The Count’s Letter

Chapter I

Snowflake, a bunny, lived in the town of Meenlam. She was a postbunny, meaning she ran around the town delivering letters to her fellow townspeople. Snowflake also went to some of the nearby towns, such as Baldis, Rineen, Yoham, and Sarvenos. Snowflake was good at her job, but she was not the best because many of the other bunnies who worked with her were extraordinarily fast. Even when they ran to some of the farthest towns, they could get there in a very speedy three days, because those towns were over twenty kemdos away. Snowflake had heard some bunnies talk about the towns being over fifty miles away, but she had no idea what miles were. 

Snowflake loved baking. When she wasn’t delivering mail, she could often be found in her kitchen, baking something delicious. She often gave half of what she made to her neighbors because she lived alone and couldn’t eat everything before it went stale. Snowflake’s favorite things to bake were chocolate chip cookies because the batter was just as good as the cookies, and chocolate cake, just because chocolate cake is amazing. 

Snowflake also loved going to the beach, but only on cold days when she could be alone. Everybody came on the hot days because they didn’t like the cold water. Snowflake tolerated it better than most bunnies because she did it all the time and she also had a thick coat of fur. Besides, most of the time she just sat on the sand and gazed at the ocean or read. Snowflake liked being alone because she could think without having to hear everyone running around on the beach. 

One cold winter day, Snowflake decided that she should go to the beach, since she hadn’t been in a while. She sat down on the sand and watched the chilly waves rush towards her paws and then fall back into the ocean just before they pierced her boots. After about fifteen minutes of this, Snowflake decided to walk along the beach for a while. She was halfway to the small, abandoned garden of lilacs when she felt her boot thud against something sharp. She lifted her shoe, and she saw a tiny crab scuttling around on the wet ground. It looked lost, so she picked it up and walked it over to the sea. She set it down and the waves escorted it into the murky blue depths. A little bit later, she turned back and walked home. When she was nice and warm by her fire, she slept for an hour or so, and then she got up and made a batch of brownies. 

As she was waiting for the oven to ding, someone knocked on her door. She got up from the couch, and she opened the door. A cold gust of wind swept into the house, moving the fog covering the town to reveal a young bunny sitting on the doorstep. 

“Are you S-S-Snowflake N-Neepim?” the little bunny asked. Snowflake couldn’t tell if he was stuttering because he was cold, or because he stuttered no matter what. 

“Why, yes. I am Snowflake Neepim. What’s your name?” Snowflake replied. 

“B-Benny. Mrs. Evental a-asked me to f-find you a-a-and then to journey w-with you to this place and deliver t-t-this letter with you,” Benny said. 

Snowflake asked, “May I see the letter?”

“Y-yes. The l-letter is v-very important. A-at least, t-t-that’s what Mrs. Evental s-said. Also, s-s-she said it was. . . across the Forest!” Benny squeaked the last part as he handed the letter to Snowflake. He squeaked because the Forest was the most dangerous part of the world. Nobody knew what was past it, but clearly Mrs. Evental knew because she had to get a letter to someone there. Rumors flew around the village whenever someone went in because everyone believed that monsters and carnivorous plants lived there. The last time someone had gone in and come out alive was thousands of years ago when the Forest was new. To Snowflake, it didn’t seem right to risk her life just to deliver a single letter, but she would do it because Benny couldn’t do it alone. She grasped the letter as she looked at the address. 

32084 Grenom St NW


“Alright. We’ll go across the Forest. We need to pack lots of food for the journey. Do you have any idea why Mrs. Evental wants us to deliver the letter?” Snowflake declared. 

“N-no, Ms. Neepim. Can I search your h-house for good f-f-food to bring?” Benny answered.

“You can, but please, call me Snowflake. I despise being called Ms. Neepim,” Snowflake replied. They walked into her house and started searching the cabinets to find foods that would be easy to bring. They ended up with two backpacks and two sleeping bags, and as they left the house, they waved at a town they might never see again. 

Chapter II

Snowflake and Benny stopped when they reached the Forest. They stared up at the towering trees looming above their heads. Then, with brave glances at the other, they pushed the shrubbery aside and stepped into the Forest. 

They had crossed the river before then, and they were miraculously almost dry. The river was known for being very fast and powerful, and most bunnies were drenched if they tried to cross or go fishing in it. Snowflake was very glad about that, since being wet while trying to cross a dangerous forest would not be good.

The first thing Snowflake noticed was the quiet. Before they went in, she heard the sounds of the river, birds, and the wind. In the Forest, there was nothing. There were no birds, no wind, and no animals of any sort, only the sound of their footsteps, which even now sounded muffled. 

“W-where are the n-n-noises?” Benny asked softly. 

“I don’t kn- aahhhhh!” Snowflake screamed. Benny clung onto Snowflake as a huge snake slithered down from the trees. It stared at them for a minute, and then it glided up the tree. Snowflake and Benny calmed down and continued walking. They came to a huge wall that appeared to be made of ivy, but it was probably stone underneath. They poked around for a while, searching for a door. Benny yelped as he fell through the wall, and Snowflake rushed to him. He had found the door, and he fell through it. Benny stood up and dusted himself off, and they paraded into the place beyond the wall. 

It was a castle that stood behind the wall. It towered above the rest of the Forest, leaving an immense shadow over the trees. Loud chirping noises could be heard anywhere, and the air smelled of royal perfume. Snowflake wondered how she hadn’t noticed it as they were walking, but then she remembered that nothing could penetrate the canopy. As soon as they stepped through, however, a group of guards rushed towards them, and they tied their paws behind their backs. These guards weren’t bunnies, though. They were parrots!

The guards bumped them through the palace and stuck them in a small cell. The only words they said were, “Breakfast is at 7, lunch is at 12, and dinner’s at 6,” and then they left them all alone. 

“W-what just h-happened?” Benny quivered as he spoke. 

“We’re in a castle, and those guards just imprisoned us! We need to get out of here!” Snowflake answered. She frantically searched the cell, but there were only two tiny cots and a toilet. She spied a nail beneath one of the cots, but she couldn’t reach it. 

“Benny, can you get that nail for me? I can’t reach it,” Snowflake asked. Benny nodded and squeezed under the cot. He stayed under there for a moment and then he popped back out, nail in paw. 

“Is t-this the nail y-you wanted?” Benny said. 

“Yes, thank you,”

“You’re w-welcome.”

 Snowflake reached her paw through the bars of the door, and she stuck the nail into the lock. Unfortunately, a parrot guard came down the hall, and Snowflake had to stop. The clock struck noon, and the guard started to unlock the doors. The prisoners trudged out of the cells and they followed the guard to what was probably the dining hall. Snowflake and Benny had no choice but to follow everyone to the hall. 

The parrots serving the food passed out trays, and they spooned a bluish-gray glop to everyone. Benny looked down at his food in disgust, and he spat and pushed it away. As she did the same, Snowflake whispered, “Hey, I’ve got some apples. We can eat those once we go back to our cells. Then we can break out of here!” 

“What’d you do to get in here? I smashed one o’ the windows in King Obb’s palace. You look like some little stupid people, so I’ll tell ya that this is King Obb’s castle,” a gruff voice grumbled. They turned around to see a massive pig with a severe underbite point to a window high up in the hall. Sure enough, it was smashed to bits. 

“I insulted King Obb. This guy did the same,” Snowflake replied. Benny nodded in agreement. Just then, bells rang and all the prisoners stood up and got escorted back to their cells. 

Benny gasped, “They c-cleaned it! Our n-n-nail is gone!” He plopped down on his cot and began to sob. Snowflake dug out her apples and handed one to him. She sat down and they began munching forlornly on the apples. 

“I have earpins!” Snowflake cried. 

“S-s-so?” Benny said. 

“So, we can use them to pick the lock!” Snowflake said joyously. She dug in her bag and she pulled out two earpins. She stuck one in the lock and wiggled it around. The door swung open just as a royal-looking person flew down the hall. Benny jumped up and shut the door. 

“What was that?” King Obb asked. His voice was nasally with a snooty accent, and it sounded wicked. King Obb spun around, and his gaze locked on Snowflake and Benny. 

“Probably one of those little punks bangin’ on the bars,” a parrot guard replied. King Obb didn’t look satisfied with the answer, but he turned around and marched on, the guard trailing behind. As soon as Snowflake could no longer hear their wings beating, she opened the door again and slipped out, backpack and sleeping bag with her. Benny followed her out, but then he whispered, “How w-w-will we get o-out? G-guards will be w-w-watching the exits.” 

“The window that the big pig broke!” Snowflake exclaimed after thinking for a few moments. They ran up as quietly as they could, and then they stopped. The window was too high up for them to reach. They couldn’t get out that way. 

“I know! We can s-stack the t-tables!” Benny exclaimed. They began stacking the tables, one after another, making sure they had a way to get up to the top of the stack. Once the tower was high enough, they crawled through the window and jumped down. Half of the dining hall was below ground and there were some high bushes below, so they weren’t hurt falling down. They ran to the wall, and they climbed up the ivy, and they jumped over. They were free. 

Chapter III

Snowflake and Benny raced away from the castle. They had gone out on the opposite side of where they came in, so they didn’t have to circle all the way around to continue going. They trekked in silence for a while, but they began to talk when the ground beneath them started to pull them in. 

“Why is the ground sinking?” Snowflake asked. 

“I t-think it’s q-q-quicksand!” Benny replied. They screamed as the quicksand swallowed them, but they stopped when they fell into a huge cavern. Floating lights filled the cavern with a warm glow, and dancing bunnies wearing bright dresses were twirling around a stage on the far end of the room. A slow, romantic piece of music was being played by an orchestra that appeared to be in a glass room above the ceiling. Snowflake loved the lights bobbing about. She wanted to hold onto them forever, and she felt herself drop into a dreamlike state. She saw Benny walking slowly towards them, and she felt a very strong urge to do the same. Snowflake walked to the lights, and the last thing she remembered was hugging them, and then everything went black. 

When Snowflake came to, she was still clutching the lights. Benny was muttering something about how he loved the lights so much, he would never let go. Then he woke up. Snowflake saw the lights again and she went over to them. One of them morphed into one of the dancing bunnies, but this one had a wicked grin, and she bent over and kissed Snowflake on her forehead. Snowflake collapsed on the ground, fast asleep. The bunny walked over to Benny, but he batted her away. Now the bunny came flying back and she knocked Benny down! As she stalked over to him, she tripped over her long high heels. Benny used this opportunity to grab a stick and whack her. He hit her until she was unconscious, and then he grabbed her keys and dragged Snowflake out. 

When Snowflake woke up, a massive Venus flytrap was looming over her head. She shrieked and Benny woke up with a start. They had both fallen asleep after they escaped. 

“What’s g-going on?” Benny asked groggily. Then, he noticed the plant and he screamed, too. He jumped up and quickly slashed the Venus flytrap’s stem with a sharp stick, and then he collapsed and he promptly began to snore. He was just tired.  

Snowflake waited an hour before trying to wake Benny again. It had been really early in the morning when they were faced with the Venus flytrap, and they would still get an early start that day. She nudged Benny until he woke, and they ate a quick breakfast before continuing across the Forest. 

For the next three days, they trudged through the Forest, only talking when they had to. It was a very boring journey, especially since nothing else imprisoned them or tried to eat them. 

Snowflake was thinking that the Forest never ended and that Mrs. Evental had just made it up when the Forest suddenly ended and they were standing in a beautiful meadow with flowers in all colors of the rainbow. Snowflake and Benny rushed forward, only to smack into an enormous web and the meadow flickered and disappeared. They tried to move around, but the web was sticky and they couldn’t break free. There was a buzzing noise that sounded like a bee, and a huge firefly loomed over their heads. It lifted Benny off the web with ease, and it made a weird sound that sounded as if it were sniffing him. It tossed Benny to the ground, and it repeated with Snowflake. This time, the firefly must have thought she would taste good, because it lifted her up to its mouth, and it was about to put her head in when Benny swooped down on a vine, grabbed Snowflake, and launched over the web. They tumbled down a small hill and landed in the creek at the bottom. 

“Oof,” Benny groaned from underneath Snowflake. She slowly stood up and grabbed Benny’s paw and helped him stand. 

“I thought… fireflies were… herbivorous,” Snowflake panted. 

“Me t-too. I guess t-that one w-wasn’t,” Benny agreed. They dusted themselves off and they continued walking. They had learned to just keep on moving, even when something was hard. 

They walked for two more days, which made them very, very tired, and then there was light up ahead. Snowflake and Benny glanced at each other, and they ran towards it, despite their legs aching as if they had just stood for a week without sitting once. They pushed through the bushes, and there was a small town sitting there, waiting to be discovered. They were out of the Forest. 

Chapter IV

They raced into the town, and they noticed a sign that said Bartrembos as they frantically searched for the mysterious creature’s house. They ran around for a little while, searching for the house, but it became dark very quickly, so they found an inn called The Four Mugs. Once Snowflake and Benny had checked in and placed their stuff in their room, they sat down at a table in the dining room and began to talk about their mission. 

“So, just to remind you of what we’re doing, Mrs. Evental gave us this letter to give to somebody at this address, and it’s very important that we deliver it because something really important is inside. Also, do you have any idea what’s in the letter?” Snowflake informed Benny. 

“N-no. Mrs. Evental s-said, ‘This letter has s-something very important inside. Please d-d-do not open i-it. Just give it to the c-c-count at this address,’” Benny said, mimicking Mrs. Evental’s voice. 

“Do you think we should open it? Actually, the count would probably notice, so we shouldn’t open it,” Snowflake said. 

“H-how would he k-know?” Benny asked. 

“The seal wouldn’t stick, and it might be broken.”

“Oh. W-what if we got a n-new seal?”

“We don’t have Mrs. Evental’s seal stamp. Look, the name Koria Evental is engraved in the seal. This count probably knows what the seal looks like, so he would know that we opened it,” Snowflake pointed out. A waiter walked over to their table with two lemonades and two bowls of fettuccine alfredo. They ate a delicious meal, and then they went up to bed and got the best night sleep they had had in days. The next morning, Snowflake and Benny ate a quick breakfast and then they left to go and find the count. 

“Scarcem s-street. . . J-jalims street. . . Grenom s-s-street!” Benny read the names of the streets as they passed them. They turned down Grenom Street and they looked for number 32084. 

“There it is!” Snowflake cried when they found it. 32084 Grenom St. was a tall and dark house. It was very neat and nothing looked broken or out of place. A weird smell was coming from the house. It was something like cinnamon combined with molasses. Odd chattering noises came from the back of the house. Snowflake and Benny walked up the steps to the door and they knocked on the door. It swung open to reveal a tall and gaunt bunny. He wore all black, which contrasted his pale white fur. He looked sad, as if he had been living all alone for the past ten years, and he had a very long nose, a thin line for a mouth, a worry crease, and very dark eyes. He gazed at them for a long time, and then he said, “Come in. I am Farmirn Jayis. Why are you here?” 

“We’ve come to deliver a letter from someone in our town named Mrs. Evental. Also, I am Snowflake,” Snowflake answered as she and Benny walked into the house. 

“Was Mrs. Evental’s first name Koria?” the count asked. 

“Y-yes,” Benny said. 

“And what might your name be?” Farmirn inquired. 

“B-benny,” Benny answered. Farmirn gestured for them to sit down in some large armchairs as he got out whatever had made that weird smell earlier. They turned out to be cinnamon spice cookies, and Snowflake and Benny took them gratefully. 

“Now, may I see this letter?” the count requested. Benny handed him the letter, and they peeked over his shoulder as he read it. 

August 7, 1483

Dear Farmirn,

I write to you to warn you of a bunny hungry for power in our village. He knows there is a place beyond the Forest, and he plans on storming Bartrembos and claiming it for himself. I want you to know so that you can protect Bartrembos from this evil bunny. He has black fur, green eyes, and one of his ears is half as long as the other. Please, protect yourself and your town from this bunny. I love Bartrembos, and I would hate for it to be taken over. Oh, I forgot to mention his name. It is Dreim Varlik. He is a powerful bunny in our town, so he will not have trouble recruiting an army and going there. Please stay safe. 

On a lighter note, I received your present. Thank you so much. The sapling was a very thoughtful gift. I still do not know how you can send that in the mail and get it here so quickly. It is a sapling, and that makes it very hard to transport it, especially all the way across the Forest. Thank you again!


Koria Evental

“So, this b-bunny named Dreim Varlik is coming to take o-o-over Bartrembos just because he can, and w-we have no i-idea for how he learned about this p-p-place, right?” Benny said. 

“Yes. We must go to the Council at once and inform them of this danger!” Farmirn cried. He stood up and bolted out of the front door, letter in hand. Snowflake and Benny rushed after him. They were exhausted and out of breath when they reached the town hall. 

“Councillors! I am sorry for coming without warning, but I have just received a letter from my friend in a town called Meenlam. She informed me that there is a bunny in her town who discovered Bartrembos and they want to come here and take it over! We must pro — ” Farmirn said quickly. 

“Hold on there, Farmirn. Repeat that more slowly,” a councillor, who had the name Councillor Jinlis on his chair, interrupted. 

“I have a friend in a town named Meenlam. She just sent me a letter warning me of a bunny who has discovered Bartrembos, and that bunny is going to come here with an army and take over our town,” Farmirn repeated, much slower this time. 

“Thank you. Do you have any idea of how powerful this bunny is?” A councillor called Councillor Zarina asked. 

“My friend, Koria Evental, said he is very powerful and he will have no trouble recruiting an army and pushing through the Forest,” Farmrin answered. The Councillors turned towards each other and they began talking in hushed voices about how they should stop this threat. Eventually they came to a decision. 

Councillor Barikl said, “Go to the Emnesi. For the two young bunnies, that is where our army resides and trains. Tell them to block the town off and prepare their weapons. We are going to war with these flops for bunnies.”

Chapter V

Snowflake ran straight to the Emnesi after receiving directions from Farmirn on how to get there. 

“Block the town off! Prepare your weapons! A group of bunnies are coming from across the Forest and want to take over Bartrembos!” Snowflake yelled when she got there. 

“Who are you?” one of the soldiers asked. 

“I’m Snowflake Neepim of Meenlam. I came here to deliver a letter from all the way across the Forest, and some bunnies from my town are coming here to take over Bartrembos!” Snowflake cried. The soldiers murmured in discussion. 

Before they could speak, Snowflake called out, “The Council ordered you to do this!” As soon as she said “Council,” they started running about the camp, gathering their weapons and rushing out the door. Snowflake watched as they positioned themselves all around Bartrembos, making sure their weapons worked properly. They waited for hours, but at sundown, loud footsteps started coming from the Forest. A couple minutes later, Dreim Varlik’s army burst out of the Forest. They must have thought the people of Bartrembos would be just going about their normal day, but they found an army instead. Dreim’s army waited for a minute, glancing at each other and appearing to think, How did they know? before they charged at Bartrembos’s army. 

The next hour was filled with the clashing of swords and bows shooting nonstop. Everywhere Snowflake and Benny looked, soldiers were fighting and bodies were lying on the ground. Some moaned and twitched, while others lay still. Bartrembos was winning, but then the other army rolled a huge cannon out of the Forest. Three bunnies had to work to get a single cannonball in, but the balls were weak and they only destroyed a couple houses, which was not much compared to what it had looked like. Snowflake spotted Benny on the edge of the battlefield, and he was creeping towards the giant cannon, a bomb in one of his paws and a box of matches in the other. 

“Benny!” Snowflake shrieked. Benny turned around and put his paw to his mouth, signaling for her to be quiet. He crept up to the cannon, and he began to army-crawl between the bunnies’ legs. He went underneath the cannon, and he stuck the bomb into the hole after lighting it. He jumped up and ran back to Snowflake as the bomb exploded. 

When all the smoke had cleared, Snowflake saw the cannon, but it was completely destroyed. Many more bodies now lay near it, and Snowflake recognized them as the bunnies operating the canon and other warriors. The soldiers from Bartrembos used this opportunity to start fighting again while the others were still in shock. 

“Where did you get that?” Snowflake asked Benny. 

“F-farmirn gave it to m-me just in c-case we needed it,” Benny answered. Shouts came up from the battlefield, and Snowflake and Benny peeked over the wall of the fortress they were on to see the Bartrembos soldiers standing in victory. They had won the battle! 

Chapter VI

Snowflake and Benny were at a massive party. Once the battlefield had been cleared up, it was decorated with streamers and balloons that flew high into the sky. The town bakers had worked hard to make cupcakes, cakes, salads, and more for the celebration. It was so loud, Snowflake and Benny had to scream to hear each other. Near the end of the party, Farmirn got up onto the makeshift stage and quieted everybody. 

“I would like to propose a toast to Snowflake Neepim and Benny Kembi. They delivered a letter to me from Meenlam informing me of the bunnies who attacked us earlier today. If they had not come and given me the letter, we would probably be dead right now. To Snowflake and Benny!” Farmirn called. Everybody raised their glasses of lemonade and said, 

“To Snowflake and Benny!”

After the celebration was over, Snowflake and Benny stayed at Farmirn’s house for the night. The next morning, he took them in his donkey cart, and he drove them all the way back to Meenlam, and it took them only four days to get there. When they got back, they were celebrated as heroes because they saved another town from destruction. They became leaders in the town, and the first thing they did was create a road through the Forest to make it easier to get from one place to another. Snowflake and Benny led very happy lives, and they were written about in history books because they accomplished so many good things, and Snowflake and Benny became the greatest leaders in all of Meenlam history. 

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