17

There Goes the Neighborhood: The Groundhogs’ Bad Season: Part 2

Groundhog Day: Munching Marmots Emerge From the Scientific Shadows - The  New York Times

Where we are: Harold and Madge Groundhog were concerned that their yard was being beautified in preparation of being sold. They were rather fond of their human; they and the other animals pretty much had the run of the place. You can read Part 1 here.

Harold: It’s getting worse. Now the other human, the younger one, is starting to clean up the yard too.

Madge: I know. The sticks are all gone, and the grass is shorter than it’s been in ages.

Harold: And the sidewalks are all clean.

Glastonbury Bittersweet Battlers: Invasive Plants Journal: Wild Grape: A  Mixed Blessing

Madge: Our human is out every weekend, clearing away the weeds. I guess it’s more the way humans like it, but I miss the overgrowth. She got rid of all the grape vines. She said they were “invasive.”

Harold: Just because they were trying to root in the vinyl siding.

Sara Squirrel: Isn’t that like ivy-league? I thought that was high-class for humans.

Madge: Beats me. All I know is that the sun is getting into our home a lot more than it used to. And I don’t really feel safe anymore.

Roger Raccoon: Me and my friends have been trying to keep it from getting too clean. We’ve dumped the catnip and tomato plants a couple of times.

Ricky Raccoon: Not that you can tell. It gets cleaned up first thing in the morning.

Harold: And they moved some of the stuff inside.

Madge: They keep putting the catnip back down for that new cat to lie in.

Sara Squirrel: Yeah. Those two cats act like they own the place. I thought for sure the inside cats would try to drive them off, but they don’t seem to care.

Pierre Rabbit: I saw the human planting some stuff in front of the house.

Just then a bat flew over. The bats didn’t really like the rest of the animals, but he was curious about what was going on.

Benson: Hey, guys. What’s up?

Madge: We’re worried that the humans are getting the place ready to sell.

Raccoon Will Clean Your House For Treats [VIDEO] | Raccoon funny, Pet  raccoon, Raccoon

Benson: You should see what’s going on inside. Major cleaning. Whole rooms are being cleared out.

Madge: Are they talking about moving?

Benson: I wish. My whole family has been living peacefully in the attic. They stirred everything up; we’re all moving out to the bat house. It’s ridiculous inside.

 Madge: But that’s your home!

Benson: It’s not worth it. The human is afraid of us. Every time she sees a bat, she gets the younger one and he puts us out. We’d rather leave on our own terms.

Guide to game: Rabbit and hare

Pierre: It’s not so bad out here. We have a lot of room, and no one bothers us.

Priscilla Rabbit: Did you hear the humans say anything about selling the house?

Benson: No. That’s not what’s going on. I guess that the other main human died a couple of years ago. They’re just finally getting around to really cleaning everything up. It’s a big house and a big yard.

Harold: Yeah. I guess it would take a lot of energy to get things straightened out.

Benson: The humans who are left said something about the one who’s gone being a pack rat. I don’t really know what that means. I saw pictures. He looks like all the other humans.

Cute Mouse Wallpapers - Top Free Cute Mouse Backgrounds - WallpaperAccess

Harold: Weird. I don’t think we have rats around here. I think they look like big mice.

Mortimer Mouse: Yeah. Kinda. But not so cute.

Harold: Do you know what a pack rat is?

Mortimer: I think it has something to do with the way that some rats hoard things.

Benson: Yeah. That sounds right. They are throwing away a LOT of stuff in the house.

Harold: And a lot of stuff out here.

cat loves bunny | Cat love, Rabbit pictures, Pet bunny

Priscilla: But they attracted those two cats. I don’t really like cats.

Pierre: But as long as they feed the cats, the cats don’t bother us.

Priscilla: Good point.

Roger: If they’re not cleaning to sell, we can probably stop trashing the plants on the porch.

Ricky: Sounds good to me. They’re not growing anything good anyway.

Madge (sighing): I guess that means I have to live with less privacy.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

Benson: I overheard them say something about moving some of the peonies into the space they cleared.

Madge: Ooh! I love peonies. I hope that’s soon.

Benson: I did hear one other thing. There is no plan to clear the back area anytime soon.

Ricky: All right! Block party this weekend!!

My favorite animal in i party hat, how cute!! | Pet raccoon, Dumb animals,  Raccoon funny

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

20

There Goes the Neighborhood: The Groundhogs’ Bad Season

Groundhog Photos and Facts

The groundhog family had been living under the porch of the old farmhouse for generations. It was a pretty nice location: the humans didn’t spend too much time outside, and they never bothered the groundhogs. There was plenty of clover to eat and even an ornamental peach tree to climb.

Life had been particularly good in the past couple of years. Something had happened to the male human, and the female human stopped working in the yard almost entirely. The garden in front of the porch got overgrown, and it was hard to even see under the porch. The groundhogs were thrilled. Nothing bothered them, and they came and went as they pleased.

File:Groundhog on rock.jpg - Wikipedia

But this past spring something changed.

Harold: Hey Madge, you notice that the human seems more active than usual?

Madge: Yeah. She’s been over at the side of the house digging around. She’s talking about putting in a rock garden.

Harold: That would be nice. It would give us someplace to sun.

Madge: That’s true. We wouldn’t have to walk around to the back of the house anymore.

Harold: I hope she doesn’t dig up all the clover.

Madge: I wouldn’t worry about it. It hasn’t happened in the 20 years our family’s lived here.

Harold: Excellent point.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

Indeed, soon enough the human stopped digging up the side of the house. She came back one day with a bunch of plants that she put on the porch.

Madge: Did you see all that gorgeous greenery. It looks pretty yummy.

Harold: It’s awfully close to the house. I’m not going up there to explore.

Madge: I think she’s going to plant some of it in our yard.

Harold: Oooh. That will be nice. The more green, the better.

Nature Notes: Winter is Coming | The Michigan Nature Guy's Blog

However, the human didn’t put the new plants in the yard. She moved them into larger pots and left them on the porch. One morning, the groundhogs heard digging.

Harold: Look, Madge. She’s clearing the part of the yard by the other front porch. Maybe that’s where she’s going to grow our new plants.

Madge: That would be convenient. I wonder if we should figure out a way to tell her where to put the stuff we like best.

Harold: Let’s go explore what’s up there.

Woodchuck Food Habits - Woodchuck Wonderland

The groundhogs discovered that most of the plants were too high to reach. There were a couple of bushes and some catnip. They also found tomatoes and peppers in pots.

Harold: This is very disappointing. I hope the good stuff is in the pots up top.

Madge: Let’s ask the rabbits to check it out for us. They can jump up there and see.

Safe Wood and Other Plants For Rabbits

The next night, Pierre jumped up on the railing and had a look around. All he could see were herbs. Except, there was one particularly appetizing smell.

Pierre: Bad news, guys. There’s nothing really good up there. Oregano, sage, rosemary. Nothing that’s really going to appeal to anyone.

Harold: Well, rats.

Madge: I hope she finishes putting it in soon. At least we won’t have to worry about having a human out all the time.

Groundhog Trapping & Removal Near Willow Grove, Pennsylvania

The human continued cleaning out the yard. The groundhogs weren’t really paying much attention. One Saturday, they woke up to loud noises a few feet from their nest. They looked out in horror.

Madge: Do something, Harold! She’s digging up right next to our porch! We’re going to lose all our privacy.

Harold: What do you want me to do about it?

Madge: I don’t know. We have to stop this.

violentbaudelaire: A squirrel lunch meeting | Cute squirrel, Cute animals,  Animals wild

Later that day, they heard the humans discussing the work. They were very excited about how much “nicer” it looked and how much better it would be once all of the weeds were gone. The groundhogs decided it was time for a neighborhood meeting.

Harold: We wanted to get everyone together to discuss what’s going on in the neighborhood.

Sara Squirrel: You mean the humans’ “Beautification” project? It’s awful. They’re picking up all the sticks, digging out all the weeds, and cleaning up the sidewalks.

Roger Raccoon: Before we know it, the whole place is going to look like it belongs on the front of one of those sales brochures. Like it was when the humans first moved in.

Pierre: We can’t let that happen. What if this human decides to sell it? No one is ever going to be as easy to manipulate as she is.

Texas family wakes up to raccoon on bathroom sink - ABC7 New York

Roger: That’s true. She lets us pretty much run the place.

Harold: Maybe. But she’s destroying my peace of mind right now. She’s ruining the entrance to our home.

Priscilla Rabbit: She’s bringing in nasty plants too. I thought she had planted some fennel. Super yummy. But when I dug up the bulbs, it was only the plant, not the edible kind. Talk about rude.

Madge: A couple of cats have started hanging around too. You know the neighborhood won’t be safe anymore if they stick around.

Roger: We have to do something before we get beautified out of our happy homes.

Next Week: The animals’ plan and how it works out.

18

Groundhog Day: What Happened on Hog Hill?

Groundhog Day 2022: Forecast, Facts, and Folklore - Farmers' Almanac

Things had been a little tense on Hog Hill on February 2 (Groundhog Day). When Gus Groundhog made his annual prediction, he only appeared for a couple of minutes and made the actual announcement on his Twitter account. Not at all the festivities we were expecting. We decided to do do a little investigating.

The first thing we discovered was that Gus hadn’t been on any type of social media since Groundhog Day. Had he gone back into hibernation? We spoke to some of the neighbors.

Interspecies Friendship: Deer and Rabbit – Animal Intelligence

Peter Rabbit: It’s been very quiet over there. Usually, Gus has a big party after the announcement. But this year, there was nothing.

Penelope Rabbit: Maybe he’s sick.

Bethany Deer: Maybe. He didn’t look very well on the 2nd.

Joe Squirrel: Maybe he just got tired of all the fuss. You know folks blame him for the weather when it’s still snowing in April.

Josie Squirrel: Maybe someone turned off all his accounts. Maybe it’s a conspiracy against groundhogs. Someone should look into that.

17 Repeatable Quotes From 'Groundhog Day'

Obviously, we are going to have to talk to Gus.

We went to the burrow. But no one answered the door. Maybe there was something wrong. Was he even still in town?

What next? We staked it out, watching both entrances. No movement for over a week. The other animals in the neighborhood were getting curious.

Cute Rabbit And Squirrel Buddies | Squirrel, Funny animals, Cute

Josie: No luck? I hope everything’s OK. Maybe we should just go in.

Penelope: Do you think so?

Josie: What if he’s really sick? Maybe we should call the animal welfare hotline.

Joe: Hold up, ladies. Groundhogs hibernate. Not seeing one in February is no reason to go bursting into his house. For all we know, he saw that there was going to be a lot more winter, rolled over, and went back to sleep. We’d scare him half to death breaking into his house. He’d have every right to attack us. Have you seen those claws and teeth?

Great groundhogs: Getting to know Illinois' burrowing hibernator:  University of Illinois Extension

We realized Joe might be right. Maybe there was no story. Just then, Peter hopped up.

Peter: Hey, guys. What’s up?

Joe: Everyone’s worried about Gus. Apparently the media has got everyone wondering about him. Personally, I think we should just let him be.

We felt badly. We had thought it was a quick human interest story. It was never intended to be an investigation. We didn’t want to upset anyone, so we started to pack up our stuff.

Josie: Don’t blame them. They haven’t bothered him. And it’s weird that we haven’t seen Gus during his big time of the year. Usually he’s active after he gets up for the announcement.

Adorable Baby Groundhogs That Will Make You Forget About Winter | Baby  groundhog, Animals, Baby animals pictures

A car drove up and stopped in front of Gus’s burrow. A matronly groundhog got out and looked around. She seemed surprised by the group of animals.

Groundhog: Hello. I’m Emma. Is everything okay?

Peter: Hello. We’re well. And yourself?

Emma: Yes, I’m wonderful. I’m here to visit my grandbabies.

Josie squealed.

Josie: Grandbabies? Gus had babies?

Woodchucks | Hungry Baby Woodchucks | Baby groundhog, Wildlife photos, Baby  animals

Emma (laughing): Technically, Georgette had the babies. But yes – Gus is a daddy. Didn’t he tell you?

Penelope: No, we haven’t heard a thing since he came outside for a couple of minutes on Groundhog Day.

Josie: We’ve been worried about him. He even disappeared off social media. And he’s a local celebrity, so he’s always on Twitter.

Emma: There’s no need to worry. He’s just running around in circles with his five little chucklings.

Emma went up to the door, and Gus let her into the burrow. He lifted a paw and waved at his neighbors.

Gus: Hey, guys! Sorry to have been off the radar. Tons of snaps coming soon. Watch for me!

That was the Gus we knew and loved. It wouldn’t be long before he was back.

We KNEW there had been a story.

10 facts about groundhogs

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

15

The Biennial Bears’ Bonfire – Part 4

Romanian specialists teach orphaned bear cubs how to survive in ...

Background: Every two years Zeke, Anthony, Joe, and Benjamin got together for a week-long camping trip at the lake. One of the highlights of the trip was story-time around the bonfire. This year’s topic is “Chance Encounter With Another Species”. You can read Zeke’s story here. Anthony’s story is here. Joe’s story is here.

This is Benjamin’s story.

Image result for fox chasing rabbit (With images) | Fox, Animals ...

My son Beau and I were out gathering some last minute supplies for the winter when we saw a fox race past chasing a couple of young rabbits. It really didn’t look good for the rabbits. We didn’t have time to see who it was.

The next thing we knew, one of the rabbits was tugging on Beau’s paw. The fox had cornered her brother in some bushes, and she wanted Beau to help him get free. She must have been pretty desperate to come to a bear for help. We didn’t know her, but the forest was full of rabbits.

American Black Bear | MDC Discover Nature

Beau and I looked at each other. I was going to explain that it was probably too late, but she looked so sad that I didn’t have the heart. He was her only family. We told her to wait there, hidden from view, while we went to see what was going on.

We followed the tracks and found the fox. It was Jasper, one of our neighbors. He was still hunting, so the rabbit was alive. I guess we startled Jasper, though. He looked irritated when we approached him. He told us that he had been hunting a rabbit for dinner when we tromped up. Now he probably had lost it.

Red Fox Diet - Hunting Strategies & Behaviour | Wildlife Online

Jasper started to walk around, sniffing. He found the scent of the rabbit again. He ran into the forest. We followed him, and I asked him to stop. He had cornered the bunny, but we startled him before he could attack. Jasper turned his head to look at us.

Before Jasper had a chance to start yelling, I told him that we wanted him to give us the bunny. Jasper thought I had lost my mind. It was his dinner. Besides, bears don’t eat rabbits. Why would we want it?

Wild Baby Bunnies and What To do When You Find Them - Effective ...

I explained that the rabbit’s sister had asked us to rescue him. She didn’t want to lose her only family. Jasper looked at us and started to laugh. He’d never heard of a rabbit being that brave before.

We waited to see whether Jasper would release the rabbit. I wasn’t sure that the poor thing hadn’t died from fright. It had its body pressed against the ground. Jasper looked at the rabbit and decided to let him go. He couldn’t kill something after a story like that. He’d have leftovers for dinner.

Scared little wild rabbit | timeuser | Flickr

The little rabbit was frozen in terror. Beau went over and petted him. There wasn’t any response, so Beau picked him up and we took him back to his sister.

She was exhilarated when she saw us. She had been sure that we had just gone home. The little male rabbit finally relaxed when he saw her.

cuddling rabbits | Two wild rabbits on Haigh Hall golf cours ...

We asked if they needed help getting home. The girl rabbit said that their home had been destroyed; that’s why they were in the area. We decided to take them home with us to relax after all the excitement. They fell asleep almost immediately.

They decided to build their new burrow near our den, since we were the first friends they made in the area.

Waking From Hibernation, the Hard Work of Spring Begins - The New ...

 

17

The Animal Rights Coalition – Part 3

Image result for fluffy calico cat

Where we are: The Animal Rights Coalition (ARC) tried to take a petition to a human council meeting, but were barred from entering. ARC wanted the humans to stop using animal names as insults. A guard took the petition and said that he would give it to council.

Two weeks went by before the animals received a letter from W. Charles Smith, President of the Council on Human/Animal Relations:

Dear Animals

We have received your petition listing your concerns about us using your names as insults. We appreciate your bringing this matter to our attention. I have assigned a committee to look into the matter.

Sincerely

W.C. Smith

Image result for angry giraffe

Julie Giraffe: Those rotten rutabagas! They’re just trying to get rid of us.

Roni Baboon: You’re right, Julie. They’re not going to do anything.

Chester Rabbit: I’m afraid you’re right. We’ll have to try something else.

Ralph Badger: Let’s dig under their building and let it collapse.

Benny Buffalo: No, let’s stampede them.

Image result for angry skunk

Simon Skunk: No, we should sabotage their air filtration.

Chester: Calm down, everyone. That’s not going to make anyone happy. We need to work together.

Chrissy Calico: I don’t know what we can do. They don’t respect us at all. Remember what he called us? “Cute.” Humans don’t pay attention to “cute”.

Gregg Bear: OK, let me talk to them. They won’t think I’m cute and cuddly. I’m over 500 pounds of muscle and fur.

Ivan Tiger: I’ll go too. I can growl loud enough to scare any human.

Ralph: I guess that will work. But be polite. Otherwise, they’ll call you animals.

Chrissy: They are animals.

Ralph: I know. But humans use it as an insult.

Image result for friendly bear

Gregg and Ivan walked over to the Council Hall and went in the front door. The receptionist looked up and asked if she could help them.

Ivan: Yes, thank you. We would like to see Mr. Smith, please.

Receptionist: Do you have an appointment?

Ivan: No, we don’t. Please tell him we’re from ARC.

Receptionist (knowing there would be trouble if she let a bear and a tiger into the building): Mr. Smith doesn’t see anyone without an appointment.

Ivan: Please tell him that we won’t take up much of his time.

Image result for happy tiger

Receptionist (beginning to get nervous): I’m sorry, but you’ll have to make an appointment.

Ivan: Please just ask.

Receptionist: All right. Let me check.

She called someone and said that there was a bear and a tiger to see Charles. No, they weren’t threatening. They were very polite. She listened, then hung up the phone.

Receptionist: Someone will be out shortly.

Ivan: Thank you.

Ivan and Gregg moved to the side of the lobby and waited. Before long, two security guards arrived.

Image result for tiger and bear

Security Guard: What seems to be the problem?

Ivan: There isn’t a problem. We just want to see Mr. Smith.

Security Guard: Didn’t the lady tell you you’d need an appointment?

Ivan: Yes, she did. We just need a minute of his time.

Guard: He won’t see you. You need to leave.

Ivan: Why won’t he see us?

Image result for bear on hind legs

The guard didn’t want to tell them that Mr. Smith was afraid of large animals.

Guard: He can see whoever he wants.

Gregg: That’s ridiculous. Just let us past. We’ll find him ourselves.

Guard (nervously): You need to go now.

Ivan was getting irritated. He let out a low growl. Gregg took a step toward the guard.

Gregg: Now see here…

Guard: Leave this minute or I’ll call the police.

Gregg: Let us past you.

Image result for wet hens

The guard picked up the phone.

Guard: Yes, we need you at the Council Hall. There’s a bear and a tiger here. We need you to get them out of here. They’re meaner than grizzlies.

Gregg: I AM a grizzly.

Guard: I mean they’re madder than wet hens.

Gregg and Ivan looked at each other in disgust and stalked out the door.

Ivan: I guess we’ll have to get a lawyer.

He took out his phone and entered the number.

Voice: Sharkfin and Sharkfin, Attorneys-at-Law. How may I help you?

Image result for shark as attorney

 

12

The Animal Rights Coalition – Part 2

Image result for group of animals

Where we are: The Animal Rights Coalition (ARC) has decided that they need to send a petition to the humans telling them how offensive they found the use of animals in a lot of the human insults.

Douglas Gorilla was ready to read the petition that his group had put together to the rest of the members.

Douglas: We spent quite a lot of time putting this together and would like the input of everyone else to make it as good as possible.

Image result for gorilla readinggo

Dear Humans

We would like you to reconsider your usage of animal names in your insults. For example, “hairy as an ape,” is not considered an insult in our world. We would appreciate you not using it in such a manner either. There are many other examples of problem phrases.

Image result for snake in the grass meme

We feel that such insults stereotype us, generally in a negative way. You use “snake in the grass” to define someone who looks harmless, but can’t be trusted. Snakes live in the grass because that’s a logical place for someone to be who doesn’t have feet or legs. They only feel threatened if someone comes near. Humans with big feet and boots are especially scary to snakes.

Image result for cat high five

We would be happy to work with you to create a list of more appropriate insults at whatever time and place is convenient for you. We will provide a translator, if you like.

You may respond to carabbit@arcanimals.org, We look forward to hearing from you.

 Sincerely,

Animal Rights Coalition

Image result for hyena

Douglas: We thought that everyone could sign so they know it’s a group effort.

Ida Hyena: I think it’s great. If I hear one more “laughing like a hyena joke,” I might have to bare my teeth in public.

Image result for dumb as a rock

Jeni Dodo: I agree. We could suggest that they could just use “dumb as a rock,” rather than “dodo”, it would be great.

Chester: All in favor of sending the petition?

The result was unanimous. They decided that they would deliver the petition by hand/paw. Chester and Chrissy Calico were chosen so the humans wouldn’t feel intimidated.

Image result for rabbit reading'

A few days later, Chester and Chrissy went to a human council meeting. They were stopped at the door.

Guard: This is a human meeting. No animals.

Chester: We just want to deliver a petition to your council.

Image result for animals in meeting meme

Guard: Let me check.

He called someone on his phone. Chester and Chrissy waited patiently. The guard explained the situation. They heard him say, “Actually, they’re pretty cute. Nothing dangerous at all.”

Guard: He said that you can’t go in, but I can take your petition and they will look at it after the meeting and get back with you.

Chester and Chrissy looked at each other. It seemed like there was no other option. They gave the petition to the guard.Image result for rabbit and cat

Next week: What will the humans do with the petition? Will they even look at it?

 

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

 

 

 

8

The Animal Rights Coalition

Image result for wild rabbit standing

Chester Rabbit called the quarterly meeting of the Animal Rights Coalition (ARC) to order.

Chester: Welcome everyone. We need to finish one item from our last meeting before we can move on to today’s agenda. We have to finish our discussion about how to address the human use of animal names as insults. The first thing we need to do is reopen the topic.

The animals started to talk among themselves. This item was very important to all of them and they were eager to get back to work.

Image result for squirrel

Buddy Squirrel: I move to reopen the topic.

Ralph Badger: I second the motion.

Chester: All right. How many in favor?

Paws and hands went up around the room.

Chester: How many opposed?

Dead silence.

Image result for cute bear

Chester: The motion passed. Ballou, please turn on the recorder.

Ballou Bear, whose mother was a huge movie fan, flipped the switch. It was so much easier to get started now that they could record rather than manually write down the notes. The simians had insisted on the purchase. They were tired of always being the ones to write.

Chester: The best way to start is to identify exactly what we mean by insults. Remember the rules: no talking over others, no arguing with someone’s ideas, and no intimidation. One idea per animal. If you choose to present multiple ideas, wait until after the others have had their turn.

The animals quickly lined up to speak:

Image result for cats wrestling

“catty/catfight” – Why is it that when two women say nasty things to each other it’s being catty? We’re not mean. But even worse, if they end up actually hitting each other, it’s a catfight? Everyone knows that most of us don’t fight, and if we do, it’s most likely the males.

“eat like a pig/act like a pig” – Where did we get the reputation that we’re sloppy and eat too much? We’re actually clean animals; we use the mud to cool off. And we don’t eat that much compared to what we weight. We’re this big because of the way we’re made, not because we eat too much.

“dog-faced/dog” – Why are we the standard for ugly? We’re just like every other species. Some of us are good looking, some not so much. But to classify all of us as ugly is just mean.

Image result for birds eating seed

“eat like a bird” – They say it like it’s some kind of eating disorder. We eat like we do because we have beaks. We can’t pick up a lot of food at one time. We eat all through the day; we need energy for flying.

“ugly duckling” – This insult is just rude. Why would you call someone’s child ugly? We know it’s because the baby swan didn’t look like the baby ducks, but that doesn’t mean it was really ugly.

“batty/bats in the belfry” – What makes us the standard for crazy? We fly at night, but so do owls, and they’re supposed to be wise. As far as hanging out in a belfry, it’s a good place to sleep. It’s high, it’s isolated, and the humans can’t get at us.

Image result for leopards

“a leopard can’t change his spots” – Of course we can’t. That would be like asking them to change their skin. Why does that get connected to people who can’t change their bad habits? Our fur is not something that should be changed.

“big as a cow” – we agree with the pigs. Just because we’re made a certain way doesn’t entitle humans to use it to insult other humans. Maybe they should be more like us and just accept each other.

“badger someone” – We’re persistent and thorough. How did that get translated into a person who becomes offensive trying to make a point? It seems like they don’t even understand how any of us really are.

Image result for cute badger

The other animals all nodded in agreement.

Chester: I think that’s a good start. Now we need a few animals to draft our petition to the humans. Is anyone interested?

A bear, two gorillas, and a beaver all agreed to work on something.

Chester: Does anyone want to schedule an extra meeting for next month to decide what our next steps will be?

Douglas Gorilla: So moved.

Ballou: Second.

The motion passed.

Image result for gorillas writing

Next week: Do the animals think the petition is ready to go to the humans?

11

The Rabbits’ New Home – Part 3

 

Image result for rabbit and deer

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.

Image result for group of badgers

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.

Image result for badgers in the snow

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.