Relee the Squirrel's Domain
Things Got Better
by Relee the Squirrel
There he was, just laying in bed. Laying like he always does, curled up into the fetal position, heavy comforter wrapped tightly around him. Squeezed tightly in his arms, his blue easter-rabbit plush toy. Bright beams of noon sun shone in through his south-facing glass door, disturbing him in his sleep. His scragly dull orange hair was seen to sparkle in the warm light, and his eyes slowly opened, only to close again as he turned his face from the light.
The softness and warmth of his bed was so natural, so inviting, that nothing would rouse him. Nothing should rouse him from that perfect state of tender joy and happiness. However, a loud grumbling noise worked it's way up from his stomach into his throat and he knew he was hungry. Taking a deep breath and giving his tender plush an extra tight squeeze, he threw off his blankets and sat up.
What a day to be alive! The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the flowers were eagerly budding from thier soft earthen beds. Yet this young man shrugged, yawned, and merely set about making breakfast. Fetching a bagel from the toaster and slathering it with cream chese, he meandered forlornly into his work room where he hoped to catch up on daily events from the comfort of his computer.
His eyes could be seen to glimmer at that moment, as he spied a small black case tied with a pale yellow ribbon, waiting for him on his old wooden chair.
"A present?" he had thought, not expecting such a surprise to wait for him. It was not his birthday, or christmas, or any other day of giving he knew. Yet there it sat, waiting for him. Picking up the present and sitting on his chair, he spied a tag hidden under the ribbon.
The tag read, "To: Arthur Payne From: Your Secret Admirer" in bold, hand printed bubble letters. Eagerly, the young man slid the top off of the case to see what waited within. There in the case he found a single fountain pen, and a folded up paper note.
"I think it's about time we met, face to face. I have so much to teach you, and you have so much to learn. This gift will bring you to me." said the note. Curiousity filled the young man, and his attention turned to the pen. Turning it over in his hands, and looking for some mark or insignia to lead him to this "Secret Admirer" he chanced to prick himself upon the sharp point of the pen. With a wince, he looked at his right index finger, which he found growing blurry... Dizziness overcame him, and he fell into unconsciousness.
Birds were chirping, all around him, when he woke up. His eyes slowly opened to see a bright yellow sun shining down upon him amidst the bluest sky he had ever seen. He took a deep breath and sat up slowly, taking a look around to see where he was. Beneath him, green grass comforted his body like a soft bed. A massive leaf covered his body like a blanket, but slid off as he awoke. His nightclothes were all that he wore, loose pants and a t-shirt. Gazing at his surroundings, he saw a beautiful and pristene forest. Robins hunted worms in the soft ground, occasionally chirping at him. The grassy area he rested in soon gave way to trees and forest, and a dirt trail leading through the woods. Something, however, was all too strange. The colours ran together, too bright and flowing like a cartoon. Thinking his eyes were still blurry with slumber, he rubbed them gently, but only found that his form was the only thing that looked normal... Or perhaps, he was the one who looked out of place.
Standing up at last, the young man wiggled his toes in the soft ground. Not a pebble or a sharp stone or a twig to injure his feet, this forest was surreal in its gentle atmosphere. Taking a deep breath, the young man decided to look around the area. Perhaps further into the forest he could find out what was going on, he thought.
For what seemed like ten minutes the young man walked down the curving path through the woods, untill he came upon a sign of civilization, of sorts. A massive tree to the side of the road, with a wooden door and windows embedded in the bark. Approaching this tree-house carefully, the young man raised his hand and knocked three times on the door.
"Just a min~ute!" rang out the sweet, sing-song voice of this tree's occupant. The young man waited a moment before he heard a rustling, and the door swung open to reveal an amazing sight. A squirrel stood there, but not a squirrel, a toon! A living, breathing cartoon squirrel, with bushy grey fur, a long fluffy tail, and wearing nothing but a knitted shawl and a smile as bright as the sun.
The young man was astonished to say the least. He could only stammer and stutter as he took in the amazing sight before him. It was the matronly squirrel who broke the tension, saying "Oh it's you! I'm so glad you made it here alright. Please, won't you come in?" and gesturing into her home.
The young man started to smile and said, "Oh! Certainly." as he crossed the threshold and entered the home of this amazing cartoon. As is only natural, the home seemed much larger on the inside than on the outside, with a staircase leading around the body of the tree and a pair of door-lets leading into a kitchen behind the livingroom and foyer. A plush green area rug covered most of the wooden floor, and in the middle of the room was a couch, television, coffee table and easy chair.
The squirrel took her seat on the easy-chair, and gestured for the young man to take his seat on the couch. As he opened his mouth to speak, the squirrel raised her hand to shush him and she said "Please, let me explain everything. My name is Sherry, and this is my home. I've waited a long time to have you here, you see. You have been growing up so hard in the other world, but I've brouht you here to give you a whole new life."
The young man sat and listened, as Sherry explained to him that he had crossed over from his world to a cartoon world. It was an amazing place where toons like Sherry lived. Sherry explained that toons aren't born the way humans are, however. All toons are adopted, at least in a human sense. The toons look for special people in other worlds, who feel down or lost in thier lives. People who can believe in the magic of cartoons. People like this young man.
"I'm sure you might feel lonely or homesick for your old world, but I want you to know that you can always go back there. I just hope that you will stay here, and try a new kind of living, at least for a while." said Sherry, as she put her hands on the young man's.
Deep thought filled the young man's being as he considered what he was being offered, all of the strange new things he could learn here, the new horizons he could see... He was overwhelmed! Finally he spoke up and said to Sherry, "I'd really like to stay here, but... I don't know what I'd do. How would I live, here?"
Sherry smiled a gentle smile, and patted the young man's hands. "You would become my child, dear. Part of me would become part of you, and I would take care of you as a mother should. You'll live here with me, and go to school here to learn all the things you need to know. You'll have a wonderful, happy life with friends and adventure. Won't you please stay and be with me?" says Sherry, a gentle but lonely tone in her voice.
The young man takes a deep breath, smiles, and says "I'll give it my best shot... Mom..."
The pair embraced in a hug, and Sherry took the young man upstairs to a small bedroom. There was a bed, a clothes cabinet, and a simple lamp on a bedside table. It all seemed so plain. Sherry said, "This will be your room, and you're free to decorate it however you like!" and the young man looked pleased, but seemed to notice how barren it was. Sherry spoke up and said, "I'm anxious to go out shopping with you, to find whatever your heart desires, but first we should get you looking proper, don't you think?"
The young man looked down at his body. He still stuck out in this world, so out of place. He nodded to Sherry, and said "I'm ready, mom..." sounding anxious, or excited. Sherry revealed a paint pallet from behind her back in one hand, and a brush in the other. She gently touched each of the blots of paint on the pallet, changing them to match the few colours of her cartoon body.
Sherry smiled at the young man and said, "Please, touch each of the paints like I did, honey." He looked at his hand for a moment, then reached out and touched each of the paints with a finger. The greys of Sherry quivered a little, and changed colours to browns and tans. Sherry closed her eyes for a moment and smiled, then said, "Alright, now this might tickle!" as she dipped her brush into the paints, and gave a quick flick across the young man's nose. Crossing his eyes to look at it, Sherry pushed a full-length mirror into place for him to see that his regular human nose had vanished, replaced by the shiny roundness of a cartoon squirrel's nose. Sherry went to work on him right then, painting his cheeks a light tan, and fluffing them up big and round. She painted his ears up higher on his head, round and soft. She painted over his clothes and they vanished to reveal budding brown and tan fur, spreading as the paint licks over his body. The young man started to giggle softly and twitch as the brush tickled his sensitive spots. Sherry painted down his arms, and over his hands. The feeling was utterly magical, like a great release of pressure as his hands re-arranged, becoming so stubby and round, with only three fingers like his mother. Paint ran down his legs, and was touched up with the brush by Sherry, giving him the wide-low stride of a toon squirrel, before tickling his feet into brown paws, making him fall on his soft tummy in laughter. Painting the paw texture on the bottoms of his feet made the young squirrel laugh all the harder, and he didn't even notice as a long flowing brush stroke gave him a huge fluffy tail of his own.
Kneeling down and holding out her hand, Sherry helped the young squirrel to stand up. He felt so amazing, full of energy and excitement, and newfound tender love for his mama. She seemed so great, but also so big... He realized he had shrunk! He was truly her child, now. Gazing into the mirror with his huge blue eyes, he blinked in amazement to realize he was looking at himself. He turned his face to his mama and said, "Thank you! So much!" before giving her a tight hug.
The pair left home shortly after, and went into town. They passed the school-house, and the library. Everything was so magical and new, that the young squirrel soon found himself stopped by his mother. He looked up at the sign, and saw that he and his mother had stopped at a Salon. Sherry smiled down at her son, and said "This is the Ink and Paint Salon. I'd like you to come in with me, alright son?" she said.
The young squirrel nodded happily and said, "Sure mama! I'd be happy to!" as he followed her in. The salon was an incredible place. Mirrors and hair-cutting chairs lined one wall of the room, and on the other side a row of fancy hair-driers stood. The raccoon woman at the cash register smiled as she saw Sherry and the young squirrel enter. Her hair was fashionably styled with a pink bow, and her face was heavily made-up.
The raccoon paused in chewing her bubble-gum to wave at Sherry and say, "Hiya dahlin! Come ta get some touch-ups done?" before blowing a bubble... with a POP!
Sherry smiled at the raccoon and said, "Not today, Rosie. I came because of my new child, I want to let him choose a style that's right for him."
The young squirrel looked up at his mother curiously. Sherry just smiled back and said, "Toons can look like whatever we want, dear. We can be whatever we want. I'd like you to show Rosie what you REALLY want to be, okay?" the young squirrel just nodded, and took Rosie's hand. The two of them went into the back room of the Salon, and Rosie showed the young squirrel all sorts of books and magazines with pictures of toons. Rosie told the young squirrel that she could make his face look like anything he liked, and the magazines would help him find the perfect one for him. She also said that she could change his voice and body if he wanted.
The young squirrel poured over the magazines while Rosie left him alone. He looked at pictures of all sorts of squirrels, boy squirrels, girl squirrels, even glossy toon fashion magazines. Soon Rosie came back and found the young squirrel with headphones on his ears, listening to a voice sample and smiling. The young squirrel looked up at Rosie and said, "I think I know what I really want!" eagerly. The young squirrel handed Rosie a pair of pictures, and the voice tape he was listening to. "I'd like my face to look more like this, and my hair to look like this one, and I'd like my voice to sound like this, please?"
Rosie leaned foreward and gave the young squirrel a kiss on the forehead, and said "You surely will punkin."
The two went back into the Salon, and Rosie gave a big wink to Sherry. The young squirrel was sat down in a salon chair, and in a flurry of motion, soap suds, and paint, Rosie got to work. Soon the young squirrel was wearing a black barber cape and his head was so covered in suds that you couldn't see it. Rosie helped him up and led him across the room to the special hair driers, and lowered it over his head. Sherry walked up to join Rosie as the machine did it's work, and a drumroll started as Rosie prepared to unveil her masterpiece!
The lid of the hair dryer raised up and revealed that an amazing transformation had taken place. The young squirrel's long new eyelashes fluttered as they opened, and bright orange bangs dangled over her forehead. A short ponytail tied with a red ribbon bow followed the young squirrel's head as she stood up. Her body was altogether more curvey and feminine now, as was the way she stood. She giggled softly, and said, with a cheerfully feminine voice, "How do I look? I always... really wanted to be a girl."
Sherry clasped her hands together and held them against her chest in joy, "Oh my dear you're as pretty as they come!" she says, before hugging her new daughter tightly. Rosie looked at the pair with confident satisfaction, and blew a bubble with a POP!
Soon Sherry and the young squirrel were walking across the town square, smiling at eachother. They went into a large fancy building and the young squirrel asked, "What are we going to do now, mama?"
Sherry looked at her daugther and said, "Now we're going to meet the mayor. It's the town's tradition that the mayor will name each new child who joins our community. Is that okay honey?"
The young squirrel's smile brightened, "It sounds wonderful! I can hardly wait!" she said, her tail swishing in excitement.
The pair entered the office of the mayor, a gentlemanly sort of bear, wearing a suit and top-hat, along with a long black mustache. He smiled and chuckled happily as he saw Sherry and her daughter enter his office.
"Welcome Sherry! I'm so glad to see your new daughter arrived safely." he said, walking up to the young squirrel. "And you dear, are you ready for your new name?"
The young squirrel gulped visibly, and said "I'm ready, Mr. Mayor." shivering with excitement.
The Mayor looked into the young squirrel's eyes, and thought long and hard. Then, he spoke up and announced, "I feel the warmth of the sunshine in your face, young lady. So from now on, your name is Sunny Squirrel."
Sunny turned to her mother and hugged her tightly as the Mayor wrote down the name of the town's newest citizen in the official registry.
And things just got better from then on.
All Content Copyright Arthur Payne, AKA Relee the Squirrel
Last Update: January 6, 2009