Joonie and the Great Harbinger Stampede
Atop the high plateau of the desert southwest the frailest rabbit was born and abandoned at the mouth of the old hole. Father Sun and Mother Moon raised the rabbit, whom they named Joonie, while he lay in a dream like state. Through their nourishment and teachings Joonie grew strong and learned much about the earth and its inhabitants. One day Joonie awoke. At the exact same moment Joonie awoke, the murderous monsters known as the Iam breached the earth’s surface and began what would be known as the great harbinger stampede.
Joonie and The Great Harbinger Stampede is the story of an unlikely hero born into tumultuous times. In order to meet his destiny, face the vicious Iam and save the animals of the Grand Valley, Joonie must first overcome his rabbit instincts to run and hide. Helping him along the way is an ardent porcupine named Pencilthin and a cook rabbit named Bedbug.
Joonie and the Great Harbinger Stampede illustrates the very moment in time when individual consciousness threatens the collective consciousness and the forces that bring these opposing points of view together. This is the story of the I am versus the We are.
The story is written by Daniel Landes and illustrated by Ravi Zupa. Jason Heller has been kind enough to edit the story and Mike King is utilizing his vast skill to do the layout.
Daniel and Ravi have been working on this story for three years. The art work that currently hangs in the restaurant is the result of those efforts.
It is with a certain amount of confidence that we predict the book we be available early 2011. One will be able to pre-order the story and art book when our online store is active which should be shortly. One may keep updated on the project by being our friend on facebook listed under the title of the book.
Perhaps you would like to preview an excerpt from Joonie and the Great Harbinger Stampede. If so please read on.
Excerpt from chapter 3
Small migrating birds
Mal the raven did not fly directly back to the tree of unkindness to speak with Goyo. Instead he camouflaged himself in the high branches of a blue spruce over the den of the coyote band. Mal hoped to pick up some more information on the world going all topsy-turvy. The coyotes seem to know about events before they happened.
It was the heat of the day, so the pack was sprawled about in the shade of the blue spruce, sleeping. Mal was not too late. Coyote bands, he knew, dreamt together. Each coyote dreams a part of a connected dream, and when they awake each coyote shares his part of the dream. Together they understand the dream as a whole. All Mal had to do was hide until they awoke and listen to them put their dream together.
Settled onto the highest branch, Mal ruffled his feathers and waited.
A coyote began to stir. Another yawned a contagious yawn that infected the others. They were beginning to awake. Mal silently stretched his wings, retrieved his pad and pencil, and leaned forward to make sure he didn’t miss a word.
Just then a small chickadee landed on the same branch upon which Mal was perched. “Hiya, birdie,” said the chickadee in his singsong way.
“Raven,” corrected Mal. “Now hush up.”
“But birdie, yes? We are birdies?” continued the chickadee.
“And we have nothing in common,” hissed Mal, “Now leave.” Mal shooed away the chickadee with his large, black wing.
The tiny bird danced away a little and showed Mal his wing. “See this wing? See? Birdies have wings. We are birdies.”
Mal has little tolerance for such nonsense. He snapped his terrible beak at the small bird, which startled and flew one branch above Mal. “Now be quiet,” whispered Mal.
The little bird snapped his less than terrible beak and peeped very quietly, “See this beak, see? We are birdies. We are, we are, we are.”
Satisfied that the little bird had gotten the message, Mal once again returned his attention to the coyote. When he looked down, all the coyote were awake in a tight circle looking straight up the tree. Directly at Mal.
“Hello, birdie,” mocked one of the coyote, which sent the others into hysterics. Mal watched as they loped away, noses to the forest floor, laughing as they went.
Mal looked up at the chickadee, which was now distracted by a gnat buzzing around his head. “Stupid bird,” said Mal. “The ravens were about to get some information.”
“Information?” asked the chickadee, not knowing what the word meant.
“You know, News. About the world going all topsy-turvy.”
“Oh, news!” exclaimed the little bird. “Birdie has news, exciting news.” The chickadee waited to be prompted, but all he got was an angry glare from Mal. “They are coming!” shouted the little bird.
“Who are coming?” asked Mal.
“Don’t know who, don’t even know what, just… They are coming! They are hungry!”
“How do you know this?"
“Migration,” said the chickadee smugly, as if that explained everything--which it did, actually. Mal knew that the little birds were the first to fly south or north, and they love to bring news from the regions they've left. The problem is, they always got their news wrong. “They popped up from the ground," the chickadee continued, :and gave the bison quiet a scare. The bison are running south now, crushing everything in their path."
“Bye, birdie.” said the chickadee suddenly. The little bird flew from the branch, leaving Mal all alone.
Small, migrating birds, and the news they spread, have set a lot of ridiculous events into motion. One year the little birds spread the news that Grandfather Tortoise, the oldest and wisest of all the animals, had died. The animals were devastated by the news and began to prepare for his return party. Thousands of animals had already begun the trek south to the far rim of Cobre Canyon, where Grandfather Tortoise lived, before it was revealed that he had been merely taking a long siesta when the small birds had flown by.
The birds knew of the bison stampede, but only a few of the smallest and least reliable had witnessed what actually started it. The first wave of Iam that hatched from the head of the earth-born creature were the Gira. The Gira had long, sinewy arms and round, muscular shoulders that were attached--with no necks--to small shrived heads with blackened eyes. Their hands were razor-sharp claws. Draped between their wrists and their ridge-like spines were thin membranes of skin that looked like wings.
After the creatures had sprung from their sire's head, they hit the ground spinning, their wings billowing, their claws out, tearing into the flesh of the surrounding the bison. The docile creatures were stupefied as they watched the whirling monsters slice into the herd. Bison were dropped where they stood as the creatures tore deeper into the obstinacy.
The herd was so tightly packed, they could not flee immediately. The bison closest to the murderous Gira began to push away from the slaughter, which in turn pushed the other bison. Like the creation of a tidal wave, it started as a faraway ripple and gained intensity the farther it traveled. This panicked flight from the Iam was the first ripple that would begin the Great Harbinger Stampede.
The small, migrating birds, with their flighty details flew south singing, “They are coming! They are hungry!” From oak to pine to aspen, all across the grand valley, the little birds shared the exciting news. Had the birds been more reliable reporters they would have flown down the valley warning the other animals “They are coming! Run for your lives!” But they are small birds after all. They are, they are, they are.
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