ll right," said Bunny when he heard the garage door shut. "The people are gone. Let's go downstairs and turn the TV on! We can watch a video tape."
Bunny's best friend, the little blue terry cloth penguin, asked, "What kind of movie do you want to watch?"
"Something scary!" replied Bunny.
"Bunny, you know how frightened you get when you see a scary movie," remarked Mugsy. Mugsy was a big, brown, stuffed dog. "Are you sure that's a good idea?"
"Yeah," said Oreo, a black and white toy rabbit, who looked almost real. "Remember when you saw that movie about the mummy's curse? You were up all night shaking with fear."
"I don't get frightened!" declared Bunny. "Just very alert."
Seven animals left the bedroom to make their way down the steps to the family room. Bunny, Blue, Oreo, Mugsy and three stuffed dinosaurs. As they passed the nursery they were joined by the velociraptor puppet. He was another dinosaur. Truggle, a fluffy white dog, also joined them there.
Blue and Oreo stopped off in the kitchen to make some popcorn. The rest of the animals continued down to the family room. When they got there, Mugsy and the Velociraptor went into the office to pick a video tape to watch. A minute later they each came out carrying a tape.
"How about this one?" asked Mugsy. He held up a tape in his paw. "This is the one where Uncle Harry takes the kids to the park. They have to chase that black and white dog the whole time."
"This one is better," said the Velociraptor. "The title is 'The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms'. I think it's about a dinosaur."
"It sounds scary to me," said Blue. He and Oreo were coming down the steps from the kitchen. Between them they held a large pot filled with enough popcorn for everyone.
"Good," said Bunny. "I want to see a scary movie."
"Well, I don't," said Oreo. "I want to see the one about the kids in the park."
"Well, I guess we'll have to take a vote," said Mugsy. "Everyone who wants to watch the dinosaur movie, raise a paw." The four dinosaurs all raised their paws.
"Okay," said Mugsy. "Who wants to see the video about the kids in the park?"
Oreo, Blue, Truggle and Mugsy raised their paws. "Four to four," said Mugsy. "It's even. Bunny, how come you didn't vote?"
"Muummmm?" Bunny replied. He stood up from leaning over the popcorn bowl. His arms were full of popcorn and so was his mouth . That explained why he couldn't talk.
The other animals waited till Bunny finished chewing the popcorn. Then Mugsy asked, "Well, Bunny, how do you vote?"
"I want to see the scary dinosaur movie!" he yelled.
"That's five to four for the dinosaur movie," said the Velociraptor. "We win!"
"I guess you do," said Mugsy. "But remember we get to pick the movie next time."
Mugsy took the dinosaur video and put it into the VCR. Then the animals settled down around the large popcorn bowl to watch the tape. The movie told the story of a prehistoric dinosaur trapped in ice at the North Pole. When the ice melted the dinosaur swam south. He traveled through the sea, sinking ships and damaging a lighthouse along the way. Finally the dinosaur made its way ashore at a big city. There it made a terrible mess knocking over buildings and scaring people.
Halfway through the film, Mugsy looked over to where Bunny sat. The rabbit's paws were in front of his face. He was peeking out between them to watch the television screen.
"Bunny, if you're too scared, I can take you upstairs," said Mugsy.
"Nnnnnnno," replied Bunny, "I'm no-not sc-scared. I'm just very- Ahhhh!" Bunny plunged his head in between his knees and started shaking as the dinosaur appeared on the screen again.
Mugsy shook his head. It was going to be a long night for Bunny.
"I'm not scared. I'm not scared!" Bunny told himself. "I'm just very alert!"
It was well past midnight and Bunny was the only one awake in the whole house. The people had come home and now they were asleep. So were the stuffed animals and puppets. They all snored peacefully. Only Bunny sat up. The covers were pulled up so that only his head and ears were exposed.
As he sat he watched and listened. The house seemed to make a lot of noise at night Bunny had never noticed before. There was a low roaring sound. Was it some kind of monster? Like the one in the movie? Suppose it was outside? Suppose it was just about to put its head through the window and eat any little rabbits that were sitting up in bed?
Bunny started shaking Mugsy. "Mugsy! Mugsy! What's that sound?"
The brown dog stirred and opened his eyes. "What sound?"
"The roaring sound!"
The dog listened for a few seconds.
"That's just the heater fan, Bunny," Mugsy said. "Go back to sleep."
The brown dog closed his eyes, rolled over and started snoring again. Bunny continued to sit up in bed. Then he heard another sound. A buzzing. Suppose it was a helicopter? A helicopter chasing a dinosaur through the streets. Suppose the dinosaur ran up the street outside? Suppose it then came up the driveway? Suppose the dinosaur ran right over the house and crushed it?
"Mugsy, Mugsy, wake up! What's that noise?"
Mugsy sat up and listened. "That's just the refrigerator in the kitchen! Sometimes it makes a buzzing sound. Go to sleep and don't wake me up again!"
Mugsy lay down and closed his eyes. Then Bunny heard another sound. A creaking noise. Creak...creak...creak. Bunny was sure it was footsteps. They weren't very loud, so maybe they weren't dinosaur footsteps. Still, they were footsteps. Bunny was going to wake Mugsy again, but then remembered how angry the dog had been. Maybe he, Bunny, had better take a look and see what was making the noise, before waking anyone else up.
Trembling a little bit, Bunny slipped out of bed. Then he looked out the bedroom door into the hall. He didn't see anything so he went to the top of the steps. From there he looked down into the living room. On the wall, from one end of the room to the other, taller than the ceiling, was the shadow of a dinosaur. It was huge! Just like the one in the movie! Bunny ran back to the bedroom.
"Mugsy! Mugsy! There is a gigantic dinosaur in the living room! He's going to eat us all! Quick-get up!"
Mugsy sat up in bed. "Oh, Bunny you're just having a bad dream! There is no giant dinosaur in the living room! You shouldn't have watched that movie!"
By now all the other stuffed animals and puppets had been awakened by Bunny's cries.
"Quiet," warned Blue Penguin, "or you'll wake the people!"
"But it's down there! I saw it!" insisted Bunny. "It was huge! Bigger than the house!"
"Oh, come on, Bunny. Let's take a look," said Mugsy.
All the stuffed animals and puppets climbed off the bed. They walked down the hall to the stairs. Mugsy led the way and Bunny stayed close behind him. When they reached the top of the stairs Bunny ran up next to Mugsy. The little rabbit pointed at the wall. "Look there. You can see his shadow!"
The animals looked at the wall. There was no shadow. Bunny was puzzled.
"But it was there a minute ago! Honest!"
The other animals started grumbling. "Bunny! You got us all up in the middle of the night because of a bad dream!" complained Oreo.
"Gee, and I thought we might see a real dinosaur," said the green and black toy dinosaur with disappointment.
"I say we make Bunny sleep downstairs in the toy box with the shark," declared Floppy, a little white and blue rabbit. "He can wake Sharky up after he has a scary dream."
"Quiet, everyone!" barked Mugsy. Lifting a floppy ear he cocked his head and listened a moment. "I hear something!"
The other animals listened too. Through the silence they heard a slurping sound followed by a crunching noise.
"It's the dinosaur!" whispered Bunny. "I told you!"
"Doesn't sound like a giant dinosaur to me," said Oreo.
"Come on," said Mugsy. He started to creep down the stairs. The other animals followed. As they went down each step the slurping and crunching grew louder. Finally they reached the bottom step and peeked around the corner. Sitting on the brown chair, next to the light, was the Velociraptor Puppet. In front of him was a glass of milk and a chocolate graham cracker.
"Velociraptor, what are you doing down here in the middle of the night?" asked Mugsy. "You're supposed to be in the nursery."
The Velociraptor puppet was startled by Mugsy's bark. He nearly jumped to the ceiling, almost spilling his milk.
"You surprised me!" the Velociraptor replied. "I was thirsty so I came down to get something to drink. When I got down here I found I was hungry, too".
Oreo said, "Is this the dinosaur you saw, Bunny? You got us all up in the middle of the night because of a puppet from the nursery?"
"No, it wasn't the Velociraptor puppet," Bunny said, defending himself. "It was huge. As big as the room!"
Mugsy thought about this. "Bunny, did you actually see the big dinosaur with your own eyes?"
Bunny scratched his head. "Well, no, but I saw his shadow! It took up the whole wall!"
Mugsy turned to the Velociraptor. "Can you lean over as if you are taking a drink from your glass of milk?"
The puppet nodded and leaned forward. As he did his body passed between the lamp and the far wall. "There it is!" shouted Bunny. On the wall a giant dinosaur shadow had appeared.
"Bunny," explained Mugsy, "that's just the Velociraptor's shadow. It's so big because he's close to the lamp and the wall is far away!"
"Oh," said Bunny. Then he was a bit embarrassed. "I guess I did get everyone up for no reason. Sorry."
Oreo looked at the huge shadow on the wall. "Well, I can see why you might be a little frightened. I might be sacred if I was alone and I saw a shadow that big."
"Okay, everyone, let's go back to bed before we wake up all the people," said Mugsy. "If we don't get some sleep we won't be able to stay up and watch a video tomorrow."
"Another one tomorrow?" said Bunny. "Good, let's see another scary one-"
"Tomorrow, it's our turn to pick and we're watching the one about the kids in the park with the dog!" declared Mugsy.
And that was that.
Copyright Lee Krystek, 1997. All Rights Reservered.