The Moss Monster

Would you have been afraid of the moss monster?

Before you answer this, let me tell you my story.

Normally people like to tell a story from the beginning. But I think my account would be better told from somewhere near to the end because it’s kind of like a story within a story.

Anyway, I had been walking through the woods when I happened upon the most peculiar sight. I entered a clearing to find a group of young animals playing around in a rather large and somewhat overgrown mossy area. They were scuffling about, jumping up and down, and even rolling around while laughing on the moss, similar to how most children do on their parent’s large beds when they are not around.

A small rabbit with floppy ears saw me first and asked, “Do you want to play too?”

“Ooh, I’m not so sure I should,” I replied. “I’m not so keen about playing in all that moss.”

“Why?” chorused the other animals who had stopped playing to see who floppy was talking to.

“Well, it’s a rather strange story, I said feeling somewhat vulnerable.”

“Oh please do tell it to us,” squeaked a little field mouse.

The sight of the little field mouse seemed to have a calming effect upon me so I sat down on a nearby rock and told them my tale:

Okay, well, It was a lovely day so I went for a stroll in the woods, minding my own as you do and taking in the beauty of my surroundings when suddenly this big, blobby grassy, er mossy thing jumped out of nowhere and blocked my path.

“Yuuu’man!” It growled

“Who me?” 

“Yuuu’man!” It repeated

I looked around to see if anyone else was there.

“Oh, you must mean me.”

“You, yuuu’man!”

“Oh, you mean, I’m human! It’s actually pronounced with an H, you know. Like this, Hu… man. Go on, give it a try.”

“I catch yuuu’man and eat yuuu’man for my dinner!”

“Ah, right, well… That changes things a bit doesn’t it?”

Just as the moss monster was about to pounce on me, some strange music started playing… it sounded like a clarinet. The moss monster turned away from me and ran towards the music. Now, having lived under the influence of my cats for many years, curiosity got the better of me, so I followed the moss monster to see who was playing the clarinet. After all, I do love a nice tune and whoever was playing it had just saved me from being eaten.

The Moss monster kept running through the woods in a topsy turvy way, zigzagging among the trees until suddenly he simply dropped out of sight and vanished. Just as I was reaching the spot where the moss monster had disappeared, a hamster popped up from behind a rock holding aloft his clarinet.

He introduced himself as, Clarence. As it turned out, Clarence had been taking a leisurely stroll through the woods when he heard my conversation with the moss monster. And seeing how afraid I looked, he had gotten out his clarinet and started to play it to distract the moss monster.

Clarence then ran to the edge of the forest where there was a cliff and hid behind a rock while playing his clarinet. The moss monster, confused by the echo the music coming from the cliff’s edge ran right over it and fell down into the ravine. 

If it hadn’t been for Clarence and his clarinet I would have become the moss monster’s dinner!

“Ooh!” The young ‘n’s voiced in unison as they gave each other knowing looks.

“Tell us more!” the little field mouse squeaked as she wrinkled her nose and twitched her whiskers.

“Yes tell us more!” chimed in a couple of hamsters and a guinea pig, excitedly.

So I continued my story:

 After the moss monster had fallen into the ravine, I thanked Clarence for his timely intervention and went on my way thinking that was the end of it, but I was wrong.

As I continued my leisurely stroll in the woods again, I couldn’t help but marvel at the Daffodowndillies in full bloom showing off their yellows which complemented the luxurious green grass pocketed with daisies overshadowed by sturdy oak trees and slender ash. I developed a skip in my step… Well, I say, a skip in my step, but it was more of a step in my skip if you know what I mean. After all, we all do that, right?

“Oh yes!” exclaimed floppy.  

Anyway, there I was, head in the clouds, skipping away when all of a sudden I heard this deep, loud, ominous voice behind me that sent an immediate shiver up my spine.

 “Yuuu’man!”

I skipped over my step (or was it, stepped over my skip?) and almost stumbled as I came to an abrupt halt and froze for a moment as I thought, I know that voice!

“Yuuu’man!”

I turned slowly around feeling really shakey. Sure enough, it was the big, blobby, grassy, er mossy thing I had come to know as, The Moss Monster!

“But, you fell into the ravine!” I exclaimed. “I saw you, I thought you were… g-gone!”

“Mossy climb out of the ravine.”

“But…

Er,

hang on a minute… Did you just call yourself, Mossy?”

“Mossy is short for, The Moss Monster… Do you like it?”

“Well, I…”

“Never mind that… Mossy climbed out of the ravine to look for yuuu’man, Grrrr!”

Just when I thought I faced certain doom with the moss monster about to pounce upon me with his arms stretched out once again, Clarence the hamster popped out from behind a bunch of daffodowndillies and started playing his clarinet as he scurried away. The music enchanted the moss monster who immediately became distracted and went running (if you could really call it that) after Clarence once again.

“Yeah!” piped in the two hamsters.

Anyway, I couldn’t help myself. I had to know what was going to happen. Besides, I didn’t want Clarence to get hurt, I already owed him a life debt of gratitude from the last time he saved me. So, I followed after them best I could, but I couldn’t keep up with them and the music from Clarence’s clarinet faded away.

I became lost and wandered on for what seemed like hours and that’s how I came upon you lot playing in the moss.

Suddenly, Clarence popped up from behind a tree stump.

“I’m here! And these are my family and friends.”

The animals all beamed radiant smiles.

“Clarence! Thank goodness you’re safe!” I cried. I tried following when the… that thing came after you, but you were both too fast for me to keep up and I got lost. What happened and where is the moss monster?”

“Mossy is here!” Called, a knowing voice that almost made my teeth chatter.

That’s when I noticed all the moss the animals had been playing in gather together and take shape.

“Mossy likes us to play with him, he’s harmless really,” said, Clarence.

“I don’t understand, you saved me from him back in the woods… Twice!”

“No, I simply distracted him so I could lead him back here because you were afraid.”

“You mean, he wasn’t really going to eat me?”

“No, he was just trying to play with you.”

“Mossy likes to play so Mossy try to play with yuuu’man.” Said, Mossy.

“I feel so silly!” I said.

“You were not silly,” Said, Clarence. “You simply misunderstood, Mossy’s intentions. We all get things wrong sometimes.”

“Okay, let’s play!” I said.

“Yeah!” shouted all the animals and Mossy.

And that’s the end of my story.

This is why I asked you at the beginning, Would you have been afraid of the moss monster?

-Kevin Cooper

18 thoughts on “The Moss Monster

  1. I would have been scared senseless, Kevin… 🙂 What a beautiful and ingeniously told tale with an important message! A lovely children’s picture book this would make. ❤ P.S. Your poetry collection arrived in my mailbox yesterday and I look forward to savoring each poem. Thank you! xo

    Liked by 1 person

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