Bewildering Stories

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The Huggybunnies at the Seashore

by Steven Utley

Hoppy and Poppy Huggybunny were going to the seashore. Mother Huggybunny had packed a picnic basket for them, and in it were frothy fruit juice and big pieces of carrot cake and other tasty things. Hoppy and Poppy carried the picnic basket between them. As they merrily skipped along the path that led to the sugar-crystal beach and the lemonade sea, they sang a happy song:

“The sun is high and fine, And I am feeling funny. I have a splendid time — I am a huggybunny!”

Then, just as they came in sight of the beach, Poppy clapped her hands and pointed. “Oh!” she said. “Oh, look, Hoppy!”

Hoppy looked. “Goodness,” he said. “It’s a giant!”

There was indeed a huge giant on the beach. The giant was dressed all in silver. It looked to the two surprised huggybunnies that the giant was fast asleep.

“I’m afraid,” Poppy said to Hoppy. “Let’s run away.”

“The giant is asleep,” said Hoppy to Poppy. “It looks like a friendly giant, too. Perhaps it has a treasure that we can take home to Mother Huggybunny. Let’s go see.”

“Okay, Hoppy,” said Poppy.

So the two little huggybunnies hippety-hopped down to where the giant lay sleeping.

Just then it opened its eyes and sat up.

“Ooh!” said the huggybunnies, holding each other.

The giant looked down at them and roared, “What?”

Hoppy and Poppy were very frightened now, but they did not try to run away.

Poppy said, “Are you a good giant or an evil giant, sir?”

“Rabbits?” said the giant. The giant looked as scared as the huggybunnies.

“We are huggybunnies,” said Hoppy. “We live near here. What is your name, Mister Giant?”

“Amazing,” said the giant. “Candy beach, soda-pop ocean, now talking rabbits. Goddamn amazing.”

“You look hungry. Mister Amazing,” said Poppy. “Would you like to share the goodies in our picnic basket?”

The giant slowly took the basket from Poppy and looked inside. He was a strange giant. He shook his head and put the basket down.

“Is this Earth?” asked the giant. “I was supposed to come down on the goddamn planet Earth, for chrissake.”

The giant was cold. He took a pretty blue ball from his pocket and broke it in half, and a little fire started. The giant put the fire on the ground and warmed his hands.

“He’s a magic giant!” Hoppy said.

“How wonderful!” said Poppy, clapping her hands.

“Jesus, I’m starved,” said the giant, and he picked up the picnic basket again.

“Please help yourself, Mister Amazing,” said the huggybunnies.

“Barely more than a mouthful,” said the giant when he had drunk all of the frothy fruit juice and eaten all of the carrot cake and other tasty things. “And I hate sweets.”

Then the giant looked down at the huggybunnies again and shook his head. “Really amazing,” said the giant. “Little clothes and shoes, too.”

“Where do you live?” asked Poppy.

“Not around here,” said the giant in a voice so low that the two huggybunnies almost did not hear him. “That’s for damn sure.”

“I know who can help you find your way home,” Hoppy happily cried out. “I’ll fetch Constable O’Hare.”

“Hope he’s got a tardyon-tachyon converter on him,” said the giant.

“I will wait here with the giant,” Poppy said to Hoppy. “Now you run fast.”

“I will,” Hoppy said, and with that he ran hoppity-hippity to fetch Constable O’Hare, who lived in the Gum Tree on Bon Bon Boulevard, past Cider Street and Mousse Mall. It was a long way to Constable O’Hare’s home, but Hoppy was the fastest huggybunny of them all. Soon he was knocking on the constable’s door.

“Come quickly,” Hoppy said to Constable O’Hare. “There’s a big, strange giant on the beach by the lemonade sea! He is lost.”

“Then we must help him,” said Constable O’Hare, and the two of them hopped off back to the seashore.

“Not so fast,” called Constable O’Hare. “I am a fat, slow huggybunny. “

But at last Hoppy and the constable came to the sugar-crystal beach, where the giant was still sitting in front of his little magic fire.

Hoppy looked around and said, “Where is Poppy?”

“Who the hell’s Poppy?” said the giant, licking his fingers.

Copyright © 2004 by Steven Utley

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