Tanya looked both ways before crossing the road, and making her way towards the woods. She thought back to another woods, that was far away. The woods that she hid out in for awhile. She remembered the man in the woods who had owned the annoying, talking chicken. The chicken man had appeared to be a kind man, it was really a shame that she had to kill him, but she had to get his gold somehow. She started whistling as she entered the woods.
“Do you hear that? Someone is whistling.” Ethan said to Jade.
“Maybe its someone that can help us.” Jade said.
They both stared straight ahead waiting for the person to come into view. Jade screamed and Ethan stood there in wide eyed disbelief! It was HER!
Tanya couldn’t believe her eyes, she stopped whistling and her pulse began to race.
Ethan drew in a deep breath and then lashed out at Tanya, demanding his money and keys. He was stunned as Tanya said nothing, but her eyes looked wild with fright. Was she actually afraid of him? She grabbed his wad of cash out of her jeans pocket and threw it at him, along with his keys. Then she turned around and ran so fast, it was as if something was chasing her!
Jade and Ethan were in shock, but so happy!
“She looked so scared! Definitely not the tough girl that she had appeared to be when she robbed us.” said Jade.
“I know, that was so strange, but hey, we got my keys, lets go find my truck! ”
They started to walk out of the woods, when they heard a voice behind them.
“Glad you got your money and keys back. I could tell that girl was trouble and I thought I would give her a scare. I guess I succeeded!” and he let out a deep chuckle.
Now it was Jade and Ethan whose eyes were big with fright, when they turned around. They were staring into the face of a huge black bear!
“Oh don’t worry, I am harmless. I won’t hurt you. I didn’t want to roar for I knew then you all would be scared as well. I just stood up on my back legs and made a very menacing face at that lady. My name is Bobo, nice to meet you.”
Jade and Ethan were speechless. A talking bear? Maybe they were dehydrated and starting to get delusional. Before they could get their thoughts together they saw a hippo come walking towards them with 2 turtles on her back. Could this day get any more crazier!
“HI Bobo! You did great! We watched the whole thing. That was hilarious to see her run!” Henrietta said.
“You…you… talk too?” questioned Ethan, shaking his head in confusion.
“Yes, she talks, and so do we! Do you humans really think that you are the only ones capable of speaking?” Myrtle asked.
“Welll…..” Ethan and Jade didn’t know what to say, they just started laughing. What an adventure this trip to Vegas was turning out to be!
“Thank you so much Bobo for your help! We very much appreciate it!”
Jade was looking at Henrietta for awhile and then said, “You are one very unique hippo, your neck is so long!”
“That’s not the only unique thing about me, I can sing too! Do you want to hear me?”
“I gotta go!” and Bobo.
“Wait! Take us with you.” cried Myrtle and Tulag as they climbed up on his back.
Jade and Ethan watched , feeling perplexed. Bobo was running away, as Henrietta opened her mouth and started to sing.
It didn’t take long for Jade and Ethan to figure out why Bobo and the turtles made a quick retreat. They grimaced as Henrietta continued. They didn’t want to be rude and run away from her too, so they stood there listening.
When she finally stopped, they breathed a sigh of relief.
“I never knew a hippo could sing, you are indeed a special hippo!” said Jade and Henrietta beamed with joy.
Jade and Ethan couldn’t help but feel drawn to Henrietta’s cheerful attitude. They all kept talking as she shared her story with them about escaping from the zoo and meeting Myrtle and Tulag.
“Its been great meeting you Henrietta, but we should probably go now. We need to find my truck.” said Ethan
They said their goodbyes and Ethan and Jade couldn’t stop talking about everything as they walked out of the woods.
Henrietta smiled. What a nice couple they seemed to be and she was so glad that Bobo scared away that mean lady. Now she was going to head back towards the river, she was sure to find her friends there and she was ready for a cool swim.
When Jade and Ethan got out to the road they saw an ambulance, a police car and a tractor trailer driver looking very frazzled! As they got closer they heard the tractor trailer driver talking to the police.
“I didn’t see her! It was like she came out of nowhere! I couldn’t slow down in time, she was smack dab in front of me!”
Jade and Ethan looked at each other. “Do you think…?” asked Jade. They looked at the stretcher with the sheet over the body. and didn’t say a word.
They climbed into Ethan’s truck and he turned the key. it started right up. He put his arm around Jade. “Now to find that special chapel!” With love in her eyes, Jade kissed him as they drove down the road and out of sight.
It had been a week now since Henrietta had escaped from the Las Vegas Zoo and she was having a great time! Not only did she have her new turtle friends, Myrtle and Tulag, for travel companions, but she met other friends in the woods as well.
There was Bobo, the brown bear, who was a friendly as could be. They had a lot of fun down at the river, he would catch fish while Henrietta enjoyed swimming and cooling off.
She had met Caramel the rabbit, who had been the Easter Bunny a few months ago and was still hopping around feeling so proud. Caramel had introduced her to his sister Taffy. Taffy was polite to Henrietta but Henrietta got the impression that she still held a grudge towards Caramel for being the Easter Bunny. She didn’t look too happy when Caramel was talking about it with a light in his eyes. Henrietta thought that him being the Easter Bunny was so cool! She secretly wondered if there ever could be an Easter Hippo! She wanted to do something important!
Rascal the raccoon had introduced her to his family, who were all so nice. There were also so many squirrels, chipmunks and foxes that she had met. The squirrels always seemed to be in a hurry to scurry up a tree, so she didn’t talk much to them, but she often heard their friendly chatter to each other in the treetops.
This morning Henrietta had awakened early, she was excited, for they were going to travel more today. They had found a new trail that they hadn’t been on before, and wanted to see where it led.
She was munching grass on the riverbank later that morning when Myrtle and Tulag came to find her.
“Good Morning Henrietta! Are you ready for our adventure today?”
“Yes, oh yes!” she replied. “Lets go! In fact I know the perfect song to sing as we go.”
Myrtle and Tulag silently groaned. They really did like Henrietta, but …. her singing, not as much! Oh well, she was so kind and happy, that they couldn’t help but be happy with her, even if her singing caused a headache. They needed to somehow make their shells more sound proof!
They had been walking for awhile, and Henrietta had just stopped singing, so Myrtle and Tulag poked their heads out to look around. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, a bright, sunny day. Who knew what possibilities the day may hold. Up ahead it looked like the trail may soon end. They were wondering if they would find anything exciting when Myrtle asked Tulag and Henrietta a question.
“Do you hear what I hear?” asked Myrtle.
“The peace of Henrietta not singing?” Tulag replied, as Henrietta harrumphed.
“No, listen!” said Myrtle.
They all froze for a moment, at what they heard. It was human voices, and Henrietta was afraid it was someone from the zoo looking for her. It didn’t take long though to figure out that whoever these people were, they were not from the zoo. They all sighed in relief as they continued to listen.
It was a man and a woman, and they didn’t appear to be very happy. They were clearly arguing!
“It was your idea!” the man said.
“Well she looked nice and said she needed help, excuse me, for having a heart!” the woman sharply retorted.
“So now what are we supposed to do, thanks to the dilemma that your heart got us into!” the man replied back. “We have NO money! NONE, as in zero! He stuck his hands in his jean pockets, not even any coins to rub together! I hope you don’t mind sleeping out under the sky.”
At this the young lady started to cry and the young man’s voice softened.
“Oh Jade, I am sorry. I know it wasn’t your fault.” He put his arm around her and pulled her close to him.
“We will figure something out.”, he said. “Maybe my truck will break down on her, would serve her right for stealing it and robbing us! I am just so glad that she didn’t hurt you! I can’t lose you!”
Henrietta’s eyes started to fill with tears, she felt bad for this poor couple. Then she closed her eyes, and walked off the trail to give the couple some privacy as they shared an intimate moment. It was silent, they weren’t talking anymore, their lips were busy in another way.
“We should do something?” Henrietta said to Myrtle and Tulag.
“Like what? You are a hippo and we are 2 tiny turtles, what are we supposed to do? We don’t have any money.”
“True!” said Henrietta, and they all were lost in thought.
Meanwhile not far from the woods, was a shiny blue truck on the side of the road with its hood popped open.
Tanya slammed it down with a thud! Just my luck, she thought!
She kicked at the stones along side the dirt road. A broken down truck and out in the middle of nowhere! How long would it take for another car to drive by that Tanya could flag down?
She guessed that she would have to walk to the nearest town. At least she had a wad of cash on her, she smiled at that. She had struck it right, picking a couple heading to Vegas for a honeymoon, with plenty of cash on them.
So she would be fine, she would figure things out. She always did. She might not like being stranded on this dusty road right now, but it sure beat sitting in a cell. They would learn, no one could keep Tanya locked up!
She looked around and saw a trail not too far away, looked like it headed into the woods. Ahh! She had always liked the woods, perhaps she would enjoy following the trail for a little. Take a break from being on the road. She smiled as she walked towards the woods, maybe the woods would help her clear her head, as she decided her next step.
They were traipsing through the woods with their snowshoes on enjoying the first snow of the season and the way it had transformed the woods overnight. Some cardinals were sitting on a tree branch, their red color looking so bright and vivid against the white snow.
The guy nudged his friend’s arm, ” Look over there! Do you see that? What is it?”
His friend looked, and looked back at his friend with a puzzled expression. “It’s a rabbit. You know, those little animals that hop around and live in holes in the ground. Did you not have your morning coffee this morning Frank? Or maybe the question should be, what did you put in your coffee this morning?”
Frank shook his head, as he made a face. I didn’t mean over to your right, I meant your left. Look over there.”
George looked where Frank was pointing. “And its another rab…Wait a minute, are those horns on its head?”
“Exactly!” Frank said with a smug look on his face. So now should I ask what you drank this morning?”
They both watched the rabbit like creature sit still for a moment and then as if it sensed their presence it took off, soon disappearing over the hill.
Frank and George were quiet for a little and then George spoke up. “I have heard of jackalopes before, but I didn’t believe they were real! But being that you saw what I saw and I saw what you saw, well then it has to be real, right?”
“Definitely!” said Frank. “After all, its not like we are wandering in a hot desert thirsting for water and losing our minds seeing a mirage?”
” Yes, there can be no other explanation! Though people may think we have lost our marbles, but perhaps we really did just see the only living Jackalope!”
They started to get excited and Frank said, “We have to tell our boss about this, call the newspaper and let them know. We could be famous, George!”
They were walking and getting caught up in conversation about what their friends would think, and then George stopped walking and said, “Wait a minute, we have a problem. We don’t have a picture! If we start talking about it to others, we can’t prove anything, except giving people proof that we are nuts.”
“Why didn’t you take a picture?” asked Frank.
“Why? You ask me why?? Perhaps because you are the one with the camera around your neck, genius?” replied George, as he raised his eyebrows.
“Oh, yeah, guess I am.” Frank said with a sheepish look on his face.
“Well there is only one logical thing we can do now, we have to see if we can find the jackalope again. Lets retrace our steps in the direction back to where we saw him and take it from there.”
Back they went and started searching for the elusive jackalope. Their heart would start beating quickly when they would catch the sight of a little white tail hopping through the words, But they would look closer and sigh, when they saw that it was only a rabbit without horns.
They went to the left and to the right, but there was not a jackalope in sight.
Stopping for a rest they sat on a log and started to doze.
As they dozed a creature came up to them for it had smelled the snack that Frank and George had been eating. There were nuts and berries that had fallen on the snow. Oh they were his favorite treats and he quickly filled his tummy.
George started stirring as the creature ate the last berry. He better get going, or he would be late, Moonbeam Farm was still a little ways over the hill. He didn’t want to be late for their evening meeting and get Odessa’s feathers all ruffled. Away he hopped, while Frank and George continued to doze.
Oh, the things that you miss, that are sometimes right under your nose!
**Frank and George missed out on seeing Jaxon, the only living Jackalope, but you don’t have to miss out on learning all about him! If you aren’t sure about believing in Jackalopes, open up the pages of “The Odessa Chronicles” and take a look. You won’t be sorry that you did. You don’t have to go traipsing through the snow, you can read about him from the comfort of your chair, perhaps while you are looking out the window at the snow. If you happen to see 2 weary looking fellows walking or perhaps stumbling by now through the snow, don’t worry, its just Frank and George still searching.**
My husband and I took a relaxing, lovely drive today after dropping our teens off at work. We are entering the beginnings of a new season of life, within 2 years we could be empty nesters and it feels strange! We reflected on the past and wondered as so many parents do, where did the time go? Our children are letting go, becoming more independent.
It used to be that we needed to get a sitter for we just needed a night out from our dear little children that cried “Mommy” 200 plus times a day and begged Daddy to give them just one more piggy back ride or throw them in the air again! Now its “Oh, the kids have plans again, this house is too quiet!” The road of life just keeps twisting.
We enjoyed chatting as we drove, taking in the scenery and planning what we wanted to do for the next half of our life. We will always be parents, but it really does take on a new meaning the more independent your children get. We passed a lake where to our joy a group of ducks and swans were out swimming.
Life may be changing, but there is still so much beauty to be found in it!
No matter what, you just keep swimming, embracing the beauty, appreciating and loving the wonderful memories of the past and ready to keep making more in the future.
Samantha laid there feeling the dampness of the ground sinking through her clothing. She tried to move her arm and though it hurt she did manage to slip it out from under her, fortunately she didn’t think she had broken it. Slowly she stood up and gazed upwards at the shaft of light coming in. She had fallen quite a way down, how was she ever supposed to climb out? There had to be another way for her to get out.
Samantha tried yelling for help until her throat was raw. She did manage to attract the attention of 2 rabbits and a deer looking down into the hole at her. She smiled as she thought to herself how nice it was to see Thumper and Bambi. Her happy feeling was mixed with relief that Bambi and Thumper’s friend, Flower was not also staring down the hole at her. She definitely did not need a skunk to spray any of its “perfume” into the hole! They watched her for a little while and then ran away to find something more interesting to do.
It wouldn’t be daylight for much longer so she had to find some way out. Samantha was not feeling too keen about spending the night trapped in a hole. There was a tunnel ahead of her and though she was a little worried about where it might lead, she decided to check it out. It wasn’t like there were a whole lot of other possibilities for her to choose from in order to find a way out. Why were holes always so much easier to fall into than to get out of?
She stood in one spot for just a little thinking. It would probably get darker as she walked farther away, but sometimes you just had to take a deep breath and take a step forward and so she did.
Gradually her fear started fading and she gained more confidence with each step she took. There was a relieved feeling that so far nothing had jumped out of her as she rounded the corners. She really hoped that if an animal did happen to share this hole with her, that it would be a cute bunny and not any creepy crawly creatures.
How long was this tunnel? She would have thought that surely she would have found another opening by now leading out of the tunnel, but the tunnel appeared to be endless. She was afraid she was just going to come to a dead end and have to turn around the way she came, which would mean that she would be back to square one!
Samantha suddenly stopped in her tracks. It had just dawned on her that she had left that heavy bag back where she had fallen. She had taken it off her back when she stood up and had forgotten about it. Should she go back and retrieve it in case this tunnel would lead to a way out? Did she really need the bag? Taking a little time to think she came to a decision. She continued walking on, letting curiosity lead as the thought of her bag fell to the back of her mind.
While she walked she was trying to remember again all the events that happened before she entered the woods. Why did she run into the woods? What was she running from? She wished her brain wasn’t so hazy when it came to remembering details.
Oh No! Her heart sank! Straight ahead of her was what she feared … a dead end! A wall of dirt. She would have to turn around, but then what? Fatigue overcame her and she felt the need to sit down. Adrenaline had been building in her at the anticipation of the tunnel leading to a way out,but now it was gone. She sat down with her back against the wall as she let out a big sigh of frustration.
Suddenly the wall gave away and she felt herself fall backwards. Once she caught her breath she scrambled to her feet and she was shocked by what she saw!
Samantha entered the woods and she stopped for just a few short moments as she took in deep breaths of the air around her. Had she finally made it? Was she really here? She wanted to just sit down under a tree for awhile, but she knew she couldn’t.
The woods was always a special place for her, a place that calmed her mind and relaxed her spirit. There was no question, if there was ever a time she needed the peacefulness of the woods it was now. Her heart needed to breathe again.
There was a stillness in the air that was too still. Samantha didn’t hear any birds singing nor see any chipmunks or squirrels scampering up trees. In the distance she gasped as she saw a doe with its ears up. They stared at each other as neither one moved, and then in a flash the doe took off.
Samantha kept walking, her legs feeling like lead. She wondered how she even made it here. The time prior to her entering the woods was mostly a blur. She remembered the feeling that her lungs were urgently craving oxygen and the desire she had to run as fast and as hard as she could to the woods.
How did she manage to run so far? Running was never her thing! Questions circled around in her brain as she kept walking.
Less than 24 hours ago everything seemed so normal. It was just another routine day at work. She had left work and had to stop for gas, for she was really close to running on empty! There was only one other car at the gas station, it stood out to Samantha for it was a cute punch bug that was a lovely shade of blue. A different shade than Samantha had ever seen before, she wasn’t quite sure what to call it, but it was pretty!
A real classy lady had stepped out of the car dressed to the T. She lowered her shades as she stared at Samantha when she was pumping gas. Samantha was eager to finish pumping for the lady was giving her a very odd feeling.
The memory started fading as Samantha kept walking and then … she tripped over a log and fell face forward into a hole! Screaming she landed with a thud and her arm was pinned underneath her. She screamed again as the weight of the bag that she had been carrying landed fully on her back.
What a hole she got herself into this time! How was she ever going to get herself out?