It was dreary, damp, and drenching as Hazel, a dismal, bedraggled young rabbit, matted with soot, looked longingly out of her only refuge, a shabby, decayed car tire in a malodorous dump. In her sullen, sorrowful state, she reflected on her old life and of her loving mother and sister. Guilt-ridden, she thought of all her decisions that had gotten her to this point. Overwhelmed with emotions, she blurted the whole story to me: her only true companion. A commiserative ant (in my opinion), and the narrator of this tale. This is her story.
Warm and welcoming, the gentle slope of the grassy hills seemed as if they stretched to the horizon, the scent of the flowers filled the air, and beneath the terrain, two rabbits stirred from their early morning nap. Hazel, a cheerful, golden brown doe stretched and yawned, awakening her sister, Poppy. On the other hand, Poppy was a dour, sulky gray rabbit, who especially hated being woken up from her sleep. With much effort, Hazel pulled Poppy out of their sleeping quarters, and into the storehouse. All the smells and aromas of crisp dried hay and a mixture of fresh grass took the young rabbits’ mind off their worries and together, along with their mother Alba, a kind, gentle white rabbit, thanked the Maker for His providence. After breakfast, the youthful siblings frisked away with their friends. But, even under all these good circumstances, Hazel couldn’t get her eyes off the great lone hills, urging her to explore the untrodden land. With all her might, she tried to forget, but her heart could not withstand the temptations to experience the riches that the world offered. She was set to enjoy life with no restraints and full autonomy, and no one could stop her.
With a heavy heart, Mother Alba bundled a week’s worth of hay, valuable herbs to be used as some form of currency, and a note. With that, they bade her goodbye and Hazel set off to what she thought would be a grand adventure. After a long day’s walk, Hazel finally reached the City of Animals, the most glorious city in the creature world. Hasty for comfort, she rashly spent half her herbs on the most luxurious hotel room. The next day, she treated herself to an exquisite, costly, meal of three pieces of greenhouse grown and genetically modified multi-colored lettuce. Though she was not satisfied, Hazel lightheartedly brushed her hunger aside and used the rest of her herbs at carnival games. After her week’s time at the hotel was spent, she found that she had no herbs, no food, no home, and would likely starve to death.
“Is there anything that I have forgotten about that might help me?” Desperately, Hazel searched through her belongings for something of use. Her friends mocked and derided her for spending all her valuable herbs, and left her. Nothing. Only a little note that could be used as kindling. But wait, what did mother say about this note? She resolved to read it. “I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20” Suddenly, a surge of joy and hope rushed through her heart and renewed her liveliness. “I’m going home. I don’t care what happens, but I’m going home.” With a new gladness in her heart, Hazel started back to her family.
Back from the lone hills into her happy neighborhood, she prepared herself to repent. As she approached her home, her mother dashed to Hazel for a full embrace. “I have been foolish. I’m so sorry for my reckless acts and my behavior towards you and sis’. I hope you can forgive me.” Hazel apologized. Overwhelmed with joy, Mother Alba cried,“Of course I will forgive you! Every day I waited for your return, and now that you have, we must celebrate!” After that, there was an abundance of grooming and nuzzling, binkies and zoomies and nudges of affection, and I can safely say, they lived happily ever after.