I’ve written that I enjoy writing children’s stories. However, I’ve never shared any of them. Here’s part 1 (of 2) of one of my favorites. It was written back in 2002. Hard to believe that was 13 years ago! Happy Reading!
Barnaby was a rabbit. Actually, he still is. He’s probably the most loyal stuffed rabbit any five year old ever cherished. He had long swinging legs and short, little arms. Barnaby even wore a vest that Jack’s mom so kindly made for him. Jack never went anywhere or did anything without Barnaby the floppy eared rabbit. So it was when little Jack went to the grocery store with his mother that fateful morning. It all started on isle 2; the personal hygiene isle.
“Barnaby wants to ride in the cart.” Mom gently reached down to the little hands, which were extended and clenched around a cotton-tailed rabbit.
“Okay, Barnaby’s all strapped in.” Sheer joy overwhelmed Jack and his toothy grin stretched from ear to ear. Then he saw the toothbrush. It was blue; just like Barnaby. Jack knew that toothbrush had to belong to Barnaby. But when he turned back around to tell mom, both she and Barnaby were not there. “Mom took Barnaby!” he thought. “Where’d they go?” Then with Barnaby’s toothbrush in hand he set off to find his beloved Barnaby and mother.
Slowly, and very cautiously, he peeked around the end of the isle. He was quite surprised to see what was there. Not his Barnaby, nor his mother, but a giant castle. Its walls were as high as trees. The towers were built with huge blocks with words on them. Some had Cheerio’s. Some had Kix, while others were built with blocks that said Fruit Loops. There were blocks of Frost Flakes and Chex and Crispix, too. There were really way too many to name them all. Then, there were the guards with giant baskets. How was he, five year old Jack, supposed to get past them without getting tossed inside one of their rolling baskets? So very carefully he entered the great castle and hid behind a column of Lucky Charms. As the first guard walked by he heard her giggling, and quickly she was gone. Whew, she didn’t see me.
As Jack pressed further into the castle he came to an enormous tower of Pop-tarts. Instantly, another guard came around the corner and Jack ducked behind the Pop-tart tower. He peeked through a hole in the column to watch the basket and guard go by. Still clutching the toothbrush, he very slowly put one foot in front of the other until he had passed the length of the long castle. His heart sank as loneliness crept into it. There was no sign of Barnaby or his mom. He looked back over his shoulder and all he could see were more guards with more baskets patrolling between the towers and walls. With nothing left to do but go forward he vowed to keep searching, to keep the hope that they would soon be found.
As he once again peeked around a corner, watching out for his enemies so as not to be thrown in the Great Castle’s dungeon, he sneaked to his next destination. The first thing he saw was food. They were huge, enormous bags of food. And it was definitely not food for humans or little Jacks. This was animal food. Huge bags could only mean one thing, huge animals. Oh no. Giant kitties. Tigers, leopards, cheetahs… I can’t run faster than cheetahs! And look at these bags of food for doggies! They must be the size of bears! Stopping cold in his tracks, he quickly looked across the seemingly deserted jungle. They’re hiding. Walking as quietly as he could, he gently tiptoed by the giant bags of food for the giant animals they would be fed to. He nearly panicked when he saw a man with a giant basket come around the corner. His heart was racing and he frantically looked for a hiding place. There was nowhere to go. Great, now I’m going to be fed to the bears. I bet they’d really like me. Fighting back tears, he suppressed his fear and resolved to be strong and not get caught. Quickly, he walked over to one of the bags. He put a hand on it acting like he was reading it. However, the only words he recognized were “Barely any fat”. Fat bears would really love me. Five-year-old Jack continued to stand staring at the food until the bear feeder had passed. Relief washed over him like warm bath water in winter and he audibly sighed. Then, as quickly as he was relieved of his own fear of safety, he feared for the safety of his Barnaby and mom. What if they didn’t get passed the bears?
He watched the large man pushing the basket walk away before he resumed his tiptoed walk to through the dangerous land of giant animals and their feeders. He looked for the bears and all the giant cats and was comforted when he neither saw nor heard any such animals. He found himself again doing what he had already done on two separate occasions. He peeked his head around the corner to see what he could see. No Barnaby. No mom. Hope was slowly draining away. Fear was slowly creeping in.
You can read part two here!
* Side note: This was written a year before I even met my DW. I named the little boy Jack which so happens to be one of my DW’s favorite names. We didn’t name Crash Jack because well… Jack Wood sounded a like name to be teased about.