I’ve never met the parents who are objecting to the ghost story I told their children … the story that none of them heard. However, in my mind’s eye, I imagine that they have no noses. They cut them off to spite their faces. You see, that small (but very vocal) group of parents have now convinced the PTA at the school to refuse to fund programs for visiting artists, because they want to censor everything an artist might say. Talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water!
Did I hear you ask, “Where are the parents who have any sense?” Why, they are being deathly silent, so to speak. It’s a shame, because their children will not get the opportunity to see artists in their elementary school … just because they won’t speak up for sanity. Art is supposed to evoke emotion.
Mind you, I’ve heard nothing but praise from the people who actually heard the performance I gave. I’m not ashamed of my performance at all. I’m just profoundly saddened that this small group of close-minded people can so affect an entire school.
I’m thinking that these parents need to home school their kids so they can control everything that goes into their brains. They can protect them from the real world. Of course, their poor children won’t develop the ability to think for themselves, but at least other children won’t be bound by their narrow view of the world.
I’m sure that these people are moderately well educated, but I’ve decided that they didn’t hear enough stories when they were young. I feel the need to share another tale from my repertoire that is dedicated just to them. It should have been pounded into their brains when they were young. It’s for people with closed eyes and flapping mouths. I’ve never given it a name, but I’ll call it:
On a hot, muggy summer day a rabbit curled up to sleep in the shade of a coconut tree. A monkey chattered angrily in the branches of the tree, but that didn’t bother the bunny. Soon he was snoring and twitching in his sleep.
The rabbit sat up, startled, when he heard a loud, “CRACK!” The rabbit shivered and squealed, “O.M.G.! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! The earth has cracked! The world is falling apart!”
As fast as a lightning bolt, that rabbit jumped and ran, zigging and zagging across the plains. Soon he bumped smack dab into another bunny and they both fell down on their cottontails.
“What in the world do you think you are doing?” demanded the second rabbit. “Has the heat fried your brain?”
The first rabbit screamed, “O.M.G.! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! The earth has cracked! The world is falling apart!” Both rabbits began to dash across the plains.
It wasn’t long before a herd of zebras, who were grazing in the grass, felt the earth begin to rumble. They looked up to see ten thousand rabbits zigging and zagging through the grass. One of the zebras called out, “Yo! Whassup?”
A rabbit paused, caught is breath and squeaked, “O.M.G.! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! The earth has cracked! The world is falling apart!” The zebras began to zoom along behind the rabbits.
After awhile the elephants, who were splashing in the water of the river playfully squirting water at each other with their trunks, heard a sound like distant thunder. The earth began to quake. Those elephants looked up and saw ten thousand bunnies racing along the grass with five thousand zebras zooming along behind them.
An elephant called out to a zebra, “Is it a parade?” The zebra shouted, “O.M.G.! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! The earth has cracked! The world is falling apart!” Immediately the elephants clambered out of the water and began clumping along behind the zebras.
Shortly thereafter, a tiger who was stalking his next meal was surprised to feel the earth begin to tremble. He heard a crashing sound. When he turned to look, he saw ten thousand bunnies racing along the grass with five thousand zebras zooming along behind, followed by a thousand elephants!
The surprised tiger called out to an elephant, “Hey! Is there a sale that I don’t know about?” The elephant bellowed, “O.M.G.! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! The earth has cracked! The world is falling apart!”
Not long after that Lion, the King of Beasts, was wakened from his nap. He had been curled on a flat rock, sleeping in the sunshine, when his teeth began to rattle in his head. He looked up and saw ten thousand bunnies racing along the grass with five thousand zebras zooming along behind, followed by a thousand elephants, who were all being chased by a hundred tigers!
Lion shouted, “ROAR!” All of the animals came to an abrupt halt, because everyone listened when Lion spoke, especially if he used that tone of voice.
Lion glared at the breathless animals and growled, “Will someone please explain all this commotion to me? You know I don’t like to be disturbed during my nap!” He turned to a tiger and asked, “Why are you chasing all the other animals?”
The tiger shivered with fear and said, “Your Majesty, we aren’t chasing them. Haven’t you heard?”
“Heard what?” asked Lion.
“O.M.G.!” screamed the tiger. “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! The earth has cracked! The world is falling apart!”
“Puhleeeze!” said Lion. “Don’t be ridiculous! Did you see the earth crack, Tiger?”
Tiger shrugged his shoulders and hung his head. He mumbled, “Well … no … but the elephants told us about it.”
Lion turned to an elephant and asked, “Did you see the earth crack?”
The elephant rocked back and forth nervously and replied, “No, but the zebras said that it did.”
Lion fixed his angry glare on the zebras. “Did you see the earth crack?”
“Ummm,” a zebra said.
Lion roared, “Ummm is not an answer!”
“Rrr..rrr…rabbits told us,” the zebra stuttered.
Lion whirled around to face the rabbits. “WHO STARTED THIS MESS, ANYWAY?” he shouted.
All of the quaking bunnies pointed at the very first rabbit.
Lion sighed. “Rabbit,” he asked, trying to control his temper, “did you see the earth crack?”
“Well,” said the rabbit, “not exactly, but I was asleep under the coconut tree and I heard it and …”
“BUT, DID YOU SEE IT?” shouted Lion.
“No!” the bunny squealed. “I’m not stupid I wasn’t going to sit around and wait for the earth to swallow me up! O.M.G. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!”
“CUT THAT OUT!” roared Lion. “Let’s go see this crack in the earth.”
Over rabbit’s protest, Lion made him lead all the animals to the coconut tree. Coconuts were scattered on the ground beneath that tree, and the monkey was still in the branches, angrily shaking a coconut.
“Hey, you! Monkey!” called Lion. “Have you seen the earth crack?”
“The earth crack?” asked the monkey. “No, I can’t even get these stupid coconuts to crack!” With that, the monkey threw the coconut to the ground … where it hit with a loud “CRACK!”
Lion stared at the coconut for a moment. He turned to rabbit and shook his head. “Look at you. You started all this commotion over nothing. Open your eyes! Use your brain and make sure that you know the truth before you start flapping your mouth!”
The other animals began to giggle at rabbit. Lion glared at them and said, “You aren’t innocent here. Before you believe a rumor, make sure you know the truth! If someone says the earth is falling apart, it might be nothing more than a monkey trying to crack a coconut!”
Lion went back to his nap. The other animals went about their business. But, the rabbit was so ashamed that he dug a hole and hid. From that day to this, he only comes out early in the morning or late at night (when no one will see). And, since that day, rabbits never start wild rumors … in fact they hardly speak at all.
I realize that the people who need to read this story probably didn’t get this far. If they did they will not recognize themselves. The saddest part of all of this is that those people who will not look for the truth before they flap their mouths will raise children just like themselves. Bless their hearts.