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Short Story 39

Shameless Gossip

The Fox in the top hat whispered into the ear of the Rabbit. It was a disturbing sight to see, for the Fox never had anything good to say about anybody and the Rabbit was a horrible gossip. It so happens that the two hadn’t even spoken until that day. They had gotten in an argument about pocket watch chains and had decided over the conversation that it was best to take their own corner on the matter, which in so many words usually meant that they wouldn’t make it a habit of talking to one another for an extended period of time. So, to see them conversing and so soon after such a disagreement was quite startling.

It was here that the Cat interrupted them. She was all refinement with lace wrapped so nicely around her white satin paws. It wasn’t that she had any problem, per se, with their personal alliterations. Rather she was much a gossip herself and always presenting a very shy and self-sustained presence wished to get in on the conversation while appearing to only be offering the usual pleasantries. That was just her way, you see, and while doing this her tail always remained in a sedate manor around her feet as not to give away her general perceptions.

It is impossible to know for sure what exactly was said between the three, they were the sort that loved to play their part in the ‘spreading of fine butter’ as they called it in a clandestine way. “It isn’t fun you know,” the rabbit had been known to remonstrate when accused of being a shameless social flirt when it came to the distribution of his intrigues, “To simply tell all, it leaves room for no creativity. No, you must sow the seed gently and allow nature to water it, and if you have done a good job it will come out as almost anything. Even a donkey if the occasion is right.”

Thus, it was no surprise that after this observed meeting everyone within a thirty-minute walking distance, and yes some quite beyond, began to wonder what sort of news would be presented on the stage of society and who it would be about. This was quite a mortifying thought for everyone. For it was well understood that even though everyone knew it was filled with only half truths the wider world would take it for gospel. That would thusly condemn those mentioned to live a life of unrepairable calamity without the privilege of a retrial or to present a defense.

Shortly after this observed meeting of three, there were rumors spread about the Toads and whether or not their marriage was in crisis. Others spoke about the failed log turning. Or that the Squirrels tree was to be chopped down at any moment. There was even rumors that the Chipmunks had taken up living in the garage of a human, which of course, was not half as detestable as the ideas that the Bats had indeed returned to their old haunt in the attic of a small single-family home. A garage was still out of doors, or at least of a type. An attic on the other hand was a part of the house.

These things traveled quite vigorously and soon everybody was extremely uncomfortable. Everyone that is except the Fox, the Rabbit, and the Cat. They continued as always, knowing just that little bit more than everyone else. When one of them was asked about one of the secrets they would reply, “I simply cannot say, though I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it were true.”

This went on for a long time, and very soon the rumors were either disproven, let go, or stored away for another time. Everyone settled back into their lives, until, yet again at a party there was seen the Fox whispering to the Rabbit and the Cat sauntering up to listen, and like clockwork the rumors would start. They went circulating and then disappeared. It was the beauty of the madness, and secretly they all loved it… unless of course it was about them.


Thank you so much for reading everyone!!

Prompt Sentence: The Fox in the top hat whispered into the ear of the Rabbit

Word Count: 704

©DecemberKnight 2023

Special thanks to Volodymyr Hryshchenko from Unsplash for the use of the image!

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