Friday, November 26, 2010

Up and Down, part 6

Up's eyes opened slowly. His vision was blurry and his throbbing head made him dizzy, but he could see that he was inside some sort of wooden hut. Moaning loudly, he rolled to the side and shut his eyes again.

"Hey Poof! He's waking up, come in here!" said a squeaky voice from behind Up. He heard the pitter-patter of two sets of feet approach him. Up rolled to the other side and opened his eyes once more. He was inside a small but cozy hut, as he had guessed, and in front of him stood two grey squirrels, a male and a female.

"Ah!" squeaked the female. "You were right! He's awake! Scruff, go fetch water!" The he-squirrel nodded and dashed out the door. The female knelt beside Up and placed her paw on his forehead, feeling for a fever. She removed her paw and smiled gently at him. "How you feelin' hon? You've been out for a couple days now, we were worried you wouldn't come out of it!"

Up struggled to try to sit up, but failed. "Where am I?" he asked groggily.

"Oh, we aren't a town or anything. Just me an ol' Scruff live here, in the lone oak tree in the grass," she said. "Couple days ago, you just came tumbling out the sky and crashed into the top of the tree. You've been unconscious since then, and your arm is broken. I tried to mend it best I could." Up looked down and noticed for the first time that his arm was in a sling. "How's it that you came to be flying? That isn't a natural thing for a respectable rabbit to be doing."

"I was fighting an eagle," Up answered, still trying to lift himself up. Poof shook her head and propped up some pillows behind Up, which he leaned back on. He thanked her with a pained smile.

"An eagle?" she asked. Scruff re-entered with a wooden pail filled with water. He dipped a cup into it and handed it to Up, who drank it in huge gulps. "I suppose that explains this," Poof reached below Up's bed and pulled out a magnificent feather. "This is all you had with you when you crashed. Why were you fightin' eagles?"

"It ate my brother," Up said solemnly.

"Aw, honey, I'm so sorry. That'll be teachin' me to stop snoopin' in other people's stories."

"It's alright."

"Where you from, friend?" Scruff asked. "Your accent don't sound like it's from around here."

"I'm from a little village far to the east of the mountains," Up answered.

"Wow, you've come quite a ways!" Scruff said, impressed. "No wonder you're so beat-up. Hardly anyone makes it over those mountains in one piece."

Up slowly moved to the edge of the bed and set his feet on the floor. "Take it slow sweety," Poof said uneasily. "Wouldn't want you hurting yourself, now." Groaning, he pushed himself up and stood shakily. He stumbled to the door to look outside. He pushed the hanging cloth door to one side and peered out. The sunlight was powerful and stung his eyes, blinding him for a moment. When his vision recovered, he looked out and saw that he had not left the oak tree that he'd landed in. He was hundreds of feet in the air, in a hut that was perched on a branch. Vertigo overcame the poor rabbit and he fell backwards into the hut, and fainted.

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