Your prompt for #JusJoJan the 14th and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “once upon a time.” Start your post with “Once upon a time,” then write whatever comes to you, whether it be fact or fiction. Have fun!
Once upon a time on the African savannah, rabbits lived happily in their dens. The savannah was dangerous, and they knew some of them would fall prey to predators, extreme weather, and disease but they took precautions and counted upon their instincts which had been, so far, the safest way to live wild and free.
One summer some of the rabbits became aware of jackals on their perimeter and naturally avoided them. Their ancient warning system of stomps and flashing their white tails kept the communities informed of that danger. But when the jackals failed to move to invade their area, the rabbits grew less attentive to their presence until a few got close enough for the jackals to communicate with. The jackals smiled and told the rabbits that they’d come to enjoy watching the rabbits so much that they would be willing to serve as their protectors by keeping an ‘eye’ out for any danger that might arise and report it to them. The proposal made the persuasive claim that jackals covered far more area and certainly had access to a larger and farther source of information than rabbits could obtain.
Soon the rabbits agreed to that partnership. The jackals would laze in the shade offering the rabbits frequent reports on elephant migration, impending floods, and hungry hyenas and rabbits could now be free from all dangers. The rabbits soon came to the decision that thumping feet and flagging tails were ‘old school’ and unreliable methods that served no more use to them since they’d found such a modern solution.
The happy, carefree, rabbits grew in numbers. The trust in ‘jackal reports’ became nearly universal. When an occasional rabbit thumped his foot, the others shamed him and called him an ‘alarmist’ and troublemaker until he ‘got with the program’.
Once the jackals realized that their reports had gained complete acceptance, they went right to work. Occasional ‘made up’ reports of raiding hyenas sent some rabbits running outside of their domain in panic. Those outliers were abruptly gobbled up!
The next day report from those jackals made no mention of the missing rabbits and instead foretold of new imminent dangers producing the delicious same affect. No doubt, the most gullible rabbits were their easiest and most constant meal tickets.
And so, it still goes on the savannah, the rabbits no longer trust in their ability to warn each other, have a delusional sense of ‘perfect’ safety, and refuse to listen to (even bash) any rabbits who ‘think outside of the box’ suspecting that jackal con game. Those choosing to trust their instincts over the reporting from jackals are sadly becoming rarer every day.
Notably, the most effective panicked response to date has been the reaction to the recent report of a deadly disease sweeping the area. Boy, are those jackals getting fat!
Just so ya know, this isn’t The End but the most promising prospect for Happily Ever After still belongs to the jackals at the moment.
Happy Saturday friends! (I’m busy tomorrow so I need to post my stream today.)
[I had no idea that an old English tale about a jackal and rabbit existed before I wrote this post. This tale came directly from my own Stream of Consciousness. I’ll be looking it up to read and compare English tale with mine soon. When I searched for the image for this post, the existence of the other tale popped up.]