The Wonder of It
by Lisa Scuderi-Burkimsher
I opened my eyes, flung the covers on the floor and blinked several times. The color, so vivid, so bright, shades of sky blue filled the bedroom in colorful waves, and yellow butterflies flapped their wings around my head. I ran to the mirror and my mouth dropped. I had bushy eyebrows, huge lips and a perfectly round face. I wore a brown cap and hunting outfit with thick black boots. I looked like a cartoon character. I sat on the edge of the bed and took deep breaths. A butterfly landed on my lap and chortled, then continued to fly around the room with its companions. “Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh. Phooey, it phew away.” What the heck was that I just said?
“Okay, I must be dweaming. This isn’t a cartoon. Cartoon’s aren’t weel. I’m a person. But I’m not me, phooey.” Again with the phooey.
I had the sudden urge to hunt rabbits, but I had one particular rabbit in mind. Bugs Bunny.
“I’m going to get you, you mangy wabbit.” Did I just say that? What the heck! But I couldn’t control myself. There was a hunting rifle on my bureau, but the oak dresser was paper drawn, like a picture from a coloring book. It was, as I was, a cartoon nightmare.
My feet took me to the front door. Outside purple and orange birds sang words, and dogs spoke to their masters.
“Good morning to ya, Elmer.” Apparently that person who was supposed to be my neighbor Larry Smith—but now looked like me, straight out of Looney Tunes—spoke directly to me. Except, my name isn’t Elmer. It is Henry. I guess not in Looney Tunes.
“I hope you get em,” he said waving his flappy arms and humongous hands.
I’ve done this before?
I looked up and my spruce maple tree had a nose, eyes and lips smack in the middle of its trunk. The branches swayed in time with the wind. “You tawking to me? I’ll make spruce stew out of ya.” I can’t get used to this way of speaking.
“Well, you’re the only one here, so doesn’t that make sense I’m talking to you?”
I was mocked by a tree. “Whadaya want?” I asked thunderstruck.
“I know you’re going after that Bugs rabbit. But you never catch him. If you want to get him, you have to be smart. Surprise him, attack when he’s distracted. You always wait until he sees you and then he takes off like the Tasmanian Devil.”
A leaf fell to the ground and landed on my boot. I kicked it.
“Hey, that’s my leaf, be careful with that!”
“Sawry, I didn’t know cartoon trees had feewings.”
“Well, you should know. You better get going and remember what I said.”
“Yeah, I’ll wemember.” I shook my head and closed my eyes. I thought maybe when I opened them I’d be back in my bed laying on my soft mattress and cuddled up with my five-hundred- thread count sheets, but no such luck.
The grass high and lime green, made it difficult to walk. First, the color distracted me, second the height made me strain my legs. What kind of hell am I in?
At last I saw Bugs Bunny. He sang and skipped in a circle. His fuzzy little cotton tail wagged and his long ears stuck out. What a character. I pointed the rifle at him, but my finger wouldn’t pull the trigger. So cute, I lost all impulse to shoot him and he had no idea I hid behind a bush. When I lowered my rifle, suddenly everything began to rewind in quick motion. My feet stomping in the grass, the tree I spoke to, flew by me instantaneously. I had no control over my movements and kept in reverse until I was back home.
When I opened my eyes, I was in bed. Everything in the room was normal and I was normal. Thankfully, it was just a dream. My wife who wasn’t part of that eerie nightmare, called me for breakfast as she normally did on a Saturday morning. Relieved, I slipped into my slippers and bathrobe. As I approached the bedroom door, the spruce leaf I had kicked in my dream stood by the opening.
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