CHAPTER 1: WISH WITH ALL YOUR HEART
It was a bright and sunny morning, the kind bunnies love. Abigail, a tiny little chestnut brown Netherland Dwarf rabbit, sat in her cage, munching on hay. She peered through the bars of her cage, and could see sunlight filtering through a window. “I wonder if my family will let me out today,” she thought. Abigail loved it when she was let out to play. She would run as fast as she could, and then jump in the air for joy. Lately the family had been very busy, so there wasn’t much out-of-the-cage time.
Abigail wished she could play at night. That’s when she was wide awake. At night, though, the family was asleep and she was locked in her cage. One night, she looked up through the window at the starry sky and wished with all her heart that she could be free to run, play, explore, and rest wherever she liked.
The warm sun made her sleepy, and she started to doze off. Suddenly she was jarred awake by a big commotion. The family burst into the room. “Are they letting me out?” she wondered excitedly. But instead of opening the door, they picked up the entire cage and carried her outside. This had never happened before. Abigail was frightened. Rabbits like to be firmly planted on the ground, not up in the air. “What is happening?” she worried.
Outside, a man peered at her through the bars. She had never met him before. He spoke softly to her, “Well, hello there! Aren’t you cute?” She eyed him with caution. What did he want? The family opened the lid to her cage. She felt very vulnerable. The man reached his hand in to touch her. “Whoa, I don’t know you that well!” she thought. She backed away.
Rabbits have four levels of defense; run, hide, lunge, and bite. Abigail looked around. There was nowhere to run in her tiny cage. She looked for somewhere to hide. The only place was under the green plastic igloo that she often perched upon for a better view. Abigail dove under the igloo. “Please don’t hurt me,” she begged.
The family lifted the igloo off of her, and just like that, she was again utterly vulnerable. The stranger reached in again to touch her. Time for level three of defense! She lunged at him, but stopped short of biting him. That was reserved as a last resort. “Back off!” she grunted. It worked. The man backed away.
She heard the family apologize and say, “She’s normally not so mean.” Abigail thought, “I’m not mean, I’m scared!” The stranger seemed to understand, and smiled at her and said softly, “Don’t be scared, little one. I won’t hurt you.” Again, she eyed him with caution. The man and the family talked, and then they placed a smaller box with a handle on it near the door to her cage. She hesitated, but it was somewhere to hide, so she hopped inside. The door closed behind her. She was trapped. She thought to herself, “I’m a tough bunny,” and put on a brave face, trying her best to not look weak even though she was terrified. “What’s going to happen to me?” she wondered.
Although she didn’t understand, the wish she had made long ago was about to come true.