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The Secret of the Stone

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Chapter 2

My mom and I ate lunch together and then she went back to work. She said that we would talk later on this afternoon about how to handle Madison. After she left, I went outside and sat on the porch. I thought about Madison and Dee Dee and how I was glad that I’d pushed her. But mom was right, I should not have let it come to that. I didn’t want my mom to have to take off work because I was getting in trouble at school.

It was a bright and sunny day. A group of wild rabbits were eating grass not too far away I tried not to make any sudden moves that would scare them away. I liked watching them. All of the rabbits were a normal grayish-brown color except for one that had white cottony fur. At first I thought that he may be an albino, but he was clearly not like the other rabbits his ears did not stand straight up but hung down like two pig tails. Then I realized he was one of those floppy eared rabbits. I saw a picture of one in a pet book one time. He was so different that I figured he might be someone’s pet that had run away from its owner and found a home with the other rabbits out in the wild. “Too bad,” I said aloud. He seemed to know that I noticed him and he looked at me.

“I guess you must feel out of place here too.” I thought. The white rabbit looked at me curiously and went back to chewing the cud. A pedestrian was passing by and the rabbits ran all of a sudden into the thicket but the white rabbit remained, unhinged, still chewing with his cheeks moving from side to side. “I bet you are a house rabbit.” I went into the house and grabbed some baby carrots from the fridge. I hoped that he would still be there when I returned. When I came back outside, I noticed that the rabbit was even closer to the house. I sat down on the steps and waited patiently as he came closer and then closer until he was at arm’s length. I stretched my hand out offering him a carrot. He looked at me suspiciously at first and then his ears pointed back and he stumped his back legs. I dropped the carrot on the ground and jump up to the top of the steps. I watched cautiously as he sniffed the carrot and grabbed it with his teeth and ran to the side of the steps, almost under the house and started nibbling. I sat back down on the top step and watched him. He then came back out to the front of the steps. I placed another carrot in front of him. He grabbed it and ran again to the same spot and ate it all.

“Poor little rabbit, you must have gotten away from your owner,” I concluded aloud. The rabbit came out again and before I knew it he put his front paws on my leg. It startled me at first I wasn’t sure if he would attack but he took another carrot. I reached my hand out to touch him and when he didn’t make any sudden moves I petted him on the head. He sniffed my hand briefly and this time he nibbled the carrot by my leg. I continued to pet him and rub his soft back fur while he ate comfortably below me. He had some clumps of dirt in his cottony hair. I gave him another carrot and went in the house to get a unused brush. I was surprised that he has still there when I returned and gently brushed the dirt out of his fur. He was so grateful he reached up with his front paws and gave me two kisses on my ankle. “What a sweet little rabbit,” I laughed.

“Maybe, you can stay here until we find your owner, I’ll call you… Fluffy.” The rabbit grabbed my shoelace with his teeth and pulled it out until it had completely come untied, and he continued pulling on it. “Hey, stop that!” I pulled the shoelace back. He let go and then pulled the other shoelace out. He ran forward and stopped.

“Hey, wait, come back!” I cried. Then he ran a little further. I ran after him tripping over my shoe laces. He stopped long enough for me to tie my shoes and then he took off again. I chased him behind the housing complex into the woods. He was fast but I could see the contrast of his cottony fur against the fall colors of the leaves. He finally stopped at a fallen tree. I stopped a few feet away from him. I was so busy trying to catch the rabbit that I didn’t notice all the branches and thorns that had pricked me along the way. I was bleeding sewing stitches on my legs. I approached the rabbit that was standing in front of a hollow tree. He turned away from the tree and was looking at me as if he wanted me to see something.

“Maybe you are trying to tell me this is where you live.” I said aloud. “How silly, how could a rabbit try to tell me anything?” I thought. He hopped inside the tree and stuck his little head out. He then began to hop in and out of the hole. I came a little closer when something shiny caught the light, there was something in the leaves. The rabbit was busy running back and forth around the tree. On the left side of me was a long skinny stick. I picked it up and removed the leaves off the shiny object. It was a necklace with a large crystal pendant. When I picked it up, the rabbit stopped jumping about and watched me as I examined the necklace.

“Wow, what a beautiful jewel, this must be worth a fortune.” I said as I sat down on the fallen tree trunk. “Someone must have lost this in the woods.” The jewel sparkled more elegantly in the light. Without a thought I slipped it over my head. There was something intriguing, even mesmerizing about the stone. Then I started to feel strange as if I were falling. No, I was shrinking! I screamed but my voice was getting lower and lower.

“What is happening?” I yelled and the next thing I knew I was standing on top of the tree trunk and the whole forest looked humongous. I ran to the edge of the tree but I was too high up to get down. I could not even see how to get off the tree never the less how to get home. A chill came over me as I heard a loud rustle. I turned around to see the rabbit. It jumped on top of the trunk and he was coming towards me and he had not shrunken an inch.

“Rabbit, please, don’t eat me! Remember me, I gave you the carrots.” I tried to reason with him as I backed up to the edge of the tree but he continued towards me. When he was at arms reach, I closed my eyes and screamed.

“Oh, please stop that horrible noise! I have sensitive ears you know.”

I thought I heard someone say something. I opened my eyes to see who it was. “Did someone say something?” I cried hopeful that someone had come who could help me. “Please help me!” I cried. The rabbit was now sitting under his legs in front of me, eyeing me intently.

“Dear child, lets pull ourselves together now. No one’s going to eat you. I’m a vegetarian.”

“Did you just speak?” I pointed to the rabbit as he yawned impatiently.

“If you would just calm down for a moment, we could sort this out like reasonable people,” He replied.

“What!” My voice trembled frantically. “I am a human and you are a…, I must be dreaming.” I sat down on the tree.

“Must I remind you we are in the woods and we should get you home before your mother gets back. We don’t want to worry her.”

“Just be quiet!” I snapped at him. “And, let me think.” I stood up and paced back and forth on the trunk, but he was right, what about my mother, how would I explain all this to her?

“If I had known you were so rude,” he complained. “I would have never…” He did not finish his sentence. He suddenly came up behind me. I jumped with fright. He grinned mischievously. I think he took some delight in my fear of him. He shook his head and smiled and then jumped off the tree. “Hop on! I will give you a ride home.”

“No thanks.” I folded my arms firmly.

“Oh, come on, I do feel somewhat responsible for all this and I can’t very well leave you here in the woods. It’s far too dangerous.”

All of a sudden, I felt the quietness of the woods and the slight rustling of the leaves. A giant caterpillar oozed across the tree and I could hear a dog barking in the distance.

“Okay, you can give me a ride home, but don’t go too fast.” I warned him as I climbed hesitantly on to his back.

“Hold on!” said the rabbit with a chuckle and before I could blink, the rabbit took off. I grabbed hold of his fur for dear life.

“Slow Down!” I cried but the rabbit kept up his speed until we reached the house. When we arrived at the house the rabbit jumped onto the porch. I dismounted him quickly. “I said not to go so fast!” But the rabbit was not listening he just stood there with one ear sticking straight up.

“Someone is coming,” he warned, “Quick behind the flower pot!” The rabbit and I ran and hid behind one of the flower pots that lined the porch. We peeped around to see my mother walking up the steps.

“It’s my mom,” I whispered. She walked into the house and I could hear her calling my name.

“Letti, Letti! Are you home?”

“What am I going to do?” I asked the rabbit.

“You had better go inside,” he suggested.

“Go inside, are you crazy? I can’t go in there like this I am eight inches tall.”

“The window,” he suggested, up above us the living room window was open.

“Okay and just how are we going to get up there?” I inquired.

“Hop on my back I can make it.”

“Oh, no, never again,” I replied shaking my head in disagreement.

“Really, I can make it,” he reassured me. He looked up at the window with a determined look on his face.

“Okay, try it first.” I dared him.” The rabbit backed up until he was on the other side of the porch and then he ran as fast has be could and leaped into the air. He touched the ledge but it was not enough. He tumbled down and backwards rolling into a rabbit bowling ball across the porch knocking one of the flower pots off the side of the house and it shattered on the ground. At the sight of the rabbit torpedoing across the porch I laughed myself hysterical but he was not at all amused. I could hear my mother coming outside.

“Letti, Letti, is that you?” We scrambled to find a place to hide but our cover was blown. Cloud had made it to the side of the house. I tried to run after him but I tripped in a small hole in the wooden porch that couldn’t have been more than a centimeter. The necklace ascended from my head and slid across the floor.

“Letti, Letti, what are you doing? What is going on out here?” My mom said as she stood behind me.

“Mom, I…,” I started to try to explain when I realized that I was my normal height again. “I’m Normal again!” I cried in disbelief. I could feel the necklace under my hand. I slipped it in my pocket.

“What?” My mother gave me a confused look. I caught a glimpse of the rabbit in the corner of the porch grinning. I gave him a scolding look before I walked over to pick him up.

“Look mom, what I found.”

“Oh, how cute,” she said unemotionally. The rabbit smiled at her innocently. “Where did you find him?”

“In front of the house, I think he is lost, can he stay with us until I can find his owner?”

“I don’t know Letti, he may have rabies or something.”

I held him up in front of her under his arms with his giant feet dangling. “He’s not dangerous. I promise. It’s just until we locate his owners.” I could sense her hesitation as she glared at the rabbit. “Please.”

“Oh, all right! But you have to take care of him.” She walked back into the house. “I don’t want to hear any excuses.”

“I will.” I promised and ran up the stairs to my room with the rabbit. I placed the rabbit on the bed and shut the door.

“Thanks Violet, for letting me stay here,” he said laying his head down on his paws.

I pulled the necklace out of my pocket and starred at it. “Okay, little rabbit!” I eyed him “Are you going to tell me, what is going on here and what do you know about this necklace?”

He suddenly became very quiet, and then in a very serious tone he said. “What I have to tell you is very important.” He took a long breath before he began.

“My name is Cloud,” he continued, “and I am not from this world.” No kidding, I thought as he continued. “I am from the kingdom of Enos that is ruled by my dear friend Princess Celestia. A few days ago she called me to a secret meeting. She told me to take this necklace and find someone here in your world. When I saw you, I knew that you were the one.”

“Why would you assume it was me?” I asked curiously.

“The necklace will only work if the right person is wearing it.” He evaded.

“But how did you know I would be the right person?”

“Just call it intuition,” he smiled. “But there is more. She wanted me to bring you back to see her.”

“To your kingdom, on another world,” I interrupted him.

“You must come with me.” He stood to his feet, walked towards me and stood on the edge of the bed. “I sense the princess might be in trouble.”Butterflies filled my stomach. I walked over to the mirror and stared at the image looking back at me. I tried to access what was happening? Here I was in my bedroom talking to a rabbit. Maybe I was going stark raving mad or maybe I was dreaming, I thought. I watched the rabbit whose mood had changed to worry and urgency, even sadness. I felt sorry for him, but what did he want me to do about it?

“This type of thing doesn’t happen here on this planet!” I explained. “This is just the type of thing that could have you declared insane.”

“Letti,” the rabbit began.

“It’s Violet.” I corrected him.

“I’m sorry!” he said sincerely. “Violet, will you please come with me, just to see the princess, just come and hear her out,” he pleaded.

“To another world,” I said in only half disbelief because I was in fact having a conversation with a rabbit.

“Letti, what did you say?” My mother was standing in the doorway. Cloud jumped off the bed and ran up to her. He placed his paws on her leg. She reached down to pet him.

“Um,” I babbled surprised to see her. “I was just talking to myself.” She gave me an odd look.

“He really is quiet sweet isn’t he?” She reached down and picked him up. He lay calmly in her arms while she petted him. “Did I ever tell you I used to have a rabbit myself once upon a time.” She reminisced.

“No, I didn’t know.” I said curiously as I watched Cloud as he buttered up my mom.

“Well I’ll tell you about it sometime when we don’t have more important things to discuss, come down for dinner,” she said taking the rabbit downstairs. I suddenly remembered that it had been my night to cook. I followed my mom and Cloud down stairs to the kitchen. In the corner of the kitchen floor were two bowls one full of water and the other with baby carrots and lettuce under some newspaper. My mom placed Cloud down on the floor. He marched over to the bowls as if he had lived here all his life. It seemed to me that my mom was even more excited about Cloud than I was. I wandered what she would think if she knew that he could talk. My mom and I sat down at the table.

“We really should get a cage for him,” she said. Cloud looked up from his bowl with disapproval. I barely heard her. I was deep in thought.

“Oh, yes,” I agreed.

“Is everything alright?” She asked sensing I was distracted. “You still want the rabbit, don’t you?”

I glanced at Cloud. “Oh, yes. I’m sorry mom, I forgot it was my turn to cook.” I tried to change the subject.

“Oh don’t worry about it. I know you wanted to spend some time with your new pet. You know Letti we really need to talk about what happened at school today.”

“Oh, what happened?” I asked.

“Letti, Dee Dee, remember, what is wrong with you?”

“Oh, yeah, nothing,” I said. With all that had happened this afternoon I had forgotten all about Madison and Dee Dee.

My mom went on talking about the incident at school but all I could think about was Cloud. I was curious about what he had said about visiting a princess and I wanted to know more about this strange necklace that only an hour ago had made me the height of a number two pencil. I also needed to know that I wasn’t going crazy.

Cloud had taken a particular liking to the lettuce. After he had his fill he laid down with his feet under him and his head resting on his paws.

“Letti, you are not listening to a word I am saying.” I heard my mom say in a raised voice.

“Me.” I replied at a loss for words.

“You’re distracted. Did something else happen that you are not telling me about?” She glared at me.

“I guess I am just a little tired.” That was my excuse. I stood up to gather the dishes from the table. I reached for my mom’s plate.

“Letti, you barely ate. And I am not finished yet,” she protested.

“Oh, I, I’m sorry. I will eat it later. I think I am going to lie down for awhile.” I covered my plate with foil and stuck it in the refrigerator.

“That may be a good idea.” she agreed. She continued to watch me curiously.

“Come on, Cloud.” I called to him as I headed toward the stairs. Cloud ran to catch up and followed me up the stairs. We entered my room and shut the door.

“Letti, I mean Violet,” the rabbit corrected himself as he jump upon the bed. “Are you going to come with me? This matter is of some urgency.”I walked over to the window and stared out at the evening sky.

“Suppose,” I hesitated. “Suppose I do go with you?” I turned around and looked at him in his ruby blue eyes. “How would we get there?”

“You hold the key. The necklace,” he said.

“But, it only made me shrink before.”

“The princess used the necklace to send me here. You just have to command the necklace to take us back.”

“Me?” I asked confused. “And I can use the necklace to come back home again?”

“I don’t see why not.”He said.

“How do I know if I can trust you?”

“Letti, I didn’t come here to harm you. The ultimate choice is yours. If you decide not to come with me, I will let the princess know. But I ask you again, please come and talk with the princess. Just come and see what she has to say.”

“Alright, alright I will come with you, if this necklace can really take us to another world?” I could not believe what I was saying, but curiosity had gotten the best of me.

Cloud jumped down to the floor and ran in a circle sort of chasing his tail. “Great! You’ll see!” he danced, “but I suggest we leave tonight.”

“Good idea.” I agreed.

“In the meanwhile” said Cloud. “I am going to take a nap.” Cloud stretched out on the bed and laid his head on his paws. In an instant he was asleep, breathing heavily.

“I guess I will try and get some sleep myself.” I knew it was going to be a long night.

When I woke up a couple hours later and saw that Cloud was gone. I convinced myself that it must have all been a dream. I heard the TV on downstairs. I went downstairs and to my surprise there was Cloud all cuddled up with my mom on the sofa watching game shows. He smiled at me when he saw me.

“Hi Letti, it seems your rabbit likes to watch TV,” she smiled.

“He is a very smart rabbit.” I smiled back at Cloud. I sat in the arm chair beside them, but I could not think about game shows. I was thinking about Cloud. I spent the next hour convincing myself that there was no way that Cloud could really take me to another world. I mean that would be impossible. “Ridiculous!” I laughed to myself. Cloud glanced up at me as if he knew what I was thinking.

“We’ll I think I am going to bed now.” My mom stood up after the last game show had ended and she headed for the steps. “Don’t stay up too late.”

“I won’t, I lied. Good night.”I said.

“Good night.” she replied.” I waited for her to reach the top of the stairs before I turned off the TV.

“It’s time.” Cloud said and we headed to my room. I closed the door and put some pillows in my bed as if I were sleeping and covered them up with a blanket.

“You are very good at being sneaky,” laughed the rabbit. He held the necklace in his mouth. His assessment of my character annoyed me.

“Will you be quiet?” I snapped as I took the necklace from him.

“Okay, you may want to turn off the light.” he said.

“Why?” I looked at him suspiciously.

“Because,” he replied. “When you shrink you will not be able to reach it.”

“Right, I said nervously as I turned out the light and put on the necklace and down I went. The necklace was glowing filling the room with light and Cloud was humongous again.

“Now, “said Cloud. “Hold the medallion up to the wall. The light from the glow formed in the shape of a door on the wall. “Now say to Enos.”

“To Enos,” I repeated and a flash of light hit the wall but it was no longer a shadow. The doorway glowed profusely like electricity.

“Hop on! Let’s Go!” said Cloud. It must have been pure adrenaline that made me jump on Cloud’s back and before I knew it, he galloped into the light.

“Oh, No!” I shrieked, as we entered the tunnel. I held on to Cloud and closed my eyes. It felt like we were on a roller coaster as we twisted and turned between space and time and in a matter of seconds or hours or days or years, our journey was over.

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