Friday 26 April 2024

Benjamin’s New Groove by Fleur Lind, carrot juice

Benjamin was thoughtful as he watered his vegetable patch.  They say it’s good to talk to the trees, he mused, as he adjusted the pressure to avoid flattening the young lettuces. The young leafy seedlings were called ‘Drunken Women’, so the label said. It was a good job the hose was delivering tank water, not anything stronger. Such were the whimsical thoughts randomly popping up as he mulled the answer to a far deeper, more serious question.

             ‘What if I talk to my plants?  Is that a good therapy too?  Or is that a sign of madness?’ Benjamin thought out loud.  A distant cousin of his was mad and he had no desire to join that queue. Although his cousin’s madness had led him to become a character in a classic novel, Benjamin didn’t want to go down that path.

            When the vegetable garden was soaked and droplets sparkled under the mid-morning sun, the deep serious question remained unanswered.  Benjamin had not discussed it with the carrots or zucchini, as he’d also heard that ‘green conversation’ should be light, positive, and happy. To promote the best environment and good growth.  His problem was burdening and wouldn't grow strong healthy plants and tasty food.

              Rustling sounds could be heard over the fence as his neighbour Roger unzipped the opening to his new greenhouse.

“Hey, Roger!” Benjamin called.

“Hey Benjamin, how are you doing today?” Roger was a bit older, had a wise fatherly nature, and his voice was reassuring.

“I’m okay.” Benjamin sighed.

“The rustling stopped and Roger’s head appeared over the fence, “Just okay?  What’s up?”

Benjamin rubbed his nose, “It’s a bit complex.”

“Well, how ‘bout you and me chew it over with some juice, and see if we can get to the roots of it?”

“That sounds good, your place or mine?”

“Hop over, I’ll get everything sorted.”

Benjamin felt a bit better knowing that another set of ears would hear him out.


Over a tall chilled glass of carrot juice, Benjamin and Roger covered the general gossip, weather and the cost of living.

          “Okay, let’s have it, lay it on me. What can we fix today?”

           Sitting with Roger was like therapy, they laughed, and compared notes on Rhana down the road and the latest weird and wonderful accessories to her cardigan. 

          “Okay, so I’m going to sound like misery guts, but I want a career change.  I’m tired of my job. I’m allergic to chocolate, I pull my hamstring with all the hopping around, I’ve got carpal tunnel from holding heavy baskets of Easter eggs, and I've got anxiety from trying not to wake kids up when I deliver my stash on Saturday night because they always look as if they're asleep but what would happen if  they wake up and I’m busted?” Benjamin gesticulated “I’m from a long line of Easter bunnies, but this job, over the years, has worn me down.  I’m in my prime, but I want a job with less drama!” he took a breath after all the troubling thoughts tumbled from his mouth.

             Roger nodded and took a sip of juice. “I see. I hear ya, man.  Your job is a tough gig.  It’s only once a year but no one appreciates how much prep goes into what you do. And there comes a time when it’s like, you just want a change.  I get that.” Roger said reassuringly.

          “So what should I do? I’ve been to a support group, the other bunnies say they have similar problems, but some are newer to the job and still have plenty of hop.  One bunny has quit, he’s gone bush, another has moved to the coast. So there lies a new problem.  A staffing shortage. Benjamin rolled his eyes and drained his glass.

       “Care for another?” Roger poured from the jug.

         “Can’t do any harm…not far to hop!”

         “What to do…” Roger thoughtfully rubbed his chin and smoothed his whiskers, “Well there’s a vacancy where I work.  I do voice-over educational audiobooks for kids.  I got the job after that terrible incident when I hit the headlines for murder.  I was framed, of course, but if anything my celebrity status was good for sales and the books bounced off the shelves.”

           “A voice-over job? That sounds like fun!”

          “Oh it is, you just be yourself and your alter ego.  Bring out the real Benjamin, play with it, run with it, hop with it.  No more hammies or carpel, and you are helping the kids learn.  The teachers love it. It’s a whole new world out there with learning.  Kids are holding their bottles in one hand and a device in the other.”

         When the jug of juice was drained,  Roger Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny felt happily bloated. They devised a plan to get Benjamin back on track and behind a microphone.  Benjamin wrote a letter of resignation to the EBC (Easter Bunny Council) and Roger showed the new ‘bunny on the block’ how to ‘rock the mic.’

        Rhana caught wind of the news and applied for Benjamin’s job, bringing a matronly tone to the table. She was also looking for a change and would wear a new accessory for every household she visited. She would take no-nonsense, being an avid fan of Bunny Break, the highly-rated prison drama series on TV.  She had the skills and the smarts to take the legendary role of Easter Bunny to the next level. More fool any kids who woke up on her watch.


About the author 

Fleur is a Kiwi, living in SE Queensland. She enjoys the fun, challenge, and possibilities of short stories. She is a member of the local writer's group - Rose City Writers in Warwick. For more of Fleur's work: 

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