This story is by E.R. Holmbeck and was part of our 2020 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
“Oh! What a lovely day it is!” said Tilley Beaver as the first sentence of the morning. It really was quite a beautiful day, and for that matter, Tilley was going to go on a walk with his new friend: Floyd the Frog. He met Floyd on his way to the creek that morning, and they agreed to become friends.
“So Tilley, I heard that you just moved here,” wondered Floyd.
“Yep! My old home was getting pretty small, and now that I’m older, I thought it might be a great opportunity to make new friends!”
“Oh, you’re just going to love it here, I know it.”
“I already love this village! It feels like—like home!”
Tilley Beaver was extremely excited about the move into his new dam. It was just at the edge of the creek, where the waters calmed into a trickling stream.
“Well,” said Tilley, after a while of exercising, “I should probably be getting back home. Thanks for the walk.”
Once he arrived at his house of twigs, Tilley watched the sun sink below the purple waves of the mountains. Soon, after he crossed another day off his calendar, Tilley also fell asleep to the music of the rippling stream below him.
The next morning, Tilley Beaver was just getting ready when Floyd stopped over and asked him on a walk again. This soon became their new routine.
Tilley and Floyd both enjoyed the walk very much, but deeper into the forest there was a different story.
Beyond the meadow, was a tall tower, one that held a King inside. This King went by the name “King George Rabbit.” The animals looked up to him, and had always known him to be a quite benevolent King; but really, he was very unjust.
King George held charge of giving the food to all the animals, and the animals couldn’t live without the food, so they accepted this way of life. Yet it had come to the time that King George ran out of food to give away. Not even an apple was left in storage. He couldn’t bring himself to admit this for fear of losing control of the animals; so he came up with a great, but very bad plan.
King George made a potion called, “TSP-itis,” (The Secret Plan-itis,) and spread it into the forest air. He claimed it to be as bad a rabies, but really, it was just a stunt. He did this in order to keep fear in the animals’ hearts, and make them follow his every lead.
Little did Floyd and Tilley know that all this was happening during that time.
“Thanks for the walk Tilley! See you next time!” Floyd waved goodbye.
“Bye!” replied Tilley.
Tilley enjoyed the stroll home, until he arrived at his house of twigs. On his doorstep lay an envelope writing: “From His Majesty…”
Tilley opened the letter, confused that King George Rabbit would send a letter to him; though he persisted.
Inside, the letter wrote:
King George Rabbit’s
I regret to inform you that a new virus has leaked into the forest named TSP-itis; it appears to be ten times worse than rabies.
For safety of the kingdom, all animals are ordered to immediate and indefinite self-isolation.
Tilley was very alarmed by this message, and stood there in shock. He tried to go inside, but he could not bring himself to move an inch. He couldn’t believe that this was actually real! He wouldn’t be able to go for a stroll in the mornings, or say “hello” to friends. A thought struck him, and it was the worst one of all. How was he to get food? He couldn’t go outdoors, and no one could give him food!
Tilley thought and thought, and he finally came to the conclusion that he would go to King George Rabbit’s palace, and ask him about it.
It was a hard journey but Tilley finally made it in the darkest part of the night. The trees seemed to crouch in closer into Tilley as he took every step. Tilley knocked on the door, but no answer came. Although, what could he expect; it was the middle of the night.
Tilley decided he would go inside himself. Though it was rude, he was sure that King George wouldn’t mind.
Tilley walked through the humongous hallways, until he heard a faint sound of two voices speaking. As he kept walking, the noise got louder and he realized it was coming from the room next to him. He heard two animals talking, and without thinking, Tilley listened in on their conversation.
Tilley heard the deep voice of King George Rabbit say:
“How are we going to keep up with this?”
Another animal replied in a fox—like voice: “It will be fine. All we have to do is convince them that TSP is as bad as rabies, and their hearts will be filled with fear. We will soon rule the world.”
Tilley heard them make a grumbling “Mwa—ha—ha—ha—ha.”
“Your right. It is no problem. Just don’t let them know what TSP stands for. The Secret Plan is now in session!”
After they finished talking, Tilley left right away knowing he wasn’t safe. King George wasn’t trying to protect the animals; he was trying to destroy their freedom!
The next morning was another beautiful day, and even though he was supposed to quarantine himself, Tilley went to Floyd’s home and asked to go on another walk.
Floyd jumped to another subject and said, “What are you doing! You are supposed to be self-isolating!”
Tilley blurted out the whole story of his trip to the castle.
“I—I don’t believe it! King George Rabbit would never do such a thing,” said Floyd a little hesitantly.
Tilley could sense the doubt in Floyd’s voice, so he persisted.
“Well, you know that beavers are known to never tell a lie. Though you may not like it, it’s true.”
“I don’t know Tilley; I just can’t believe that King George would lie to us.”
Floyd declined the invitation of going for a walk, for he didn’t want to risk getting TSP-itis. Tilley then set out to find another friend of the name Cindy Cardinal.
“Sorry, but I cain’t risk it. I got three mou’s to feed and I don’t want no trouble,” said Cindy.
“Well Cindy, King George is out of food. How will you feed those mouths?” Tilley told the whole story, and although told thoroughly, Cindy hadn’t believed.
Cindy’s daily song of cheer was surely to be missed by the forest, for she brought a rare light to the woods.
Tilley then went to another house, which inside lived Patty Squirrel.
“Oh, I wish I could; but I heard that squirrels are more prone to the disease.”
Patty offered Tilley an acorn she had left in her storage, and then said she couldn’t talk any longer.
Without any luck, Tilley went home with his proud chin hanging down.
Suddenly, a bird by the name Rachel Robin, a very reasonable bird, swooped down below and said “hello” to Tilley. Tilley was beaming with excitedness of the incident, and pleasantly said “hi” back.
“Sorry, I know we are ordered to be in isolation, but isn’t it nice just to greet somebody once in a while?” said Rachel.
“It is. Everything feels so out of sorts now that TSP-itis happened.”
“I don’t believe it. It’s too suspicious.”
“Neither do I! I have been looking for someone to go on a walk with all day, but no one would join me.”
“I have lots of friends that think the same way as you Tilley! Come, I’ll show you!”
Rachel brought Tilley to so many animals that he couldn’t count the number.
“We know this is all a lie. TSP-itis is only made to control the forest, and to be used as a cover-up for the failure of the King’s rule over the food supply. We will no longer depend on the control of that ridiculous King Georgie; we will run away to a free land!” said Rachel.
“Could I possibly join you?” asked Tilley.
“Oh, of course! The more the merrier!”
Tilley and his new friends ran away from the land of the slaves, and went to a new land; one that hadn’t been claimed, where the air held liberty with every breath. In a sense, they were leaving their homes, and everything they had known; but they knew their true home was freedom.
“Welcome freedom loving friends, to a place we will now call ‘The Land of the Free.’ We have reached our destination where we will no longer be tracked by chains of unhappiness, or be touched by unjust refuge,” declared Rachel Robin.
“We are to enjoy the fruit of our own labor. Nothing can hold us back. We are free!” shouted Tilley.
Jody A Karels says
This captured my attention and I was totally engrossed. It stretched my imagination because of the names of the animals, the author is very creative! Loved the analogy to today’s pandemic. Thoughtfully presented.
Renee Redding says
I agree enjoyed the story; very insightful for a young person. I would only pray older people could understand what the King is doing.
A very well written and powerful story. Good will always prevail! I look forward to your next story!
Absolutely love this story! What a feat to accomplish writing a children’s story that crosses generations and can have wisdom for adults as well! Love the alternative narrative than what is presented in mainstream media. Way to go!
Satirical story well written bringing together thoughts and views that are relevant although not to all.
Rio Kitaoji says
Richard Butcher says
A very nice story. But I was hoping the animals would push the King out of his castle and make HIM leave the land!
Fred Walsh says
My 8yr old and I loved reading your story of hope & freedom before bedtime. We feel positive about the future of our world when young awake writers like Miss Holmbeck can see beyond the shadows of tyranny and utilize it to uplift humanity.
Jody Davis says
I just loved the story too but I also found your comment to be inspiring too..
Vic Wisdy says
What a lovely, refreshing story.
Robert Blay says
Jeff Berwick sent me to read your story. I was captivated! Great story well done!
Wonderful story, very interesting how people can cover up things. Lucy $ Jeff.. sent me to peek at it.
Valerie Wond says
Aaron Hues says
Another Jeff $ Lucy send. Great story. Very creative way to gently shed light on truth. Shared to my FB page also and will share in a few groups. 😉
Freedom has never been free. Good story, well written, witb a light heart. Let’s hope America wakes up and has more independent freedom loving citizens like this author.
I read it because of Jeff too
Wonderful story. Shared it.
Heiko Scherrer says
I also came here per recommendation from Jeff Berwick and Lucy. This is a wonderful story, hard to believe that a 12 year old has more common sense than most adults. This definitely gives me hope.
Alison veitch says
Brilliant. Such a great talent at such a young age. Well done!
Lily Gonzalez says
Great story, very appropriate for our time.
Great work and beautiful how a young soul can see through the deceit. their is hope yet.
You are a fantastic writer and wise to see the truth of the world!
Amazing story telling skills! BRAVO!!!
Rebecca Calkins says
It truly warms my heart to know that there are still children who have not been convinced by the lies that the so-called authorities are trying to use for controlling us. This is a beautiful story on many different levels. The author is obviously in possession of a free-will and mind.
Veronica Berkness says
Thanks Rebecca. So important these days with group think mentality and cookie cutter expectations.
Fabio Fava says
May the world be full of children like this author, an awaken person who will help changing the world. Om Tare Tam Soha, May All Creaturs Benefit.
Alan Denneny says
My two boys loved that story Emma. Lucy $ Jeff told me about you! Please keep writing. You bring light to this dark forest and hopefully many people will get to hear and share your work. Together we will stand against them. It will be tough, but as I always tell my boy’s; clever is good, hard work is better, but never giving up is the best!
Veronica Berkness says
Steve Boussom says
Beautiful story. It is good to see a young person understanding the world. Freedom is sweet and you know and are sharing it through the written word to the world. Our 3 children were homeschoolers too and they were able to learn so much. Praise God that you have these kind of opportunities. Keep going, you are a great writer and I look forward to your first book.
Autumn Rennie says
Karen Clark says
I loved your story! Beautifully Written ❤!
Michael Adams says
I just finished reading your story, out loud to my wife and granddaughter. We all loved the characters in the story as it relates to today. It’s hard to believe your understanding of the world in which we live and the government that controls our forest. Jeff Berwick understands the forest as you do and suggested we read your story. Thank You.
Elaine Walters says
Most apt! This short story from a very well informed, intelligent youngster should be circulated as much as possible.
Sam G says
Wonderfully written and sounds quite familiar!
Luci & Jeff sent me
Jennifer THOMPSON says
I think your mum wrote to “The Dollar Vigilante” who in turn mentioned your story and provided the email address to read it & so I did. I’ve also voted for you even though I haven’t read the stories from other contestants. Great story but I’m really voting for your mum (dad or friend!) who must love you so much she’s gonna swing it for you. Love always wins in the end!
Dear E.R. Holmbeck,
read your Story to my Children in german:
Thank you and have a great Day
Excellent story! All too real though!
I’ve come here from Jeff Berwick’s site, what a fabulous story-thanks so much for your insight-together we can beat this evil madness with truth & love. You got my vote.
Kathi McKenzie says
A delightful story. The descriptions were wonderful with my favorite being “sun sink below the purple waves of the mountains” Thank you for your art!
kAY jONES says
andrea stamm says
excellent story she gets MY vote !
Using fiction, which is not real, to communicate truths, which are. Bravo!
Sent here by Jeff & Lucy show. I love it! How do I vote for this story?
Click here and scroll to Green highlighted Send My Readers Choice and then type in The Isolated Kingdom
Emma’s mom 🙂
Go to the menu bar at top of page go to contests and youll see instructions for voting there.
Excellent story well recommended by jeff
Walter Christie says
Woliwon for sharing your creative little story… very thought-provoking.
Nick Bonney says
Enjoyed that, you are very talented and at such a young age aswell.
Very well written. It gives me hope for the future.
John Nelson says
Refreshing to know that Some of our youth can see What, or WHO is behind the curtain.
Maybe we should all get back to reading children’s books that share a real message, as this one does.
This story belongs with the other golden books, like “The Little Red Hen”.
Thanks Jeff for the heads up on this story.
hey, your short story actually matches the truth,
as apposed to the long lie a lot of the older people believe
hey, maybe most young are smart, and most older people are stupid
just a thought
good ref from jeff n lucy
Well done!loved the story.
Thank you for this amazing story, a good way to inspire people to think about the present situation. Jeff, The Dollar Vigilante, mentioned your story and gave the link. Blessings from Germany to my American brothers and sisters.
Janette Fone says
Beautiful and well written. So true with what is happening right now.
Absolutely AMAZING –GOOD STORY —
I love this story! It is beautifully written! I felt a strong connection to this story with all that is happening in our country right now! I hope you continue to write more wonderful stories! Great job!
Great job! Woohoo!
ALEJANDRA ROMERO says
Wow! Lucy sent kisses and we wish you great success with all your stories! Amazing work ❤️
Bill Lodderhose says
Bravo. It’s wonderful to see such young talent (see through the myths) that so many adults (around the world) are having trouble understanding. At the end of the day, whether your animals in a forest or 4 friends walking down the yellow brick road, there’s no need to OBEY the WIZARDS that try to trick us, lol.
Ken Koss says
Great story. Best story I’ve read since “The Kingdom of Moltz” Should be mandatory reading for all politicians. Thanks Jeff and Lucy for recommending.
Jose Rodriguez says
Jeff & Lucy brought me here. Wow, Good job with the story. Kudos!
You are very gifted in your writing! Keep up the good work! Jeff Berwick recommended this story and it sure is appropriate for the day.
Napolde Tiewele says
This was a very nice way of seeing it and transfer to paper. Very nice imagination and ways of putting the sentence together. I have a 13 year old daughter, and i see at that age the wonders of their individual minds. Very well done sweety. Keep going!i!i!i!
C Mac says
Magnificent, well done !!. What of the unnamed characters in your tale?.
Such as, Pelosi the Pig, Fauci the Rat and Master Gates, the Bat from the
cave of Doom lol. You have my vote, hands down!
Ps. Jeff and Luci sent me.
A beautiful story and incisive allegory. We hope to read more of your work as it transpires.
Wow! I’m impressed! VERY well done! Jeff Berwick was right! Your story is awesome and hits the proverbial nail square on the head!
Great Job! Definitely my favorite.
Emma, you are a master storyteller and writer and have a great future ahead of you. Judges – can you believe this incredible children’s story was written by a 12-year-old? First prize in my estimation! Nice weaving together of current events and a fairytale theme.
The Dollar Vigilante channel
Keep writing – u got a gifr.!
This was the greatest story in this contest by far!!!
Something tells me this gifted young author knows more about what’s going on in the human world than those who’ve been here for decades.
Absolutely wonderful, descriptive, attention-holding writing with perfect pacing for the story length.
I’m going to write E.R. Holmbeck inside the cover of one of my favorite books to be reminded to search for their works in the years to come.
Veronica Berkness says
Amen, thankful for the home school option for many. There are forces at work to bring that to an end also. Especially if they are motivated by their religious convictions.
R Joseph Rathwell says
Just so Perfectly written.
I would like to go to “The Land of the Free”
CHRIS LOCKWOOD says
Roger Baird says
I read several stories on the list and enjoyed 3 of them. This one is a wonderful analogical tale written in a way that everyone can understand. It simplifies what has become a much too political situation, giving the reader a clearer insight into how easily the powers that be can dupe people. It also illustrates how the awakening from such a trance can occur, making the reader hopeful for the future. Good writing and I hope we’ll see your name on book covers in the future.
john mac says
Incredible work from someone of such a young age. Jeff and Luci sent me to come and read and it was well worth the effort. Thanks for sharing.
Sherry Swiney says
Enjoyable story and well written. Great job! I also came here from Jeff and Lucy and I’m glad I did. Keep up the good work!
Lucy recommended this story and she was right. We’ll done. Never stop being an independent thinker!
Fantastic story very well written, great recommendation by Lucy. This author has a real future. Well done from the United kingdom
Agree!! Wonderful story
Loved it.. Talent and wisdom
Based on a true story. Hope people in the real world also will claim new land after this controlled demolition is over.
robert d mckenzie says
For a 12yr old I found this so socially relevant , poignant and insightful I was enthralled to know there are youngsters out there where talent abounds. Excellent story telling. 5 stars from me.
r ert says
Suresh Itsalot says
I enjoyed the story. It’s comforting to know there are young people not wearing the veils this sick kakistocracy has worked ever so hard to place on all of us. Thanks for the recommendation Jeff and Lucy.
Renate Lindeman says
Well done! Let’s hope more adults will finally wake up and see the king really is a manipulative, power-hungry, selfish figure who is utterly unnecessary for animals to thrive in their forest. I really enjoyed your story and find it refreshing to know a young person is able to see through the deception.
Rick McClain says
Excellent story. Let’s hope it makes a change.
This was a Great Story, Emma Rose!!! Keep Up the Great Writing!!!
Great piece of work Emma.
A great story for 2020, Emma has 2020 vision.
Roger Eldridge says
Great ‘story’ Emma. I read the Warm Fuzzies and Animal farm to all my children and I intend to read yours to my grandchildren.
Eddy the European cat says
Great job on the story, Emma!
All the animals you spoke of, that don’t believe in TSP-itis – they really exist, in the REAL world!
Because every one of them just posted a comment here, including me, a European cat.
Your story is reaching other countries and even other continents, Emma.
You might not win this contest – but that’s probably because King George has the contest rigged.
This a so much more than ‘an excellent short story’, this is a modern day parable… let him who has ears……..
I heard of your story theough dollar vigilante. Its great i really enjoyed reading it
I also heard about your story through the Dollar Vigilante. A very awesome and insightful story about our current times of great deception. Yes, like these animals many of us know the truth and want nothing more then our mutual happiness and freedom!
Jason Hudson says
Good story. Thanks!! I enjoyed the read.
Cynthia Gill says
Well done! Very good insights… Keep it up!