Read by Anita Rodgers
A light snow was falling in Fire Fall Woods as the sun set.
Luna was the oldest rabbit in the warren. Her eyes twinkled with delight as the small kits gathered around her. She was a legend in the rabbit community. The kits loved her.
Tonight the rabbits were safe and warm in their underground burrows. There was just enough time for the kits to hear a story before bedtime.
Two kits, named Ginger and George, were the first to arrive. Ginger asked, “Will you tell us the story about how you came to Breakers Island?”
Three more young rabbits arrived just as Luna began to speak, “I have lived ten years and been blessed with two lives.” The young kits huddled closer to hear. They had so many questions.
Luna continued, “I was born during the summer in a group of five kits. When I was six weeks old, I was placed in a cage and put on a boat to Breakers Island.”
George asked, “They put you in a cage? Were you scared?”
Luna said, “I was so scared. I couldn’t stop shaking. My cage was taken from the boat to the dock at the village of Red Haven. Then a kind man came to pick me up. He looked at me through the cage bars and said I was beautiful. He called me Luna because he thought I looked like the rabbit that lives on the moon and makes rice cakes. Then we headed to his house. For the next eight years, I lived as a house rabbit. I was placed in an outside hutch during the day and put in my inside cage at night.”
The young kits eyes grew large in fright as she told them about the cages. They whispered to each other, “Oh, no. Luna lived all those years in a cage!”
Ginger asked, “How did you get here? Did you run away from the man?”
Luna shook her head and said, “The man had grown old and wanted to give me away. His family didn’t want a house rabbit as a pet. I was afraid I would be sold to someone who wanted to cook a rabbit stew or make a fur hat for winter.”
One morning the old man brought me to the Secret Spring Meadow. I was so surprised when the door to my cage opened. I ran into the tall grass and never looked back. That is when my second life began as a free rabbit.”
All the kits asked questions at once, “Did you know what to do? Were you lost? How did you find your way here?”
Luna smiled and looked down at the young rabbits. She said, “Yes, I was lost and didn’t know where to go. I was hiding in the grass when I saw the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. The sun was shining on the soft, brown fur of a doe rabbit. She was running through the grass and stopped to eat a yellow sunflower. I had never seen a free rabbit. Then I saw the other rabbits in the meadow.”
The kits jumped up and down with joy. Ginger said, “This is the best story ever!”
Luna said, “I followed the rabbits as they left the meadow and ran into the woods. Then I saw all the underground burrows in the warren. I knew this would be my home. A new world opened to me that day with the swing of a cage door. I had to learn how to burrow, hop in a zigzag motion, use my strong teeth, and give powerful kicks with my hind legs. In many ways, I was just like you and needed to learn how to live a life of freedom.”
The kits yelled, “Tell us more! Tell us more!”
Luna said, “Our time together has come to an end. Come tomorrow and I will tell you more stories about the clever fox, the cunning wolf, and the eagles with sharp talons flying overhead.”
Luna watched the kits leave and thought, “With a little luck, my stories will help to keep them safe so they can live to be as old as I am.”
That is when my second life began as a free rabbit.