouldn’t bake under this hot green canopied light would be in that snug little hole.
Not so little then, but probably snug. Green light hurts the eyes. It would be better there.
And cool. Maybe there’s water? That would explain it. That explains the hole. And everything really. Cool fresh water in the well at the bottom of the rabbit hole. Away from the hot green sun roasting your back.
Makes perfect sense. It makes your nose twitch. You can almost smell it: Cool water to quench a maddening thirst – this sudden itchy thirst. Your ears twitch – you can almost hear it, the cool dripping moisture deep in the roots of the tree, your home.
Find the water in the hole.
Find the water, little rabbit.