I have learned over the years that when I have an idea if I don’t write it down, in a few years I see it become a book/show/movie. At least the basic concepts, whether this is great minds think a like, the influence of events making us think same thing, or intuition. I have decided to try something out. This story idea popped into my head as I remembered the many books I read when I was younger that had double meaning. That morals of stories almost always made their way into what we read in school no matter how ugly and violent those stories became (The Hatchet & Lord of the Flies come to mind). So I write this to try and make light of what I feel is going on in politics and world today. Make of what you want of each animal in the story. Whether they represent you, your beliefs or the ones you don’t believe in. I hope you enjoy.
Warning: This is a very rough draft. I hope to slowly work on this outline of a story and show the progression to the finished product. If anyone has any ideas or thoughts, corrections please don’t hesitate to comment below.
First question to anyone who wishes to answer: Should I capitalize the names of the animals cause they are in this story like proper nouns? Ravens are plural always but sometimes singular and possessive. The narrators voice changes, what would work best for this story?
Summary: The ravens watch over the forest, they have for years. They are the protectors, until upstart raccoons come in and ruin their perfectly peaceful neighborhood. This is a story of what happens when authority is desperate to keep a hold on the population they control and how far they are willing to go to keep that control.
Neighborhood Watch-Rough Draft 1
The ravens loved their job they would screech, holler, and wake up the neighborhood if they saw foxes or eagles coming close. They worked in packs almost always two or three at a time. Because they ‘protected’ the neighborhood they got the best meals and the best nesting areas in the trees. Even though the chipmunks and the squirrels out numbered them they were the leaders of the forest.
The squirrels and chipmunks went about their business collecting for the fall. They were cautious about this time of year like always but also they knew instinctively that something was coming, a time when food would not be plentiful and they would have to survive off of what they saved now. So they collected, eating little and hoarding a lot.
That fall a raccoon family moved into the neighborhood. They were different they cleaned their food before they ate it and were much smarter then the other animals, they could open the pales of food left on the side of the forest by the giants. They were ingenious smart and entertaining to the squirrels and the chipmunks that lived in the forest.
For the first time the ravens were not the most talked about creatures of the forest. The neighborhood watch was not happy about this.
When the raccoons moved in they brought a fox family as well. There had been an over abundance of squirrels that year, food was being separated too much among the large population. The fox had heard about this from the raccoon, that some of the neighborhood was not going to survive the winter.
Fights broke out in the trees over food rations. Animals got hurt, animals got killed. The fox a mother who had two mouths to feed in her den, moved in at night. The dead would not be eaten by any other creature in the forest, the raccoons thought it was dirty and needed to be cleaned up, they asked the fox to clean up.
The ravens watched from above watched the raccoon show the fox to the dead watched the fox take the dead away. The raccoons and the ravens ate the same food, the raccoons were a menace to their way of life.
The town hall was loud and rambunctious, it was a celebration of the collecting before the winter came, before the first real true frost of the season. This is where the Raven would strike. They spoke about the raccoon being a menace to the neighborhood, that they stole food from the others and would not share in the winter. They spoke about their appearance larger, fatter and marks on the face made them look different. Then they dropped the knowledge that they had let in a fox into the neighborhood. This got the others talking, asking questions, worried about their children.
The raccoon spoke up. The neighborhood had found abundance in last few years, but the demands of the population was overtaking the food source, the trees could not produce enough acorns for everyone. Especially because of the recession of acorns in the last few years. So they would suffer during the winter, they would not survive, and it would be a bad winter.
The raven stated again they brought fox into the forest, ignoring the other facts. “The fox could take your children could kill you.”
The raccoon spoke again. “We did indeed help the fox take the dead out of the forest, they helped keep the forest clean, and they are able to survive without hurting anyone else.”
The raven aware of the admittance of guilt held on to those words and wouldn’t let go. “He will bring them in again, they all will, they will take your children in the night and devour them. We must act quickly we must not allow them to stay in the forest any longer, they are a danger to us.”
The forest animals panicked. However one squirrel stood up and spoke, quiet, strong and with determination.
“I saw the raccoon bring the fox into the forest. The fox was thin, starving, she thanked the raccoon for allowing her the food, hoping that her children would survive the winter. She left immediately afterwards. I believe the raccoon, they are telling the truth.”
“You have turned on your fellow squirrels!” The ravens screamed.
“I trust her, she is my family.” Another spoke up.
“Danger! Giants are coming we need to hide now!” An alarmed young raven flew in panicked.
The forest animals knew what to do. They dispersed.
Winter came quickly after that, the fear of the fox was overtaken with the fear that families didn’t have enough food for the winter.
The ravens did not like being outspoken by a common squirrel, she had no right to tell them they were wrong.
The squirrel went home to her family and they praised her for standing up and speaking her mind.
The raccoon family knew the ravens didn’t like them but they needed to stay in the forest for the winter they could not move out now.
That winter another Fox family moved into the forest, they were meaner and more aggressive. They hunted more and would not help the young mother’s family. She left for better food elsewhere, the other fox family stayed.
One night as a raccoon was cleaning its food in the hole it had made in the icy river, he observed the raven and the fox talking. He paid it no mind. However when he returned he saw that most of the trees had been abandoned and the ravens were stealing the food from the squirrels and chipmunks. They were concentrating on one tree in particular.
An emergency session of the forest was held. The young squirrel who had spoken so openly before was thin, shivering and feeble. She was barely able to speak, her family was being starved, someone had stolen their food.
The raccoon being invited to the meeting because they were part of the forest too, spoke up because she had defended them.
“I saw the ravens steal from the squirrel’s tree, they are the ones who are starving this young family.”
“We have done no such thing.” The ravens state they smile, everything is going perfectly.
“Who do you think allowed the foxes to come in this afternoon and scare you out of your homes? The only one here who has done it before.” The ravens hint at what is going to come next. The raccoons stand on their two back legs towering over the raven.
“I told you why I did it the last time, their was food for them and they were starving. They left immediately afterwards. Also that family has moved on, because another fox family moved in to the forest who wasn’t very kind to them.”
“Look at the aggression they show, they are as bad as the foxes.” The raven stated yelling now getting the forest to make a lot of noise.
“I saw the Ravens speaking with the fox, they probably planned for them to scare you so that you would leave their homes. Then they would have opportunity to steal your food.” The raccoons explained.
“Why didn’t you tell us sooner?” The squirrel spoke up confused now, desperate to get food, which had been promised to her by the ravens.
“What authority would I go to? The ravens are the highest here and they were the ones I saw talking to the fox.”
“Do you see what lies they tell. Why would they come out with this information right now? To turn your thoughts against us when all we have done is tell you when danger is in the forest.”
“All you have done is brought starvation and devastation to our forest.” The squirrel stated to the raccoon.
“Yes, they are the ones that brought the foxes to the forest, they believed it was a safe place to come because they had helped the other foxes.” The ravens encouraged the squirrel on.
“We should never have let you in to our forest, you bring danger.” The squirrel spoke.
“I never meant to bring hardship to your families. I believed that we should care for everyone in the forest not just those who eat in trees and forage for food.”
“You did bring hardship and you are not welcome here any longer.” The squirrel stated.
The raccoon family left. The winter was bad, the squirrel family did not survive, neither did many others. That spring giants came through the forest, many times. The forest didn’t know what was going on but they were not too worried, Giants had bothered them before, nothing had happened.
As temperature began to increase another raccoon family came by. The forest animals being quick to forget offered them to stay. The family refused. The ravens listened and being ones who never backed down from creating drama, cause they usually were heroes who solves it, responded to the raccoon.
“Why do you not want to stay here? Do you not think our forest is not worthy enough of you?”
“We see what is happening here, the Giants are going to destroy this land and build their nests. The giants are going to take over, we do not want to live here because in a few suns their wont be any protection to live in.”
“What are you talking about?” One chipmunk asked
“We have noticed that the Giants have been walking around here lately.” A Rabbit spoke up.
“That’s because they are planing on taking over.” The raccoon stated.
The raven scoffed. “No that’s not right, why would they?”
“You have a bad winter right?” The raccoon asked, looking at the forest animals ignoring the ravens.
“Yes, many of us died in bad season, a lot of our food went missing.”
“The giants don’t take over forest if their is a lot of us, when we live together in high population, they can’t tear our homes down. However because you had so few living here, they believe that it is not a viable place to keep around for you to live, so they will destroy it to meet the demands of their people.”
“How do you know this?”
“I have seen it before, I have learned to survive in their forests. They leave out food I eat…”
“You are as dirty as the other raccoons we…”
“I also knew the family who had lived here before the winter, they are living peacefully across the river now.”
“We are not doing well at all.” Rabbit stated again.
“Yes we are,” The raven said loudly
“We have little food left and the fox family has had pups, they kill our young with glee.” An older squirrel stated.
“Where do you live?” A young chipmunk asked.
“With my cousin across the river.” The raccoon stated.
“Is their room for us?”
“Yes we have room for everyone.” The raccoon stated.
“Do you believe this professed giant lover?” The ravens screamed.
“If this land is going to not be safe we must leave.” Another forest dweller spoke up.
“What is wrong raven why wont you leave with us, I bet their is room for you over the river?” A young rabbit asked not knowing why the raven didn’t want to go with everyone else.
“We don’t believe the raccoon, Raven, we will stay with you.” A group of squirrels stated. They were much bigger then the other squirrels as if they had had more food that winter then the others.
“I’m sure you can find the same source of food you found this winter during the summer.” The raccoon stated, then turned to the others. “Gather what food you can and meet me at the northern edge.”
“You will regret leaving your homes!” The Raven’s screeched desperately.
The fox family was not happy with its food moving on over the river where a young pup with a determined mother, was holding the territory very well.
The ravens were desperate to stay on the good side of the fox family, for they now threatened with little food for themselves to steal the eggs from the raven’s nests.
The ravens pointed out the trees that the last remaining squirrels lived in.
The last Raven watched as the giants came into the forest with sharp objects and large roaring dragons teeth.
The words he heard as he flew away he didn’t understand.
“Wow this place is eerie no animals, its like a ghost forest.”
“Not everyone left, I saw a half starved fox on my way in.”
“Its starved for a reason no food for it to eat.”
Please tell me if something like this has already been done. I know most ideas are repeats because only so many ways authority can be corrupt.
Do I expand on the last few parts of the story? Show the foxes taking the last remains of the squirrels as food? Should I give the characters names? Always have quoted statements or keep it dialogue a minimum. Who is the narrator? Omni or one of the forest dwellers?