August 8, 2003
Hi Andrew! It’s been a couple weeks since you saw me down at the lake near Eggstätt. Hope my beautiful Deutschland was everything you’ve dreamed of.
Yes, I’m real. That I was no beer-induced dream. I saw the looks your roommates gave each other as I flew through the trees, but don’t worry – they would barely recognize their own mothers 200 feet away, let alone adorable Wolpertingers like myself.
So don’t ever doubt your flying bunny exists. You saw the antlers, the wings, the sharp pointy teeth, and you should be proud.
Besides, how else do you explain finding this note on your pillow?
Visit the lake when you get a chance, and I promise that you’ll sometimes catch glimpses of me. (Occasionally. Very occasionally.)
July 29, 2004
Welcome back to Germany, Andrew! Loved seeing you around the lake again. The fact that you came back a year later to look for me means a lot. I definitely made the right choice in picking you. Sorry I didn’t come out from behind the tree, but I’m not the ‘reliable,’ ‘predictable’ type.
Good luck with sophomore year! I hear it’s way better.
November 14, 2004
You sir, are awesome. Thank you for your continued belief.
February 4, 2005
Hey Andrew. I’m guessing by now that you’re questioning whether or not you saw me. I can feel your doubt, and let me say: it does not feel good. See, I picked you to see me because I knew you were one of the special ones, and it hurts when you go and doubt like this.
Really. I fade a little every time you doubt your memory. No, I can’t show up at your house. No, I can’t reveal myself to your mom. I select the people I think/hope will believe me the best, the ones that can go on believing long after their research grants have been cut off by the most questionable of companies. Bigfoot’s crowd? He’s got a loyal following. Those people are committed. You are one of those dedicated people. I believe in you – won’t you believe in me?
July 2, 2005
I don’t have as much strength these days, what with 2 believers croaking and a perfectly good replacement doubting his sanity.
How are you receiving these letters, you ask? Your therapist is messing with your mind. I can’t explain all the magic behind it, but you’re definitely not going crazy and writing them yourself. How can you even ask that?
Now pick yourself up and get back in school.
April 24, 2006
Hi there. I know it’s been a little while since I last sent a message, but you wouldn’t believe how much effort it takes to write anything down, let alone show up at the lake. I lost another old-timer the other day, and his death was a real blow to the old heart, I can tell you.
The worst part is that by not showing up at the lake on a semi-regular schedule anymore, I can’t get the attention of the casual hiker, or even the Snopes people. For, as it is said, the Wolpertinger does not live by chupacabra intestines alone. Think about that the next time you fall asleep in bed at your mom’s house, knowing your friends and family believe in you. That must feel nice, having someone believe in you. I wouldn’t know.
April 25, 2006
Andrew, I’m really sorry for that last letter. I want you to know how much I value your belief.
July 16, 2006
Nice to have you back on the bandwagon, buddy. Third trip back was a charm! Funny that your girlfriend brought you out here to prove I didn’t exist, huh? I hope you appreciated the brief glimpse of me in the trees.
May 4, 2008
Ah. Yes. I’m still here. A couple years later, and still kicking around somehow. Barely. But who know how much longer? What kind of crazy person believes in a flying bunny, amiright?
Please pretend you didn’t read that.
I really just meant to congratulate you on the marriage. She’s beautiful.
November 12, 2009
Look, I know both your wife and your therapist keep telling you I’m a figment of your imagination, but you’ve just got to keep believing in me. You’re my last believer, and I don’t want to fade. I watched the Beast of Bodmin disappear a couple centuries back, and the Beast of Gevaudan. After the years of panic and terror they wreaked, it’s hard to believe no one recognizes their names anymore.
It’s not convenient to remember me, I know, but do it for my awesome antlers. (You know you saw them.) Those things were amazing, right? Right?
March 26, 2012
I get it. I know when I’m not wanted. You’re throwing these notes into your shredder before Jane sees them. And you encourage dinosaurs with your son, but never mention me? It hurts, but I understand. I’ll go the way of the Dodo – except people actually believe in him, and he’s dead.
May 20, 2015
My time is short. You don’t even see these messages before they fall and fade into the crevice between your mattress and headboard – but I couldn’t vanish without thanking you for the years you held onto my memory, however inconvenient it was.
For however long I have left, I’ll always remember the time you remembered me.
May 27, 2015
Hello! I’m that special creature your dad told you about last night. I really do have sharp teeth, and I really do fly.
Write me letter anytime! Tell me all about first grade. Just put the letter under your pillow at night – it’ll find its way to me.
“Love, Your Wolpertinger” was originally published in Galaxy’s Edge #18
Dantzel Cherry teaches Pilates and raises her daughter by day. By night and naptime, she writes. Her baking hours follow no rhyme or reason. Her short stories have appeared in Fireside, InterGalactic Medicine Show, Galaxy’s Edge, and other magazines and anthologies.
The picture is a traditional image of Wolpertingers by the German painter and engraver Johann Daniel Meyer (1713-1752) and is in the public domain.