Installment 1: Matt Imbody:
Round Robin - December 4, 2002
The little rabbit poked his head out of his warren. This was the first time he had ventured to the entrance without Mom keeping a good eye on him. He sniffed the night air--it was cold and crisp. Snow was falling gently from the illuminated clouds. Snow was all he had heard about for the past few days. Mom had gone out in search of food--now, 4 hours later, hungry and cold, the young bunny saw no other course of action--save to find Mom, and make everything right again.
Digging his way out through the deep snow that half-buried the entrance to his warren, the little fellow was more keenly aware of the cold. Finally, he pulled himself up, and out, and shook himself off.
Mom's tracks had long since been covered, and, since he hadn't yet joined her on any food gatherings, he stood, bewildered, for a few moments. Then, remembering his lessons, and realizing that he had remained in one place too long, he darted off into the bushes in search of his mother.
Installment 2: Natalie York:
The little rabbit tried to remember everything his Mom had taught him. He crouched under a snow covered bush, trying to identify his Mom's scent. He sniffed the air and thought he could smell her off in the distance. He looked from side to side before he bounded out of the bushes protective shelter. The coast was clear. He quickly hopped to the next bush.
He jumped in alarm as a patch of snow landed on his nose. He tried to calm himself down. It's just snow, but his little heart continued to beat rapidly. He burrowed himself deeper under the next bush and shivered in fear. Where was his Mom?
A noise started him this time, causing his heart to beat faster. What was that noise? It was foreign to him. The noise came again, louder this time. He looked out from his hiding place, but could see nothing through the blur of falling snow. Shivering still, he decided to dare and continue his search.
He carefully stepped out in to the heavily falling snow, but froze as he heard the snap of a tree limb. This noise scared him more than the one before, and the scent...His Mom had told him what it was. It was the smell of MAN!
Installment 3: Gwen Tweedy:
The little rabbit began to be even more afraid! Was that the reason his mother had been gone so long? Man! His mother had warned him of the dangers of one but he had never seen one before. Was this man a good man or a bad man?! Did he carry a gun?
Gun! That word could strike fear in beast and man alike at least that's what the little rabbit had been told by his mother and the other animals of the forest! Why Mr. Squirrel told him once he had had to leave a meal of nuts for days because of this danger of man! And he didn't doubt the word of Mr. squirrel because he was much older than the little rabbit and was a good and trusted friend of his family. In fact, Mr. squirrel sometimes watched out for the little rabbit when his mother had to be gone. Oh he wished he knew where Mr. squirrel was now or even better could be next to his mother for comfort and assurance!...
Then the little rabbit heard an explosion! In the distance to be sure but the noise made his ears ring and the tears began to wash down his furry cheeks!
Installment 4: Denise Imbody:
Then his curiosity got the better of him, and his tears stopped, as he intently listened to what was going on.
"Daddy, daddy," a small voice whispered, "look, there is a rabbit over there."
"Yes, son, let's be very still, and maybe we won't scare it." His father instructed.
But the poor little rabbit was already so frightened, he didn't dare move.
"Daddy, can I see if I can catch it, and keep it for a pet?" The little one asked.
"Oh no, son, that is a wild rabbit. It would not be happy to be a pet. Besides where out here to pick out a Christmas tree." His father gently reminded.
"Oh yeah," his son's eyes brightened, "Come on, there is a really nice one over here, Daddy," he said excitedly.
"Oh my, yes, son, that is a beauty." His father agreed, and the 2 men headed off to fulfill their mission.
The little rabbit breathed a sigh of relief. He was so thankful that they were hunting Christmas trees instead of rabbits, but he wondered, "What is a Christmas tree, anyway?" Oh, well, it didn't matter, so long as he was free to go. But even though he wanted to keep looking for his mom, he just had to know what a Christmas tree was, so he sat there just a little longer, to see if he could figure it out.
"What are you doing out here, little rabbit?" A familiar voice asked.
"Oh, Mr. Squirrel," the little rabbit said, "I came out to look for Momma, but while I was trying to find her, I heard strange noises--like a loud bang off in the distance--have you seen my Momma? Then I saw those 2 men things over there. I thought they were going to get me, but they're hunting Christmas trees, instead of rabbits. Do you know what a Christmas tree is?"
"Woe! Slow down, little rabbit." Mr. Squirrel chuckled, as he tried to calm his little friend down. "Okay, let's see if I can answer your questions. No, I have not seen your Momma, but I will be happy to look for her, for you--a big bang you say? You should really go back to your warren. I will find your Mother, and bring her home to you. and as for what a Christmas tree is...well....maybe I can try and explain that when we all are safe in your home."
"Oh, do I have to go home?" The little rabbit whined.
"Yes, you really should, now you run along, and we'll see you in a bit." Mr. Squirrel said.
Little rabbit was always taught that he needed to listen to the wisdom of his elders, so he obeyed his older friend, and tried to make his way home. Hopping behind that familiar bush that had dropped snow onto his nose, he peeked around to the other side, to see if he could see his tracks. The snow had slowed down some, but it was hard to make out which way to go.
Then he saw the 2 men again, and heard them yell, "Timber!"
He was still curious about that Christmas tree, and what it might be, so he looked to see what he could see. He saw a big tree falling. He realized that it was heading straight for him, and he thought he better hop out of the way as fast as he could. Before he knew it, though, the tree was on top of him. He wasn't hurt, but decided he better hide in the branches, so they wouldn't see him again. The proud father and son, dragged their prize Christmas tree home so they could decorate it, as their frightened little stowaway wondered where they were going.
Installment 5: Jeff Imbody:
Snow and darkness, the little rabbit remembered both with great clarity, and for what seemed a long time. He could hear the faint 'skritch scratch' of pine needles dragging on snow, and feel the soft whisper prick of those same needles all around him. A few times he felt the coldness of the snow like little fingers grasping at his hind legs and tail, and he pulled himself deeper into the tree to avoid their damp grasp.
The gentle darkness of the tree, and the lighter darkness of a sky full of snow, ready to be born held the rabbit tightly in it's embrace, and though these things were familiar and comforting at times, the little rabbit's heart was beating fit to explode. He could hear the voices of the boy and his father through the muffling of the tree branches, always happy, always laughing, caught in the giddyness of something the little rabbit could not understand.
Suddenly, he felt the roots and branches being lifted from the ground, and the woosh of air as he and the tree were pushed into the air and then down again onto something hard and full of smells; man, other things from the forest, strange, sharp smells that were thick and black, and reminded the rabbit of the man roads he had to cross with his mother sometimes. He climbed desperately to the top of the tree, and away from the floor of th thing he had been put in and the bad smells. He peeked through the top of the branches, and over the top of his new prison, and he saw them...standing in the woods almost thirty yards away...Mr. squirrel was trying to help the rabbit's mother to hop, almost lamely, across the snow. Though she was far away the rabbit could see the tell-tale splotch of red on her leg that he had only seen once before; when he had come across a dead deer in the woods when he and mother were looking for food. His mother had told him the red was blood, and things that bled were hurt or dead.
The rabbit's stomach leaped up into his mouth. He was afraid that his mother might be dying, though she was walking ok, and there didn't seem to be too much blood, but he needed to be with her suddenly, and know she was all right. He began to cry out to her for help, but there was a sudden, loud, rumbling deep from within the belly of the thing he was in, and a huge noise shook him and the tree like the ground when deer stampede. The rabbit was thrown backwards suddenly, all thoughts of his mother, and crying out, and everything else whisked away by a sudden wind and motion.
The rabbit hit something hard, and saw stars, but he shook himself, and fought the wind, and the forse pushing back, and the rumbling of the truck to peek over the edge and see his mother just for another moment. He pushed with all his might, and jumped up to grasp the tail gate. The landscape around him was flying by him faster than he ever imagined anything could run. Not even bear with his great strength could catch up. He looked back quickly to where his moether was, and saw her, looking out through the woods at the truck, and for a moment, he thought she saw him. He saw her mouth move as if she were crying out to him, and then the truck sped up, and the rabbit lost his hold and fell back into the truck, and the smells, and the comforting/uncomfortable darkness of the pine needles...and for a while he knew nothing but wind and weather and weeping.
Installment 6: Lisa Provolt:
Suddenly the truck screached to a halt and tree and rabbit bounced. The man got out of the truck and kicked something out of the way. This gave rabbit enough time to scurry out of the back of the truck.
"Oh man!" the driver exclaimed.
"I'm so sorry" he said with eyes of sorrow and then continued on down the road in his truck with the tree in the back.
Dead silence filled the air as Rabbit slowly crept to the roadside from the protective bushes nearby.
So this must be death, he thought as he sniffed the still warm body of the crushed larger rabbit.
"Why did this have to happen?" He cried. "I dont understand."
Certainly the large rabbit was old enought to know not to run in the road. Even he new better.
Quietly one by one,other rabbits appeared by his side. All were quiet lost in their own thoughts.
"Why?" repeated Rabbit. "Why him?"
"It was as if he gave his life for me......"
He wimperd softly and let the sentence hang in the air.
Slowly and with carefully chosen words a voice from within the crowd of rabbits began to tell a story of One long ago who gave His life so others could live.
To Be Completed
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Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. --1 Thessalonians 5:16-22