Sunday, January 04, 2004

The Unbearable Lightness of Skip

It was a lovely, lovely day in the glossy forest. Skip ran eagerly home, his little head full of joyful thoughts.

"Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Tomorrow!" he sang to the sparrows.

"Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Tomorrow!" he beamed to the beavers.

"Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Tomorrow!" he called to the caterpillars.

For tomorrow was Skip's favouritest day of all his favourite days, and he had many favourite days. A whole wall of his bright shiny burrow was devoted to Days He Really Liked, and every now and then, if he had a moment to spare, he would stand, tail-a-quiver, looking over all his little list of Nice Days, and working out which, of all of them, he possibly liked more than any other. But one day was always at the top of the heap, and always especially nicest.

And that day was tomorrow. The day when all the lovely, happy creatures of the bouncy wood got together to celebrate the Happy Parade.

Skip loved Happy Parade Day more than any other day. More than Treacle Custard Day. More than Funfair Day. More than Acorn Pie Day. For Happy Parade Day was when he got to lead all his lovely friends in a joyous dance through the entire woodland, on a long, winding, path along which they would joyously play their tambourines, cymbals and xylophones until the birds fell out ot the trees with delight.

After several happy hours of lovely music and nice song singing, the creatures would wind up in the woodland clearing in front of the house of his bestest friend, Scowl. Scowl loved Happy Parade Day almost as much as Skip. Skip was sure of this fact. For Scowl loved the loud, joyful singing, the thunderous banging of lovely instruments and the happy blowing of all the ruddy faced animals. Scowl, Skip thought, loved to hide away in his little hole, so overcome with happiness that he didn't even dare emerge.

He would even scatter presents in front of his door for them - lots of lovely shiny nails, tinkly bits of broken glass, and wonderfully sharp new razor blades which the happy animals gathered carefully up and used to cut together their happy ribbons to tie them into neat bunches to take home.

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