Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This story is set in the world of a novel that I've been working on. It's only peripherally related to the plot and may or may not included in the book itself.

After talking with his mouse-friend Blue one day, Lurus the red panda decided to take a stroll through the thick woods.He admired the grandiose forest, talked with the trees, and visited old friends that he had met in one story or another. He had a lovely walk.

Eventually, he ended up resting on top of a large boulder, dozing in the sun. He was laying there when he heard the crunching and cracking of leaves and branches from behind him. Lurus opened his left eye and tilted his head so as to peer around at the noise-maker.

"Raaaaaagh!" roared the bear that loomed large behind Lurus.

"Hello," said Lurus calmly, closing his eyes again.

"I've come to eat you little beast," growled the bear.

"Unfortunate," sighed Lurus. "I'd been having a marvelous day up until now."

"How can you be so calm? Are you not frightened of me?" puzzled the bear.

"Should I be?" asked Lurus slyly.

"Can you not see my large claws and sharp teeth? You should be very afraid."

"I'm afraid that I'm not afraid, my dear bear," Lurus said.

"Well, frightened or not," grumbled the grouchy grizzly, "I shall eat you all the same."

"You can't eat me if I'm not frightened," Lurus protested cooly.

"And why can't I?" grumped the bear.

"Everyone is watching you. The other bears will hear of how you couldn't frighten little old Lurus, and you'll be a laughing stock."

"No one is around. No one will see."

"The trees will tell of your failure," Lurus said solemnly.

"They can do that?" the bear said, confused.

"Of course!" said Lurus, surprised. "You mean to tell me you've never talked to a tree?"

"No..." the bear shifted from one leg to another, embarrassed.

"You've been missing out, my carnivorous companion. The trees are splendid conversationalists. Avoid the willows, though, they will always get you down."

"I suppose I ought to scare you then," the bear said meekly, fidgeting with his paws.

"May I make a suggestion?" Lurus said, hopping down from the boulder he was perched on. "You like a strapping young bear. If you can lift this boulder above your head and hold it there for one hour, I will be utterly horrified and you may eat me without shame."

"That seems fair," said the bear. He crouched with his hind legs, dug his claws inn under the boulder and heaved it above his head, groaning from the effort. He held it there, shaking from the weight.

"Impressive!" Lurus said, looking up at the grimacing bear. "You stay here, and I shall be back in precisely one hour to see if you've frightened me."

Lurus turned and trotted off casually into the trees.

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