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Sweet, Sweet Grass

A Gazelle was happily enjoying the sunlight on a beautiful Spring day, when she suddenly realized there were wolves just beyond the sweet grass of the valley. She tried to warn the others, but the tall, green grass was so scrumptious and sweet, she couldn’t get anyone to pay attention. She noticed a platform up above the ground and thought to herself, “My voice will travel much better from there!” So she ran as fast as her legs could carry her, right up to the steps of the platform, but there was a gate that was guarded by a very odd-looking fellow. His eyes and face were frozen and his mouth never moved when he spoke.

“You can only come up the steps and speak from our platform if you fall in line with the others. You must keep your head down and your mouth shut.” He barked.

“Please, I have something important to say!” She shouted from the back.

Before, she could only make out the wolves by their yellow eyes in the shadows, but now they were right out in the open, just on the edge of the field.

“You can come up here, but only if you read from this pre-approved message.” He snarled.

“But-but, there are WOLVES!” She shouted. But the odd fellow only handed her a paper whilst never raising his eyes.

“This can’t be right!” She said. “There are PREDATORS among us! Some of us are in great danger!”

“Is the grass sweet?!” He responded.

“Ye-yes it’s very sweet but -“

“Is your belly full?!” He asked gruffly.

“Yes, but-“

“And what about them?" He pointed to the others, happily chewing on the sweet, sweet grass. "Do they look happy to you?!”

……..”Yes.” She said.

“Then read!” He shoved the paper to her.

It was all so confusing! She stepped up to the microphone and for just a moment the speakers squealed.

Heads raised and for a split second all the feasting stopped as all eyes turned to the gazelle on the platform....

“Baaaa—aaaa—aahhhh!” She shouted.

Silence. Such a stillness in the air! Had they understood? Oh! Of course they hadn't.

Many were confused, but some were even irritated for having their meal interrupted. “Why would a gazelle speak in such a way?” One of them shook his head. Another snorted. The rest began to chuckle, and eventually, everyone went back to the tasty, sweet grass, as the wolves closed in around them.

“But I am a gazelle! I am not a sheep”. She said to the odd fellow, her eyes welling with tears.

“You are now.” He said. Then he lowered his mask and his once frozen face came so very alive. It was his smile she noticed first, big and toothy, but it was those eyes, those yellow, yellow eyes that haunted her most.

d.c.elliott 3.15.22

--Written in light of a certain young lady I know whose voice has been silenced on soc. media, because her words were deemed too sensitive. We wouldn't want to disturb the peace now...would we? Now we just need to add an illustrator, a narrator, and we'll have ourselves a nice little children's story since the adult version is much too scary.

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