Hi all! Melly and I have decided to try something new. We are writing a short story and we thought we would share it with you as we go along. Not too much of it is written yet, which makes it more exciting! We’d love to hear comments about what you think should happen next! So here we go with Part 1 of Three Baby Capybaras!
Once upon a time there were three baby capybaras, Willow, Maple, and Oak. They lived with their mother and a small band of relatives in the llanos of Venezuela. There were a lot of other young capybaras in the band, but Willow, Maple and Oak were the youngest and, of the three of them , Oak was born last and so was the favorite of his mother and all of the adults. Even so, his two sisters did not especially favor him. In fact, it was something of the opposite since he was a bit smaller than they were and a boy to boot. They seemed to take special offense at his being a boy.
Now the llanos was an amazing place, ideal for capybaras. Firstly there was green grass stretching as far as the eye could see, which wasn’t really very far if you were a small capybara whose eyes, while near the top of his head, were still very close to the ground. Looking the other way, Oak could gaze out over the blue waters of a shallow lake. The lake was bordered by tall grasses and flowers that rooted in the mud and shot up taller than the back of even their father when he walked among them. There were a few trees and bushes along the rim of the lake, but not so many as to hide jaguars or to provide high perches for deadly caracaras to swoop down and attack young capybaras who were careless enough to stray from their band.
One day when the siblings were two months old and already weighed almost 12 lbs–at least Willow and Maple did– the yellow sun beat down on them from a bright blue sky dotted with puffy white clouds. Oak rolled onto his back to watch the clouds go streaming by. “I wish I were a cloud,” he said to no one in particular.
“Don’t lie on your back like that!” Maple said sternly. “It’s unnatural.”
“It’s making the blood go to your brain,” Willow said.
“And that gives you weird thoughts,” Maple added.
“Clouds aren’t even alive,” Willow chimed. “Who would want to be something not alive?”
Oak sighed. “I wish I were a living cloud. Look how high up they are. I could see everything from up there. And they travel so far and so fast. The whole world would pass beneath me.”
“But you would leave behind everyone you know!” Maple cried.
“How would you live without the band?” Willow exclaimed. “And Mama would be very angry with you if you left without permission.”
Oak let out a very long sigh. His sisters did not understand him at all. They could only see what they saw with their eyes. They had no hidden eyes in their minds to see things that weren’t in the real world. He couldn’t explain to them the whole world he imagined with each member of the band dancing across the sky as a white cloud.
He rolled back over on his side. It was very hard balancing on his back and it wore him out quickly. One his side, he could only see the clouds out of one eye at a time, which was not as good. Off near the horizon he noticed a black cloud slipping across the sun and its shadow bathed them in darkness. The black clouds were sky jaguars. They chased the white clouds and tried to gobble up the earth. The rain was their drooling saliva.
“It’s going to rain,” Willow said. “We better get back to Mama.”
Oak rolled onto his feet and followed his sisters down the narrow path back to the band.