Once upon a time, a family went to Costa Rica after watching one too many David Attenborough documentaries about the jaw-dropping wonders of the rainforest. Enamoured with the docile cuteness of sloths at a local sanctuary, they picked up a gorgeous toy sloth at the gift shop for their daughter. It was the perfect cuddle buddy, soft, sweet and seemingly sleepy.
But this little sloth had bigger ambitions. This cuddly sloth wasn’t like all the other sleepy, slothy counterparts. Oh no. It dreamed of something better. Something faster, snappier and jazzier. A quickstep to replace its slow climb. It wanted a top hat and cane, instead of moss-lined fur. But the sloth believed a dancer’s life was out of reach. How does a slow, snoozy sloth find Fred Astaire’s fleet footedness?
Then the girl’s parents treated her to a brand new eve mattress, and each night our slothy hero enjoyed sleep like never before. No more hanging upside down from trees. No more uncomfortable backache. Morning by morning, this little sloth felt more energetic and more alive.
One morning there were jazz hands. The next a little toe tap. A pirouette. Even the worm. It spent countless evenings tucked under her arm while she watched Strictly Come Dancing, So You Think You Can Dance and Billy Elliot, simply soaking up inspiration.
On the 99th night on the sublime mattress, the sloth, cosy under the light linen covers, was out like a light. No need to count sheep – or 5, 6, 7, 8.
The following day, woken by a warm stream of morning light, something happened. As the radio came to life, so did our sloth, with a hip and a hop, a shimmy and a shake. There was a twinkle in its toes and a frisson in its fur. It began to dance its little socks off, full of the joy that only a great night’s sleep can bring.
No need to count sheep – or 5, 6, 7, 8.
No slow, fuzzy starts for this sloth. And, definitely, no moss growing in its fur.
If a sloth can wake up dancing each morning, then so can (can) you.