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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Valley of Light


"Look at those funny cows, Bruce," Bonnie said, looking down as they fluttered along.

"Those are Galloway cattle. They are pretty big cows. I can see more sheep than cows and they all have black faces and white wool," Bruce added.

"This is a pretty area. Whatís it called?" she asked.

"Glenluce. Youíll like it here. There are a lot of gardens and orchards. Surely thereíll be some delicious lady slippers or hyacinth for you to sip," he chuckled.

"Letís find some right away. Iím hungry," Bonnie said. The two butterflies fluttered closer to the ground. "There are some over there," she shouted, heading for a patch of beautiful, bright red lady slippers. She stuck her proboscis in and began to sip. "Delicious!"

Theyíd only been there a few minutes when the ground began to shake. "Whatís this? Another earthquake?" Bruce wondered.

Bonnie lifted her head. "Rabbits!" she shouted. Just then hundreds of gray, brown and creamy colored rabbits hopped through the flowers. "Watch out!" One of them hopped on the lady slipper and bent it over. "To the trees, Bruce," she called and the two flew up to a branch.

The Valley of Light

"Look at them all. Iíve never seen so many rabbits in all my life," Bruce mumbled. "Where did they come from and where are they going?"

"Theyíre heading towards the sea, but rabbits canít swim. I wonder why they are running?" Bonnie said.

"Weíll just have to stay up here until they pass. In the meantime, would you like to know a little about this area?" Bruce asked.

"Sure, why not."

"It was inhabited by Cistercian monks. Thereís an abbey somewhere around here and it was founded by Roland, Lord of Galloway in 1190."

"Thatís a long time ago. I imagine its in ruins now," Bonnie suggested.

"Mostly. This area was also a staging post in days of coaches. Itís in an ideal location, sort of at the crossroads. Arenít the hills lovely though?" Bruce said.

Bonnie looked down. "The rabbits are gone. Letís go and fly around, see if we can spot where they were going. Iím curious."

"They may have gone to the River Luce for a drink," Bruce said.

"I donít think theyíd run like that just for a drink. Maybe someone tossed out a bag of carrots or something," Bonnie laughed.

The two butterflies flew towards the sea and soon spotted the rabbits. There were hundreds of them, standing in a huge field, nibbling the crops. "Theyíre eating turnips and carrots, just like you said," Bruce chuckled. "Look at them nibbling away."

"Letís just leave them in peace and head back to the flowers, if there are any left standing. What a shame to have them all trampled like that, but if we hurry we can sip nectar before they shrivel up," Bonnie said.

They landed in the flowers and it was hard to find one that hadnít been crushed but they managed a few and soon were full. "I need a rest," Bruce said, "but not down here. What if the rabbits decided to come back this way? I say we head into the hills for a while."

And they did just that.


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