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Anna And The Talking Skunk: A Children's Fairy Tale

 

Anna And The Talking Skunk

 

A Children’s Fairy Tale Animal Adventure

 

By Scott Hughey

 

 

©2016 Scott Hughey

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic, or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

Dedication

 

 

I have children, and nieces, and nephews. I love them, and they love me. It makes me smile.

 

One of my nieces, Annaline, wanted me to write a story for her. I finished just in time for Christmas. I hope Annaline, Levi, Megan, Jane, Kieran, Elyse, Emma, and Sarah all enjoy this. Thank you Annaline, for making me think of this story.

 

And also thank you to my daughter, Sarah. She was nice enough to draw this picture for my story about the skunk during Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did writing it. If so, why not leave an Amazon review to help others find it?

And also, be sure to sign up for my reader’s group at

 

www.TheWriteScott.com

 

Members receive free stories for signing up, and get notified about upcoming books.

 

This is the truth of what happened. It’s how my bratty brother got lost, why it was kind of my fault, and why I’m glad I met that talking skunk.

Telling the truth is always important. Even if Mom and Dad look at you funny when you mention talking skunks. Or that Todd is a brat.

And he is one. He got a yorkie puppy for his birthday, even though I’m older and never got so much as a guinea pig. Mom says, “You should have asked for a pet if you wanted one, Anna. But don’t worry. You have a birthday coming up soon.”

Soon means in four months. Christmas would be quicker. That’s when I’ll ask for a pet.

So my younger, and much more immature brother gets a cute puppy to play with. And guess who Dad makes walk him before dinner?

That’s right. Me.

The day Todd got lost, he’d been particularly bratty.

His dog, Scruffy, was playing fetch with me in the living room. It’s a long room with wooden floors, and I always laugh when he runs and slides across it.

“Go get it boy,” I said, tossing his yellow chew toy. The rubbery bone bounced off the far wall. Scruffy yapped, bolted for the toy, and ran it back to me. He jumped on the couch in one try and shook the bone.

“Good boy,” I said, and scratched his ears.

He growled when I grabbed the bone, but he didn’t mean it. We played tug of war, pulling the toy bone back and forth.

That’s when Todd came out of the hallway. He’s three years younger than me, but acts like it’s a lot more.

“Here, Scruffy,” he said.

The dog ignored him, which made me like him even more. I snatched the bone loose from his grip. He sat up, eyes fixed on my hands. His tail wagged, waiting to chase the bone.

“He’s my dog,” Todd said.

“He’s the family dog. Go get it, Scruffy.” I tossed the bone toward the front door, and nowhere near Todd. It didn’t matter. Did I mention my brother’s a brat? It’s important to tell the truth.

Todd stomped through the living room, even jumping over the small coffee table, just to reach the toy first.

Scruffy’s faster than Todd, so he already had it firmly in his mouth. Todd yanked the toy away.

Scruffy barked.

My brother grinned. “What’s that?” Scruffy barked again, pawing at the ground. It’s the one trick Todd’s managed to teach him. “You’re right, Scruffy. She does smell like a girl. Let’s go find some air freshener.” He picked the dog up, and pushed past me toward his room.

“Excuse me. I was playing with him first.”

“My dog,” Todd said, and vanished down the small hallway. A second later, his door closed and the lock clicked.

I fumed. I picked up one of the couch pillows, buried my head in it, and screamed. I’m not supposed to do that, but I’m also not allowed to yell at the top of my lungs either. Mom says my hair isn’t curly like hers, because my temper makes me so steamed, it irons my hair straight.

I stomped into the kitchen.

Dad was washing the dishes while Mom cooked. He’s the one that usually makes me walk Scruffy.

“Todd won’t let me play with Scruffy,” I said. “He’s being a brat.”

“Don’t call him that, Anna,” Dad said.

“Can’t you two get along without fighting?” Mom asked.

“You always say that,” I told her.

“Because you keep fighting. You’d be surprised what being nice can do.”

“Okay.”

I went back to the couch, but I didn’t plan on being nice.

I waited for dinner, imagining clever ways to get back at Todd.

About thirty minutes before time to eat, Mom called from the kitchen. “Somebody take Scruffy for his walk.”

She said somebody, but she meant me. Even Todd knew it. He opened his door. Scruffy dashed out and started jumping in the air. When I didn’t move to get his leash, he ran to the front door. He stood on two feet, with his front paws resting on the wood. He barked.

Yep. He had to G-O, go.

“Todd said he’ll take Scruffy out.”

“Did not,” Todd called, still hiding in his room.

In a tone sure to melt butter, and also get me in hot water, I said, “It’s your dog.”

Dad walked out of the kitchen. This did not make my chances of a night off look very good. “Anna,” he said, “don’t talk to your brother like that.”

He won’t let me play with Scruffy, even though I have to do all the hard work.”

Dad crossed his arms. “Walking a dog isn’t that hard.”

“Good. Let Todd do it then.”

Apparently, I’d pushed too hard. The scowl on Dad’s face told me that. “I don’t want Todd wandering alone outside so close to dusk.”

“Don’t you mind your only daughter doing the same thing?”

He spoke in short sentences, which definitely meant I shouldn’t have said that. “The dog goes outside. You’re older. It’s your job.”

“But, Daaaaaaad—”

He didn’t wait to hear my complaint, or my perfectly solid reasoning.

I still probably wouldn’t have done what I did, if Todd hadn’t peeked his head around the corner. I knew the look on his face.

“Don’t do it,” I told him.

He did though. He stuck his tongue out. “Mom! Todd’s making—”

“No! More! Arguing!” she called, in that voice mothers use that isn’t yelling, but isn’t quite talking either. “Do what Dad says, and let the dog out.”

Todd grinned. In the tone all little brothers annoy sisters, he said, “Now you have to walk him.”

I sneered right back at him. “No. I only have to let him out.” He looked at me with one of his funny, don’t be such a crazy girl, looks. Before he asked what I meant, I stormed to the front door, opened it, and said, “Go potty, Scruffy.”

Scruffy yapped, and shot out the door like his tail was on fire.

“Scruffy!” Todd yelped. Scruffy got out once before and he’d been lost for three days. We only found him because Ms. Whitmore down the road saw him in her yard one day.

I knew Todd wouldn’t risk letting Scruffy out of his sight. He bolted after his dog.

That might have been seen, by some people at least, as being partially my fault.

It didn’t bother me at first. I plopped down on the couch, grabbed the Wii remote, and switched to Netflix. I felt pretty pleased with myself, until Mom called from the kitchen again.

“Dinner’s almost ready, Todd. Tell Anna to hurry up with the dog, then both of you wash your hands.”

He should have been back already. The few times Todd had walked Scruffy, he finished really quick. Like, almost as fast as when he brushes his teeth.

“This might be bad,” I said. I picked up the leash, and ran out the door.

 

<{O}>

At first, I didn’t see any sign of the two. I wanted to call them, but what if Mom or Dad heard me? They’d come outside and I might get in trouble.

So instead, I looked around. They weren’t on the road. It’s long and straight enough that I would have seen them. That meant Scruffy probably headed straight for the woods at the bottom of our backyard.

Sure enough, I ran down the crest of our hill and thought I heard his yapping far beyond the trees.

“Great,” I said. I don’t play in the woods because it makes me feel like bugs are crawling through my clothes. Todd stopped going there too, because he can’t tell poison oak from pine straw.

Also, we’re living in the house Dad grew up in, and he tells us about the woods all the time. How it’s easy to get lost in there, or it’s full of magic. He makes it sound exciting, but also dangerous.

He’s even told us he has friends in there we’d have to see to believe.

Mom says not to listen to Dad’s stories.

“Todd?” I called, now far enough from the house that I didn’t think my parents would hear. “Scruffy?” No answer. I had to go in.

There’s a line of trees at the bottom of our property. They stand tight enough together that you’d have to squeeze through them, except for two trees.

Those trees grow away from each other. They look like a door. Stepping through them into the woods is like entering a whole new world.

The trees overhead blocked the sunlight. It didn’t make the woods dark, but it did seem much later in the day.

I hadn’t been here since last Christmas when Dad tried to shoot mistletoe out of the trees. Dad got turned around, and we never found the trees we were looking for. We ended up buying plastic mistletoe from Wal-Mart instead.

It didn’t feel safe without him. The trees seemed closer together. I thought I heard animals rustling everywhere.

“Come on Todd! Scruffy, come!” I might have heard a bark, but it could have been my imagination. Todd definitely didn’t answer. Pine straw and pine cones crunched under my feet.

I could practically feel the bugs dropping into my hair. Probably chiggers. “Ugh. This place gives me the creeps. I hate it.”

“Lovely,” a soft, low voice off to the side said, and I jumped in the air. I spun around, but didn’t see anybody.

“Is that you Todd?” I knew it couldn’t be, not with that soft voice. And not without saying something bratty or annoying.

Had I imagined it?

Rustling came from inside a hollowed out tree log next to me. I looked around it, but still saw nobody.

The voice spoke again.

It was definitely a boy’s voice, and definitely not my brother’s.

“Hate’s a strong word. Do yer parents know you talk like that?”

“Hello?” The voice had to be coming from inside the log, but it wasn’t big enough for anyone to fit there. Chills went down my back.

“Go on then, love. Tell me how horrid my home is. Probably stinks so bad it curls yer nose. That’d be about the size of it, wouldn’t it? Pfft. Girls and their prejudices.”

I took a step away. “Um, did you see a dog and a boy? He’s my brother.”

“Ah, so she needs my help does she?”

More sounds came from inside, like he was pacing up and down the log. I took another step back. This person didn’t want to help, wasn’t at all nice, and he gave me the creeps.

Besides, he was a stranger.

“Sorry to bother you, sir. I’ll keep looking.”

“Don’t be like that, girlie. I promise not to spray.”

It had to be a child. Nobody else could be small enough to fit in there. For a second I wondered if Todd was playing a trick on me with one of his friends.

But how could he have set it up? Besides, Todd’s tricks were more like freezing bowls of cereal overnight, then pretending to make breakfast for everyone.

“I’ve got to go.”

“Don’t run off before we finish our chat. It gets lonely here. Geeze. Yer manners stink.”

I ignored him. “Scruffy!”

That time I heard a yap off in the distance.

“Gotta run,” I said.

I turned away from the log, about to head off toward Scruffy.

From the house, Dad whistled with his fingers between his lips.

“Oh, no,” I said. The first whistle meant ten more minutes. He’d blow once again for five. If he got to a third whistle, Todd and I were in big trouble.

Ten minutes might be enough to find them if I hurried.

“What’s the matter?” the voice in the log said. “Never mind. I’m coming out.”

“I’m sorry, but I have to find my brother and dog fast,” I said. “And I’m not supposed to talk to strangers anyway, so I have to go.”

“Stranger danger, eh?” the voice said. “Yer right to be safe. Let’s get acquainted, then I can help.” A skunk strolled out of the log. It ducked its head so as not to bump it.

I froze.

He looked around, saw me, then stood up on his hind legs.

“What?” he said. “Cat got yer tongue?”

The skunk extended a paw like he wanted to shake hands. I still didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to scare it and get skunk sprayed.

I also couldn’t believe my ears. Animals don’t talk except in Disney films.

“Ladies first,” he said. “What’s yer name?”

My mind couldn’t take it anymore. I shrieked. “A skunk!”

The black and white fur-ball put two front paws over his cheeks. “A rabbit? Where?” he asked.

I turned and ran, deeper into the woods. I looked back. The skunk chased me.

I darted between trees that grew closer together. The path got harder to follow. Scruffy barked again, several times. He sounded closer, and I ran in his direction.

The path turned into a clearing. A small stream almost big enough to call a river flowed on the right of the area. I didn’t even know we had water like that in the woods.

The day seemed brighter too, like it wasn’t close to dusk anymore.

I wondered if skunks avoided water. Probably. I ran to the stream was narrow enough, and jumped over it.

I didn’t make it all the way. My left shoe splashed in the water. It was cold.

I looked back. At least I didn’t see the skunk there anymore.

I sat down to catch my breath.

A twig snapped behind me. I turned around.

“Tell me we lost the rabbit,” the skunk said.

I couldn’t run just yet, and he seemed nice and friendly, even if he was a talking skunk.

“You said you wouldn’t spray me, right?”

“Course not. What do I look like to you?” he asked.

“Um.”

He sat next to me, picked up a stone, and skipped it down the stream, where the water grew wider and faster. “Skunk humor.”

“I’m dreaming, aren’t I?”

“I hope so, if you saw a rabbit. Tell me you were joking about that.”

I’m about to argue with an animal, I thought. “I didn’t say anything about a rabbit.”

“Did too. I was there, so tell the truth, girl. You yelled, ‘A rabbit!’”

“No, I didn’t,” I said. “Besides, rabbits are nice.”

“Rabbits are mean. It was like talking with my brother. That reminded me. “I have to go.” I stood up. “Todd!”

“So, not only do I live in a terrible neighborhood, I’m a liar, and now yer ignoring me too. That about the size of things?”

“I have to find my brother and get back home.”

I hopped the stream, moving toward Scruffy’s last bark. It came from down the river. I hoped Todd could hear it too, and I’d find them together.

“Wait, I’ll come with you.”

“Why?” I called back.

“Maybe I’m lonely. Or maybe I’m just being nice. If you run into one of those giant rabbits, you’ll thank me.”

What was it Dad said about the woods? He insisted it had magic. That might explain the skunk, Maybe I should have listened to him after all.

“If you want to help me, Mr. Skunk, I’ll let you.”

He snorted. “Mr. Skunk is my father. Call me Ralph.”

“Fine, Ralph. Just keep your smells to yourself.”

“And what’s yer name?”

“I’m Anna,” I said.

“Good to meet you, Anna. Don’t be so rude. No wonder yer brother ran away.”

What had I said? Oh, right. “Sorry. You don’t smell bad right now.”

I stopped. It had been a minute since I’d heard Scruffy. “Which way now?”

“Allow me.” Ralph took a deep sniff. “Skunks have a fantastic sense of smell.”

“I bet.”

“Funny. I smell a dog. We don’t get many here, so maybe it’s yours.”

I followed him, scampering along the edge of the stream. Neither of us noticed the thundering booms until it was too late.

 

<{O}>

I followed Ralph, hoping he knew where he was going. The trees and valleys looked nothing like last Christmas with Dad.

For the first time, I worried about finding my way back.

“Are you sure you know where we’re going?” I asked.

“Doubt the skunk, why don’t you?”

The ground shook. We noticed it this time.

“Oh no,” Ralph said.

“What is it?”

He dropped to all fours. “Rabbits.”

“What?”

“Run.”

He took off, almost faster than I could keep up. The pounding grew louder.

Thump, thump, thump.

It made more noise than the drum set Todd got for Christmas last year. They’re the reason I asked for noise canceling headphones for my birthday.

Nothing that loud could be a good thing. I ran after my new friend, the skunk.

It seemed all I’d done since meeting Ralph, was basically run.

The trees thinned out.

I looked behind me, and knew Dad was right about the woods being dangerous.

Two rabbits chased us.

Two big rabbits.

These rabbits were taller than Dad. When I was four, I cried at the size of the Easter Bunny in the mall. These looked nothing like him. They were bigger, more rabbity, and had red eyes that looked angry to see us.

I ran harder, too afraid to look away to see what was ahead.

Ralph must have been shouting something I hadn’t heard. It finally got through when he yelled, “You’ve got to stop!”

I turned from the super tall rabbits.

Somewhere during our run, the stream turned into a full sized river. That river curled in front of us, flowing over a cliff. It was a waterfall.

If I didn’t stop, I’d run right off the edge.

I dug my feet, and tumbled to the ground.

Ralph stood between me and the approaching monster bunnies. He was a brave little skunk.

“Oh boy,” he said.

“What do they want?”

“Who can tell with rabbits? Just be on yer best behavior, capisce?”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“Just be polite.”

They hopped toward us, shaking the ground.

“There’s no waterfall anywhere near my house,” I said. It was also brighter than it should be. “Are we still on Earth?”

“This is Earth, but past the veil. What do they teach in school these days?”

The rabbits towered over us.

“Hi,” I said.

Scruffy barked again. It came from the bottom of the waterfall. I looked over the edge.

It was about a ten-foot drop. The waterfall flowed into another river. Scruffy stood at the water’s edge. In the middle of the river, Todd clung to a rock.

“Todd!” He couldn’t swim. Most of his body lay on top of the rock, but his legs dangled in the water. Scruffy yapped, clearly wanting to help Todd, but unable to get to him.

“Anna,” Ralph hissed. We have company.”

“I have to get down there.” I couldn’t though, at least not until I got rid of the rabbits.

Both giant bunnies were fluffy and white. The rabbit on my left had brown spots around his eyes. I decided to call him Spotty. The other one, completely white, I thought of as Whitey.

“Hi. I’m Anna,” I told them.

“I’m Spotty,” Spotty said. He had a high-pitched, squeaky voice. “And this is Whitey.”

Even though I was worried, I couldn’t help laughing. “Good to meet you. Do you mind if I go down there?” I pointed below. “I have to help my brother and my dog.”

Ralph slapped his forehead. The rabbits looked at each other. I didn’t know how to read their faces, but their red eyes looked even angrier than before.

“That’s your dog?”

According to Mom and Dad, Scruffy belonged to Todd. I still didn’t think that was fair. “Yes, it’s my dog. And my brother is in danger.”

Whitey’s voice was deep, even lower than Dad’s. It didn’t squeak at all. “We do not like dogs. We do not like them at all.”

“Then let me take him home.”

Spotty chimed in. “They’re nasty, and they hunt rabbits.”

I couldn’t imagine little Scruffy so much as chasing one of these huge animals. I opened my mouth to argue, but Ralph shushed me. “Be nice girlie,” he whispered loud enough for the rabbits to hear.

Scruffy barked again. I looked down. Todd still held on to the rock. I didn’t think he knew I was there.

“I was only going to say that they can’t be afraid of such a tiny puppy.”

“Now ya did it,” the skunk said. “Insult the whole forest, why don’t you?” He turned his back on the rabbits. “Want me to spray them?”

“We are not afraid,” Whitey said. “We just do not like dogs. We also do not trust people who like dogs. No we do not.”

I didn’t like the way he looked at me.

I’ve always loved bunnies. They’re cute, and fluffy, and look like they need to be cuddled. This one was huge, and fluffy, and looked like he’d break me if I even tried to touch him.

“Actually, he’s really my brother’s dog,” I said.

“He used the bathroom in our woods,” Spotty squeaked.

“My brother did?”

“Your dog.”

“Oh.” Didn’t all animals go in the woods?

Ralph’s tail twitched. “I’m telling you, they’re dangerous. Leave us alone, or I’ll spray.”

I thought maybe he should. I still had to find a way to get to Todd.

The rabbits were huge. They looked scary. And Todd needed help fast.

If Ralph sprayed them, we could make a run for it.

Whitey took a hop forward. He was close enough to knock me over the cliff if he wanted. Scruffy flinched.

He was going to spray his stink.

Attacking them felt wrong though.

“Yer nothing but bad rabbits,” Ralph said.

“Wait.”

“Wait for what?” His tail swished the air.

I took a moment to make sure I explained it right. “You’re a skunk but that doesn’t mean you stink,” I said.

“Of course not.”

“So maybe just because they’re rabbits, that doesn’t make them bad.” I thought it made them cute, even with the eyes.

“What’re you saying, girlie?”

“I would like to know the answer to that too,” Whitey told me. His nose twitched. I thought it meant he was getting impatient.

“Can’t we get along without fighting?” I said. “Wouldn’t it be better to be nice to each other?”

I sounded just like Mom.

“They’re want to hurt us,” Ralph said.

“Do you?” I asked.

“No,” both rabbits said together.

Spotty hopped closer. “We don’t want the dog to chase us.”

“Scruffy won’t chase anything bigger than a squirrel.”

“You don’t want to fight?” Ralph asked. He lowered his tail.

Whitey shook his head. “The animals here think we are mean just because we are big.”

Ralph hung his head. “They think I stink just because I’m a skunk.”

“Well, you were about to spray them,” I said.

“Not helping, girlie.”

“Sorry.” I smiled. The rabbits weren’t mean at all.

Everything would work out just fine.

Two things happened to change my mind about that.

First, Dad whistled again. We had five minutes to get home.

Second, Todd shrieked. I turned around.

He’d slipped off the rock.

My blood froze. Todd couldn’t swim.

I can’t say what came over me. My little brother needed me.

I didn’t even think twice.

I jumped off the cliff.

 

<{O}>

Kerplunk. I splashed feet first into the pool of water.

Make that, the freezing pool of water.

I held my breath, glad it was deep enough that I didn’t get hurt.

My body felt like an ice cube though. I kicked, trying to get above water. My arms floundered, and I broke the surface gasping for air.

Scruffy’s barks sounded closer. I treaded water, looking for Todd.

He saw me first. Down the river, way too far for me to reach. He splashed, trying to find something to hold his head above the water.

“Anna,” he cried. “Help m—”

He went under.

I’m a pretty good swimmer. I put my head into the chilly water, and swam toward him with all my might. The current was light and fast.

When I got near, his head came up. He took a choking breath, and disappeared back under the water.

I grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the river’s edge. We were going to make it.

He pulled back, trying to climb on top of me.

“Todd, don’t! You’ll drown us b—”

We both went under.

Mom used to be a lifeguard in college. She’d told me when people couldn’t swim, they panicked Even a small person could pull someone trying to help them under.

I’m way stronger than Todd, but he was scared for his life. I couldn’t push him off, or get to the side.

His feet clawed my back, and his hands gripped my shoulders tight.

The freezing water didn’t feel cold at all. My lungs burned for air.

I elbowed him in the stomach. He let go.

I gasped for air. Todd slapped at the water. On the shore, Scruffy barked louder than I’d ever heard him.

I grabbed Todd’s wrist, and swam in Scruffy’s direction.

My feet finally hit the bottom. “Thank goodness,” I said.

Todd and I crawled out of the river. We both panted on the ground, shivering. Scruffy wagged his tail, licking both of our faces.

“I’m sorry,” I said.

He took longer to catch his breath. When he could speak, he said, “You saved my life.”

“Yeah.”

“Scruffy’s still my dog.”

I started to call him a brat, but remembered what I’d told Ralph and the rabbits. It was the same thing Mom had been telling me. Be nice. Don’t fight.

If we’d fought the rabbits, Todd would have drowned.

“Dad gave us the five minute whistle. We’re not going to make it home in time.”

A gruff voice came from behind us. “Nonsense, girlie. Yer old pal has a plan.”

Todd and I sat up. He pointed behind me.

“A talking skunk,” he said.

“You see a skunk on top of a giant rabbit,” I asked him, “and that’s the part you focus on?”

Ralph sat on Whitey’s back. Spotty sat next to him. I hadn’t even noticed their thumping.

They must have found a trail down the cliff instead of diving into the water. I was glad. Probably nothing smells worse than wet skunk.

Scruffy hid behind me. He didn’t even bark.

“Well? Isn’t anyone gonna ask me about my brilliant plan?” Ralph said.

I laid back on the ground. “It better be a good one,” I said. “We’re soaking wet. We have less than five minutes to get home. And we’re hopelessly lost.” I let out a deep sigh. Mom and Dad would never believe any of this.

“Anna,” Todd whispered. “That skunk is talking to us.”

Ralph mimicked Todd’s voice. “ Oh, look. It’s a talking human.”

“We can talk too,” Spotty said.

“Hop on,” Ralph told us with a snicker. “Nothing’s faster in these woods than giant rabbits. Well, nothing except flying squirrels.”

I helped Todd to his feet. He climbed on Spotty with one arm cradled around the rabbit’s neck. His other arm held Scruffy. I sat on Whitey, behind Ralph.

“You should hang on,” Whitey said.

“I don’t know the way home,” I told them.

Whitey surprised me with his reply. “We do. Your father is an old friend.” So Dad really did have friends in here. “Tell him I said hello.”

“I will.”

We held on tight.

 

<{O}>

Whitey and Spotty ran faster than even a horse could. I would have enjoyed racing through the woods, if I wasn’t worried about making it back in time.

I was also wet and chilled to the bone.

We neared the edge of our backyard. The rabbits stopped to let us off. They were too big to move through the tight clump of trees.

“Thanks,” I said as I slid off.

“That was the best,” Todd added.

“Do not mention it,” Whitey said. His rumbling voice didn’t match his cute face. Even with the red eyes, I wanted to hug him.

“Come on, Anna,” Todd said.

“I am. Hold on.” You never know when you’re going to get the chance to cuddle a giant, talking rabbit. I wrapped my arms around each of their necks.

“Shucks,” Spotty said when I’d let go. He and Whitey turned, and hopped away.

“I’m ready now.”

“Are you now?” Ralph asked. “Hmph. It figures.” He sounded more hurt than when he thought I’d said something bad about his home.

“Never mind the skunk. Nobody ever does. No need to talk nice to the stinky creature. Did I size it up right?”

“We have to go,” Todd said.

“You go on.”

Todd picked up Scruffy and headed for our yard. It bothered me a little that I’d saved his life, but he didn’t even wait for me. I still needed to do the right thing.

“I couldn’t have saved him without your help, Ralph.”

“You were about to leave without so much as a good-bye.”

“I don’t like good-byes,” I said. “How about until I see you again?”

“I suppose.” He sniffed the ground, looking anywhere but at me. “When do you think that might be?”

Before I could answer, Dad’s final whistle echoed off the trees.

“As soon as I’m not grounded anymore, I guess. See you soon.”

I didn’t know skunks could smile, but Ralph did.

 

 

<{O}>

I ran to our yard. Much to my surprise, Todd waited there for me.

We walked up the yard together. I gave him a questioning look.

“You saved my life, sis.”

It warmed my heart so much, I didn’t even feel cold anymore.

“Does this mean you’ll walk Scruffy from now on?”

He shrugged. “You were mean. He could have been lost forever.”

“Yeah? Well, you were a brat. You stuck your tongue out at me.”

His face scrunched up like it does when he’s about to say something mean.

After all that, we were going to fight again.

I thought of Mom telling us not to fight, and how being nice led to the rabbits helping us.

I held up a hand, “You know what, Todd?”

He clenched his fist. “What?”

“I’m sorry. You’re not such a bad little brother.”

He smiled, and let go of the fist. “You’re not the worst sister in the world.”

I opened the front door. “We better get changed.”

“Why?” Todd asked. “We’re not even wet anymore.”

I looked down. The water had dried.

I didn’t know how it happened. Maybe the water belonged to the magic of the woods. Without it, skunks might not talk, and clothes you got wet there became dry.

Scruffy ran into the house. We followed him.

Dad sat on the couch.

“I whistled three minutes ago,” he said.

“Sorry,” I said. I looked to Todd.

“Scruffy got out. We brought him back together.”

Dad seemed surprised. “Together?”

Todd nodded.

“I’m glad. Go get cleaned up. Mom has dinner on the table, so be quick.”

Wow. I wasn’t going to get in trouble. I almost couldn’t believe it.

But like I said before, telling the truth is always important.

“Dad?”

He turned from the hallway. “Yes?”

“Whitey says hello.”

Dad opened his mouth. He didn’t say anything though.

“I’ll go wash my hands now.”

A deep smile crossed Dad’s face. It was the same one he gets when I hug him for no reason, or when Mom comes into the room.

“Whitey the rabbit?”

I nodded.

He stood there for a minute. “You can tell me all about it tonight. Hop on to the bathroom.”

We both laughed.

I couldn’t wait to tell him about my adventure. I also couldn’t wait to tell Mom I wanted a skunk as my pet for Christmas.

 

 

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Anna And The Talking Skunk: A Children's Fairy Tale

This Children's Fairy Tale features talking animals, thrilling adventures, and maybe a lesson or two as well. Anna doesn’t like having to take care of her brother’s puppy, especially since Todd doesn’t let her play with him. When she lets Scruffy outside without a leash, Todd gets lost looking for him. Anna has to make things right, by finding both of them. She discovers a magical world in the woods beyond her house. She encounters giant bunnies, talking skunks, and more. But will she make it back home in time for dinner? One-part fantasy, one-part fairy tale, all fun- this kid's book has something for children of all ages. Included is a link to my reader's group. Be sure to sign up for free goodies, and to be notified of upcoming books. Check out the group at www.thewritescott.com.

  • ISBN: 9781370584260
  • Author: Scott Hughey
  • Published: 2016-12-18 08:20:10
  • Words: 5659
Anna And The Talking Skunk: A Children's Fairy Tale Anna And The Talking Skunk: A Children's Fairy Tale