Chapter 1


A long, long time ago, before there was the world we know today, there was a simple land with simple trees and simple birds. There were no boats or schools or even quills to capture one’s thoughts. There was little to this world, except for rocks, dirt, and grass. Trees were aplenty. Lakes too. An ocean surrounded this remote, rustic land, but it was far away. Deer and wolves walked the ground and the fields, though not together, often searching for food and returning to their thickets at night.

The grass sprouted tall and gleamed upon the sunlight, and after it rained, they grew taller and gleamed brighter. Bugs and frogs and furry creatures fed happily upon the leaves and flowers … and sometimes upon each other. But that’s for another story.

One day, a colorful egg hatched. Where it came from, no one knew. From it emerged a bright purple animal with a single feathered tail. Its eyes were large and curious, and after they traveled from left to right and back again and forward again, the eyes finally settled. The animal realized it was the only one of its kind among the doves, the bees, the toads, and the tulips. When it glanced upon a chipmunk scurrying toward a chestnut, the Purple One attempted to do the same. It, too, yearned to frolic. But upon its first step onto the ground, the animal magically lifted up into the air and dashed aside. So amazed was the Purple One that it raised itself again, continuously, zipping through the air, in short spurts, until it was dizzy.

A brown rabbit saw this from afar and hopped to the Purple One to indulge her curiosity. The Purple One’s eyes were swerving and so was its head. The rabbit pressed her paw against its neck and soon this new creature steadied itself. Its big, adoring eyes warmed the rabbit’s heart. She gently nuzzled the Purple One’s belly and plucked a few specks of dirt from its neck. The Purple One flitted above the rabbit and then perched its feet upon her shoulders. Off they went. The rabbit hopped tirelessly across the grass, past the lakes, above the caves of animals she’d best not face, and down toward a congress of proud trees. The Purple One awed at the various sights and sounds this new world had to offer.

Soon it was night, and the rabbit needed to return home, but she did not want to leave the Purple One alone. From afar, she could see a small campfire ablaze. She motioned to the Purple One to climb upon her shoulders. They darted forth.

A human – a bearded man, as legend has it – was stoking a fire when the brown rabbit and Purple One approached. He seized a large stick and rattled it at the two. He waved them off, with forceful thrusts of his hands, but the brown rabbit and the Purple One stood tall, or as tall as can be for a rabbit and a small purple creature. The human glanced at the adoring eyes of the Purple One and lowered his right hand, within which the large stick had been gripped. He stared at the array of vittles he plucked that morning and raised his right hand again to offer the Purple One a savory, bulbous blue tomato. The Purple One devoured it happily and then licked the human’s hand as if to say what you can only say during moments of random kindness: thank you.

The rabbit was gone as night took hold, and the Purple One frenzied about. But around the campfire, with more blue tomatoes to eat, the Purple One, having slumped its head, eased into comfort upon the warm smile of the bearded man.

“Kee,” uttered the human and uttered little more than that. “Kee!” he exclaimed, a name not to the unique species but to the unique member of it. “Kee,” he said calmly and patted the Purple One’s head with busy affection. He, however, did not have a name, would not have a name, would not be given a name, for Kee – and Peridots alike – did not possess the gift of speech.

The two ate three more blue tomatoes before falling asleep, with hand and paw locked together, excited for what may come the next day.

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