Guest Post by Nancy Dobias
Something that has always puzzled me when I go to Myakka River State Park is that I don't see any rabbits. I've seen them in town. I just haven't seen them at the park. When I set off for the park yesterday, I was not on a quest to locate rabbits. Instead, Freida the Fabulous Fish had been bugging me to take her back to the park to see if any of her "admirers" might still be around with their cameras. As I turned down my favorite road, little did I know that Freida would notice. "Why did you turn here? Why are you wasting my time? Why are you wasting my ADMIRERS' time? QUICK! TURN AROUND!" she shouted.
"We'll only be a few minutes. I want to get a few quick pictures of the river and to check if any of the alligators might be out and about. Then we'll be on our way." I replied.
Reluctantly Freida acquiesced, I quickly parked the car and to the river we hurried with Freida putting in her two cents with everything that didn't meet her discerning sparkly tastes. Before long I noticed she became way too quiet. When I turned around to see what had gotten her notice, lo and behold there were two demure slightly-sparkly rabbits observing our approach. "Rabbits! Who would have thought we would have seen rabbits!" I excitedly said to Freida.
"I don't know why you're making all this fuss. They're just rabbits and they're not even as sparkily stunning as I am," harrumphed Freida.
As we continued to approach the sparkly duo, one leaned over to confer quietly with the other. "Hmmmmm. Did Freida offend them with her snide remark?" I wondered. "I hope they're not planning anything to get back at us." I added.
Before I could continue agonizing over what may or may not be afoot, Freida and I reached the river and the glorious beauty of the Myakka River did something that I didn't think was possible. Freida was left speechless! In fact Freida was enchanted by the natural beauty before her.
"Hurry, Freida. We have to get out of here. You can check out the river somewhere AWAY from those rabbits. I don't trust them. Come on! Let's go!" I chided. With one exasperated breath, Freida complied and down the trail we went. Quickly into the woods we scurried and before long the strange sparkly bunnies were a distant memory.
"WOW! Look at that tree up ahead!" suddenly shouted Freida. "It's a MAGICAL TREE...an ENCHANTED TREE...a BEWITCHING TREE!" continued Freida.
"What on earth are you talking about?" I questioned. "It's just a gnarled old tree." I added.
"No, no, look again. There's a manatee on the right and above is a serpent slithering down the trunk. You can see its head and, and, oh no, THE RABBITS!" shouted Freida. "I must sneak up to see what they're plotting," Freida said.
Before I could stop her, Freida the Fabulous Fish was gone and in a blink of an eye, above the rabbits she suddenly appeared, listening intently and spying as only a pink sparkly fish can spy.
Then before I knew it, they all were gone! "What happened? Where is Freida? Did they push her in the river? FREIDA! FREIDA! FREIDA!" I shouted. "Did the alligator think she was too enticing to resist?" I worried.
Just then I heard some commotion behind me, commotion from the emerald green forest. "Hey! Hey!! Come over here!! Quick!" it yelled.
Puzzled, I didn't know what to do, in what direction to look. "Do I look around the river? Or In the woods as the voice commands?" I wondered out loud.
Before I made my decision, magically the rabbits once more appeared. "You must follow us," they commanded. "We will take you to your friend, the sparkly one," they added in unison. "She has acquired the keys to the Magic Kingdom of the Myakka and is about to use them. Hurry! Before it's too late!" they both pleaded with me.
Having no choice, off I went, following two semi-sparkly rabbits who were quickly sailing over downed limbs while I was left "hopping" over tree stump after tree stump until finally I landed in a rather undignified fashion on a little-used beach along the Myakka River, and there was Freida the Fabulous Fish, readying herself for a swim among the Myakka alligators.
"You have got to be kidding me! I have been looking all over for you! What are you doing here?" I asked. "And why are you wearing that goofy visor?" I continued.
"Why this is a magical charm that I acquired at the enchanted tree," answered Freida. "No harm can befall me if I encircle my head with its powerful mystical magical sparkly aura!" argued Freida. "I will be able to swim among the alligators and they will never even know that I am there!" continued Freida.
"They will if you're wearing it BACKWARDS!" I argued. "What's this about having a KEY to the Magical Myakka River? I don't even see a key in your goofy attire?" I commented. "If you don't have a key, how can you ensure your ....?"
Before I could finish my thought, Freida the Fabulous Fish took one magnificent sparkly somersault and lo and behold, her queenly attire was complete! Freida the Fabulous Fish now had her aura of protection correctly positioned on her crown and last but not least, there in her mouth was the key to the Magic Kingdom of the Myakka River.
"I can see you must have found some very nice magical charms, Freida. Too bad they won't be effective protecting your gorgeous sparkily neon pink. Well, at least the semi-sparkly rabbits can...."
WHOOOOOOOOSH! I never saw Freida move so fast. No, she didn't move towards the river to test out her Magical Key. No, this was a fish on a mission. Freida the Fabulous Fish was destined for stardom! Freida had sparkles to protect. There would be no swimming today. After all, Freida the Fabulous Fish had admirers awaiting.