The Rabbits of Avalon Hill
"The Rabbits of Avalon Hill"
(C)opyright 2006 by Paul Panks
Paul Panks is a Linux computer user and long-time
author and programmer. He has been published in
Linux World, Byte and Dr. Dobb's Journal. He is
presently working on publishing his novel, "The
Rosetta Star." He lives in Phoenix, Arizona and
graduated from Northern Arizona University in
Once upon a time in a land not so far away, there
lived a clan of rabbits called the Rabbits of Avalon
Hill. Now these rabbits lived in harmony with the land
and farmed many carrots as their main crop. Among the
rabbits of Avalon Hill were the two elders, Smooksie,
an elder praternal rabbit, and Tooksie, the elder
maternal rabbit. The youngest of the clan, Moxie, was
a curious one who lived with his sister, Mixie, a more
The rabbits lived peacefully by the foreboding Woods
of Winterland, where the wise owl, Gelmar, lived.
Gelmar had been there many moons and the rabbits often
sought out his advice.
One day while resting, Moxie came crying to Tooksie.
"The carrots are gone! The carrots are gone! The
carrots are gone!"
Mixie looked at him with a curious glance.
"But we just planted them two weeks ago! How could
they be gone?"
Trixie immediately suspected the Weasals of
Brekenwood, a dastardly group of no-gooders who
inhabited the Swamp of Forlorn Hope. But she did not
tell them about the Weasals, for Weasals ate rabbits!
"We will go to the wise owl," insisted Tooksie, and
they left that very day, sending Moxie, Mixie and
Smooksie, who led them on their way.
They walked for many days, hopping down first from
their village briar patch into the Woods of
Winterland. They saw many trees, some without leaves,
and a cool, hallowing wind blew, sending shivers down
"I'm afraid!" cried Moxie. But Moxie had been here
before and, lo, she was not afraid.
"Just a little farther to the Sacred Tree!" encouraged
When they at last reached the Sacred Tree, at the end
of the forest, Smooksie took them aside and told them
all about the wise owl, Gelmar, which lived within.
"He is 100 years and a day, and he knows everything
about our world. Just listen to him!"
They passed through a passage into the tree and it led
into a secret chamber therein. They saw many
hieroglyphs upon the walls and other esoteric
writings, some of them not even Smooksie knew!
"When we get to the end of the passage," said
Smooksie,"we will at last be at the wise owl's home.
Be respectful and listen, and do not speak unless
A pair of red eyes slowly gathered steam in the
darkened distance, until finally emerging into the
light for all to see. A large owl, larger than even
they imagined, stood before them, looking them over
with a mixture of curiosity and cautiousness.
"Who are you?" he asked them, in a haggered voice.
"Forgive us, oh wise owl, but we are but simple
rabbits on a quest," spoke Smooksie. "We have lost our
carrots and we are in need of your help!"
The owl thought for a moment and then chuckled.
"The Weasals!" he laughed. "They must be behind this,
"We believe so," said Smooksie. "But we have only a
hunch to work on..."
But the owl brushed him aside and showed them a sacred
"Look here," he said, opening a jeweled box. "My
father's father owned this box. When he passed into
the Great Wind, he bestowed it upon his son, my
father. And when my father passed, he gave it to me.
The owl showed them many treasures, some small and
some big, but all sparkling and magical.
He picked up one particular jewel attached to a chain,
which resembled a necklace. He held it in his hands
and let the light gleam inside of it.
"This is the Stone of the Crescent Moon. It has been
in my family for generations."
"What is it?" asked Moxie, now curious.
The owl sighed.
"I cannot tell you now, but when you need it, you will
And the owl brushed him aside, too, givining the Stone
"Here, keep this..." he said, placing it upon her.
"When you need it, simply rub the jewel and it will
glow, and whatever you need shall be done!"
When they began to ask another question, the owl
abruptly cut them off.
"Go, now!" he said harshly. "I cannot help you
And so they left, this time with more questions than
answers. They followed the path out of the forest into
the Valley of VEsper, just beyond the woods. It wound
past a small stream, at which they came upon Jasmine,
a large jackal.
"Who goes there?!" she hissed.
Mixie stepped forward, stopping her brother from
"We are on our way to the Weasals of Brekenwood," she
said. "We were hoping to cross this stream."
But the jackal would have none of it, replying,"No one
crosses this stream! Not without my permission!"
Smooksie looked at Jasmine. "We are sorry, but we must
cross to reach the Weasals! They have stolen our
carrots and we must get them back!"
"Weasals?..." asked Jasmine, who let out a hearty
laugh. "Why do you want to see them? I hear they EAT
Moxie began to cry, but Mixie comforted him and he
"Please!" insisted Smooksie. "If we don't have our
carrots, we cannot eat! And if we cannot eat, how will
The Jackal grumbled a bit, but finally relented.
"Very well," she said with a bow. "You may cross.
But...you MUST visit my friend Frankie the Fox, who
has something of mine that I want back! You can find
him just ahead of here, in the Everglade Woods. Now
GO! Before I change my mind!"
The group hurried past her, walking until sunset,
where they made camp and rested.
"Will we ever find the Weasals?" asked Moxie.
"We will!" replied Mixie. "The owl is wise and knows
The next day, Moxie, Mixie and Smooksie traveled into
the Everglade Woods, which were quite a distance from
their campsite. When at last they reached it, they
came upon a clearing and hearing howling, stopping
"Listen!" said Smooksie. "Do you hear that? That's the
sound of wolves!"
"Or foxes..." smiled Mixie.
Smooksie patted her head and look at her.
"Yes, or foxes!"
They waited for some time for the fox to arrive, and
when he did not, and the moon had appeared, they began
"Where is he?!" asked Moxie, in obvious trepidation.
"Don't worry..." said Smooksie. "They rarely come out
before dark, and only for food!"
Mixie suddenly had an idea.
"I know!" she said. "Why don't we try to lure it here
Smooksie nodded. "That just might work!"
Taking their last few remaining rations, they placed
it upon the ground and led it to them from around some
"If he comes," said Smooksie,"don't startle him! Just
let him eat the carrots!"
Soon they were tired, and they rested yet again.
Smooksie asked Moxie to keep watch, and he did, but
he, too, soon fell asleep.
"My eyes are SO tired!" he thought to himself. When at
last he could not stay awake any longer, a shadowy
figure moved along the upper ridge and down the hill
towards them. He caught scent of the carrots, and so
he followed it, right to them!
"Thank you for the food," said Frankie the Fox. "But
what are rabbits doing so far out in these woods? If I
wasn't in your debt, I might think YOU the food!"
Moxie began to tremble, but Mixie hugged him.
"Don't worry!" said Mixie. "I'll protect you!"
"Jasmine said you had something of hers," spoke
The fox sighed.
"Yes...well...I did...but I gave it to my friend
Craig, the catapiller!"
"The catapiller?" inquired Smooksie.
"Yes...he is just ahead near the Swamps where the
Weasals live. But if they see you, they'll eat you!"
Smooksie nooded, and both Mixie and Moxie looked
"Here..." said the fox, handing Smooksie a glistening
ring. "Take this ring. It is called the Ring of the
Crescent Moon. Place it upon your finger and they
cannot see you!"
"Thank you," replied Smooksie. "We are in your debt!"
They waived goodbye and left for the Swamps, where the
Weasals lived. Smooksie placed the ring upon his
finger, and they all disappeared, and they Weasals who
were there did not see them.
"It works!" cried Moxie.
"Shhhh!" said Moxie. "You'll wake the weasals!"
Soon they came upon Craig, the catapiller, who was
playing a soothing tune on a windpipe. When he saw
them coming, he stopped playing and looked up from his
perch on a lone tree stump.Then he kept playing for
awhile, and they all listened, mesmerized by the tune
of the woodwind pipe.
When he finished playing, he smiled at them.
"Do you like my music?" asked Craig,
"Oh yes!" said Mixie. "Can you play us some more?"
But Craig sighed.
"I am getting too old and too tired to play! Soon I
will be a butterfly and can no longer play this pipe!"
Smooksie noticed it had two ends, and so he asked,"Why
does it have two ends?"
Craig looked at the pipe carefully.
"On one end, you play a tune. On the other, you play a
silent one. Those of pure heart can hear both, but the
silent one cannot be heard by those less pure, such as
the Weasals. When they hear it, they fall instantly
Mixie's eyes widened.
"We are going to the weasals!"
Craig looked at her curiously.
"But why?" he asked her. "They EAT rabbits!"
Smooksie stepped forward, explaining to Craig about
their plight, and how the weasals took their food.
When he finished speaking, Craig handed the pipe to
"This pipe was made by my grandfather, a master
craftsman. It is called the Windrose Pipe of Avalon.
Take it and play it when you see the weasals. They
will not wake again until the Sun next sets!"
"Thank you," said Smooksie. "We are indebted to you!"
And on they went, walking towards the swamp, but
because Smooksie was still wearing the ring, the
Weasals did not see them!
At last they arrived at the Weasal's huts, dark and
damp, and nothing for a rabbit to behold. They saw
weasals carrying carrots in a wheelbarrow towards a
large fire, upon which a caldron rested.
"There they are!" shouted Moxie. "Our carrots! Our
But Mixie bonked him on the head, gently.
"We know, dummy! We know!" she said, rolling her eyes
When they reached the caldron, they looked inside, and
they were frightened to see a rabbit foot sticking out
of the stew!
"Oh no!" cried Moxie. "They'll eat us all!" and he
began to run away.
But Smooksie stopped him, replying,"They cannot see
us. And what they cannot see, they cannot eat!"
Encouraged by this news, Moxie began to do a dance, as
only rabbits can. And in his haste, as little Moxie
always did, he stumbled upon Smooksie, knocking the
ring off his finger. Suddenly, they reappeared, right
in front of the caldron!
"Look there!" cried a weasal. "Rabbits!"
Some weasals came out of the huts, pitchforks in hand.
"Get them!" they shouted. "Before they hop away!"
Moxie began to cry, but Mixie had an idea.
"The Stone!" she said to Smooksie. "Use the stone!"
Smooksie quickly rubbed it and they all began to rise
very quickly. They rose and rose and rose, until they
finally reached above the rooftops of the Weasal's
"Whhheeeeeeee!" shouted Moxie. "This is fun!"
Mixie chuckled. "Silly rabbit! Tricks are for kids!"
"This stone must make us levitate!" cried Smooksie.
"So that is what the owl meant!
The weasals were stunned, shouting in unison,"The
Stone! The Stone!" for they knew about the Stone of
the Sacred Heart.
"Throw the pitchforks at them!" cried the leader. They
sent a volley upwards, nearly hitting all three.
"Duck!" shouted Mixie. And they ducked, just barely
missing the pitchforks.
"Play the pipe!" said Mixie.
But Moxie shrugged.
"I don't have it!" he cried. "Smooksie has it!"
"Play it! Play it, Smooksie!"
And Smooksie played the pipe, but it was the wrong
tune, soothing and pleasant, not silent and quiet.
"You played the wrong tune!" said Mixie, almost losing
her head as a pitchfork wizzed on by.
"Sorry..." said Smooksie. "Stage fright!"
He flipped the pipe around and began to play, but no
sound came out!
"Are you playing?" asked Moxie. "I don't hear
"Silly!" said Mixie from above the roof. "It's silent!
You're not supposed to hear!"
Suddenly all the pitchforks stopped, and the Weasals
fell upon the ground, one by one.
"We're saved!" Moxie shouted. "Yeah!!!!!!"
Mixie clapped, as they levitated downwards towards the
"I knew you could do it, Smooksie!"
He laughed, handing the pipe to Moxie.
"I may be old," he replied,"but I'm not completely
They all laughed and danced around the caldron, as
Moxie played a lovely tune.
And so the rabbits found their carrots but also found
something else: themselves!
The moral of our story, dear ones, is to listen!