Once upon a time, a rabbit was born into this world who went by the name of Buttons. Buttons lived her life very much like most other rabbits; by eating grass and vegetables and by digging fresh warrens to sleep in during the night. The difference between buttons nd the other rabbits was that she did these activities alone. Other rabbits were happy going out during the day in groups to search for food, or even make time to practice their hopping skills in some long grass. But, not Buttons. This was not because she didn’t want to, but because the other rabbits were told not to play with her due to the fact that she had been born with two tails.
From an early age, it was clear to Buttons that she was never going to fit in as a result of her extra tail, so she had to learn how to do what rabbits did by watching from a distance. This meant she wasn’t quite as good at digging warrens, or hunting for food, or escaping from predators but, although she longed for a friend, she had managed to survive for this long without the help of other the rabbits.
One day, while searching near a patch of grass for any scraps left by the colony the day before, Buttons heard something rustling in the bushes behind her. Worried it might be something hunting her, she quickly spun around saw another rabbit, alone and jumping in a pattern that didn’t look quite right. Buttons hopped over to the other rabbit to investigate.
“H… Hello,” Buttons said. The other rabbit seemed to startle at first and Buttons noticed that his eyes were a different colour to hers.
“Hello,” replied the other rabbit. “I’m Jasper.”
“My name is Buttons, are you lost, Jasper?”
“Well, I might only be able to take a guess as to where I am most of the time, but I don’t think that means I’m lost.”
“What do you mean?”
Chuckling, Jasper replied, “I’m blind, Buttons. Blind as a bat but quick as a rat!” Jasper then showed off his skills by hopping quickly around the base of two small trees next to where he was standing and returning back to the same spot. Buttons had little time to be impressed before they were both startled by a noise in the treetops above them. Buttons looked up and could see a small bird, flitting from one branch to another.
“What is it?” asked Jasper “Are we safe?”
Not wanting to let her new friend go too soon, Buttons found herself saying, “It’s a snake, Jasper. We need to move!”
Buttons led the way and Jasper followed closely behind her, listening for the sounds of where he should hop next in order to be safe. They spent a few minutes hopping away and then Buttons suggested they stop and rest for a moment. A moment turned into several more moments while the two of them spoke at length of their adventures on their own. They both knew they were happy to have found each other. Eventually, Jasper asked Buttons why she was alone.
“I…,” She started. “I have two tails.”
“Well, that’s nothing to be ashamed of! I’m sure that must explain why you’re twice as cute!”
Buttons giggled and then suggested she head out and bring back some food for them to share. Jasper liked this idea and the two of them shared food, stories and laughter before curling up to go to sleep.
Buttons woke up to the unmistakable sound of a lion, creeping closer through the long grass in front of them. She quickly nudged Jasper to get him to wake up.
“What is it, Buttons? Do we need to escape?”
“It’s a… it’s a lion…” stuttered Buttons.
“We should go!”
Buttons started to whisper now as she didn’t want to draw any more attention to the two of them. “I don’t know how.”
“What do you mean?” Jasper whispered back, “You are great at escaping!”
“I lied the other times, Jasper, I’m not as smart or as fast as you think I am.”
Trying to think quickly, Jasper told to remain quiet and let him do the talking.
The lion’s head and emerged from the bushes and he started slowly circling the two rabbits.
“Any last words?” he growled.
“Well,” said Jasper, “You’re not going to want to eat us.”
“Being King means I can eat whatever I like, little rabbit.”
“Of course. But, if you are The King, you would know that you cannot eat a rabbit with TWO tails, or you will be cursed for a thousand years.”
The lion hesitated for a moment and then replied, “Everybody knows that silly rabbit! So, why should I not eat you instead?”
“Well,” continued Jasper, “If you are The King, you would also know that if you spare his friend’s life, then you will be blessed with kindness for a thousand years.”
The lion laughed, “Ha! You are adorable, little rabbit. You take me for a fool. That is why I am here and why you now both shall be spared!”
The lion walked off into the bushes, chuckling as he went and the two rabbits turned to each other and started to laugh. “We are a good team,” Jasper commented, and the two of them spent many years travelling together; protecting one another and sharing food, stories and laughter.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.