Patch The Rabbit.
On the side of a hill overlooking a farmhouse built in the valley, there were many rabbit burrows.
In the largest of these burrows lived the oldest and wisest rabbit everyone called The Chief.
He did have another name but nobody could remember it, probably not even The Chief himself.
Living with The Chief was his son Andy and his mate Hetty.
Andy and Hetty had six young bunnies; their names were: Patch, because he had a patch over one eye, Mindy, Mimi, Cindi, Rosey and Robby.
The rabbits only came out late afternoon until just after sunset and early in the mornings to eat and frolic in the green grass.
They slept safely in their burrows all day.
The Chief would sit under a tree and all the youngsters would gather around him and listen enthralled as he told stories of when he was young.
The Chief always finished his stories telling the young rabbits they must never go down near the buildings.
One day Patch asked his father why they only came out late staying till morning and slept all day and why they must never go down near the building
Papa rabbit pointed with his paw to the buildings below and said there was danger there.
Patch asked his father what sort of danger.
Papa Rabbit then pointed to a big two-legged figure standing near one of the buildings and told him that he sometimes carried a long stick that fired things that killed rabbits.
Patch looked worried, then his father pointed to some big black four-legged animals that were tied up near the house and made a terrible noise and told Patch that they were the biggest danger because if they caught a rabbit outside through the day they would kill and eat them, they were called dogs and they werent always tied up.
Patch shuddered in alarm.
Once again Papa Rabbit stressed to his children they must never come outside when the sun was very bright and never, never under any circumstances go down into the valley.
As Patch got older he would sit on the hill looking at the activities in the valley with much curiosity.
There were three other two-legged figures, one nearly as big as the first one and two others smaller.
There were also some other four-legged animals kept in an enclosure some distance from the house.
Sometimes the two-legged figures would ride on the backs of these animals.
In a pen near where the big animals were there were some birdlike creatures, one of these things made a lot of noise in the mornings just as the sun was coming up.
What interested Patch most was the garden with a lovely lot of green things that looked like they would be good to eat.
One day Patch couldnt sleep thinking about those lovely looking green things, he thought about them so much his mouth began to water and he decided he would go down and try one.
Sneaking slowly past his sleeping parents and the other bunnies, he looked down and couldnt see the dogs anywhere so he ran down the hill and into the garden and began nibbling on a lettuce, although he didnt know it was called that, it was delicious.
Patch was so absorbed in eating the lettuce he didnt hear the man ride home with his dogs.
The first Patch knew the dogs were home was when he heard one barking and coming towards him.
Patch was terrified he closed his eyes and couldnt move; he hoped if he stayed still and quiet the dog wouldnt see him
Patch felt the dogs breath on his fur and was waiting to feel those big teeth biting into him when he felt himself being lifted and someone shooing the dog away, he opened his eyes and saw that one of the little two-legged people had picked him up.
The little girl ran inside and asked her mother if she could keep the little bunny as a pet, the mother said no, rabbits were pests and to take it out to her father and he would kill it.
The little girl feeling sorry for the poor little thing, she could feel his little heart pounding inside his chest, took it to the bottom of the hill and let it go.
For a moment poor Patch couldnt move then the little girl gave him a gentle push and off he scampered as fast as his short legs would take him back to his burrow, his family were still asleep, and curled up beside them heart still pounding and fell asleep.
Patch never disobeyed his father again.