The mobile was spinning gently above lil’ baby Pilou’s crib. The motorised ‘hook’ that attached it to the ceiling slowly unwinding with a quiet purr that was inaudible beneath the soft chimes the unit was also emitting.
It was the end of another long day for both Pilou and his big bro Milo. Milo’s day had been spent at the same school he had attended all his life. Pilou, on the other hand, had spent his day in pre-school.
The wolf-cub’s adopted parents had (with a little prodding from Milo) moved the rapidly regressing pup to the school across town. There was nothing unethical, illegal or even especially unusual about that; parents sometimes changed their minds about which school was best for their cubs after all.
No, the illegal part was when Milo intercepted his little brother’s school records in the time between his parents collecting them from his old school and when they handed them over to the new school. A few quick alterations saw Pilou go from year one to the preschool class, and his language, numeracy and toilet training go from ‘needs work’ to ‘non-existent’.
It was for the best though; there was very little left for Pilou to unlearn. These days thoughts barely bothered to even flit through the cub’s empty mind. He spent his waking hours burbling happily in baby-speak and smiling at his friends and caregivers; his teacher, his parents, his brother all loved his radiant, carefree cub-smile (even if, in the last case, it also tended to be accompanied by a slightly dazed expression).
Pilou spent his days with people who loved him and who he loved back in his own innocent, blank lil’ way. His second cubhood was as idyllic and pleasant as his big brother could make it, from the breakfast of warm oats and honey in the morning, to the day playing with (or more often ‘teething’ on) bricks at school, to getting tucked in at nights. Milo made sure nothing distressed Pilou’s empty little head ever.
It was important that the pup stay in the right state of mind after all. So long as the days passed in a haze of contentment and uneventful happiness Pilou had no desire to (or reason to, the two were very similar) question his regression or to even remember his former life. There were other things that could help keep Pilou on the ‘right’ track though: images, feelings and narrative among them.
In fact, now that his higher reasoning had been all but circumscribed, these things were more important than ever. Fortunately Milo had found a useful image early on in their relationship, back when he had caught the cub sneaking around in the hypnosis section of the toy shop. His little bro had a fascination with a certain seductive serpent from Disney’s Jungle Book.
Pilou loved hearing about the adventures of a certain group of man-cubs, and their encounters with Kaa. He especially liked hearing Milo’s alterations. The ones where the cubs gave in and placed their trust in him only to find that the snake didn’t want to consume them but instead merely wished to ensnare them and wrap them up safe in his controlling coils and calming gaze.
Yes, Pilou loved hearing that story as he watched his mobile spin and his yawns grew louder and his eyes became glassier and blanker and heavier…
“Good night bwo.” Milo smiled as he marked their place and closed the book. “Have sweet dreams.” He said needlessly. Pilou had no choice but to have nice dreams at this point. “Tomorrow is another day packed with fun and exciting things that you will need all your energy to explore.” The fox boy leaned over to kiss his cute little baby brother on the forehead and tuck him in tight.
This picture was commissioned from HypnoFire86 by Pilou. The helpless baby wolf featured is Pilou himself. The older fox-boy reading him his bedtime story is my character, Milo. Pilou kindly gave me permission to post it in my gallery.