Tall Tails and Enormous Ears

A completely true story, about things that definitely happened, to a girl called Chloe, on her birthday… There’s a small possibility she’s forgotten they’re about to happen, but that’s because time can be so confusing, difficult, and just plain weird… Undoubtedly, she’ll remember all these things… the very second she falls to sleep each night – if she’s a good girl and eats all her awful carrots!




It’s Not that Rabbits Can’t Talk – It’s Shutting them up that’s the Real Problem…


It was a day just like any other… if any other day started out not knowing where you were, not knowing where mum, dad, or her brother was… A day like any other if you opened your eyes and found yourself out in the middle of the countryside, when you could have sworn you were just totally winning at Fortnite, sitting in your comfy chair, in front of the telly… A day like any other if your two cats – Kitten and Lola were sitting in front of her looking so bored if you had shown them a picture of a polar bear, in a snowstorm, in the North Pole, at midday… they might have perked up and looked relieved…


So, it wasn’t like any other day at all, really!


Chloe looked around… Well, if you were going to be magically transported from winning a really good game, into the countryside, with two really bored looking cats… it might as well be here…


It was a super day! The sun was about half way up in the sky and really busy being ever so proud it was so round, huge, golden and shiny! The sky was just that perfect blue… you know the one – not too light, mot too dark, just somewhere in the middle reminding you of that crayon you ALWAYS picked when you wanted to colour a really nice sky. There were a few little white clouds, looking a lot like the tail of that HUGE rabbit sitting over there staring at her, and each and every one of them looked almost exactly like… something – that one looked like a dragon being eaten by a butterfly… and that one looked like some giant hand passing her a bar of chocolate… and that one looked like… well, you get the idea!


She was sitting on a little hill – the kind of hill you might find in a goldilocks story… not too big, not too small, not too steep, not too shallow… The grass covering the hill was thick, dark green, soft and remarkably comfy for… well, grass, and everywhere she looked tiny flowers of every imaginable colour, and quite a few she was sure if she closed her eyes and concentrated really hard, she’d definitely not be able to imagine!


HOLD ON… WAIT A MINUTE… GO BACK A BIT…


(in the background there was a really weird noise… like someone had put the tv on backwards and all the people were talking funny)


There’s a really HUGE rabbit sitting over there, staring at her!


The rabbit, apparently patiently waiting for her to pay attention to him, bounded over… Now, when we say he was HUGE we are not exaggerating. He wasn’t one of those little rabbits you could pick up in your hand. You know, the grey, fluffy ones with the silky fur… He wasn’t one of those big brown rabbits, the ones who just won’t sit still and bounce here, and jump there, and switch their cute little noses at just everything… He wasn’t even one of those massive fat ones, you know – with the necks SO big they can quite happily nap all day without a pillow or anything! This rabbit, when he sat on his haunches, came all the way up to her waist! His head was the size of those balloons the clowns gave you at a circus – you know, the ones you are holding really tightly and then, when something else amazing happens, like a man standing on a horse, or a pretty lady balancing on a little bit of string right up at the top of the tent, you completely forget you are holding and then off it flies into the sky… and his ears were so long and floppy every time he blinked or opened his mouth, they wobbled like birthday jelly!


He had lovely soft grey fur, like the little ones, his nose never stopped quivering, just like the brown ones (which meant he had wobbly jelly ears ALOT), and although he had quite an impressive neck, she didn’t think he could use it as a pillow to sleep on ALL day, not with a head that big (but maybe if he wanted to nap in the afternoon, he could use those ears to cover his eyes and pretend it was night time).


“Hello Chloe, “the rabbit said.


Chloe fell right over and sat on her bum just staring at the TALKING, giant rabbit!


She glanced over at Kitten and Lola, “Did you hear him speak?” She whispered in her most secretive voice.


“We heard something…” They replied in absolute unison, “but we don’t speak Rabbit.” One dipped a hand into a quite fashionable handbag at her waist, and the two of them bent over a book for a moment titled The Cambridge Translation – Rabbit to Cat/Cat to Rabbit… “Yup,” they agreed with her, once again so in time with each other they might have spent just hours rehearsing it, “He said ‘Hello Chloe’.”


Well, now that was all sorted out, she turned straight back to the rabbit…


“Hello Rabbit.” Chloe smiled at the big, fluffy old fellow.


That might have been a bad idea…


“Chloe, Chloe, we’re in real trouble here… there are some animals and I think there’s a person, and they really need your help, and I didn’t know what else to do… so I thought and thought and then… I thought some more and the only thing I could really think of was getting someone here who could think better than I could think, because I don’t really think very well… when it comes to jumping around, eating lettuce and sniffing with these REALLY long whiskers… oh, I’m pretty good and jelly ear wobbling too… then I’m your rabbit, but if anyone asks me to come up with a plan to help animals and maybe a person, who are really in trouble, then I can’t think of a single thing except maybe get someone where who can help me, because I’m not very good at thinki…” Chloe thought if she didn’t just jump in and stop him, and she knew it was a little rude to interrupt people when they were talking (she wasn’t quite sure if that rule applied to Rabbits, but as she’d never heard it DIDN’T apply to rabbits…), then there was a good chance he’d still be talking on her NEXT birthday!


“Err… Mr Rabbit…” She begun…


“Oh, you can call me Flopsy; it’s not very original for a rabbit I know, but then when I was little a girl, even smaller than you, took me home from a little pet shop that was just full of little pets, like puppies and kittens and hamsters and, fish and when she got home she hugged me so tight I thought my ears would wobble for an hour and she told her parents I was now called Flopsy and she loved it so much, and because it made her happy and laugh it made me happy and laugh so I decided to keep the name…” Chloe saw this rabbit REALLY liked talking, so she just jumped in again (and even if it was a little rude, the rabbit had just interrupted her!).


“Ok, Flopsy… that sounds like a really interesting story,” her two cats exchanged a look as if to say ‘Well, Chloe is a lovely polite little girl for saying that but we don’t think it was a very interesting story; we just wish we could get on with the adventure…’ – it was a very… descriptive look… “but if you could just tell me what you would like us to do?”


“Right, yes… of course…” Flopsy continued, looking at little annoyed with himself for NEVER EVER getting to the point. “I brought you these magic drums…” A beam of golden yellow light, tinged with streaks of pale green, shot down out of the sky. The light glowed brighter and brighter on a small circle of grass and then blinked out as if someone had just turned off the light in her room before she had to go to sleep (it was ok though; on those days she always had a torch and a book tucked under her pillow), and there, just sitting there on the grass where there’d been nothing before but, well… grass… and maybe a flower or two, a fat buzzing bee and a pretty butterfly… were a pair of bongos! They were tiny things, made of dark, brown wood, with pale yellow skins stretched over the top – you know, the bit you bang, and all around the outside they had small golden flowers sitting on a few strands of pale green grass painted into the wood.


“Ooo…” Said Chloe.


“Ooo…” Said the cats (at exactly the same time)


“Ooo…” Said Flopsy – not actually sure why he said ‘Ooo’ as he knew the drums were coming…


Chloe reached out and lifted the lovely little drums; they were warm to the touch and seemed as if they had been specifically designed to fit into her hands!


“Hold on…” Flopsy gasped, “I’ve got to teach you how to use them…” and he jumped on her head!


Ok, so not a day like any other day at all, eh…


Chloe squealed as the huge, heavy, although remarkably cuddly, Flopsy just jumped on her head… “Don’t move, don’t move!” He cried and then wobbling his ears for all he was worth sprinkled a kind of rainbow dust, in even more colours than all the millions and millions of flowers surrounding her on the hill, and each and every bit of dust glittered and sparked like stars on the clearest night (to be honest, she tried grabbing at a few millions of these little fluttering bits of stardust, but when she grabbed at them – oh, she could see them covering her schoolbooks, her bag, her trainers, her jeans… but they all seemed to vanish before she could get hold of them…).


When all the pretty sparks of dancing light had vanished into her hair and head, Flopsy leapt off and sat back down again… “Ok, are you ready?”


If Fish had Feet, they’d be able to get Themselves Out of Hot Water


“Right, it’s this way…” Said Flopsy, and bounced a few steps down the hill… Chloe gathered up her drums while Kitten and Lola jumped up to ride on her shoulders, and began to follow Flopsy. The cats didn’t seem sure if they liked the right or the left shoulder better as they kept swapping places, but settled down when she gave them a look saying ‘Blimey, you guys know this is serious business; there are animals and a person who needs our help and how can I concentrate on that with you two dancing back and forth across both shoulders’ – yup, it was another very long and descriptive look…


Flopsy took them all over the place… Now, she wasn’t really very sure when it came to going places, as she was only ten and didn’t really drive cars, ride motorbikes, fly planes, sail ships or do whatever you did with submarines yet, but she was pretty sure, after they had passed the same tree three times from different directions, walking around in really big circles wasn’t exactly how you arrived in the place you wanted to be… unless the place you wanted to be was actually somewhere in the middle of those really big circles, and she was just about to say something – it took her a while to say something because at first she didn’t notice they were walking in really big circles, because there were so many pretty flowers, so many swirling butterflies dancing around her head, and the cats were singing a song about flowers and butterflies that had a really catchy beat, so it took her ages and ages to realise they were walking in really big circles.


By the time she did actually open her mouth to ask Flopsy if he was absolutely sure he knew where he was going she realised they were there, and the place they were going had actually been right in the middle of all those circles (although she was pretty sure it hadn’t been there a minute ago)…


Where, she was positive, there had only been grass and flowers and butterflies before there was now a lovely little sparkling stream gurgling and chugging along as it bounced and bubbled its way somewhere – probably the sea; they all go to the sea, don’t they?

She looked down into the stream and saw the bottom was made up of the prettiest tiny stones she’d ever seen… they were made of colours that flowed into each other – pinks, greens, yellows and pale blue, and if you squinted your eyes, tilted your head, and scrunched up your nose, all the tiny stones looked just like hearts and stars!!!


She was a little puzzled though…


She looked at Flopsy, “What’s wrong with this lovely stream; I thought you said animals and a person needed our help?”


Flopsy just fell over in a dead faint!


It took a few minutes of ear wobbling to wake him up…


When he woke up, he seemed to have entirely forgotten her question. So, she asked it again…


Flopsy just fell over in a dead faint!


It took a few minutes… oh, you get the idea…


A little concerned this could go on all day, she tried changing the question, “Who needs our help?”


Perhaps she should also be careful about asking open ended questions like that…



“Who needs our help, who needs our help…” He… began… “Look at the sun, look how hot it is… ok, you can’t look at how hot something is, you have to feel how hot something is, and you should always be really careful doing that, but you probably know what I mean and if you didn’t know what I meant before you should know what I meant now. The sun is so hot, and look how shallow the water is… you can see how shallow the water is, it’s not like ‘seeing’ how hot the sun is, although if you really wanted to know how shallow the water is you could take off your shoes and socks and stick a foot into the water and see if it came up to your knee, or your ankle, or even if it just came up to your big toe…” Well, this was getting nowhere, and it wasn’t going there very quickly…


“Yes, yes…” Chloe tried to hurry along the trip to nowhere… “but who needs our help?”


“Oh yes, oh yes… well, the fish of course, they can hardly swim any more and if the hot sun evaporates any more of that water they will have to evolve, grow feet, leave the water, build a house and get a job to pay all the bills – and NO ONE ever wants to get a job!” Chloe had to admit – his logic was… inescapable!


She looked down into the pretty sparkling waters again and noticed, she hadn’t before because she’d been admiring all those gorgeous stones, dozens of little fish all huddled together at the bottom of the water staring up at her with huge sad eyes – now if eyes could speak, and just because you’ve never heard one it doesn’t mean they can’t, they would have been saying ‘save us, save us, we don’t want to evolve and find employment!’.


“Ok,” now she knew what the problem was, “what do you want me to do about it?”


Flopsy stared at her as if the two cats throwing a ball of grass they had made back and forth to each other were actually two new heads… “Well, make it rain, of course!”


He nodded at the drums…


“Err… how do I do that…?” She enquired as politely as she could (she didn’t want to go through all that fainting nonsense again).


He nodded at the drums…


She was a little confused, but she looked at the drums and then back to Flopsy…


He nodded at the drums…


“Ok then…” She got the message and began to play the drums…


At first, she was a little worried as she didn’t think a rabbit sitting on your head sprinkling magical stardust of every imaginable and unimaginable colour could actually teach you how to play the drums; she was pretty sure you had to go and see some boring teacher who would make you play exactly the same thing a million times before making you play something ever so slightly different a million more times, to learn to play the drums, but then, as this was a day not at all like any other…


Rumble, rumble, bonk, bonk, patter…


Right above their heads one of the fluffy white clouds – this one looked exactly like a squirrel balancing a walnut on its nose – turned dark grey and began to rain!


It didn’t rain on her… It didn’t rain on Kitten or Lola… It didn’t rain on Flopsy or even a single on of the dancing butterflies… It just rained on the little stream and in less than two minutes (she thought it might have been two minutes but she didn’t have a watch with her and two minutes just sounded like a good number), the stream was full to overflowing…!


She looked back into the waters and this time all the fishes had swum to the surface and were blowing her little fishy kisses through the funny little wall between air and water… Then, giggling to themselves they all swum off to remain gainfully unemployed and happily unevolved for yet another day!


What Possible Good is a Dog with a Blocked Nose


“Oh, that was brilliant,” began Flopsy… “The music was so… musical, and the way the cloud turned grey all of a sudden; who would have thought they could do that… I’ve heard of people turning green all of a sudden, but that’s when they’re usually on a boat and a few really big waves come along and they don’t like them and their tummy goes a bit funny and their faces change from pink to green all of a sudden and then they rush to the side of the boat and…” Chloe thought it was exactly the right time to be a little rude and interrupt him…


“Right… who’s next?” She was feeling pretty good about herself right about now, let me tell you… She cuddled her new magical drums and looked at her two cats who stared back at her in awe and admiration!


“This way, this way…” a delighted Flopsy, not seeming to care if he was interrupted at all (he was probably pretty used to it), cried and frolicked off in what seemed to Chloe a completely random direction as he didn’t even look before he started his frolicking, but she followed along anyway, because as we’ve previously established, this day like any other was turning out to be really… odd!


After a few more laps of the circles that didn’t seem to go anywhere…


In front of them, right next to the stream full of lazy, good for nothing, unemployed unevolved fish, and definitely not there before, was a massive old English oak tree… She wasn’t really an expert on trees, but she was certain this was and English oak because as she was walking up to it, she saw a sign saying ‘English Oak – Mind the Dog’, at which point she stepped on a dog (they should definitely put that sign further away – by the time you’ve read the warning it’s just too late)…


The oak tree was a magnificent thing… its trunk was so huge it took about thirty steps, or fifteen really big jumps, to go all the way around the outside, the branches spread our overhead and shaded everyone from the hot sun, and the leaves were the deepest green from that crayon pack we mentioned earlier…


The dog didn’t seem angry at all, he just looked up at her with huge sad eyes and then put his head back down on his paws… If he hadn’t looked so miserable, he would have been a very handsome dog… He was a cocker spaniel, with beautiful red/gold shaggy hair, ears huge and floppy enough to give Flopsy a run for his carrot, and eyes so big if you fell into them you might never reach the bottom!


“Why’s he so sad?” Chloe whispered to Flopsy, not wanting to further upset the lovely doggy.


“Oh, he’s got a blocked nose… and what good is a dog with a blocked nose… there absolutely no way for him to smell all these beautiful flowers, he can’t track and hunt rabbits, there’s absolutely no cat chasing for this fellow, he can’t catch even a whiff of his own bottom, and there’s no way for him to find the delicious bones he buried here just yesterday… I once had a blocked nose and…” She was getting pretty used to cutting him off now…


“Right then…” She didn’t need any drum nodding this time…


She sat down and began to play…


Patter, bonk, patter, rumble, rumble…


The light breeze rose up… the wind gusted and blew all around them… flower petals were caught up and swirled around and around… and in a blink (and it really was a blink – Chloe was sure if she hadn’t blinked, she’d have actually seen it, but sometimes… well, you just have to blink)… all the flower petals turned into to brilliantly white handkerchiefs!


Each and every one of these handkerchiefs smelled of mints, and as the wind began to calm they ALL landed in a very neat pile right in front of the poor dog. He looked up… he sniffed… where before Chloe could hear him struggling to breathe through his stuffy nose now the air whistled in and out, and a very pretty whistle it was too…


The lovely dog jumped to his feet, bounded over to her and licked her face until she felt as if she’d been standing in the rain she’d made for the layabout fishes. Then, much to her amusement but not so much for her friends, proceeded to chase Flopsy and the Cats around the tree for about twenty minutes… Well, what do you expect when you magically cure a dog of a blocked nose with handkerchiefs made of flower petals smelling of mint (again, as she had no watch, she couldn’t actually be sure it was twenty minutes, but it felt a lot longer than two so…)!


When the dog EVENTUALLY became bored of chasing rabbits and cats, he went straight over to the foot of the big, magnificent tree, and began to dig. In no time at all – so nothing like twenty minutes or even two – he’d extricated (that’s ‘pulled out’ for anyone smaller than ten not knowing what big words mean), a bone so big it might have come from the leg of one of those dinosaurs from the museums, and began to gnaw away at the giant thing (Chloe thought it would probably be enough for at least three years gnawing), and promptly forgot her!


“Let’s go before he gets bored of the bone…” Suggested Flopsy in a whisper, not wanting to remind the dog of his existence; the two cats nodded in perfect unison – they’d had quite enough of being chased around trees too…


Be Kind to Cartoon Characters – they can’t Draw Themselves, You Know!


Yup, you guessed it… more circle walking… Now, while a big tree, a dog, some lazy fishes, and a bubbling stream had been introduced to the landscape, there’s only so much wandering in circles surrounded by pretty, dancing butterflies amongst fields of delightful flowers, one can take before hoping for… something else…


Also, the sun had gone way past midday now and was dropping into the afternoon; Chloe was getting a little hungry… Flopsy seemed to notice and bounced along a little quicker… “Last one…” He called out over his shoulder (she made out what he said even though those massive ears did tend to try to wobble into his mouth).


A few steps further on she stopped in her tracks…


Sitting cross-legged on the grass in front of her, hands in fists wiping away at tears falling down onto his cheeks, sobbing and sobbing as if he’d been told there was no cake for his birthday… Izuku Midoriya!


Chloe found herself sitting on the grass and wondered how she’d found herself sitting on the grass – then thought, maybe I fell over in surprise just like Flopsy… so she picked herself up, walked over to Izuku, decided sitting here would be much better than sitting over there… So, she sat down again.


Izuku, barely lifted his eyes… He saw her, looked at her two cats, stared for a moment at the HUGE Flopsy, and then just hung his head again and started crying even harder…


Felling ever so sorry for him, Chloe asked, “What’s the matter, Izuku?”


“Sob… Everyone… sob… in my world… sob… has powers… sob… and I… sob… don’t…” He… well, sobbed.


Chloe thought very seriously for a little while… and her thinking went something like this:


  1. Poor Izuku…

  2. If he had powers like all the others, a little magic, he’d be happy…

  3. I have these amazing drums…

  4. My drums are magic…

  5. I REALLY like my drums; they can do anything…

  6. Oh, but he’s so unhappy…

  7. Oh well, I was happy without my drums…


So, decision made… she took hold of her drums in both hands and offered them to Izuku…

Izuku looked at the drums, looked at her, looked back at the drums (her arms were getting a little tired now), and burst into a whole new round of tears; head once again buried in his hands…


“What’s the matter now?” Chloe asked, as surprised as if her brother had baked her a chocolate cake!


“I don’t want drums,” wailed Izuku, “I want magical powers!”


Oh… thinking about it, even though that seemed a little rude, as she was giving him something anyway, he didn’t actually know they were magic drums, so his reaction was… understandable.


One last little ditty then…


Bonk, rumble, patter, bonk, patter and a really big rumble…


Izuku shrieked in shock as he rose into the air, spun around three times, turned upside down, shook a little like a salt shaker, flipped over twice like a nicely cooked pancake, and then gently settled back down onto the ground…!


Once again, she offered the drums… With eyes as big as a full moon he reached out and gently tried to take them… Chloe knew she should let go, kind of wanted to let go, but for some reason she just couldn’t let go… Oh, she loved her drums, but when she looked over at Flopsy, he was just smiling at her, and she knew… even though she REALLY wanted to keep the drums, she didn’t want anyone to be sad, so… with the greatest reluctance (that means she ‘didn’t want to’ for those nine year olds and younger), she finally managed to let go…


Izuku hugged the things to his chest… said thank you, thank you, about a million times, smeared all the tears from his cheeks, put the drums between his legs and began to play…

Fizzle, flop, fluff…


Nothing happened…


It looked as if he was about to start crying all over again; he really was very emotional, but Flopsy jumped up and leapt onto his head… Izuku squeaked!


In a few moments though the multihued stardust was sparkling all around his head, and when Flopsy jumped off he tried again…


Rumble, bonk, rumble, patter, patter…


Izuku floated into the air again. He grinned a grin so big Chloe wondered if ears were supposed to grin, and then, shouting thanks again and again over his shoulder, flew off somewhere or other with her lovely pair of drums.


Chloe felt strange – all at the same time she felt really good because she’s made Izuku so happy, AND she felt really bad because she had loved those drums and now, she didn’t have them anymore – have you ever wanted to laugh and cry all at the same time? It was exactly like that!


Nothing Cheers You Up Quite as much as Cake


Flopsy seemed to know how she was feeling; he flopped over to her and leaned his soft silky fur against her. The two cats on her shoulder nuzzled her ears, and all that made her feel a bit better, but only a bit.

“Now, there’s one more thing you should do… actually there are a lot more things you should do, like brush your teeth after eating and make sure your shoe laces are done up properly and…” For once he actually managed to stop himself! “The last thing I want you to do is wander over that hill. Yes, the one that completely wasn’t there a moment ago and see what’s on the other side.”

Chloe didn’t really have anything else to do, and sitting here feeling happy and sad at the same time wasn’t much fun, so she stood up and started to walk towards the hill. She suddenly realised Flopsy wasn’t with her and turned around.


He hadn’t moved… “I have a few errands to run before dinner,” he looked for a moment as if he were about to list all those errands and anything else they made him think of, caught himself in time, and said, “I’ll see you another day…” With that he picked up his fluffy tail, and bounced off in the other direction.


When Chloe reached the top of the hill all she really expected to see was more grass, flowers, and butterflies… However, after a few feet of grass and flowers the downward slope of the hill turned into warm, golden sand. Beyond the sand the sea washed in small rolling waves up and down the beach, and there… on a big blanket… the biggest picnic you’ve EVER seen EVER. Sitting around the endless piles of cake, chocolate, jelly, biscuits and more cake, her brother with his hand stuck in his mouth (she thought it likely there was something chocolate on the other end), her beautiful mum, holding out her arms to her, and her dad, asleep under a hat (she knew he was asleep because the snoring had caused her cats to make small earplugs out of the grass ball they’d been playing with and stuffed them really far in their ears)…


Oh course, as soon as she ran up to hug and kiss mum, dad woke up… He cut her a piece of cake the size of three houses and a car, pinched a bit of the cream off the top and passed it to her…


“HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHLOE!” They all shouted, and begun to sing that birthday song with hardly any words everyone always sings on birthdays…


What a not at all day like any other!

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