15

O, Give Me a Home

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Jen Bison had been wanted to visit her brother Bruce, but her husband John had been putting it off. Finally, he decided that the only way to get her to stop talking about it was to take the trip. The two of them, with their son JJ were planning the trip.

John: Why on earth did your brother decide to move from South Dakota to Wyoming?

Jen: He said it was too cold here.

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John: We’re bison. Look at us. We’re built for the cold. I assume he’s figured out by now that Wyoming isn’t exactly Miami Beach when it comes to cold weather.

Jen: You know Bruce. He’s never happy. He says there are too many humans in Wyoming. He’s thinking about moving again.

John: I guess we better see him now. Next thing we know, he’ll be in Hollywood, trying to be a movie star.

JJ: That’d be cool! My uncle the movie star.

John: Knowing Bruce, he’d end up in a movie with a hundred other bison. You wouldn’t even be able to tell which one is him.

Jen: John, that’s not nice. He thinks he has potential. He’s just not sure where it is.

John: Well, he certainly is different.

Jen: When did you want to visit him?

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John: That’s a long walk. I guess we should leave soon, so we’ll be back before the snow starts.

Jen: What do you mean walk?

John: We’re bison, remember? That’s how we get around.

Jen: Bruce says no one walks there anymore. They travel in buses or trains. It only takes 2 days.

John: I am not getting on either of those things.

JJ: Why not, Dad? It’s a lot better than hoofing it.

John: Those things aren’t built for bison. We’re too big.

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Jen: That might be true for a bus. They seem more wolf-size. I’ll make reservations on the train.

John: Make sure they’re refundable. If it’s bad going down, we’re walking back.

Jen: Yes, dear.

JJ: This is going to be great! Wait til I tell my friends.

John knows he’s outnumbered and goes to play “Buffalo Bill and the Planet of Doom.”

A few weeks go by before the trip. John is getting grumpier. He can’t find any bison who have been on a train. The thought of the train and a few weeks with Bruce was almost too much to bear. Finally, the big day arrived.

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JJ: I’m so excited! Aren’t you excited, Dad? It’s your first time on a train too.

John: I’ll be more excited when we’re on our way.

Jen: You’ll be glad to know we have a sleeper. And there are very few passengers. Look around.

John looked. A few gophers, a wolf family, and some hares. Maybe it wouldn’t be too bad. John opened the door the conductor pointed out and started to walk in. He took a couple of steps in, then backed out.

John: Excuse me. I must have the wrong room.

John turned around, embarrassed.

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John: I need to find the conductor and get this straightened out. There’s a jackrabbit couple in our car.

He hunts down the conductor and explains the situation. The conductor looks in his book.

Conductor: Yes, Mr. Bison. That is the correct room. I’m afraid we overbooked. We’re doubling folks up. Didn’t you get our email? You could either get a voucher for a different train or receive ½ off for sharing space. It would have told you the species you’d be sharing space with. Carnivore/non-carnivore issues, you know.

John: Honey, did you get an email about overbooking for this trip?

Jen: Yes. I asked Bruce what I should do. He said that most animals choose to not take a chance on their roommates and rebook. So I kept the tickets.

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Conductor: Ma’am, unfortunately your friend is wrong. Very few animals rebook. Most are on a schedule.

John: I should have known. Mr. Conductor, I’d like to take a different train.

Conductor: I’m sorry, Mr. Bison. You needed to make your decision by last Friday. I’m afraid I can’t help you.

John: Are all of the cars overbooked? Perhaps the rabbits wouldn’t mind moving.

Conductor: They arrived first and are fine with sharing. You’d have to move, and there are no empty cars.

John: They don’t mind sharing space with three large bison?

Conductor: They plan to sleep the entire trip and have earplugs. As long as you don’t step on them, you’re good.

John: Well I guess that’s that.

Next week: Is the trip going to improve for John or is the beginning just an omen of things to come?

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

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9

Tori Tabby’s Getting Married – Part 3

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Where we are: Tori Tabby and Robbie are getting married. Tori’s father Davy is living with some humans who have adopted him. She wants him at the wedding, and he has said that he would be there. He is relying on his housemates, Cleo and Caesar, to hide his temporary absence from his human family so they won’t track him down. 

The big day has arrived. Tori is nervous. She told her mother Teresa that Davy was coming, but there was no sign of him.She wonders if the Persians really could find a way to get him out of the house without his humans finding out.

Meanwhile, at Davy’s house, the Persians have hatched a plan.

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Cleo: OK, Davy. Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re all going to go outside. Then Caesar is going to pretend to catch a squirrel and bring it to the door. Human mama is going to get upset that Caesar has a squirrel. She’ll be so preoccupied that you can get away. I’m going to run back inside while all this is going on.

Davy: That’s disgusting. I don’t want Caesar to kill a squirrel for me.

Caesar: I’m not going to kill a squirrel. That’s the genius part of the plan. Look at the new toy I got.

He shows Davy a realistic-looking squirrel toy. It barely fit in his mouth. Then he drops it.

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Caesar: Pretty good, huh?

Davy: Not bad. But how is that going to help while I’m gone?

Cleo: We thought about that. You know how sometimes we play hide-and-seek with the humans? And it takes them a really long time to find us? We’re going to race around a little, and then go into hiding. When you get home, you cry at the door. Human mama finds you outside and thinks you’ve been running around all that time and finally come back. She’ll feel bad because she didn’t make sure you were with us. But she’ll be so happy to see you that it won’t last long.

Davy: That might work.

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They cry at the door to be let out. The boy human lets them out. He doesn’t pay any attention to Caesar’s squirrel toy. The cats play for a few minutes. Then Caesar picks up his squirrel and runs to the door. He meows loudly. His human mama opens the door and looks down. She’s very upset.

Woman: Caesar! That’s a very bad kitty! You know you’re not allowed to kill.

She reaches down to take the squirrel and see if she can revive it. Caesar moves back and growls to protect his prize.

Woman: Caesar what is wrong with you? Let me have the squirrel.

Impressed by Caesar’s acting, the other two cats almost forget to run in opposite directions. All the woman notices is something furry running past her. Finally she reaches down to rescue the squirrel and discovers that it’s only Caesar’s new toy. She is irritated but relieved.

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Woman: Caesar! Why did you scare me like that? Don’t do that!

Caesar walks slowly past her with his prize. She looks around the yard and doesn’t see any cats so she assumes they were what raced past her while she was preoccupied with Caesar. She closes the door and sits down to read, happy that the drama has ended. 

Meanwhile, Davy is racing to Tori’s house.

Tori: Daddy! You made it! I can’t believe you got away.

Davy: Those Persians are pretty amazing.

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Teresa walks up and sees Davy. She’s surprised he would actually show up. She tries to be civil for Tori’s sake.

Teresa: Davy! I didn’t believe you’d actually show up.

Davy: I needed the help of my fellow cats. But here I am. You look really good Teresa. I’ve missed you.

Teresa: Thank you. But you’re the one who ran off.

Davy explains what actually happened. Teresa looks skeptical but decides not to fight on Tori’s wedding day.

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Teresa: Whatever. It’s almost time for the wedding. Find a seat.

That didn’t go as smoothly as he had hoped. But he didn’t blame Teresa. He had just disappeared. He understood that she would be hurt and angry. He heard music and quickly sat down.

The wedding was beautiful. Tori looked amazing and Robbie was a picture-perfect groom.The food was wonderful but before he knew it, it was time to to go. He was nervous on the way home. He stood at the door and cried. Before long, the female human opened the door.

Woman: Davy! Where have you been? I didn’t even know you were missing. I’m so glad to see you.

She picked Davy up and cuddled him. He was home.

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7

Tori Tabby’s Getting Married Part 2

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Where we left off. Tori’s boyfriend Robbie has asked her to marry him. She wants to invite her father. He lives with two Persian cats. She goes to his house to invite him, and the Persians are not happy. Tori is frightened and hides behind her father. She tries not to run. The female human hears the hissing and comes outside.

Woman: Caesar! Cleopatra! What are you doing?

She sees Tori.

Woman: Are you hissing at that poor little kitty? She’s hiding behind Davy. Shame on you. Get in the house.

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The Persians slink into the house.

Woman: Hello little kitty. Aren’t you cute. Are you a friend of Davy’s?

Tori is too frightened to say anything. First the Persians, now this woman who had stolen her daddy. She didn’t say anything.

Woman: You look frightened you poor little thing. Those other kitties really scared you, didn’t they? Is she a friend of yours, Davy?

Davy: Mrrow. Mrrow.

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He nuzzled Tori and rubbed against her. He was purring.

Woman: Okay, Davy. You can play with her. But don’t run away with her. You know you live here.

Davy: Mrrow. Mrrow.

The woman went back into the house.

Davy: Are you okay? Cleo and Caesar are all right. They just don’t really like strange cats.

Tori (crying): Daddy, why did you leave us to live here? Aren’t we good enough for you?

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Davy: Of course you’re good enough. Cleo really liked me, and the lady thought I would be a good companion for her. She didn’t know I had a family. The food is really good, and I have a nice, soft bed to sleep in. I couldn’t go outside for a while, and I got used to it. It doesn’t have anything to do with you, sweetie. Besides, the humans really like me. I think they have adopted me. They would go looking for me. I really don’t want to be on the run.

Tori: I guess I understand. But you’re still my daddy, right?

Davy: Of course I am.

Tori: And what about Mama?

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Davy: Well, that’s a little harder. Since I can’t live with her, she should probably find another cat if she wants companionship.Did she send you over here?

Tori: No, Daddy. I came over on my own. I’m getting married, and I want you to come to the wedding.

Davy: My little girl’s getting married! Who’s the lucky cat.

Tori: It’s Robbie, Daddy. He lives down the street from us.

Davy: I remember him. He’s a nice fellow. I’m very happy for you both.

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Tori: So you’ll come to the wedding?

Davy: Where is it at?

Tori: Our house. It isn’t very far.

Davy: Okay, I’ll be there. I’ll ask Cleo and Caesar. Like I said, they are actually very nice. So how is your mother? I’d really like to see her and reassure her that it was nothing personal.

Tori: She’s doing well. I think she’d like to see you too.

Davy goes inside and tell the Persians who Tori is, and why she came to visit. They want to go out and see her. Davy warns them that Tori is afraid of them, and may be a little standoffish. They go outside, and Tori starts to back away..

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Cleo: It’s okay, Tori. We won’t hurt you. Your daddy told us who you are. We’re pleased to meet you. Tori looked at Davy.

Davy: She means it, sweetie.

Tori (slowly): I’m pleased to meet you too.

Caesar: Davy told us that he wants to go to the wedding. We’ll figure out a way to keep our human mama from chasing after him.

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Tori: Oh! Thank you very much! That’s very kind of you.

Caesar: We’re pleased to do it. And we’d like to congratulate you and wish you well on your wedding and life together.

Tori purred and nuzzled each of them. They welcomed her.

Tori: I’d better get going. Mama will wonder if I got lost.

With one last nuzzle for her father, she was on her way. She was very happy and ran all the way home.

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Next week: The wedding.

 

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

 

 

 

 

10

Tori Tabby’s Getting Married

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Tori Tabby came running in the door.

Tori: Mama! Mama! Guess what!

Mama: What? What’s all the excitement?

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Tori: Robbie asked me to marry him. He says he wants to settle down and have a family.

Mama: Oh, Tori! I’m so happy for you. He was always such a good kitten. I’m glad to see that he’s turned into a fine young cat.

Tori: He is so sweet, Mama. I’m so excited.

Mama: Do you want a big wedding, sweetie?

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Tori: Not really. Just our families and a few friends. Do you think Daddy will come?

Mama Tabby hesitated before she answered. She hadn’t really spoken with Tori’s father much recently.

Mama: I don’t know, sweetie. Why don’t you ask him?

Tori: I don’t want him to say no. What if I ask him and he says no? It would ruin the whole thing.

Mama: Why would he say no?

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Tori: I don’t know. He hasn’t been the same since he started hanging around with those snooty Persian kitties. He thinks he’s better than we are.

Mama: He doesn’t think he’s better than you are, Sweetie. He’s just busy. After all, he does have a new family.

Tori: But they’re mostly humans, Mama! He doesn’t have any new kittens.

Mama: Yes, but you know how humans are. Once you adopt a family of them, they never want to let you out of their sight.

Tori: But he’s not even a Persian! All the other cats are pure-bred.

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Mama: Sweetie, you know what happened. Your father saw Princess playing in the yard and went in to play with her. The humans started feeding him, and before we knew what was happening, the humans decided that he and Princess were so cute together that they needed to be in the same family.

Tori: He could have left.

Mama: Just because he’s happy there, doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. Go ahead and call him.

Tori: Maybe I should ask Robbie to talk to him.

Mama: If you want him to see you get married, you need to talk to him.

Tori decided that her mother was right. She went to visit her father the next day. When she approached the house, she saw a young human playing in front. Tori went up to him and started explaining her story. The boy looked extremely confused.

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Boy: You’re a beautiful little kitty, but I don’t know what you want. Are you hungry? I can get you something to eat.

Tori tried talking slower and more loudly. So the boy reached down and started petting her. She rubbed against him, hoping that he would start to understand.

Attracted by the loud sounds of a cat, a group of three cats came to the front of the house. There were two Persians and a handsome mixed breed named Davy. He looked closely at the visitor.

Davy: Tori! Is that you?

Tori: Daddy! How are you?

The father and daughter ran together and started to nuzzle. The two Persians were not impressed and began to hiss.

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Next week: Will Tori and the Persians become friends?

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

11

The Rabbits’ New Home – Part 3

 

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Where we are: The Rabbit family went for a walk one winter morning. When they arrived back home, they discovered a huge drift of snow over the opening to their burrow. The snow was so deep that they were unable to dig through it. Luckily, they’ve been helped by a hawk, a deer, and a badger. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Wally the badger reappeared a little bit later with a whole crew of badgers.

Jonathan: Now there’s a herd of them. We’re doomed for sure.

Wally (sighing): Son, we’re badgers, not cows. A group of badgers is called a clan. And we’re here to help, not eat you.

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Molly Deer: Jonathan, honey, why don’t you and Pamela stay over here. Your daddy needs to talk to these nice badgers and explain the problem.

Pete: I really appreciate you bringing all your buddies here to help us Wally. I just don’t know if you can. We could barely find the spot before the most recent storm. I don’t want you to go all that way just for me to get you lost.

Wally: Well, Mr. Rabbit, there are two things we badgers are good at. That’s smelling and digging. If you’ll pardon me saying so, rabbits have a particular odor. We should be able to pick it up if you get us near.

Pete: Please call me Pete. Well, if you think you can do it, let’s go.

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Pete Rabbit and the badgers set out for the rabbits’ home. The snow had crusted over, so it was much easier traveling than during the storm. Pete found the apple tree by the back of the burrow. He explained that the back of the burrow was somewhere around the base of the tree, but it was buried even deeper than the front entrance. While he was explaining the problem, a few of the badgers moved away and put their noses to the ground and started to paw at the snow.

Barry Badger: Wally! I think I have the scent. Let’s dig a little.

The group rapidly moved through the snow.

Wally: He’s right, Pete. We’re definitely in the right place.

The badgers continued to burrow through the snow. Suddenly someone yelled, “Eureka! We found it!” Pete quickly hopped down the tunnel and discovered that they were right. It was his burrow.

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Pete: You guys are absolutely amazing. I don’t know how to thank you.

Wally: It’s our pleasure. It was good to have something to do. The winters get pretty boring around here.

The other badgers nodded. The group went back to the deer shelter, so Pete could get his family.

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Pete: These guys are incredible. They found our burrow! We can get in the back door. And they got rid of so much snow that we have a tunnel to get down there.

Susie: Wally, you’re incredible. I don’t know what we would have done without you. I was afraid that we were going to be homeless for the rest of the winter.

Jonathan: Mr. Badger, I’m sorry. You guys really are wonderful.

Jonathan hopped over to Wally and hugged him. Wally blushed and hugged him back. They all sat around for a while talking. Finally, the rabbits left to enjoy their home, secure in the knowledge that if they needed it, help was all around them.

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

13

The Rabbits’ New Home – Part 2

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Where we are: The Rabbit family went for a walk one winter morning. When they arrived back home, they discovered that the wind had blown a huge drift of snow over the opening to their burrow. The snow was so deep that they were unable to dig through it. Luckily, a friendly hawk came along and showed them the way to a deer shelter.

Pamela Rabbit slowly woke up. She realized that it smelled strange in her room. She looked around. She slowly remembered that she wasn’t home, she was with some deer that had helped them the day before.

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Pamela: Mom! Mom!

Susie: Stop shouting. I’m right here.

The rabbit parents were talking with several of the deer.

Pamela: What’s going on?

Jonathan: They’re trying to figure out how to get us home.

Pamela: There’s a whole bunch of then. Can’t they just help us dig?

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Jonathan: You’re goofy, sis. Deer don’t burrow.

Pamela: Oh yeah. I guess not. What’s going to happen?

Jonathan: They haven’t been able to figure that out. If you go out of this bunch of trees, you can see that it’s been snowing. A lot.

Pete Rabbit, seeing that Pamela had finally gotten up, went over to the children.

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Pete: How’s it going, kids? Get enough sleep, Pamela?

Pamela: It was very nice. One of the lady deer let me sleep cuddled up next to her. It was so nice and warm. Are we going home soon?

Pete: We’ve been talking with the adult deer. The weather has gotten really bad.  The deer have graciously asked us to stay until the storm is over.

Jonathan: We’re not going to stay here forever, are we?

Pete: Of course not. But it’s too windy and snowy to do anything else right now.

Pamela: OK. Then I’m going back to sleep.

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Pete and Jonathan laughed. The storm lasted three days. Finally, the sun came out again. But the snow had almost doubled on the ground. The rabbits were in despair. How would they get home?

Susie: I guess we should have built that emergency burrow.

Pete: You’re right. But it’s too late to worry about that.

Molly: You’re welcome to stay with us as long as you’d like.

Susie: That’s very kind of you. But we don’t want to take up your space and food any longer than we have to.

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They heard a rustling in the trees. The rabbits wanted to run, but there was nowhere to go.

Voice: Hi Ho, Neighbors! What do you think of our lovely weather?

A little more rustling, and a very large badger emerged through the bushes. The rabbits were terrified.

Pamela: We’re going to get eaten. I know we are. First the hawk. Now a badger.

Jonathan: Look how big he is, he must eat a lot.

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Molly: Wally Badger! How did you get here through all that snow?

Wally: It’s not so bad. I just dug a tunnel over here.  It was a little lonely in the burrow.

Wally looked around and spotted the rabbits. He ran over to them.

Wally: Bunnies! I love bunnies!

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Jonathan: Are you going to eat us?

Wally (puzzled): Why would I eat you? I just had breakfast.

Molly: Let me introduce you. Wally Badger, this is Pete and Susie Rabbit and their children, Jonathan and Pamela. They got shut out of their home by the storm, and we’re trying to help them get back in.

Wally: I’m sorry to hear that. Maybe I can help. We badgers are terrific diggers you know.

Pete: I’m not sure. It must be awfully deep by now.

Wally: Well there’s only one way to find out. Let me get some friends. I’ll be back in a bit.

Wally raced off before anyone else had a chance to say anything.

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Next week: Badgers to the rescue.

 

All pictures courtesy of Google Images

16

The Rabbits’ New Home

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The morning after a huge snowfall, the Rabbit family decided to go for a walk. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining and it wasn’t bitterly cold. The snow was like a blanket covering the forest.

Susie Rabbit: Look, kids! Isn’t it beautiful?

Pamela: The wind is ruffling my fur!

Jonathan: You made me get up out of my nice warm bed. I’m cold.

Pete: Quit grumbling. Your mother’s right. The forest is beautiful after snow. Everything is so bright.

Suddenly a gust of wind came through that ruffled everyone’s fur. It seemed to get colder.

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Susie: I guess it is a little windy. Let’s get some food and go back home. That looks like some nice bushes over there.

They hopped over and got their fill of twigs. The wind started blowing again.

Pete: Let’s go! Follow me.

The rabbits hopped in the direction of home. It seemed to take a lot longer than it did coming out.

Jonathan: Where’s our burrow, Dad?

Pamela: Shouldn’t we have been there by now?

Pete: We should be there soon.

They hopped along for a few minutes longer. Pete saw a tree and realized that they had hopped past where they should have stopped.

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Pete: That’s odd. There’s the big apple tree. We should have found our burrow a few minutes ago.

Susie: We hid it pretty well. Let’s go back. We had a lot of snow and it probably looks different.

Pamela: Sure, Mom. Like we wouldn’t recognize our home.

Jonathan: They’re right. We’ve gone too far.

The rabbits hopped back and forth without any luck. The kids were starting to panic.

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Pamela (crying): Where’s our burrow? We’re going to freeze to death!

Susie: Don’t worry. Your father built it. I’m sure he can find it.

They could barely hear Pete’s voice.

Pete: I found it! It’s over here.

The rest hop over to him. They look around and don’t see anything.

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Jonathan: That’s not funny, Dad. It’s cold out here.

Pete: I’m not joking. Our burrow is down there.

He pointed to a large pile of snow that has appeared since they left the burrow that morning.

Susie: Oh, my goodness! He’s right. That tree over there is by the back of the burrow.

Jonathan: What do we do now?

Pamela: Can we just use the back door?

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Pete: I can’t find it. We’ll have to dig this one out.

After a while of digging, they realized that there was too much snow to paw through by themselves. They would need to ask for help.

Pete: I guess we need to find someone to help.

Susie: Who would that be? Don’t you remember that you wanted to get away from the crowds? We’re a long way from the community warren.

Jonathan: Look! It’s starting to snow.

Large flakes began to fall on the rabbits. Pamela started to cry again. Pete looked defeated. He didn’t know what to do. Suddenly, they heard a loud voice.

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Voice: Rabbits! Hey, Rabbits!

Pete: Who is that? I can’t see you.

Voice: Look up. It’s me.

They looked up and saw that it was Eddie, a local hawk.

Jonathan: What a great day. First, we lose our house. Now we’re going to get eaten.

Eddie: I’m hurt. If I wanted to eat you, I could have done it before now. You seem like nice rabbits. I can show you the way to some deer I know. They don’t dig, but at least it’s warmer there.

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Susie: How do we know we can trust him?

Pete: Do you have a better idea?

They followed Eddie. It seemed like a long way, and Eddie talked all the way. Apparently hawks get lonely in the winter when some of their friends migrate. Finally, they came  upon a sheltered spot.

Eddie: Molly! Hey Molly!

A large female deer got up and walked out of the shelter.

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Molly: Eddie! We haven’t seen you for a while. How’s it going?

Eddie: Not bad. But these guys need your help.

He pointed at the rabbits. They shivered and looked exhausted.

Molly: Oh, you poor things!

Eddie: They’ve had some bad luck. Their burrow disappeared when a bunch of snow fell on it. They didn’t have anywhere to go. I thought maybe you could keep them warm until they figure out what to do.

Molly: Of course, we will. You come with me.

The rabbits thanked Eddie and followed Mollie. They were too cold and tired to think about anything. When they entered the shelter, a couple of does shifted positions to give them somewhere to lie down. Soon everyone was asleep.

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Next week: Will the rabbits be able to get back into their burrow before spring?

 

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.