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The Nameless Rabbit
Several years ago, three to be exact, there lived a little rabbit. This rabbit was born to a small farm of chickens. Because the rabbit lived on a farm of only chickens, and he was not of big importance, he was not given a name.
He became very self aware of the differences between the chickens and him, so he decided to do something. One overcast day he hopped on his soft little feet over to the wise old rooster, whose name was Wishdom. Rabbit asked Wishdom, “What can I do to become a chicken like the rest of you?”
Wishdom spread out his wings and looked up into the bright sky, praying to the god, Lmenta. After a couple of minutes Wishdom turned his head to gave upon Rabbit with one eye.
“Lumenta has given me great wisdom, and has privileged me to pass it onto my people, even the different ones. Lumenta told me in order for you to become one of us completely, you must go on a quest to find yourself a name. We chickens did not give you a name, for we only know how to name other chickens. It is up to you to find a name for yourself, and come back a new being.”
Rabbit longingly wanted to fit in with the chickens, so the next day he set off on his journey, in search of a proper name. He hopped along in the ditch beside the dirt road, that led to his home farm, feeling a little frightened. He never left home by himself before, he always had one of his chicken friends to accompany him, and protect him.
Suddenly, a twig snapped in the bushes a few feet from Rabbit. The little fellow froze and panicked inside. Before Rabbit had a chance to react, a fat little hedgehog waddles out of the bushes. He stopped when he saw Rabbit shuddering in fear.
“Don’t tell me you think I'm a porcupine too,” huffed the hedgehog. “I know some people easily confuse me with one, but not you, you are a rodent just like me, and you look like a smart one at that.”
“I don’t think you are a porcupine,” replied Rabbit, relaxing. “I know what a hedgehog looks like. I am Rabbit!”
Rabbit reached out his little paw, offering the hedgehog a handshake. The hedgehog ignored the hand and laughed.
“I certainly hope your parents didn’t name you that, or I am seriously in dept of an apology.”
“I never was given a name, so I just go by Rabbit. But there is no need to apologize, for I am out on a quest to find myself a good name, then I can truly fit in with the chickens.”
“Well, I wish you luck, my good fellow,” the hedgehog replied. “My name is Henry, I live down the way.”
“Hello Henry, I am very glad to meet another rodent like myself. Even though you are a hedgehog, and I am a rabbit,” Rabbit was truly excited that he met Henry. The chickens were good company for the most part, but Rabbit felt inferior whenever he was around them. It wasn’t that the chickens tried to make Rabbit feel that way; it was just so apparent to all, that chickens are the better. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I am on a important quest to find myself a proper name. And I don’t wish to be late for supper, for it is always delicious. I especially love Thursday nights, because the farmer serves us oats in molasses.”
Henry smacked his lips together upon hearing what was served at the chicken farm. The sharp hedgehog came up with a scheme to satisfy his desire for some delicious chicken chow. Henry took a few steps toward Rabbit, and rubbing his paws together asked, “Do you by any chance have room in your party for one more?”
“Oh, I don’t know... This is my quest, I am not sure if Wishdom, my great leader, would approve of it...” Rabbit’s eyes suddenly widened. “Wait, do you mean YOU?”
“Oh, ho ho. You make me laugh, boy. Of course me! So what do ya say, my friend?”
Rabbit felt torn. He knew this was his journey for him to make. But he was also fond of Henry, and maybe if he took Henry with him, he could find a better name. Another positive thing about allowing Henry to come along with him, was he could finally have a friend that he could talk to, have fun with, and feel like he belonged. The downsides were outweighed by the benefits. Rabbit desperately wanted a friend, so he smiled and nodded his head cheerfully.
“Of course you may come! I am sure I will die of happiness having you with me! I never had a friend like you before!”
Henry licked his lips and smiled slyly. He smirked inwardly at his victory. The two rodents treaded down the road, Rabbit hopping joyfully, and Henry waddling, and chuckling to himself deviously.
Henry and Rabbit traveled down the little dirt road for about half an hour until Henry became tired and insisted on stopping to rest. Rabbit jumped excitedly, trying to get hedgehog’s energy up again. Hedgehog grumbled and rubbed his feet. Rabbit feared his new friend did not really like him. He racked his brain for something he could do to help.
“Maybe I could go into the wood and find you a periwinkle mushroom. Wishdom says they give you enough energy to stay awake for a whole week, without feeling the least bit fatigued.”
“Well what are you waiting for, boy? Fetch me this mushroom you speak of!”
Rabbit subserviently scurried off into the woods, in search of the reviving mushroom. The small creature hopped about the dark, damp forest for several minutes before he found a delicious-looking, green clover. Rabbit loved that particular type of clover. He unwillingly passed the scrumptious treat, knowing he must find that periwinkle mushroom for Henry.
The mossy-covered branches of the forest’s fur trees loomed as if they were guarding a hidden secret of the forest. Rabbit imagined all of terrors he could discover in the woods. The only thing that kept the little fellow going, was his longing to please Henry.
Rabbit then came upon a anciently rotten tree trunk. Inside the hollowed-out center of the stump grew a single mushroom. Rabbit excitedly hopped to the mushroom and examined the violet-blue hue. The small rodent’s front paw flicked up and he was about to pick the magical plant when he heard a horrifying screech come from a distance away, deeper in the woods. Rabbit froze, his ears pointed to the darkly shaded forest roof. The frightened fellow jumped when the unearthly sound rang out throughout the woods again, and hid behind a wide tree. Then, from out of the darkest part of the woods, emerged a terribly large bear.
Rabbit’s tiny body shook as he kept his wide-eyed gaze on the angry bear. The monstrous beast stumbled back and forth, eyes a’ blazing. Rabbit knew he would be spotted any second. He decided he must make a run for it. Henry would know what to do. With a jolt of bravery the frantic rabbit leaped from his hiding place, and towards the end of the woods. Rabbit heard the bear roaring behind him, and could feel the thuds of the bear’s swift footsteps.
Rabbit was not used to being forced into a frantic run, but he knew what to do. Wishdom had taught all of the chickens in his flock the emergency procedures needed if ever they were in a bear attack. The number one, and most important thing to do, is run, run and not look back. Rabbit did not know how close the bear was behind him, or how big the monster was. But he dared not turn his head to see, for if he did, it only took one small root to trip him and leave him in a convenient reach of the hungry bear’s paws.
Rabbit’s hear pounded against his dainty chest. He knew he was not fast enough to outrun the angry bear.
This is the end. At least I met a sweet friend like Henry before I must die. Well, this is it, goodbye world.
Rabbit began to slow his pace, evidence of his giving up. The small, vulnerable animal, stopped his fleeing and curled up in surrender. Just as Rabbit squeezed his eyes in fear, he heard a low, and angry buzzing sound from behind. The pitiful critter spun around to see the nasty piece of work sticking his deadly paw into a loaded bee hive. The sticky mitt then came out of the nest, and was stuck into the large mouth of the bear.
Rabbit, although he still felt shaken, could not hold back a small chuckle. The sweet honey saved his life! Without another moment’s delay, he loped off, and out of the woods. When Rabbit reached the place that he left his fatigued friend, he was very disturbed by what he saw. Henry was no where to be seen! He was gone!
“Henry! I am sorry, I could not find the mushroom! A bear chased me out of the woods. But perhaps you rested up while I was away. Henry where are you?”
Rabbit continued to call out to the missing hedgehog, but all in vain. The little animal finally gave up calling, and plopped down in the cool summer grass. The tranquil sound of the robins in the trees put Rabbit into a sweet and peaceful sleep.
The exploratory rabbit awoke a couple hours later. He shot up quickly, ears pointed to heaven. The sky had disappeared behind several sinister-looking clouds. The wind blew as if a hurricane was on the verge of dropping it’s furry upon the rabbit. And on top of that, Rabbit did not recognize anything around him, not a tree, or rock, or blade of grass. The world had become a dark and dismal wasteland. There were no trees, only rocks and dirt stretched out as far as the eyes could see.
Rabbit panicked for a moment. Then he spotted a small, mound of dirt fluctuating a distance from where he stood shaking. The animal took a few cautious steps back just in time to miss the shower of dirt that came down when the pile of earth exploded. There, standing on his hind legs, was a silly looking, earless, rabbit. The earless rabbit moved about in jerky, quick movements. Rabbit stared at the creature with wide eyes. When the strange-looking creature finally spotted Rabbit, he froze and met Rabbit’s stare with his own beady gaze. This shocked stare-down went on for only a few seconds before the dirty creature smiled and said in a friendly voice:
“How did you get here? I didn’t see you here earlier.”
“I am wondering that myself actually. May I ask where I am?”
“Oh ho! Why this is the land of the prairie dogs! Welcome!”
“Prairie dogs? You’re a prairie dog?”
“I am indeed! What do you call yourself?”
“I am embarrassed to say this, but I don’t have a name. I am on a mission to go find myself a proper name, so that I may be truly accepted and loved by the chickens.”
“Now I don’t know what a chicken is, but they must be quite the fools to not like a rodent. We are sublimely above all.”
“Well, I guess, if you say so.” Rabbit timidly said, blushing beneath his soft, brown fur.
“Boy! I don’t say so, I know it! You, and every other rodent a‘ livin, must be tall and confident of his rodency! Now enough of this foolish banter, lets find out where you came from! Oh, and my name is Perry, by the way.”
Rabbit briskly followed Perry across the open plane, hopping quite speedily to keep up. After a little while of travle, the two came to a stop at a hole that resembled the one Perry popped out of. Perry continued right down into the hole, then poked his head out when a hesitant Rabbit did not follow.
“Whats the matter, Rabbit?” Perry sounded a bit impatient. “Why don’t you follow?”
“Well, I don’t mean to be rude, but I never went down into a hole in the ground before. And frankly, I just don’t think I can.”
“Aww, sure you can. There’s a first time for everything.” with that Perry clasped Rabbit’s mini paw with his own, clawed paw, and began pulling the timid animal into the hole. “Just hold your breathe until we get to the bottom. Oh, and you might want to keep your eyes close, just follow the hole, you won’t get lost. Come on!”
With much hesitation, Rabbit followed Perry into the small, dark hole, squeezing his eyes shut and taking one last big breathe of air. Rabbit felt panicky as the walls of the dirt hole squeezed around him. There was no way to go but down, turning around was out of the question. Perry seemed very confident in his trek as he continued straight down. After what seemed like forever of holding his breathe, Rabbit spotted a small light. By this time Rabbit felt as if his head would burst, and he was desperate for air. Without thinking, Rabbit began pushing Perry down faster. Perry, sped up, understanding Rabbit’s situation. When the two reached the bottom of the tunnel, they fell down and landed in a low-ceilinged, dirt room.
The room was lit with miniature lanterns, and had freshly-picked, scented candles around the room. Rabbit breathed in a couple breathes of air, and relaxed his tense body. Perry chuckled and patted him on the back. Perry then motioned for Rabbit to follow him through another, not so tight of a squeeze, tunnel. That tunnel led to another room, which was slightly bigger. A smaller prairie dog than Perry sat sharpening his nails on a piece of rock.
“Carlyle, meet Rabbit,” Perry introduced. “I found him wandering around above. Neither him nor I know how he got there.”
Carlyle, turned his head and stared at Rabbit with blood pierced eyes. Once again, Rabbit felt afraid and cowered behind Perry. Carlyle slowly stood up and limped his hunched body over to Rabbit.
“You don’t know how you ended up here, aye?” His voice was surprisingly deep for a animal of his size. “I have seen this before. Yep, I believe you have the sleep crunchies.”
“A disease so mysterious to it’s carrier. You fall asleep like in any other time, but you wake up miles from home. More than half of the time, you never find your way home.”
Carlyle suddenly began coughing profusely as if he were hacking up a cow. Rabbit’s heart sank from hearing Carlyle’s words. Never find home?
“Don’t worry about what he says,” Perry smiled at Rabbit, seeing his worried face. “You shouldn’t worry so much, it is not good for the health. What he means by the sleep crunchies is that you sleep walked a very long distance.”
“Oh, that explains why i’m here,” Rabbit said trying to not sound so timid. “Very nice to meet you Carlyle!”
“Don’t be so happy! You do not yet know what I know. I get around, being a prairie dog and all, and I have overheard many conversations. You know the group of bears that lurk in the dark woods? I believe it is not very far from your home.”
“Yes, one of the very same bears almost killed me! I was saved by a fortunate bee hive just before I fell asleep and ended up here.”
“i just so happened to be digging nearby there, when I heard them approach above. I lay perfectly still, for the bears are known for digging for a little prairie dog snack if they hear one. I heard them talking about a chicken farm, and plotting a plan of attack!”
Rabbit felt his heart race in fear. He must do something for the chickens! But what could he do? He’s only a timid little rabbit, and they are mighty chickens. Rabbit considered letting them handle it on their own.
Perry saw Rabbit’s face, and knew exactly what the critter was thinking.
“You’re not letting that fear come back, are you? You must make a choice, my friend, if you ever want to conquer this, you have to make a choice to face it!”
“I do want to conquer it! I don’t want to be afraid anymore!”
“Then let’s go warn those chickens of yours!”
Rabbit did not have as hard of a time getting back out of the hole, he clawed and shoved, and pushed his way to the top. Once he made it out he began hopping as fast as his rabbit legs could carry him. Perry scurried behind Rabbit on all fours, trying to keep up. Although Rabbit sleep walked, or caught the sleep crunchies, he had somehow recieved the sense of direction as a side effect of his sudden burst of courage.
Rabbit led himself to a wide stream, with no way over or around as far as he could see. He did not want to waste a moment looking for something to float across on, that might cost the lives of the chickens. In a leap of bravery, Rabbit landed in the cool water with a gigantic splash. Perry called to Rabbit to come back, yelling something about a strong current, but Rabbit was determined to not back down. Rabbit did not notice when he started drifting down stream. Perry continued to warn him, but there was no stopping him. Suddenly Rabbit realized his situation, and began to panick. His bravery streak washed down the stream with him. Perry plugged his small nose, and dove into the current. For a moment, Rabbit could not see his little friend, he thought all hope was gone, and this was it. He did not feel scared to die, as much as he felt disappointed that he never really was brave, never could warn the chickens, and that he never found himself a name. With one last look up at the sun, Rabbit stopped fighting the current, and went down under the murky water, giving in. Right as Rabbit was seeing the last rays of sunlight dancing on the wicked waters, he felt a strong and hope filled hand grab him underneath the arms. Rabbit, who by this time was very tired from holding his breathe, was up and brought back to the surface of the water. He opened his eyes and breathed in. Perry held his buddies arms, and swam towards the shore.
Once Perry and Rabbit reached the land, Rabbit quickly thanked his saver and explained he must continue. Perry understood and the two of them made great time getting back into Rabbit’s part of town. When the friends reached the little dirt road that led to the chicken farm.
“Wait, wait, Rabbit. Once we get to the farm, what are we going to do? What if the bears are already there? I mean, we are only small rodents, and they are huge beasts.”
“I plan to go warn Wishdom, our leader. He’ll know what to do. He’s always so wise and brave.”
Perry nodded his head, and once again followed Rabbit to the farm. Rabbit hopped across the field, watching carefully for any bears. Once he made it to Wishdom’s house, he ran in and began to yell, “Wishdom! You must prepare for....” He stopped, and his eyes grew wide. Wishdom sat in his usual place in the chicken house, but right besdie him, with a big bowl of oats, sat Henry.
“Henry! You’re alright!” Rabbit ran to his friend and gave him a furry hug.
“Of course i’m alive! Why wouldn’t I?” Henry seemed a little too surprised by Rabbit’s comment.
“You just disappeared and I never found you.”
“Oh, well, here I am!”
“So glad to see you my friend! Oh, how can I be so rude? Perry, this is Wishdom the leader of the chickens, and Henry my hedgehog friend.”
“Nice to meet you both. It does not give me much pleasure to interrupt this reunion, but, Rabbit, you came here to tell the chickens something.”
Suddenly Rabbit remembered and began talking fast with a louder voice, “Oh yes! Wishdom, the bears are planning an attack! You have to do something!”
“What? Where did you hear this?” Wishdom asked.
“Carlyle, the prairie dog told me!”
All this time Henry looked very disturbed, and was now standing. The chubby hedgehog asked Rabbit, “How do you know this prairie dog is trustworthy?”
Perry suddenly intervened, “excuse me! But that is my brother whose trust you are questioning, Carlyle is never wrong. He’s the best of the best.”
“Well, if what you say is true, we certainly must do something.” Wishdom began to look up to the sky.
“No! Wishdom there is not time for that! YOU must make a choice on your own!” Rabbit squeeled. Henry suddenly smiled widley.
“If you want I can show you and all your hens to a stronghold. It has never been discovered by the bears. You will all be safe there.” Henry cooed.
“Yes, that would probably be best, this farm is not strong enough to hold back the bears. Let’s go gather up those hens!” Wishdom led the way out of the house.
The whole group came up to the hen yard. The hens all peacefully pecked at the ground and chatted with each other about worms they ate, and which nest box is the best to lay eggs in.
“Hens of the farm, listen to me now! We are going to be in some danger soon, and I would greatly appreciate it if you did not panic, this is only a small problem, soon to blow over. But we must move to a strong hold to be completely safe. gather up your chicks and a little extra grain, to be completely safe.” Wishdom called out to the hens.
“But what about my green egg? Those aren’y easy to lay you know!” A fat grey hen called out grumpily. Then another hen suddenly shouted, “this had better not be a drill. I remember your last drill, it caused me to lose three tail feathers! Do you have any idea how long it took me to grow them that long?”
By that time most of the hens were clucking and moving in on Wishdom, angrily with comments. Henry suddenly jumped on top of one of the tall feeders and called out, “The bears are attacking, and if you would rather sit here and complain than go to a safe place, you can all be a delicious chicken supper for the family of bears.”
A moment of shocked silence went by, then a uproar of screams and panic. Hens were knocking over feeders and waterers, banging into each other, and making it very easy for a someone to sneak in and steal one away.
“Hens! Hens! Calm down!” Wishdom desperatly tried to calm the hens.
Perry shook his head, “this is madness. That hedgehog friend fo yours is a fool to panic them.”
“Oh no, Hedgehog was only trying to help.”
“Huh. Well I don’t trust him.”
Just as Perry finished speaking he was grabbed behind by the arm. Rabbit jumped to his defense, but with no need. For it was Carlyle who was holding Perry’s arm, looking very wild.
“Carlyle, what brings you here?” Perry smiled at the sight of his brother.
“I have overheard another conversation. This is bad news,” Carlyle looked around and spotted Henry. “Who is that? What is his name?”
“That’s Henry the hedgehog! A good friend of mine!” Rabbit chimed in.
“Oh, a good friend indeed. I could tell by the looks of him, he must be the one.”
“Carlyle, please explain” Perry said, dodging a flying hen.
“I overheard the bears talking about bringing not going because they did not trust Henry, the juicy looking hedgehog. They said they did not believe him when he said there was a big chicken farm this way, and they did not feel like checking. So it looks like the bears are not what you must worry about, but that hedgehog fellow,” Carlyle looked wild as he spoke in his crackly voice.
“No, it can’t be Henry. It must be another Henry the hedgehog,” Rabbit tried to defend. Then without warning, Carlyle stalked up to Henry and tapped him roughly on the shoulder. “So you said Carlyle is your brother?”
“Well yes, I thought I already mentioned that to you.”
Carlyle and Henry were now talking very angrily, but no one noticed except Rabbit and Perry because of all the wildness around them. Carlyle suddenly reached out and angrily grabbed Henry’s neck. Henry hacked and tried to get away. Perry and Rabbit ran over and pulled Carlyle off of the hedgehog.
“He is the one! He is the one!” Carlyle, red eyed, screamed.
Suddenly everyone got quiet. All eyes turned to the entrance of the farm. Three monstrously sized bears came stalking into the farm, licking their lips.
“Oh ho, look frankie, that Hedgehog ain’t lying after all.” One of the bears with a unusually high voice said.
“Yeah, nice work, little fatty!” Another one of the bears said, looking directly at Henry. Perry stopped trying to pull Carlyle off of Henry, in disgust.
“Let’s start feasting!” The biggest bear smiled and began searching the crowd for the fattest, juiciest hen. Right as the first bear was reaching for a plump white hen, Rabbit ran up and shouted to the bears, “Wait! Let’s make a deal!”
The bears, being lazy creatures, flopped down and looked at Rabbit.
“Let’s hear your deal.”
“Well, I have a riddle. If you answer correctly you can eat everyone of these chickens. But if you answer incorrectly you will be killed.”
“Ho ho. How can any of you kill us?”
“Yeah, nice one Frankie. We accept!”
“I will give all three of you one chance to answer. Here it is:
What is the one thing you must have for life,
but is not a necessity to live.
Some will fool you,
it will always be there to give.
You may not know which ones are lies,
and which ones are true.
Well, what do you think?”
“Derh, it’s definantly bees! If you see a nest, they are always there, but they fool you and sting you!” The first bear guessed.
“Nope, that is not the right answer.” Rabbit said. “Next one guess.”
“I say it’s a hunter. They look nice and friendly, but then they getcha!”
“Closer, but nope. Last try!”
“Um, uh...” The last bear thought, looking nervous.
“Come on Frankie! You got this!”
“Okay I got it!”
“It has to be ants!”
“What? Frankie? That’s the best you got?”
“Yeah, that’s all I could think of. They were crawling all over my cave this morning, I was still thinking about that delicious morning snack I ate.”
“I am sorry, but none of those are the right answers! But I have another riddle:
What is part of a chicken farm,
But is not animal.
It protects us from harm,
and make our feeder’s full?”
“Oh that’s easy, the farmer!” The bears looked very happy with their answer.
“Correct! But since you did not get my first riddle correct, i’m sorry...”
“Wait... THE FARMER?” The bears roared. Just as they figured it out, a group of plaid-wearing men with rifles came riding up on their muscular horses. The bear’s eyes grew larger than one of the hen’s eggs as they saw the scene.
“Book it, Frankie!”
The bears dashed out of the hen area, sprinting towards the woods, with the hunters on their heels.
The hens all cheered. But Rabbit had to do something. He walked up to Henry, who was still being held by Carlyle.
“I want you to know the answer to my riddle. The answer is a friend. You were not a friend to me, I only thought you were. I want you to leave, and never come back to this farm.” Rabbit said in a calm voice. Carlyle released Henry, and the hedgehog scampered off, tripping a few times and looking back over his shoulder at Rabbit.
“Very well done, Rabbit!” Wishdom congratulated his friend. “I have to say, you did fail the quest I sent you on. But you completed a much deeper quest inside of you. For a reward, the hens and I settled on a name for you. For now on you will not be known as simply “Rabbit”, but we will make you much more appreciated, and you will be known as “Richard” the brave.”