CHAPTER 4: THE MAGIC GARDEN
“Abigail, it’s dinner time!” called the man. “Dinner?” she wondered, “I thought I already had dinner,” as she looked over at the pile of hay, the bowl of pellets, and water. The man came in carrying a large orange tray, covered with green things. “I don’t know what you like, so I brought you a little bit of everything,” he explained, “These are all things that are safe for bunnies to eat. There’s cilantro, parsley, dandelion leaves, carrot tops, romaine lettuce, and some basil. And for dessert, there’s a little piece of fresh apple. See what you like.”
Abigail hopped over to investigate. She wasn’t sure what to do. Until now, all she ever ate was hay and pellets. She had never even seen greens before. She sniffed them carefully. They smelled good. She took a little bite. They tasted good, too! Abigail went around the smorgasbord, sampling little bites of each plant. Right away, she discovered that cilantro was her favorite, followed by parsley. She wasn’t sure about the dandelion leaves or the basil, so she decided to come back to those later. But when she took a bite of the apple, she thought, “This is good! I like apples!”
From then on, twice a day, every day, the man brought her the orange tray filled with fresh greens to supplement her hay. Abigail wondered where this endless supply of fresh greens came from. Was there a field full of fresh greens? She looked out the window, but didn’t see anything. One day, the man came through the door with an arm full of greens and announced, “Abigail, I’ve been to the magic garden!” She followed him over to the room where the orange tray came from, and watched as he carefully washed all the greens, cut their stems, and arranged them in a bowl of water like a bouquet of fresh flowers. The aroma was enticing. “Someday,” she thought, “I have to visit this magic garden.”
Every so often, he’d bring her something new to try. “Abigail, try this,” he’d say. He brought her different types of lettuce, kale, beet tops, mustard greens, and bok choy. Some she liked, some she didn’t. But she appreciated being given the choice. Abigail noticed that her chestnut coat grew soft and shiny. Food was interesting and exciting now. She liked poking around here and there throughout the day, picking out the bits she wanted right then. She thought it must be how her wild cousins ate. For the first time, Abigail had favorite foods, and she felt very worldly.