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Chapter One:

The sun sets over the Plains and the creatures of the day, their work finished or not, seek night-time shelter while the night-stalkers wake and seek food. Hurriedly, Rabbit—a quintessential day-person—hops through the deep snow toward the snug nest it had built for itself under the human shed behind the small house right at the southeastern edge of the small town clinging to the flatness of the Plains.

Rabbit neither recognizes nor cares about human desires for its nest. About how the woman who lives in the house will sometimes leave morsels of lettuce or cabbage or carrot at the entrance to Rabbit’s den. About how her mate, the man with the hairy face, will sometimes stand and watch Rabbit’s entrance, studying the tracks Rabbit has left in its myriad comings and goings, and thinking about Rabbit and wishing it well.

No, Rabbit isn’t concerned by these two particular humans—it has learned it has nothing to fear from them, so it merely accepts them as part if its environment. It simply eats the woman’s offerings and, if it does anything at all, thinks its thanks to her. Rabbit has, after all, much more important things on its mind, so it doesn’t waste a whole lot of time thinking about the kindness of some human.

This night, however, Rabbit realizes that it actually is thinking about the humans who live in the house by its nest. Well, maybe not very deep (and certainly not particularly philosophical) thoughts, but it does see them in its mind’s eye as it hops along the well-worn trails toward home. Maybe there’ll be a wee bed-time snack at its door; perhaps a tasty bit of lettuce or carrot or even apple. How it loves lettuce and carrots and apples! Despite its having found plenty of food this day, it still has room—always has room—for one, last, wee snack before bed.

Yes! It smells the delicious aroma of freshly-cut apples and cabbage before it can even see its den’s entrance. It hops faster, just in case some foreign Rabbit gets there first and steals its snack. Rabbit then pauses and grabs a mouthful of succulent cabbage. Munching as one starved, it devours the vegetable in mere seconds, then grabs up the pieces of apple and drags them deeply into its den where it plans to leisurely savor the sweet, tangy flavors.

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