Rabbit on the loose
A novel by Dirk Schumacher
Mother rabbit took a walk through the forest she called home. She was on
her way back to her den, where Robbie and Rita Rabbit were thought to already
She wandered through the blooming hayfield, passing beautiful blue
cornflowers and jumping over small creeks. She spent some time this day looking
for wild carrots and clover to feed from.
When she returned to her den she couldn’t help but notice that her 2
little puppies Robbie and Rita weren’t there. She looked all over the place but
couldn’t find them. “Robbie! Rita!” mother Rabbit yelled, “Where are you? Stop
fooling your old mommy and come back to the den!” She looked all over again and
after a while she really started to worry. Where were they?
Well, well, where were our little elopers? A few hours ago they started
exploring their neighborhood, fooling around and not minding their steps. Just
the way all children love to do. So they walked and blustered around and strode
away. “Shouldn’t we go back to our den? Mommy’s going to worry and be upset
once she returns to the abandoned den!” Rita asked her brother who failed to
notice her anxiety- too exciting all the new sightings and flowers and bushes
were. “Shouldn’t we return?” Rita insisted. This time Robbie realized her talking
to him. “Ahem… Yeah.” He replied “Oh, ahem, give me just another 5 minutes- I
do need to explore that tiny denture behind that bush over there. I think I
smelled some tasty four leaf clover over there!” And so they strode on.
Meanwhile Mother Rabbit was really upset and worried. How should she
know where her puppies were? So she passed over to the old owl living in the
oak tree left to her den. “Owl, did you happen to see my puppies lately and do
you know where they went?”- “Uhu, no, I’m afraid. You know it’s daytime still
and I start living after sunset. I slept the whole day through.” the owl
Mother Rabbit didn't want to give in as easily and took on the search
for her puppies. Maybe the squirrel family in the hazelnut- bush a few yards to
the north knew more about her puppies` whereabouts. ”Yes. Certainly. Of course.
Went south. Saw them fooling around. Helter-skelter southbound. Sure. 2 hours
ago. Yes, Sure!” Daddy Squirrel replied in his squirrel typical quick nervous
“Robbie, we do need to go back. Mommy will already be extremely worried.
Please, Robbie. I’m scared and darkness is already falling cross the forest.
Come on, I want to go home!” Rita bargained and finally Robbie reacted. But did
he know what to do? Did he know where to go? No. Robbie had to admit that they
had gone lost. “Rita” Robbie said, “Do you know the way home? No? Neither do I!
We’re lost!” And so our 2 heroic elopers huddled against each other shivering
in the darkening evening light. A cold evening breeze blew through their fur
and as if not enough they now started realizing all the annoying nerve
tattering noise of the evening forest around them. Lost in a dark wide forest.
Lost and on their own, without a Mommy to rely on.
“Good grief, where are my puppies?” Mother rabbit thought to herself.
She scuttled southward looking for her children. But she couldn’t find a trace
of them. No tracks, no fur balls, no nothing. Solely the tracks of wolves,
foxes and lynxes were to be seen. She went on southward, on and on, yard by
yard. Mother rabbit was desperately searching for her puppies and the cold wind
blew into her face, drying her tears of sorrow. The first stars appeared in the
pale blue sky and night fell across the forest. The moon rose in the east.
“Caught up by Mr. Fox”
“Ttztztztztz…” Robbie and Rita heard behind them. Frightened they opened
their eyes and looked around. Just 3 feet beyond them there was Mr. Fox. Red
gleaming fur and a white tipped rood wagging left to right and back again.
Stunned the lay together in their tiny denture they had chosen for the night-
unable to move as if nailed to the ground. ”Shshshsh- don’t worry puppies, I
don’t want to mean you no harm. I’m too old to feast from young fast little
rabbits. You see even my teeth have left me over the years.” Mr. Fox hushed our
2 elopers simpering teethless. ”S-s-s-so what are you going to do to us? Will
you bark for your family to feed from us?” Rita asked after re- collecting her
bravery. “No” the old fox replied “The 2 of you seem to be in need of help. Did
you currently get lost? Do I get this right?”
“Mother- duties or what
makes a true heroine”
Even though she was afraid of the night and knew about the dangers of
darkness and all the predators sneaking around, Mother Rabbit forced herself to
go on. To go on and look for her children. She was rather willing to loose her
own life searching her puppies then facing the loss of them. Green glowing eyes
peeping out of the bushes followed her on her path through the nightly forest.
Cracking branches and the swish of large wings horrified her but on she went.
“Rita! Robbie!” she yelled again and again despite the attention that it drew
on her. But none of her puppies responded.
Suddenly, with a loud annoying crack the Lynx broke through the bushes
trying to get a hold on her. She ran away jumping from the left to the right
and back again the lynx right behind her. So close she could feel his hot
breath in her neck but finally after crouching under a fallen tree and jumping
over a small creek she made away from him. Her heart pounding like a drum she
stopped. Breathing hard she found herself miles away from home, left alone in
the dark and still no trace of her puppies. “No way” she sighed. She realized
that there was nothing she could do about it anymore, too dark the land was.
She heavy hearted decided to make her way back to the den. Maybe her puppies
made it there as well in the meantime.
“Back home again…”
“Yes” Rita sighed, “we fooled around and didn't mind the way and now we
can’t find the right path back home to our den. Our Mommy is going to be deeply
worried and very upset, but we don’t know how to get back home.” She admitted
and a tear rolled from her eye. They both Rita as well as Robbie had now come
to realize that death was no longer just an abstract thing happening to others
and they were happy that they found someone willing to help them. “Well then, I
may be old though, my nose still is the perfect sniffer it was in my younger
years!” so Mr. Fox took in the trace of scent our 2 cuddly elopers left behind
and told them to follow him.
Sniffing through grass and the clovers he lead them on and on. They
passed the old sawmill, jumped over some small creeks and finally made it back
to the clearance, that beautiful site where their den was situated. “Thank you
so much Mr. Fox!!! Without your help we might as well have been dead tomorrow
morning!” Robbie said with a grateful voice, apparently ashamed about their
lack of sense for responsibility. “How could we ever thank you to the full
extent?” - “You’re welcome my little friends, but keep in mind that to obey
your mother’s words is one of the most important things to do! I am sure she
told you not to go too far away from this clearance, didn't she?” “Yes!” Rita
sighed looking to the ground, her ears folded closely to her head.
“A story’s moral”
In that very moment the bushes at the south end of the glade rustled and
Mother Rabbit appeared. “What? Ah- puppies run! Don’t you recognize a fox when
he’s standing next to you? Run, run!” she flounced into the clearance and
shielded her puppies with her body, facing the fox eye to eye. The fox
simpered. “Don’t you recognize an old tired bone from a young and wild hunter,
Mommy Rabbit?” Robbie and Rita told Mother Rabbit their whole story and asked
for her forgiveness for all the worries and sorrow they caused. And Mother
Rabbit? Well she apologized for judging a book by its cover and the four spent
their first and last summer together.
Dutifulness and fair judgment- as essential to life as food, love and a
warm home to stay.
Some say that still there is an old fox straying around that somewhat
enchanted forest- helping out all young
puppies lost on their way. So some say- but can we know?
© 2008-10-22 by Dirk Schumacher, Witten, Germany
I couldn´t hep but notice that many people meanwhile read this story.
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All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Dirk Schumacher.
Published on e-Stories.org on 02/26/2009.