Story: A Christmas Carrot

Organic Cotton Hawaii Elephant Soft Toy

Lucy Elephant was hard at work in the Tea Leaf Resort, making sure that everything was ready for the Christmas arrival of a convention of rabbits from the Mainland Carrot Corporation.
The rabbits were flying to Organic Island on the lunchtime flying boat. The flight was almost due.
As she threw open the last of the bedroom shutters, Lucy felt the hum of the approaching plane fill the sun-drenched room.
“So much still to do,” muttered Lucy as she hurried to the lobby.
At the grand entrance, she saw a monkey in striped dungarees dangling from a giant red banner that read, “Welcome to the 43rd meeting of the Carrot Corp. Huzzah!”
“Careful there, Melvin,” said Lucy, as the Monkey swung past her.
“Sorry, Mrs E, I fell off the ladder again,” said the monkey.
“I’ve warned you about this before,” she said, but she smiled to herself. She was always catching Melvin swinging on things as if by accident.
For a moment, she pondered the large banner. The ‘Huzzah’ had appealed to her at the time but now seemed like an unnecessary flourish. Still, she knew it was an important meeting. Maybe the exclamation would inspire them to greater things.

“Friends, Romans and Rabbits,” said Gervais, raising a paw for all the others to see.
“You all know why we are here.”

“My goodness. They’re here already,” said Lucy as a row of twitchy rabbit ears appeared at the top of the sand dune outside.
The first to appear over the dune was a very dapper rabbit in an orange waistcoat, with a most distinctive pair of red and white striped ears.
This was Gervais Rabbit, recruited at great expense from Scratchy & Snatchy, the advertising agency.
“Friends, Romans and Rabbits,” said Gervais, raising a paw for all the others to see.
“You all know why we are here. Woe to anyone who thinks we are here to sit by the infinity pool and drink long drinks with umbrellas in. No! There is work to be done.
“The subject of this year’s meeting, as well you know, is the carrot. It’s healthy and it’s tasty, but it’s just not exciting enough for the younger rabbits. They won’t eat them anymore, don’t touch them.”
“I expect they’re too busy sending out foxes and twits from their pawphones,” said Lucy, half to herself. Gervais fixed her with a look.
“Rabbits!” he exclaimed, pausing too long for effect. “The carrot needs repositioning. We few, we happy few, we band of rabbit brothers and sisters, are the fortunate ones with the heavy responsiblity of bringing back the carrot. Lunch is that way. Back here at two.”
As the rabbits filed towards the dining room, Lucy remembered that the beds were still unmade in chalet nine.
“Melvin, run on down to…. Where are you, Melvin?”
The chandelier shook noisily and a monkey head appeared above the tinkling cloud of glass.
“Sorry, Mrs E. I fell off the table again,” said Melvin.
“Never mind about that,” said Lucy. “Come on down here and sort out hut nine.”

The rabbits had dined and rested and were all now assembled in the Durian Room for the conference. A giant carrot banner hung behind the stage, with an even larger question mark beside it.
“I declare this carrot conference open,” said Gervais into the microphone. “Suggestions please.”
Several paws shot up. Gervais gestured towards a small lady rabbit with glasses clearly several sizes too big for her.

“Hmm, now that’s interesting,” said Gervais, ruminating. “The young bucks don’t use proper words any more. It’s all LMAOs and LOLs now. We could talk to them in their own language.”

“A carrot a day helps you work, rest and play?” said the rabbit.
“Old-fashioned,” said Gervais. “Besides, haven’t I heard that somewhere before?”
More paws shot up.
“Carrots are really quite good for you,” said an older rabbit.
“Boring,” said Gervais.
“Carrots are cool.”
“Carrots rock.”
“No and no,” said Gervais.
“I heart carrots and spell it with a ‘K’.”
“Hmm, now that’s interesting,” said Gervais, ruminating. “The young bucks don’t use proper words any more. It’s all LMAOs and LOLs now. We could talk to them in their own language.”
“Let’s be really modern and make a viral video,” said an ambitious young rabbit in a stripy top. “Film carrots falling off things.”
“Ah yes, I see it now,” said Gervais. “’Carrots in epic fails’. I’m sure we’d get a million clicks…. But I think we need a more positive image.”
More paws.
“Let’s have a celebrity endorsement,” said a lady rabbit in a pink dress.
“Hmm,” said Gervais. “Who can we afford?”
“Tiffany Rabbit.”
“Ryan Rabbit.”
“Declan Rabbit.”
“I’ll rephrase that,” said Gervais. “Who can we afford that hasn’t been caught drunk driving?”
“What about the Easter Bunny?”
“Hmm,” said Gervais, raising a paw to his chin. “Interesting. I don’t think we can wake the Easter Bunny, but you have given me an idea.”
Lucy Elephant was making the beds in chalet eleven, when she heard again the familiar drone of the flying boat. The delegation of rabbits had long since gone, and she was now expecting a VIP group of penguins from Argentina.
As she made her way towards the lobby, she noticed a squirrel approaching her in fits and starts, carrying a long cardboard tube.
“This came in the post for you, Mrs E,” said Selwyn the Postsquirrel as he reached her.
Lucy took the parcel and hurried to fetch her reading glasses. Attached to the parcel was a note that read:
“Dear Lucy,
Thank you so much for having us in your hotel. By way of thanks, we are sending you the poster we brilliantly brainstormed while we were there. I think you’ll agree that it’s very beautiful and quite clever. I would be grateful if you could support our carrot campaign by hanging this somewhere prominent in your resort.
Much obliged,
Gervais Rabbit”
“Melvin!” shouted Lucy. “Hang this up will you, dear.”
As the first of the penguins waddled into the lobby, they looked around to see a tropical room, wicker chairs, a bamboo feature, a thatched roof, an elegant elephant presenting them tea, and on the wall a huge and incongruous picture of a chubby snowman with coal for eyes, a frozen grin and a large carrot nose.
“Karrotz!” said the poster at the top, and at the bottom, below the picture, in triumphant gold letters, it read: “The snowman nose how gr8 they are.”
The penguins gathered in front of the poster and were strangely fascinated by it, shuffling from foot to foot and staring into the snowscene with round, doleful eyes.
“Welcome to Organic Island,” said Lucy with an elegant bow. “Melvin, show our guests to their rooms…. Melvin?”
“Sorry, Mrs E,” said Melvin, as he dangled upside-down from the central light. “I fell off the sideboard again.”
Lucy smiled. He was a cheeky one, that monkey.