Once upon a time, in a small town far away, there lived Cindy, the mouse. Every morning, Cindy put on her gray coat and drove to work in her gray car. During winter, she wrapped a thick woolen scarf around her neck. No matter what the season, she always worked hard.
Cindy lived alone and did not have any friends. Sometimes after a long work day, she would sit in the porch of her house and look at the stars. In her town, the night skies were clear and stars always sparkled a bright red. It was a beautiful sight. She remembered reading somewhere that billions of stars formed a galaxy, and there were billions such galaxies that were drifting apart from each other. Even though she never noticed the stars moving, this thought evoked a pang of sadness in her heart.
On a fresh sunny day, as Cindy was stepping out of her car, she heard someone clapping. “Hello there, it is nice to meet you! My name is Bella”, she heard the cheerful voice of a small rabbit in the lawn next to her house. Bella was a brown rabbit with long ears. She had moved next door with her mom and dad. Cindy mumbled a small hello and went inside the house.
Next day, as Cindy drove towards the house, she noticed Bella playing with her ball. The ball was black and white, and a bit worn out. Bella was playing catch with her mom. Sometimes the ball would happily land into piles of crisp leaves and make a crackling sound. Bella jumped and laughed with every bounce of the ball. She paused when she saw Cindy. “Oh, I love to jump and so does my ball! Do you?”, she exclaimed. Cindy smiled and waved back.
Days went by and soon the town was in the thick of winter. Cindy had now learned that Bella loved to talk and that her favorite color was red. Her favorite food was the warm carrot porridge that her mom made specially for her. She sometimes helped her parents in the kitchen and around the house. Cindy also learned that the little rabbit did not have any toys other than the ball, and that the carrot porridge was served only on special occasions like her birthday. No matter what the day, Bella always liked to jump and laugh a lot.
One night, when Cindy stepped on her porch, she saw Bella sitting on the steps of her house. Her ball also sat next to her and did not move much. Cindy waved to her and asked if she wanted to watch stars. “Okay, Cindy. Let me ask my mom and I will be right there”, said the little rabbit softly.
As the two of them watched the night sky, the stars shone in their red glory but Bella was quieter than usual. Cindy offered her the scarf as it was getting quite cold. “Do dreams come true, Cindy?”, asked Bella after a while. Cindy never really had to answer such questions because as you all know by now, it was typically the little rabbit who did most of the talking.
Cindy thought for a while and then said slowly, “I don’t think all dreams come true. I think one can still hope and shine like these red stars.” The stars were now watching them intently. Some even decided to come closer so they could hear the mouse. It was not every night that she spoke after all. Cindy continued, “One can always work hard. What I now know and what I have learned from you, Bella, is that one can also always try to have fun!”
Bella nodded and said, “You are right, Cindy”. She returned the scarf and bid her good night. She hopped a little as she passed the lawns to her house. She could not wait to tell her parents everything that Cindy had just said. As Bella rushed into the house, the stars blinked and gave each other a wide smile. Did they know something that Cindy and Bella did not know yet? That maybe next day, Cindy was going to find her old car with an overnight shiny red makeover. That maybe next day, a surprised little rabbit was going to be kicking a bright red ball instead of her old one. It was going to be a new day. The two of them were going to laugh a lot. Perhaps for a long time. The folks in the town were going to tell the story of that amazing night when they saw the stars showering down a dazzling red light. They would tell each other how after that night, the stars were never red but they continued to sparkle bright. Perhaps for a long, long time.