Per her usual style, Yvonne plopped down on the sofa. She had the dusty old book of fairy-tales in her paws. Angelica, sitting on another sofa across from her, wielding a laptop which was duct-taped all over, did not protest. She accepted her fate: she would just have to listen to boring fairy-tales. She shut the laptop (as best she could what with all the tape) and sighed.
She did not object exactly, but she did have a question to ask, per her usual style. "You said last week that you were going to tell the story in your own words. So what do you need that book for?"
Yvonne gave her such a look of indignation that Savio, who previously had been happily and completely cluelessly (per his usual style) chewing on furniture, slunk under said furniture. It was quite easy for him to squeeze under the furniture considering he had chewed several huge dog-sized holes in it, not that he needed any huge holes to squeeze into: in Savio's family he was shamed for being what his parents called a "bantam". But that was because the rest of Savio's family was huge, especially old Uncle Bosco. Savio himself was around 90 pounds.
Angelica, seeing this amazing gaze of Yvonne's, retracted her statement, and sat quietly and, not per her usual style, politely, with her little paws crossed in her lap. In contrast to her previous look, Yvonne smiled and opened her dusty old book which had been the cause of the indignation.
"Sit down, kids!" said Yvonne, plopping down onto the sofa with a dusty old book. "I've got a story for you!"
"But I'm doing Algebra!" said the self-righteous, conscientious little brat Angelica.
"You are not, not today," replied Yvonne, casually taking Angelica's laptop out of her lap and flinging it out an open window. "Now," said Yvonne, "where's Savio? Never mind, I'll start without him."
"But I can't listen to stories," said the obstinately conscientious Angelica. "I have to do real work."
"Anything you do is real work, because you are a real piece of work," said Yvonne. Angelica's conscientious feelings were hurt, and shocked. She gaped at Yvonne. "You be quiet now," said Yvonne. "Listen to this real fairy-tale! Not one of my own cheap knockoffs or things that popped out of my brain. Although, I will tell it in my own words."
Hi dere! Dis is Snowball! I know what you're thinkin': "But you ain't the narrator!" Yeah, not usually. But today, I am your narrator!
Wonderin' what happened to the other narrator, Yvonne? Well, she's tied up in her office. It a nice place! Yvonne gotta lotta work to do today, so I thought it would just be best if I tied her up in her office and took over her job today. She's writin' a book, in fact, and she a very obsessive person. Wonderin' how someone can write a book while tied up? Don't ask. It ain't important.
Just gonna let you know about stuff happenin' around the place in Yvonne's absence! Savio, da little doggy, he as clueless and happy as ever. Chasin' tennis balls. You know, I ain't exactly a dog person, but Savio's a pretty cute little puppy dog!
Then there's Angelica. She's still pretendin' to do reading assignments without really doing them. If she ever has to write papers she looks stuff up on Google. Dat's called cheatin'. But what can I say? I weren't exactly the best of students!
Oh, dere's da office down there. That's Teddy down there. He and Yvonne share da office. Actually, he really shares it with an odd, large pink and purple striped feline named James Fletcher. He's technically one of the "enemies" of the bunnies, but politics with them are pretty confusing.
Anyway, enough about other people. Let's talk about me!
Angelica was ready to set her plan in motion. It wasn't a very complicated plan, but she was sure it would work. She grabbed the pile of 103 books she was supposed to read and hopped out of the library and into the living room. She scanned the area, looking for Yvonne. But she saw only Savio, sitting on the floor and reading Green Eggs and Ham for the 8th time that day.
"Have you seen Yvonne?" asked Angelica.
"Oh yeah!" said Savio. "She's in her secret office that you can only access by pulling a particular red book on the third shelf to the right in the library. It's a secret bookshelf door, like in the movies! Did you know we had one? Oh!" He suddenly slapped a paw over his mouth. "I wasn't supposed to tell you all that," he mumbled sheepishly.
"Oh, didn't feel bad about it," answered Angelica. "You have assisted me in a noble cause."
Immediately Savio's face brightened. "Really? Yay yay yay!" He then remembered he had left a tennis ball under the sofa and went to fetch it.
Per Savio's instructions, Angelica made her way into the library, pulled the red book on the shelf, and the bookshelf slid over, revealing a secret passageway. Angelica entered the passage and in a moment found herself in Yvonne's office. Other than yet more bookshelves lining the walls and the rather nice desk in the middle of the room, the room was mostly empty.
"What are you doing in here?" exclaimed Yvonne.
Angelica initiated her plan. She mustered the cutest, saddest little bunny face imaginable. "Would you please tell me a story?" she asked. Before Yvonne could answer, and Angelica knew how she was going to answer, she added quickly, "I know I still have reading assignments to do, but I just don't think I can work so much without a little bit of leisure in between."
Yvonne paused and stared into space. She seemed to be remembering something, something that Angelica could not see. "Fine. I'll tell you a story. But we're going into the living room. My secret office has been breached. I guess I'll just have to get a new one."
"Story! Story! Story!" Angelica kept repeating.
"I'm sorry," said Yvonne, "but that doesn't really count as communication. Is there something you need to tell me?"
Angelica rolled her eyes. "I mean I want you to tell us a story!" she whined.
"You whine a lot," remarked Savio.
"No, no stories today," said Yvonne. "Well, not from me, anyway, but you don't seem to understand that yet..." she muttered to herself.
"Why not? Why no stories?" asked Angelica with a groan.
"Because you have work to do today," said Yvonne. She disappeared into the library. Angelica knew what that meant. A few minutes later Yvonne reappeared with a humongous stack of books.
"This week we'll start out small," explained Yvonne, expertly balancing the huge pile of books as she spoke, "I'll only give you 205 reading assignments this week. I suggest you focus on the Victorian period in literature this week, so you understand just why I believe it's so overrated. Or maybe you won't understand. There's also some good myths and legends in there, and an army survival manual. Never know when you might get stranded somewhere. You should also try some Dante and Milton."
When she finished speaking she suddenly lost control of the books, and she and all the literature fell forward with a loud crash! Angelica was crushed under the weight of the best that was ever thought and written. And the most mediocre that was ever thought and written.
"Someday, when you're older," Yvonne said, popping out from under all the books, "I might have you read some Nietzsche."
"I want reading assignments too!" said Savio, spinning in circles.
"Very well," replied Yvonne. She pulled a book out of the pile and gave it to Savio.
"Green... Eggs... and... and... Ham!" Savio read slowly. "I can't wait to read it!" he barked, spinning again.
"Didn't you read that last week...?" asked Angelica.
"Well, didn't you read Pascal's Wager last week? Well, you were supposed to," answered Yvonne, dropping yet another book on top of Angelica. "Oh, here's Porphyry, too," added Yvonne. She hopped towards the door.
"Where are you going?" asked Angelica, overwhelmed by the literature.
"To do my own studies, of course. I'll be back. Maybe I'll tell you a story next time," said Yvonne. She left out the house, but a moment later she popped back in the doorway and said, "You know, Snowball once said that he controlled the literature." And then she left them with that thought. Whatever that was supposed to mean.
Angelica sat motionless in the piles of words. Savio read Green Eggs and Ham over and over again, and even memorized it for a few seconds, but then it was lost to him and he thought about squirrels and pancakes.
Sipping her coffee, Yvonne flipped through the pages of the RSP newspaper. She ignored the articles about politics, sports, gossip, and grating cheese, and went right to the section about Snowball. Yvonne knew there was always at least one article about Snowball.
But today, there was something particular she wanted to know. And sure enough, she found her quarry under the big, black ink letters at the top of one page stating: "SNOWBALL'S LONG-AWAITED PIE CONTEST FINALLY COMES TO A HEAD". Yvonne read on.
"I'm baaaack!" shouted Yvonne as she swung the front door open with a loud crash. Snowball sprang up from the sofa immediately and made a dash for the window. But it was too late: Yvonne had seen him and got to him before he could leap out of the window.
"No!" said Snowball, wriggling in an attempt to free himself from Yvonne's grasp, "No! Not like dis!"
"No, not like dis," said Yvonne. She dropped him. He sat on the floor, looking up at her with a stunned look on his fluffy white face. Yvonne pulled her oracle ball out of her satchel. "That pie eating contest? It will end in your death, because the pies will be banana cream pies."
"No!" exclaimed Snowball. "Not banana cream! No, no, not my nemesis! No!" With that he leapt out the window screaming about banana cream pies and about how he had a nightmare about one a long time ago when he was a young coney, but fortunately he moved too far away from the house for anyone to hear him for too long.
"Yvonne! Yvonne! Yvonne!" said Savio, hopping around her in excitement.
"Why were you gone for so long?" asked the brash young Angelica.
"Tell you what," said Yvonne, picking up a broom, a mop, and a bunch of other cleaning implements all at once, "I'll tell you what happened while you clean up my house."
"But--" stammered Angelica. But it was in vain and Yvonne did not listen to her pleads.
In place of Snowball Yvonne now assumed her sofa throne and resumed dictatorship over her household. Savio sat in front of her, waiting for the story although he himself may not have even been aware that that was what he was doing.
"How come Savio isn't cleaning the house?" grumbled Angelica.
"Because he's a dog and that would just be counterproductive," replied Yvonne. "Now, do you want to hear a story or what?"
In reply, Angelica mumbled some things that were probably not even real words.
Nearly a week had gone by since Snowball showed up, and recently he had started lazing around the house without doing anything. Now he sat upon the sofa, watching TV, with Savio feeding him potato chips. He was beginning to wear out his welcome, and Angelica told him so.
"No, no, no," said Snowball. "You don't understand. I can't just go. Dere's guys out there lookin' for me! I'm kinda a criminal, ya know?"
Neglecting to ask the obvious question (which was what Snowball had done to become a criminal) Angelica instead said, "You can't stay here forever. What happens if Yvonne comes back?"
"Yvonne?" exclaimed Snowball. "Yeah, I remember dat kid. Good kid. Survived da zombie apocalypse like you wouldn't believe. But don't worry. She won't mind if I assume dictatorship over her household."
"Well, I will," said Angelica, stamping her foot.
"What I gotta do to receive hospitable housing for just a few days?" asked Snowball with sad, blue eyes. He did not mean the question literally, but Angelica was a very literal rabbit.
"Tell me a story, if you're immortal and all that, like you said," she demanded.
"Actually I ain't tested that immortality theory yet. Gotta wait until the end of the world to figure that one out!" said Snowball. Then he shook his head several times, slowly, and asked, "Why you care about stories, anyway?"
Savio, in reply, blurted out, "Yvonne was going to tell us a story about two cowbunnies named Wayne and Brook encountering you in a bakery but she never told us that story and that makes me sad."
"Dat story! Dere's a good one. Mostly with a lot of boom booms and stuff like that," replied Snowball. Snowball sighed. "I will tell you that story if you allow me to stay here for just a few more days."
"Fine," said Angelica, who, despite being bossy, was also rather easily persuaded.
Snowball propped himself up on some pillows and slurped some soda served to him by Savio. "Good for da voice, ya know?" said Snowball.
BOOM! Veronica, the tennis ball throwing oracle thing, exploded suddenly right as Yvonne came into the house. Fortunately, since Veronica had not had the features oracle balls were traditionally supposed to have, she did not release magic all over the house when she blew up. Yvonne never liked to sweep magic up off her rug.
She also did not like to sweep up tennis ball pieces, either. But, lucky for her, she would not get the time to that day, and so the obligation would pass to Angelica or Savio. Or, well, actually, it was someone else who ended up cleaning the tennis ball pieces, but we'll get to that soon.
As soon as they saw Yvonne, Savio and Angelica leaped out from the tennis ball pieces under which they had previously been buried. They ran up to her and hugged her, although she wasn't too fond of hugs.
"What happened here?" asked Yvonne. Angelica explained the entire ordeal about Veronica, and when she was done she began to complain that Savio had locked her in a closet. Savio retaliated and said that he had locked her in a closet to defend Yvonne's honor, and Angelica replied with something else, and so it went back and forth. But Yvonne stopped paying attention. She was looking at a calendar. She suddenly gasped.
"That's right. I've got to go," she said.
"But you haven't even told us what happened to you," said Angelica.
"Yeah! Tell us a story!" barked Savio.
Yvonne replied, "Sorry, I can't. I have another engagement this week. Sweep up the tennis ball pieces when you get a chance, okay? And this time you're in charge, Angelica. Don't set anything on fire and don't lock anyone in a closet unless they're intruders or unless either of you says anything that's just plain wrong, on the internet or otherwise."
Then she was gone. And the moment she was gone, Angelica decided to use her new power to boss Savio around. She shoved a broom at him, and he started sweeping. He was not the best at sweeping, because, after all, he was a dog.
Yvonne had not yet returned. Angelica was still locked in the barren closet, not because Savio wanted to keep her there all that time, but because he had actually forgotten about her when, after the first couple hours being trapped in the closet, she got tired of whining incessantly. So when Angelica began to whine again that day, Savio remembered her and rushed to the closet.
He was just about to let her out when he remembered why she had been in the closet and the first place, and then he got a great idea as she whined, "Let me out! I don't want to be in here anymore! It's awful!"
"The grass isn't always greener on the other side," Savio said, thinking he was very wise.
"But at least on the other side I'm not in a closet!" complained Angelica.
"Then let me tell you a story," said Savio. He loved to tell stories because he thought that when he did he was making Yvonne proud by being like her.
Angelica was concerned that Yvonne was not back yet, even though she had said it would only be a week. Savio was sometimes concerned and then he forgot about all that and went on about his doggy business, like right now, when he was telling Angelica a story. She did not hear all of the story particularly well, since Savio's voice was a bit muffled through the closet door. It was a nice closet door. Actually it was rather like a dungeon door. In fact, most of the doors in that house were like dungeon doors, now that Angelica thought about it.
"Listen! Listen! Listen!" panted Savio from the other side of the closet dungeon door.