A rabbit came hopping into a sleepy, little town. He was moving so fast that he was leaving behind a big cloud of dust. Every time he hit the ground, a big puff of dust was formed. Now, although it looked like he was in a rush to get somewhere, he was, in truth, very lost. You might say he was going nowhere in a hurry. When he got to the town's crossroads, he spotted an old turtle leaning against a big rock by the side of the road. He decided to stop and ask for directions.
The rabbit stopped right in front of the turtle. Following him was a big cloud of dusty dirt. The rabbit could barely see the turtle because of all the dust. The turtle started coughing and rubbing his eyes.
When the dust finally settled down, the rabbit could see the turtle's face again. And he had this look on his face. It wasn't a friendly look; it was more like a stare with a frown look. "What do you think you're doing!" the turtle shouted. "Coming into our quiet town like that!" The turtle looked in the direction the rabbit came from. "I don't see anyone chasing you."
"I'm just in a hurry," said the rabbit.
The turtle crossed his arms and shook his head. "I heard that before; everybody's in a hurry to get somewhere. Some folks will even break the law to get where they're going. Just so they can save a few measly minutes. Now, young fella, do I look like I'm in a hurry?"
The rabbit looked at the turtle and noticed a black spider spinning a web between the turtles left leg and the rock. The spider looked up at the rabbit, smiled, and then continued working on its web. "I guess not," said the rabbit.
"That's right," said the turtle. "Around our tiny town we like to take things slower, think things through, and we like it. So, are you going to ask me something, or are you planning on running around some more, covering folks in dust?"
"I'm lost," said the rabbit.
The turtle shook his head. "Were you in such a hurry that you didn't even bother to look at a map?"
"I guess so," said the rabbit.
"You guess?" replied the turtle. "You either did or you didn't."
"I didn't." The rabbit looked down.
"I thought so," said the turtle.
The rabbit looked around. "What's the name of this town?"
The turtle gave him that same look as before. "Now listen, young fella, I know your in this all-fired hurry and all, but I think you forgot a word." The turtle waited for a reply. They just looked at each other for a moment. Even the spider stopped what he was doing and looked up.
The turtle added, "I don't believe I can answer your question without it...."
The rabbit looked puzzled.
"It starts with the letter 'P'," the turtle hinted.
The rabbit became even more puzzled. He looked up at the sky for something that wasn't there. "Pencil... paint... party... panda... pizza?"
The turtle put his hands on his hips and sighed. "It rhymes with knees."
"Please!" replied the rabbit. "Could you please tell me the name of this town?"
"OK, that's better," said the turtle. "Don't be afraid to use that word. Folks will be more likely to help you, and like you. Puts people off when they think you're ordering them about, not very respectful. A couple other words you might like to acquaint yourself with are 'thank you' and 'you're welcome'. Words can be your friends, but you have to invite them in, if you know what I mean. Anyway, in answer to your question, the name of this town is Hèrrre." The turtle pointed to the ground.
The rabbit looked puzzled. "What?"
"No, Hèrrre. The name of this town is Hèrrre. Try rolling the 'R's; it sounds a bit Scottish."
"Oh, I get it," said the rabbit. "It sounds like the word 'here', but just a little different."
"That's right," said the turtle. "Confuses folks all the time. So, now you know you're in the town of Hèrrre. Do you have another question?"
"Yes," said the rabbit. "Could you please tell me the name of the nearest town?"
"Oh, that would be Thèrrre," said the turtle, pointing down the road.
"OK, so, I go in the direction you're pointing, but what's the name of that town... please?"
The turtled laughed. "The name of that town is Thèrrre. It sounds almost the same as the word 'there'. I understand your confusion."
"Great! I'll be on my way to Thèrrre then," said the rabbit, still a little unsure.
"Hold on!" shouted the turtle, holding up his hands. "You can't go that way because the bridge is out."
"You mean?" said the rabbit.
"That's right," answered the turtle. "You can't get to Thèrrre from Hèrrre."
This work of fiction is the sole property and copyright of Robert G. Moons.
Please do not print or use without permission of the author.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
My other stories are available at smashwords.com or at my above website in
PDF format with cover art.
Other Children's Stories:
• The Boy Who Loved a Tree
• Cat Stories that Dogs Tell