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Where Does The Sun Sleep?

Alphie the blue elephant was sitting in a small clearing in the jungle with Zook the orange bird and Zedede the anteater. They were all sipping on their favorite drink a kwalaboo. A kwalaboo fruit was cut in half and the center a refreshing light green liquid.

"Nothing better than a cool kwalaboo drink" , Alphie said to no one in particular as he closed his eyes and raised the kwalaboo up to his mouth, holding it in his long blue trunk. Zook lazily picked up the conversation. “It is like drinking a beautiful waterfall. Bubbly and cool," he said with a smack of his tiny green beak. Zedede didn't say anything. He was lying on his back with his short stumpy feet in the air, wiggling his toes. His long nose seemed to be waving in time with some imaginary tune. Zedede was like that. He seemed to be in a different place, in a wakeful dream. Thousands of stars were twinkling in the dark blue sky overhead. Earlier in the evening they had tried counting them over and over again, but they always lost count or dozed off. "I like that group of blue stars over there," Zedede said suddenly. "They look like a tasty snack of sky ants. " "Sky ants? What is a sky ant?" "Oh that's the ones I catch with my nose when I am laying on my back," he said with a laugh. Alphie and Zook looked at each other for a second. Alphie shrugged his huge blue shoulders and Zook fluttered his curly eyelashes as if to signal to each other "that Zedede is so weird". "Have you ever seen where the sun sleeps at night?" Zook said in a sleepy voice. Alphie thought for a moment. "I don't know. Does the sun sleep at night?" "Sure he does. He has to be tired. He has been flying all day in the sky keeping everybody warm. That is hard work. He has to have a place to rest for the night." Alphie had a hard time picturing the sun resting. It was a pretty ridiculous thought. Zedede was sort of a friend, although he didn’t know much about him. He didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so he didn’t respond, he just got quiet. "I can take you to him,” said Zededee as he rolled to his feet.

“He who?” asked Zook.

“The sun. I know where he sleeps at night.”

Alphie looked curiously over at Zedede. He had never considered Zedede an adventurous anteater. He just spent the day digging through old logs looking for a lot of ants. How would he know where the sun sleeps.

“Well,” said Zedede, “do you want to go?”

"Sure!” Alphie said, not believing Zedede, but not saying so. “Let’s go have an adventure.”

“Great, follow me,” and Zedede rolled over and ambled toward a different part of the jungle. Alphie and Zook didn’t move. They had never seen Zedede move so quick before. It was very odd.

Alphie started walking. Overhead the sky grew darker and darker. Alphie was not familiar with this part of the jungle. The little trails that Zedede was following were too small for Alphie, who kept stumbling on roots he could not see that well. Blue elephants do not have great eyesight. Bump. Alphie felt something bang against his skin. Zook had landed on his shoulder.

Alphie didn’t see Zedede, but he just kept going straight.

"Hey, that's the wrong direction. We need to go this way," said Zedede who darted past Alphie and disappeared into the grass. Alphie stated to feel weird about this journey. The little anteater had seemed awfully eager, and seemed to know where he was going. "Oh well," he thought, "might as well follow along.

Zedede moved along an almost invisible path, the tall chega grass waving gently to show his progress. Then something very odd happened. The grass started waving in a bunch of different directions, all headed toward Zedede. A few minutes later, when Zedede darted through a clearing, Alphie saw why. Instead of just one Zedede, there were a bunch of Zededes. Alphie blinked his eyes several times. Maybe he was just tired, and was seeing things, but no matter how many times he blinked, there were still several Zededes in front of him.

"Well this is very strange," thought Alphie.

All the little anteaters where gathered in a circle, with ten pairs of black shiny eyes focused on Alphie.

"Welcome friend, we have all been waiting for you,” said one of the Zededes. “Zedede says you want to know where the sun sleeps."

Alphie was feeling very weird. Little tiny blue hairs were standing up on the back of his large blue neck.

"Hey,” said Zook, “your little blue hairs are standing up! It feels like I am standing on weeds."

Alphie gave his back a flip and sent Zook tumbling.

Finally he said to the group of anteaters, "sure I would like to see where the sun sleeps. Let's go."

"Not so fast friend Alphie. We have to make sure you are ready."

"I told you I was ready," Alphie replied. "What else do you need?"

“Well, before you can enter his resting place you have to wash your feet.”

“Wash my feet?” Alphie sputtered. “Why do I have to wash my feet?”

“The sun likes to have the ground around him clean.”

“But the ground is dirt. How can you keep it clean?”

“Doesn’t matter. You have to wash your feet.”

Zook fluttered near Alphie’s head and landed near his ear. He nudged his beak next to Alphie’s ear. “These people are a little nutty. Let’s go home.”

Alphie grabbed Zook and held the little bird next to his mouth. “Not yet,” he tried to whisper. “I want to see where they think the sun sleeps,” and then he plopped him back on his head.

“Crazy” Zook said as soon as he was back on Alphie’s head. He flew off to a nearby branch.

“Ok. Where do I wash my feet?”

“We will wash them for you,” one of the anteaters said. Alphie wasn’t sure it was Zedede or not, they all looked the same. They pulled out large green leaves, and became to rub Alphie’s toes. Alphie started to squirm. Although he had big feet, and they seemed pretty hard, they were sensitive on the bottom. He was ticklish. Finally they finished.

“Follow us.” They moved into a clearing.

“Where are you taking me?” Alphie asked? Alphie was becoming a little impatient with Zedede, who was acting very strange.

“We are taking you to the house of sun.”

“You mean the sun’s house?”

Zedede corrected Alphie, “The house of sun. Remember that to be polite.”

Alphie was rarely impolite. Quiet sometimes, but not impolite.

They moved deeper into the clearing. A small round hut was in the middle of the clearing, The hut had green leaves draped over a frame of sticks. The anteaters became even more quiet.

“In there,” they said pointing to the building.

Alphie approached the hut. He knew he was much too large to get into the hut. He reached out with his trunk, pulled the patch of green leaves up, and peered into the hut and saw.

“Hey, there’s nothing in there but a pile of rocks!”

Zebede and his friends scrurried anxiously around.

“No he is there,” they insisted. “You can’t see him but he is there. You just have to believe.”

Alphie waved his trunk at the group. “You can’t fool me, there is not in there but a bunch of rocks.” He stamped the ground with his heavy feet, the clump of rocks scattered to the ground, exposing the dirt beneath.

The group being to wail and cry. “Oh no, he is gone, you scared him away! Why are you so mean? You don’t belong here, go away.”

Alphie just looked at the scared group of pitiful anteaters. They really believed all this, which was very sad. He backed out of the clearing, turned around and went back into the forest. A little while later Zook landed on his shoulder.

“Well, did you see where the sun sleeps?”

Alphie shook his head sadly. “No, I didn’t,” and he told Zook what happened.

“That’s weird,” said Zook. He was quiet, as he was thinking He looked like he had questions to ask, but never asked them. Alphie walked along, with Zook riding on his shoulder, not saying anything with the sounds of the jungle around them.

The faint pale yellow of the sunrise could be seen filling the dark parts of the jungle. Alphie walked to the top of Uphigh hill. There he and Zook watched the sun peek over the green edge of the jungle, its yellow arms reaching across the vast greenness that they called home.

Zook sat quiet for a while, watching the sun come up. “What about Zedede?”

Alphie thought for a moment. “Zedede and his group can sit and pretend to see the sun in some rocks. I will sit with you and watch the real thing.”

With that the two friends watched the sunrise a little more before they headed home.

------
Eddie Mikell



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