Tuesday, January 09, 2007

An Election Among Peers in the Land of the Flowered Bed

Hairy the Hedgehog sat glumly on the bed, his furry face between his hands.

"What's wrong, Hairy?" Pumble asked as he smacked on his morning snack of toast and honey. He had already completed his breakfast of biscuits, honey and pollen sprinkles.

"They don't like me," Hairy sighed.

"Who doesn't like you?" Pumble asked as he spewed crumbs out of his mouth onto Hairy's fur.

"The people," Hairy said, brushing the sticky crumbs off his fur.

"What people?" Pumble looked confused.

"The boy and the girl!" Hairy yelled in exasperation.

"Well," Pumble said, looking huffy. "No need to get angry."

"Do not worry if they do not like you," Cookies lectured. "It is much better to be an individual. Be strong. Be wary. Be a lone wolf. You are above the others. They look up to you. And they should dislike you--they should fear you. They should worship you."

Hairy stared at him in horror. "Who are you?" he asked in disgust. "Did Hitler die and put you in his place?"

Cookies looked thoughtful. "No," he said, chewing on a pencil. Cookies loved chewing on pencils and often had to hide the evidence under the bed. "I think it would be an interesting social experiment however. The social repercussions of me acting as a dictator--"

As Cookies droned on, Hairy sighed and buried his face in his arm. He could feel hot tears building behind his eyes. Two fuzzy heads rubbed his sides, barking enthusiastically. He looked at the seals nuzzling him and looking up at him with large eyes, anxiously barking.

"Thank you seals," Hairy managed a watery smile. "I'm glad you think I'm the nicest one here- and the skinniest too! That's very sweet of you. And while I appreciate the fish heads, I think I'll have to pass. They disagree with my stomach."

Pumble sniffed and shoved a third piece of toast in his mouth. "Being skinny is overrated," he mumbled. "Why do you think the people don't like you?"

Hairy placed one arm on each of the seals, whose tails exploded in delighted wiggling at the touch. "Because no one sleeps with me! You're cradled by the girl every night, and the boy likes to use Cookies as a pillow and arm rest. I'm simply shoved to the end of the bed and end up on the floor with the seals every night."

At the seal's wounded expressions and distressed tail wagging, he quickly added, "Not that I don't like it down there." The enthusiastic wiggling started up again. "I just wish that we could all sleep on the bed. We're all important. I just want to feel loved. I just want to feel like someone likes me best, and turns to me for comfort every night." The seals wiggled harder.

Pumble sat thoughtfully, chewing. Cookies, who had long ago realized no one was listening to him, perked up. "What if we gave you an office, a position?"

"An office?" Hairy asked cautiously. "I don't understand."

"What if we elect you something?" Pumble asked enthusiastically. "What if we elect you king or president of the Land of the Flowered Bed?"

"Thank you, but I couldn't be king," Hairy said modestly. "That wouldn't be fair, we're all equals."

"I beg to differ," Cookies said under his breath.

"President than!" Pumble dictated, wiping off his hands.

"Actually, I think I would prefer to be a mayor, or a governor of some sort," Hairy said, a feeling of excitement beginning to swirl in his tummy. "That would be much more comfortable."

"It's settled than!"Cookies said, banging a brush on the dresser like a gavel. "All who vote for Hairy as Mayor of the Land of the Flowered Bed, say aye!"

"Aye!" Pumbles and Cookies yelled. The seals barked and leaped into the air.

"I'm taking that as an aye," Cookies said, smiling at the seals. "It's unanimous! Hairy is now the official mayor of the Land of the Flowered Bed!"

"Hooray!" everyone yelled. The seals clapped their tails and barked in excitement.

That evening, as the people went to bed, Cookies was tucked under the boys arm and Pumble was tucked under the girls. As Hairy began to fight feelings of disappointment, he gasped as he was picked up and tucked in the middle. And that evening, he slept tucked in between the girl and the boy, next to the seals. The seals looked up and giggled to themselves quietly. They could have sworn that Hairy, the new mayor of the Land of the Flowered Bed, was lighting up the dark with his smile.

3 comments:

Mama K said...

As the new Mayor of the Flowered Bed, Hairy should be placed at the head of the bed between the boy and girl's pillows. Not only will this be a self-esteem builder for Hairy but he can be a sentry and keep watch over the kingdom at night. (You know hedgehogs are nocturnal, of course!)

Anonymous said...

Excellent!
Thats! What it's all about.
A bond even when there is dought?
Joy when there is sadness.
Light when there is darkness.
Can't help but just feel good!

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