She’s escaped again. That silly girl will never learn. She is always lost inside of her mind. The tiniest of changes can send her running down that stupid hole again. Well, it’s not a real destination, but the one she travels to within her own mind. A change in the weather, a spoon out of place, or even a pesky little gnat wiggling on her nose will force that girl to seek the solace of the unknown.
Barefoot and without proper clothing, the girl found herself lost in the woods again, listening for the screech of her old friend Dexter. Sadly over the past winter, the aging barn owl took his last flight. Wings tattered from many years of use, the russet wing beast succumbed to death during the first frost in November. A regal life lost but never forgotten—his body feeding the mice that roamed the sturdy old barn.
“Dexter, where are you?” she called, her toes sinking into the thick overgrowth of moss. The rustling beneath her feet brought her face closer to the earth, listening for those pesky insects that always caused an uproar within her mind. Was the Queen lurking again? Or had she once again escaped with her head? Not this time. No ants in sight, she caught the first glimpse of a white cottontail—a rabbit. Not just any rabbit though, it was the elusive Hoppy. The one and only practical joker of the forest. For as long as she visited, he was the one who always escaped her grasp. Not today, though. She refused to give up hope this time.
“I got you,” she exclaimed, reaching out but not with enough speed to catch a rabbit. Falling forward, Alice landed flat to the earth, her body sinking into the very moss that tricked her ears. You see, Hoppy was not close, but the damp soil caused his notorious thump to play tricks with her mind. Lifting her head, the grass covering her face, she blew out quickly to remove it from her lips. Once again, she fell to the games of the trickster, but Alice would never give up hope. Hoppy was near, and she intended on finding him today.
“I’ll get you,” she swore, pushing herself up from the ground. Ignoring the wet soil that stuck to her clothing, the small lass ran in the direction of the distant thumps. Slosh, after slosh, her bare feet hitting the earth, Alice never saw it coming. Breaking free of the forest, she stopped the moment the woods met a clearing. There is the distance. Hoppy watched as the girl giggled in delight.
“You are real,” she giggled, her voice ringing out in a melodic tone.
As he fell onto his back, the fur-covered creature cried out in laughter, “Of course I am, you nitwit. did you think I wasn’t?” His bunny feet kicking in the air, the little furball cackled in a fit of laugher.
“You don’t have to be so sarcastic,” Alice said, moving closer but still keeping herself far enough away not to frighten him.
Hoppy scrunched his little furry nose, his whispers rising as he did, “And you don’t need to be an idiot. How could I not be real? Just because you don’t see me doesn’t mean I don’t exist.” His words long and tiresome. He plopped to his side to watch the girl who chased him through the woods. “You can’t see the wind, but does it exist?” he asked.
Alice shook her head from side to side, her body tingling as though a gale-force wind raced across her prickled flesh. “Well, no, but I can feel the wind, watch the trees blow from side to side, and hear the rustlings of dry autumn leaves,” she smiled, proud of herself.
Sitting up, the rabbit huffed and delivered a profound speech to the simple-minded girl. “and yet you don’t know if I exist, but you know every element of the wind? I’m sitting before you, and still, you act in awe of my existence. Pity when you grow old, you lose your ability to imagine the most extraordinary things,” whispered the rabbit. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m late,” he exclaimed, hopping off but knowing that she would always follow the sounds of his thumps and the rustling of the autumn leaves. Never allow your imagination to die as you add more candles to your cake.