Friday, November 30, 2007

Throwaway Friday Presents – A Littlest Bunny Adventure

This will be my final Throwaway Friday story as it’s the last one from the vault. I’ve really enjoyed being able to show them off. Thanks for reading them and for your kind words in the comments trail.

Bunny’s Winter Friend

It had finally stopped snowing. His father was out scraping away the snow from the door and his mother was busily knitting some new ear protectors for her children when the Littlest Bunny woke from his afternoon nap.
He had a nap every afternoon because he was a young bunny and was always up early in the morning. Most of the time it was the Littlest Bunny who woke everyone else in the household when he sang his morning song to the sun:

Good Morning Mr. Bright and Cheery
I am happy you are here
You make it light and warm and bright
And tickle me, tickle me, on my ears!

He sang this song early every morning as the sun came up because he was a very happy bunny.
He had been up early today, too, even though the sun got up later in the wintertime and the Littlest Bunny sometimes had to wait a very long time to sing his song.
So he had his nap and was ready to go out and play in the new snow when he woke up.
It was crisp and cold out under the mid-afternoon sky. The last few snow clouds were bustling off to rest and refill as the Littlest Bunny stood outside on the freshly cleared path.
His father had swept away the snow all the way up to main pathway through Carrotvale and the Littlest Bunny decided he would go for a hop through the village to see what was happening.

It had been snowing for several days and most everyone in Carrotvale had stayed inside. Now that the sun was out many of the residents were busy outside clearing away snow. Several young rabbits were running and jumping into the big, fluffy piles of snow that were being made as the paths were swept.
“Wheeee.” He could hear them laugh and shout as they as they ran and he heard “Ooooomph!” as they landed in the snow.

He kept going, sniffing the fresh, cool air and looking around.
As he turned a corner he saw an interesting sight head of him. This was new. He’d never seen this path before and it seemed to go to the top of a hill. Maybe he could see all of Carrotvale from the top, he thought, so he decided to climb to the top of the hill to see what he could see.

What he saw surprised him. The Littlest Bunny had only ever been to Carrotvale and Farmer Spudbutter’s garden. This was new and very exciting. From the top of the hill he could see even more hills and they seemed to go on and on and stretch to the end of the world where they met the sky.

He forgot all about Carrotvale. These hills and trees were much more exciting for the Littlest Bunny so he plunked down in the soft, cold snow and watched them.
Soon he began to wonder if there were any more bunnies out on any of the other hills looking at him.
“Wouldn’t it be fun,” he said to himself, “to meet another bunny from somewhere else.”
“Helloooooo,” he shouted with all his might toward the hills.
“Hellllllooooooo” he heard back after hardly more than a second.
It sounded just like another young bunny!
“Where are you?” he shouted. And the answer he got was the same as his question.
“I am over here,” he said.
“I am over here,” came the reply, which the young rabbit didn’t find all that helpful. But it didn’t matter. He had found someone new to talk to.
The sun was sinking very low behind the hills and the Littlest Bunny knew he’d better start for home
“Good-bye,” he shouted and “Good-bye” came back to him, but a bit fainter than before and the Littlest Bunny decided his new friend must have already started for home.

Every nice winter day the Littlest Bunny came back to the hilltop hoping to talk to his new friend and every day his new friend was already waiting for him.
He had a good and faithful friend, but he hadn’t told anyone about him yet. For now he wanted his new friend all to himself.
His brothers and sisters wanted to know where the Littlest Bunny went every afternoon so one day his brother, the oldest in the family and in his third season of bunny lessons, followed him.
The Littlest Bunny went to the hill and started talking to his faraway friend. Soon he heard a noise behind him and turned around find his big brother two tree-lengths down the path with his ears pulled down over his face trying to keep from laughing.

“What are you laughing at?” he asked just a little annoyed that his brother was there.
“You,” said the older rabbit. “You are talking to yourself.”
“No I am not! I am talking to my new friend over there.” And he stretched out a little paw and pointed to a tree-covered hill in the distance.
“That is your echo,” said his big brother. “We learned about them in bunny lessons. Sometime objects like hills and bare trees will bounce your voice back to you when the air is just right.”
But the Littlest Bunny didn’t believe him. “He’s my friend, not my echo.”
“Okay,” laughed his brother, “you can have him all to yourself. But it is nearly time for supper so you’d better come home with me.”
So the Littlest Bunny shouted “Good-bye” to the hills and so did his big brother and they got two “Good-byes” back as they made their way home for supper.

The cold returned and more snow came down. The path to the top of the hill was not cleared again that winter so the Littlest Bunny did not get a chance to go out and talk to his friend any more.
Finally one warm spring day the Littlest Bunny could see the path was open again. He went to the top of the hill and looked all around him.
It looked so different. The bare trees of winter were now covered with their new green suits, a small stream was flowing through the bottom of the valley between the hills and some of the south-facing hills were smiling with red and yellow flowers.
It was a beautiful day in spring and the Littlest Bunny wondered if his winter friend was out enjoying the day, too.

“Hellooo,” he shouted, “how are you?”
He waited a moment or two, listening intently. He heard the chirrups and caws of some birds and a gentle breeze stirred through the new grass, but that was all.
He tried again, “Helllllloooo!”
Only the breeze and birds answered him.
“Oh,” he thought, “he must be busy playing. I’ll try again in the winter.”
And as he made his way down the hill he thought, “Maybe it was just my echo.”

But maybe it wasn’t.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Let’s Hear It For Grunting

I think about things. I sometimes even think before I speak and it’s gotten me into trouble. People wonder if I’ve been paying attention because I don’t respond right away.
What’s the rush? You’ve asked me a question. Do you really want to hear the first thing that comes to my mind?

I don’t think you do.

I got so disgusted with friends and acquaintance who treated me like I wasn’t all there because I didn’t have a fast answer for them. I no longer have those people in my life and I have no intention of acquiring replacements.

The quiet space between what they said and then asking me, “Are you there? Did you hear me? Are you listening?” was maybe two full seconds. It probably seems longer to the average person because:

a) we’re not used to quiet any longer.
b) most people don’t have any media training. We learned in our radio classes in journalism school just exactly how long five seconds of dead air is and it does seem to stretch out. Two seconds to the untrained likely seems like eternity.
c) most people are so full of themselves and their problems that they can’t imagine anyone not giving them their full, rapt attention.

Therefore I developed the caring grunt. This general response indicates that the speaker has been heard. This satisfies them for enough time for me to form a sentence of some sort as a legitimate response.

Maybe it’s common courtesy to indicate that I’m thinking. I can live with that. But isn’t it equally courteous to give someone a chance to think?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In The Presence Of The Important Ones

I must be ever-vigilant. I’ve seen this happen so much that I’m beginning to think it’s okay to cross the centre line to park.

I saw this twice yesterday morning as I was headed up the street northbound. Some driver ahead of me whipped over and parked along the west side of the street. Within seconds someone else immediately ahead of me followed suit.

Rocky is built on a hill and crossing traffic to park, illegality aside, is stupid. We had fresh snow so it was slippery. This doubles if not trebles the stupidity of it. Both these drivers crossed in front of downhill-bound drivers on a slippery street. I’d hate to see anyone hit, but it is hard to muster sympathy in these situations.

This maneuver used to be know as a “Farmer’s U-Turn.” I always found that offensive as farmers are smarter than that, they do not believe the world owes them a living, and they care for the variety of really expensive equipment they drive in the normal course of running a farm. They also don’t think it’s their Dog-given right to park immediately in front of the business they’re visiting.

Rather it’s the busy people who are Very Important and understand that their convenience trumps all. Why should I walk across the street in the cold? I pay my taxes!

Of all the traffic offenses I’ve seen this one grates me the most. I don’t know why other than it’s to do with the mindset of drivers who do it. They’re lazy, they think they’re better than everyone else, and their time is too valuable to waste.

Maybe I should change my attitude. Instead of being upset maybe I should be grateful for being allowed to be on the same street as these Very Important People.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Blogiversary, Belated

My very first post was a year and 10 days ago. I didn’t have much to say that day. I was simply getting going and wanted to mark the moment.

It’s taken me awhile to get comfortable. I first thought I ought to Say Something Important. This did not last as I don’t always have Something Important To Say.
It’s been a fun year. I’ve written about seeing a ghost in broad daylight, and a unicorn. I’ve written about how important it is to be a Love Warrior and how great it is to be a BITCH.
I posted photos and made friends. I look forward to reading other blogs each day and I love getting comments.
And, I’ll be honest, I like the opportunity to voice my opinion about whatever comes to mind.
It’s given me the opportunity to express gratitude in public and it’s been a great place to post stories that would otherwise languish in the back of the hard drive.

I was computerless for the big blogiversary day, November 17, but I had a friend visiting for the weekend so I celebrated friendship face to face.

I still need to observe it in some manner. I need your help. What is the appropriate dessert for a one year blogiversary?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gratitude Monday - Honey, I’m Home Edition

I’ve gotten through my long dark night of the blog and it is so good to be back.
I’m grateful for the break in that it showed me I’ve become dependent on cyber communicating. I experienced a sense of loss and disconnection.

I’m grateful for the library as I could go in and check my email and sort out the fun some of you were having on my blog. Thanks. I really enjoyed it.

I’m grateful for my blog buddies and for the contact and sense of community blogging brings.

I’m especially grateful that I have a chance to think before I respond. I’m not saying that I will think each time, but I have the option to do it and you don’t always get that in spoken conversation.

I have a new computer and an entirely new updated system. I’d been working with Windows 98SE until bulging and leaking capacitors finally did it in. Of course it had nothing to do with the UFO post I’d written. Nothing at all…

Anyway it’s Monday and I’m grateful to be back in the blogging saddle.

Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

From The Management

Technical difficulties are temporary.
Please do not adjust your computers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Same Difference

A brief announcement during the news last night made me think. A city school had organized a celebration showcasing our differences.
This is good. Celebrated them and embrace them and we’ll soon have xenophobia on the run.

Twenty years ago we were insisting that we’re all the same. This annoyed me no end. At the core we’re all the same i.e. human, but everyone is different.
Shouting and singing insipid songs about how alike we are galled me no end. We fed the fear of being different by studiously ignoring it.
We trumpeted that the same was equivalent to equal. This was sad because all it did was perpetuate the myth that in order to be equal we must all be the same. And no matter how much we stomped and shouted and sang to the contrary, we really meant that you’d better be as close to white, English-speaking, middle-class, and straight as you can muster so you’ll be acceptably the same.

I often wonder how many psyches were damaged by this nonsense?

Before this gets any further, and to quell any misunderstandings, we are all human and therefore we are all equal. But do not offend my sensibilities by trying to cram down my throat that we’re all the same.

No two people are the same.

Now it seems we’re celebrating the differences. It’s about time. But I wonder, is it really okay to be different yet? Or is it only okay as long as we’re all the same?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Gratitude Monday – Playing With Food

My life is good. I suppose if I thought about it long enough I could complain, but why would I do that? If you dwell on the bad you’ll call more of it to you. If you wish to live like that it’s your business, but don’t come around me. I want nothing to do with you.

Why are we so ungrateful? Here in North America we’ve got so much more than so many and we still want more. Even our poor have it better than many others around the world. For the most we have more than we need. And we rub it in to the rest of the world by tossing away food, clothing, furniture, and most anything else that bores us.

Last week I wrote about food banks and clients who are flummoxed by some of the offerings. I’m grateful that I’ve learned how to work with the different beans and grains and I’m especially grateful that I can make a reasonably adequate hummus from scratch.

I have a cupboard stuffed with foods that can’t be distributed for whatever reason. This gives me a chance to experiment and create and learn. And it’s an acceptable way to play with my food.

I’m grateful for this opportunity and for the chance to learn while eating well.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Throwaway Friday Presents - The Pearl

I wrote this several years ago. I woke up with the idea and it would not let me go until I’d written it.

The Pearl

Once a long, long time ago a young woman left her village because she had nothing to give. She went out on her own in the cold, gray autumn with only her clothing and a small bit of food she hoped her family could spare.
The woman had no skills to offer the village. She was not allowed to hunt. The Elders believed she was too small to bring back an animal large enough to feed the many families who lived in the small collection of huts near the sea, and she was far too clumsy to make anything worth wearing.
She was a very shy woman. Whenever a man of the village showed interest in her she would run away, often stumbling over her own feet in a hurry to get back to her home and shut the heavy door so she wouldn’t have to speak.
The young woman had been to school. She could read and write, do figures as well as anyone else, and she asked many questions of her teachers. Many of the questions they could not answer.
She wanted these answers but no one in her village wanted to help her, she thought. She was too shy to press on whenever some one told her, “Go away. Stop bothering me.”

So she left her village and headed toward the west. The young woman had never been more than a few hours walk from her home, and only then to wander through the forest and perhaps rest against a tree. The woman liked the quiet. The people of her village were kind, but they expected her to be like all the others. They could not understand how someone raised among them could have been so shy and lacking in skills.
She was cold. The wind whipped through her long black hair and she wrapped her traveling blanket around her tightly. As she rounded a hill she spotted a cave a few feet off the path. The woman knew this would be a good place to rest for the night. It was dark in the cave, but it offered shelter from the wind and it would keep her warm.
And it was quiet.

In the morning she ate her last bit of food and started out once more toward the west. The look of the forest had changed. It was becoming more open now and in the distance she saw what she thought were crystals glittering on the ground.
Soon she was warm. A bright sun was shining and the sky was an unusually clear blue. At last she could see the glittering crystals ahead were the reflection of sunshine off a brilliant blue expanse of water. She had never seen so much water. It was so beautiful. She ran and ran toward it with her arms wide open and her face upturned to the warm sun.

At the shore she stopped. The wild roar of the water and the wind was strange to her, yet she felt drawn toward it. As she watched the waves she became mesmerized by their rhythm.
She walked in to the water.

Without thinking she dived in and felt the water rush by her body. She felt free. This was something she could do and it was exhilarating. The woman took a deep breath and dived under the surface. As she looked around her she was greeted by a strange sight, lumps on the sea floor. These lumps seemed to call to her.
She picked up one of the lumps and saw it was a shell. She opened it and inside was a perfectly round, smooth stone. She closed the shell quickly and took it back with her to the shore. As she opened it once more the sun shone down on the stone and the young woman saw the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.
It was luminescent and iridescent and smooth and round. The stone wasn’t just reflecting light; it seemed to have a light of its own. She smiled. This was something new. She had discovered this by herself.

The people of her village did not go to the sea. It was a strange and powerful place and it scared them. Elders told tales of the villagers of the past who ventured to the sea for food but had come back changed and no longer wished to stay in the village. Some had not returned at all.
It was much safer to hunt in the forest than take a chance on the water they learned. So they remained tied to their land and the ways they knew.

The woman knew she had found something precious, something worth more than all her life had been until then. She understood it would not be the same for her now. She took the shell with its small, beautiful stone and returned to her village.
She had something to give.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Today’s Beef

Yesterday I wrote about issues concerning food banks and clients. Here’s another part of the reason that gets good food tossed.
We must eat meat. We hear it all the time. The beef industry lobbied hard a few years back because Canada’s Food Guide came out with an emphasis on beans and other sources of protein. It was intolerable.

Before this gets any further our beef industry is currently hurting and needs some good public relations. Acting like this, out of fear, hasn’t done it any good.
I like beef. We had tenderloin last night marinated in a honey-wheat beer with garlic, cumin, and hot pepper. But a few days earlier I made baked beans from scratch. The white beans, molasses and demerara sugar in it were from the food bank. It was lighter fare, but filling, and a good source of protein.

But the message in Cattle County is clear and that means there’s not a lot of info made available about beans despite the fact they’re grown in southern Alberta right along with the feedlots.

Many commenters yesterday suggested providing information at the food banks about how to prepare foods like beans, lentils, chickpeas and the like. It’s a great idea, but it’s just the start. I say teach it in school.
Not Home Ec.,but agricultural studies. Teach the kids where the food is from and how it’s grown and harvested. Then explain how it gets from the bag on the shelf to the plate.
It’s sad that scratch food prep has to be taught this way, but if no one knows it at home, how else can it be done? Cooking real food is getting to be a lost art.

Most of us know that beer comes from malt barley. But do we known that other varieties of barley are make into flour and that pot and pearl barley make a great side dish?
I made some the other night. The ratio is 2:1 liquid to barley. The pot barley was from the food bank, so was the quarter-cup apple cider vinegar I added in, as was the aforementioned demerera sugar I used to help kick up the crushed dried mint I’d used for flavoring. Cover with a lid and stick in the oven at 350 for an hour. I served it with roasted lamb coated with a mild curry paste courtesy the food bank.
I didn’t always know what to do with barley, beans, chickpeas, lentils and other dried foods. I had to ask. I looked up recipes on the Internet. I played around to see what worked.

We’re pressured into believed we must have meat. Many poor people, food bank clients or not, will buy hot dogs filled with sodium and chemicals and meat byproducts when they could get more for their money with peas, beans, lentils, barely, rice, and many other dried foods.

We need the information made available on foods and scratch food preparation before the knowledge dies out with the last great-grandmother.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Food Bank Soup

I’d been wondering how to approach this subject, but this post at Virginia Lee’s blog gave me the focus I needed.
No one knows how to cook, and by extension, to think how to feed themselves anymore. Our grocery stores are filled with ready-made meals that require a few minutes of nuking. Certain of them have ingredients that I can’t pronounce. I’m curious as to what they are, but maybe I don’t want to know.

Canned tuna comes ready-mixed with mayonnaise. Convenient, of course, if hideously overpriced. Buy tuna. Buy mayo. Mix them yourself. Get up 10 minutes earlier if you have to. It’s cheaper and probably healthier.

Even if we wanted to make something ourselves it’s difficult to find the ingredients. It’s easier to buy the ready-made roast or the cubed, herbed potatoes, or sliced peppers, or the cooked bacon. Who cares what’s in it? It’s quick and it’s tasty. We’ve gotten so used to having everything ready that we’re losing the ability to make our own anything, including, as noted above, sandwich filling.

It’s one thing if you can afford to buy these items, but what about the people who can’t? Oil-rich Alberta is filled with food banks and they, in turn, are crying for donations. It seems the more we have the less we think of others.

The food bank issue has several aspects, but I’ll only deal with a few. One aspect is food banks need certain kinds of food like canned soups and beans. When those items fall short the money to buy meat or some such is put toward canned goods instead.

Another point is food banks must follow the same rules as grocery stores, and rightly so. No dented cans, nothing with a soiled, ripped, or missing label, and nothing that fell off the delivery truck.
But many of these items are just fine. A torn label on a can of tomato paste does not affect the contents. The box of packaged salads that fell off the truck is fine, too.

But a very big part of the problem is many donated items flummox the clients. Canned kidney beans are a known commodity, but dried kidney beans? Garbanzos? Mung beans? Lentils? What do we do? Who do we ask? Why should we bother?

So these unwanted foods take up space until they have to be disposed of. Good food gets tossed because it either can’t legally be distributed to the needy or because no one has a clue what to do with it. We’re so used to getting our food microwave-ready that anything that requires prep time, like dried beans, is a mystery.

So volunteers dispose of the food items. Because a family member is a volunteer at a food bank we have benefited from this disposal.
We’ve got mung beans and chick peas, and lentils and barley. We’ve got canned coconut milk and dozens of cans of tomato paste, and excellent, cold–pressed extra virgin olive oil in perfect containers.

We’ve had escargot which we did over the campfire, and quail’s eggs which I used in a warm potato salad. We’ve had red-wine vinegar and raspberry vinegar, and plenty of curry spices in various forms from dry to pastes.

The other night I threw together a quick soup with some chicken bullion, mung beans, and curry spices that were not distributed, as well as our own veggies and leftovers and a bit of rice.
It took less than 10 minutes to throw it together and it simmered about an hour. I made it because I knew how and I thought as I did it how much better our world would be if everyone else knew how to do it, too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Scam With A Personal Touch

Has this ever happened to you? Has a scam artist tried so hard to convince you of his veracity that he’s called you?
We came home mid-afternoon yesterday to find a message on our answering machine. A man with a thick African accent, ostensibly calling from England, said he’d sent me an email and told me to check it.
I couldn’t make out most of what he said although the plaintive demands to check my email were clear.

My caller’s email wove a sad tale of being a Catholic priest with HIV who’d had his liver removed last year. Would I please help him disburse his 425,000,000 pounds to orphanages in my local area?

I had a good laugh over this. He greeted me by my first name on the phone and used it in the subject line of the email to fool me into thinking we knew one another.
His email appealed to both greed and a sense of compassion geared to helping the orphans. This is a brilliant move, especially with the added twist of phone contact for that personal touch.

It leaves me to wonder how does a poor, liverless priest with HIV get that kind of money?

And as my husband noted, he may not have a liver, “but he sure has guts.”

Monday, November 5, 2007

Gratitude Monday – Baking Day

We had our first snowfall yesterday. It didn’t amount to much, but it reminded me that I have a roof over my head. Not everyone does. Edmonton has a significant homeless population and shelters are filled to capacity.

My husband shoveled the snow. Much of it melted, but this prevents ice buildup in the driveway and behind the garage. This is very thoughtful.

The weather meant it was a good baking day. It gave me a chance to make my first pecan pie. I’d looked up a simple cookie recipe so I could use it as a stepping point for making peanut butter-chocolate chip-Irish Whiskey cookies, and found the pecan tart recipe a few pages later.
I substituted maple syrup for corn syrup and a coconut lard-Tahini hybrid for butter in the pie. Inventing is fun and the pie turned out okay.

I’m grateful that I can reason out substitutes for dairy products and I’m even more grateful that they commonly work out.

I used Polish Wheat flour (a.k.a. Kamut) in the cookies and I had the sense to sift it first. It’s smoother this way.
I had to sift the Spelt flour for the piecrust. Some might find that annoying. Spelt is in the wheat family and I’m grateful that I can use this flour. Sifting takes only a few minutes.

So here it is Monday again. I’m in a warm home and I live a life where if I feel like taking a baking day I do so.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Throwaway Friday Presents – The Littlest Bunny

Here’s yet another story of mine. I have a soft spot in my heart for the littlest bunny. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to convince a publisher that this translates to sales.

Farmer Spudbutter’s Garden

It was once that there was a very little bunny. He was the very littlest bunny in the whole bunny family; in fact, he was the littlest bunny in all of Carrotvale. And he was always getting into trouble.
Now, it wasn’t because he meant to get into trouble, but it seemed to the Littlest Bunny, for that was all anyone every called him, that no matter how fast he hopped, trouble would always catch up and tweak him on the ears.

The Littlest Bunny wasn’t just the littlest; he was also the youngest in his family and sometimes he was all but forgotten in all the hopping and shuffling as his brothers and sisters got ready for their lessons or were excited to go and meet their friends in Farmer Spudbutter’s garden.
The garden was at the far end of a lane that went past Farmer Spudbutter’s house and down through the middle of a long, green yard. The lane was shaded by big, leafy trees with branches that reached out and met one another high above the ground.
One warm summer days squirrels played up and down these branches, jumping from tree to tree and chasing themselves along the length of the lane. The birds who lived in the trees sometimes swooped lazily around the garden looking for some thing to eat and in the autumn they helped themselves to the ripe berries that grew wild along the garden’s outer edge.

His brothers and sisters always said he was too young and too little to play with them and he would get lost among the cabbages if he came along. Sometimes he followed them, but they told him scary stories about the big birds that would come to the garden and carry him away to their nests if he went any further.
The Littlest Bunny didn’t really believe them, but he didn’t want to take any chances of carried off by birds so he always went back home.
The Littlest Bunny really like the birds, and knew he shouldn’t be scared, but he didn’t want to live in a tree for the rest of his life and maybe never taste his mother’s lettuce pie ever again.
But today was a different day. That morning, as the sun’s warmth tickled his whiskers and woke him up, he told himself, “I’m not scared of any birds. I’m going to Farmer Spudbutter’s garden!”

It was very hot in Farmer Spudbutter’s garden and the earth felt very warm on the Littlest Bunny’s feet as he hopped between the cabbage rows. He nibbled here and there, just enough to taste, but not enough so anyone would know he had been there.
He had already tried the carrots, which were very sweet and juicy, and the radishes, too, but they made his tummy feel almost as hot as his feet. He really liked the tender lettuce and he even ate a few peas, although the shells weren’t to his liking at all.
He was having so much fun playing and eating in Farmer Spudbutter’s garden that he forgot all about everything else and he ate and he ate and he ate. But he found his tummy was very full and he was getting tired, so the Littlest Bunny thought he should take the very littlest of a nap before starting out for home.

He looked around the garden for a place to rest and saw that the big yellow sun had disappeared and in its place was an even bigger big cloud. It looked dark and heavy, and a cool, forceful wind had come up.
“Oh,” he thought, “it is going to rain. I will have to stay in the garden.”
So he hid under a big lettuce leaf to keep the rain out of his ears and he fell asleep.

But the Littlest Bunny didn’t sleep very long. A big clap of thunder woke him up and shook the tops of the corn behind him.
He woke up with a start and shivered. The leaf over him bowed under the weight of the rain and now he was getting wet, too.
He was miserable. His tummy hurt from eating too much in Farmer Spudbutter’s bountiful garden, and he was wet and cold and scared and a long way from home.
He shivered some more and began to cry, just a little bit, because he wanted to be home where it was safe and dry. He sniffled and tried to hide deeper in the lettuce.
“I should have listened,” he thought. “They were right, I am too little to be out here all by myself.”

Just then he heard a scratching noise. He peeked out from underneath the leaf and saw a crow standing near his hiding place pecking at the dirt.
He remembered what his brothers and sisters had said about the birds carrying him off and he started to cry even more. Why hadn’t he listened?

“What is wrong little bunny?” asked the crow in a strong, but gentle voice. “Why are you crying? Are you lost?”
The Littlest Bunny wasn’t sure what to do. His brothers and sisters had teased him about birds, but this one seemed nice. “No, I am not lost,” he said. "But I am far away from home and my tummy hurts.”
“And,” he added, getting a bit braver now, and sticking up his fuzzy chin so his ears knocked the leaf away, “I am not just a little bunny. I am the Littlest Bunny.”
“Oh, I am sorry,” said Mrs. Cora Crow. “I didn’t know that is who you were.” And she tried not to laugh because the young, bedraggled rabbit under the lettuce leaf looked so serious.
“Do you live in Carrotvale on the other side of Farmer Spudbutter’s lawn? I live in the trees along his laneway,” said Mrs. Crow. “I often see other young rabbits in this garden in the early morning before Farmer Spudbutter wakes up.”
“Sometimes I have to chase them away,” she continued. “I don’t want to do it, but they scare away the worms and make it hard for me to get enough food for my babies.”
The rain had turned to a gentle shower and the wind had calmed down quite a bit since they started talking.
“You look tired, bunny, and I am sure you would like to be home with your family and not trying to keep the rain away under a lettuce leaf. Would you like me to fly you home?”
“Thank you, Mrs. Crow,” said the Littlest Bunny, for he was very polite and came from a well-bred family of Gentlerabbits who always said “Please” and Thank You.”
“I would.”

So Mrs. Crow spread out her wings and told the young rabbit to stand on her feet and hang on tight to her and to not be scared.
"I'm not scared,” said the Littlest Bunny as took hold of Mrs. Crow. He really was a brave young rabbit, and he was with a friend.
They flew high in the air, or so it seemed to the Littlest Bunny, because he had never been up in the air before and it was all new and wonderful.
They flew past the trees in the lane and Mrs. Crow shouted down “Hello” to her family and the Littlest Bunny tried his best to shout down “Hello,” too.
The sky cleared as they flew high above Farmer Spudbutter’s long lane and over the big farmhouse on their way to Carrotvale.
It seemed to the Littlest Bunny that they were flying so high that they would fly right into the sun, but then Mrs. Crow began to circle and start toward the ground and it was all over.

He was home. His mother ran out of the house to see what all the commotion was and watched as Mrs. Crow delivered her tired, smudged and still wet youngest offspring to her door.
She had never seen a crow or any other bird deliver a rabbit or anything else safely home and she didn’t know what to do except to say Thank You.
“You are very welcome, Mrs. Rabbit.” And she flapped her wings good-bye and took off toward Farmer Spudbutter’s lane.
The Littlest Bunny was very glad to be home and wanted to tell his brothers and sisters not to be scared of birds, but his mother was looking at him very sternly and he knew he should wait until later to tell about his adventures in the garden.