The Jackalope and The Centaur

This is a great bedtime story for your angelically-inclined little ones...

On the first day of spring, a jackalope hopped across the freshly-dewed grass. On that day, the jackalope came across a centaur, standing as still as a statue. It's horse-half was gleaming white, with faint gray streaks, as if it were made of delicate marble. The upper half of the great beast was fully obscured by the tree. Surely, the jackalope thought, a creature as tall as a centaur would have a gorgeous face. The curious little thing strained its neck upwards to try and see the centaur, but it was no use; the jackalope was just too short.

"Great centaur," the jackalope said, "could you please lean down for me? I am but a small thing, and I would really like to see your face."

The centaur rubbed its front hoof into the ground a few times in thought. "Little jackalope, as you are, you aren't fit to see my face. God created me tall, so it must be that he only wants me speaking to things as tall as myself."

The jackalope was not satisfied. It bounded away and returned with a few stones. Carefully, it stacked the stones as high as it could and made a grand leap on to the top of the stack. Triumphantly, the rabbit raised its head up-- and its antlers caught in the trees branches. From where it was stuck, it could still not see the centaur's face.

"Beloved centaur," the jackalope cried, "my antlers are stuck in the tree you hide above! With your human hands, or your great equine strength, could you please break the branches?"

The centaur blew air out of its nose. "Silly jackalope, God gave you your antlers for a reason. You should not be crawling around through trees. You were not meant to see my face."

The jackalope kicked up a stone from the stack into his paws. With the stone strangely fixtured between his hands, the jackalope began to bash the rock against his antlers. The grinding of the stone against the thick bone lasted until the sun began to set.

At last, the jackalope's antlers were worn thin enough that the small animal could snap them off with a wiggle of his head. Now antlerless and free of the branches, the jackalope hopped up the tree.

A gentle breeze blew across the treetop. The jackalope peeked its head above the leaves and looked towards the centaur-- and the jackalope was met with a thin, sickly face, of whose tip reached the jackalope's own. The centaur-nay, the horse's jawbones protruded from its face, just barely covered by white hair, patchy and dirty. An odd set of leather straps divided its face into sections and accentuated the beast's sheer ugliness. Adorning its visage was a frightening scowl and huge, dark eyes. The jackalope winced in fear.

"Treacherous centaur, why didn't you tell me you were so ugly? You lied to me!"

The centaur gazed at the jackalope. Its fur was a vibrant brown, like the leaves of the trees in autumn. But it was very plain. It did not look like a jackalope at all.

“A liar? I never said I was a centaur. You put this title upon me! But you, my rabbit, lied about being a jackalope. You have no antlers at all."

"I was a gorgeous jackalope! And I shed my antlers for you! You seemed so gorgeous from below, and I wanted to see your face!"

The centaur rose up, and was once again standing taller than the trees and the jackalope.

"Little rabbit, you were made as you were for a reason- curious, small, and with powerful antlers. You should have never changed that."

The centaur walked away, and the jackalope was left alone on the top of the tree.