Hope at Dawn

Hope at Dawn by ILIA

It started as a drear and gloomy day with fog so thick that you could hold it in your hand. To make matters worse, because of the dampness of the air, the cold seemed to find its way not only through the layers of my clothing but chilled straight through to the bone. It was as if warmth was a word that didn’t exist.

Certainly the conditions made it hard to stay on the path and to keep going. Seemed as if the future was only the next inch away and the effort to carry through was waning.

The forest, although old, had many saplings and yearlings struggling to start life, the remainder of the trees were gnarled and bent as if it were an effort to grow in such a harsh environment.

As the morning sky lightened just a fraction to relieve the gloom, I noticed a clearing in the midst of the wretched forest – it was bare of life. As a matter of fact, there was absolutely no life, no plants, no grass, no birds singing, no insects, and no animals. It was as if I was walking alone in a world of the living dead.

I paused there a moment to gather my nerve, panting and struggling to breathe the scentless air, getting ready to continue on my journey when a flicker of movement on the other side of the clearing caught my eye.

What was that?

At last, after squinting and staring. I was able to peer through the fog with utmost concentration to see that a jack rabbit had just come out of the woods directly opposite me to the far right of the clearing. He was splendid! A huge jack rabbit with shiny velvet brown fur and a gorgeous puff of a white tail and white undercoat. His fur shined so much that even though he was quite far away, I could still see the sheen!

Very impressive!

What made me stare though was the finely detailed armor that he was wearing, the blazing sword at his side and his skill at riding on a pogo stick.

I didn’t get much time to wonder about why a rabbit would be dressed in armor riding on a pogo stick because charging right behind him was the meanest, cruelest, most ugly and unkempt grisly bear that you never would want to see.

Skillfully riding rapidly, the jack rabbit pulled out his sword, spun his pogo stick around and faced that ugly creature. The bear, shocked that he didn’t intimidate the rabbit was rapidly disposed of. The rabbit swished his sword back and forth – it lit up the area in blazing light – and suddenly the fierce bear was no more…instead there was green grass in the clearing and the trees seemed to be more brown instead of blackened.

I suppose that the battle of rabbit and bear through the forest disturbed a hive of bees because no sooner than the bear was dispatched, the rabbit was battling a swarm of furious bees. His sword blazed right to left, left to right and suddenly, the bees were butterflies.

For some odd reason, the sky seemed to get a bit brighter.

I looked again where that pogo stick riding rabbit was and he was surrounded by the meanest bunch of wolves that you wouldn’t want to dream of in your worst nightmare – never mind confront and handle. Fangs snapping at his feet, claws aimed at his face – I was sure that the dear rabbit had lost this match.

Again the sword came flashing out, the wolves had no chance to do damage and were disposed of rapidly and without sorrow. The clearing seemed to become more alive with light green grass, the trees unbent and reached for the sun that could now be seen through the clearing clouds – the fog existed no more.

Again and again I watched in wonder as the jack rabbit handled the horrors from the forest that came his way, turning each trouble into beauty until the clearing was flourishing with green life in trees and grass, flowers were blooming, birds were singing, and the field was full of the critters that make their home in a forest. The trees were filled with leaves and new blooms.

I looked up and saw that the sky had not only cleared but that there was a rainbow. Looking across the clearing to where the amazing jack rabbit on his pogo stick was, I was smiling in wonder – he returned my smile with a grin of his own, gave me a wink and bounded off into the woods.

Much lighter of heart, with purposes renewed, I continued on my way through the now pleasant woods – my path clearly in sight. With a skip in my step and joy in my heart, hope was renewed with the coming of dawn.

aka Leigh Ann Edrich
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