First Printing August 2012
Published by Legion Printing, Birmingham, AL
Copyright Phil Geusz, 2012
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without explicit permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
“Would you like me to bring you anything special to eat? Or maybe something else?” James asked before leaving, just like he always did. He visited me at the veterinary hospital every day, even though it was almost an hour’s trip by aircar from where he was staying with the Royal Governor. Only now was I beginning to appreciate what a good, true friend I’d made for myself.
“No thank you,” I answered as I always did, lowering my head so as to hide the reddening of my still too-soft and tender ear-linings. The Tank had rebuilt my body from practically nothing, and every inch of me was still as soft and fluffy as if I were an infant. The chief vet said that I still had weeks of supervised toughening-up to go through before I could return to heavy labor, which seemed to be the only standard of health he recognized in regard to we Rabbits. Until then I was stuck sharing a clinic room with Patrick, a grizzled old field-buck who knew nothing of the universe except plows, seed drills and harvesters. He’d had to grow a new liver after being over-exposed to a certain fertilizer, and seemed to think I existed for no better purpose than to listen for the tenth time to his story of That Terrible Day when he’d had to corral a sixty-ton runaway tractor with a passed-out Rabbit at the controls. After all, it was obvious to him that with me being as young as I was, I couldn’t possibly have any stories of my own to tell…