Illustrations created by Kitty Sayjo
~Part 1 out of 3 Parts~
~The Greedy Hare and the Cloud Rabbit~
By: Kitty Sayjo
Long ago, there lived a pair of siblings named Boris and Maria Caldren. Boris was a strong, determined young man, while his little sister was a sweet and caring girl. After the tragic death of their parents, Boris was left with the responsibility of running the family business and taking care of his sister.
Despite this, they did their best to help one another. Everything seems like it was going well, but that was before the accident that left Maria paralyzed from the waist down. This caused even more stress on Boris.
He pleaded with the doctors to help her, but there was nothing they could do. Since the family business wasn’t doing so well, Boris was struggling to pay for Maria’s medical bills. Eventually, he was forced to do some desperate acts to pay it off.
Once Maria was out of the hospital, her personality had completely changed. She became nothing more than a shell of her formal self. Since she could no longer walk, she would spend most of her time in her room, watching the clouds.
Her brother did his best to make her happy, but with the addition of his new business, he had almost no time for her.
One day, Boris came into Maria’s room with a boy who was around the same age as her. “Maria, this is Daniel. He’s going to be your caretaker.” he said.
Maria just looked at him without showing any emotion. As soon as Boris left the room, Maria wheeled herself over to the window and stared at the clouds. Daniel walks over to her knees beside her.
“Do you like looking at the clouds?” he asked. Maria nodded without looking at him. “Same here. I like looking for ones that look like animals.” Daniel replied as he starts pointing out the clouds.
His focus was interrupted when Maria finally spoke to him. “Rabbit.”
Daniel looked at her, confused. “A rabbit? Where?” he asked. Maria points at one of the clouds that was in the shape of a rabbit. “Oh, I see it. Do you like rabbits?” Daniel asked.
Maria looked at him and smiled for the first time in weeks. “Yeah.” she said.
“Nice. I like them too.” Daniel replied as he smiled back at her.
From that day forward, Maria and Daniel grew closer and they started to become friends. Maria’s personality was starting to return as the days went by. One day, Daniel was pushing Maria down the hallway of the manor when they heard an argument coming from the study.
They stopped dead in their tracks when a man storms out of the study with Boris following behind. “Fine, go. You’ll regret ever taking a loan from me.” Boris yelled out as the man disappeared in the distance.
Maria was shocked at what she had just witnessed. “Boris?” she asked in a soft tone. Boris looked at Maria and approached her.
“Everything’s alright. Just lost another client.” he said as he kneeled to her level.
“Is there anything I can do?” Maria asked. Boris just smiled and stroked her head.
“Don’t worry. You don’t have to do anything.” he replied as he gets up and heads back into the study. When the door to the study closes, Daniel noticed that Maria was upset.
“Are you alright, Maria?” he asked.
“Yes, just bring me back to my room please.” Maria replied. Daniel did as he was told and pushes Maria down the hall towards her room. On the way there, Daniel stops in front of a window.
“Why did we stop?” Maria asked as she looks up at him.
“I think I saw a rabbit in the clouds.” Daniel replied as he pointed at one of the clouds. Maria starts to giggle.
“You stopped just to show me that?” she asked.
“Well, it made you smile, didn’t it,” Daniel replied.
“It sure did.” Maria replied as they continue to look at the clouds.
A few weeks later, Boris had some business to do in town and he decided to take Maria and Daniel with his. While he was busy dealing with a client, Maria and Daniel strolled around the town.
Since it was the first time Maria had left the house since her accident, she felt very unsettled. Daniel notices this as he pushes her through the crowd. “You know, when I was little, I used to stroll down this street with my mom.” he said.
“Really?” Maria asked.
“Yes. We would usually come here to get what we need. Sometimes, if we had extra money, she would get me one of those homemade tarts from the bakery.” Daniel replied.
“She sounds like a very sweet lady,” Maria said as she looks up at him. “Maybe I can meet her someday?” she went on.
“Yeah, maybe.” Daniel replied as they pass by the toy store. Daniel notices the stuffed animals that were displayed.
“Maria, when is your birthday?” he asked.
“It’s two months from now. Why?” Maria replied.
“Just curious.” Daniel replied as they continue to stroll down the street.
Meanwhile, in one of the houses, Boris was dealing with a client.
“Please, I’m begging you. Don’t do this.” the client said as he limps away from Boris.
“A loan is a loan. You’ll have to pay eventually.” Boris replied as he approached the client.
“I don’t have any money at the moment. Just give me a week and I’ll pay you back!” the client said before Boris kicks him to the ground.
“You said that last week and the week before that.” Boris said as he grabbed the client by the shirt and lifts him up. “Either pay with your money or pay with your life.” he went on as he pulls out a dagger.
“B-but I can’t,” the client replied.
Boris throws the client back down to the ground and proceeds to stab him in the leg. The client yells in pain as Boris pulls out the dagger from the client’s leg.
“Have the payment ready by next week, or it will be the chest next time.” Boris said as he walks away from the client. As he exits the house, Boris sees Maria and Daniel approaching him.
“Did everything go well, Boris?” Maria asked.
“Yes. Everything went well.” Boris replied as they began heading back home.
END OF PART ONE