Read by Anita Rodgers
“Go, George, Go!” yelled the young rabbits. George crossed the finish line in last place. He sat down to catch his breath.
Bobby said, “George, good race!” George was so winded he couldn’t answer.
The races were going well.
Each team of rabbits had very fast runners. As a team captain, Bobby got to pick the members of his team.
No one could understand why he always picked George to be on his team. George tried his best, but he usually came in last.
Bobby was next to race. He took a quick lead and stayed there. He finished the race in first place. He saw that George was cheering for him. Bobby knew he could count on George, win or lose.
Bobby thought back to when he and George were just young bunnies.
One day, he and his friends left the safety of Fire Fall Woods to run and play in the meadow.
Bobby was running ahead. He didn’t see the rotten log in the grass.
“No, don’t jump there!” yelled George. The warning came too late. It happened so fast. The rotten log broke apart when his paws landed. Bobby was flipped high into the air.
Large pieces of wood were flying all around him. He landed hard and went rolling in the grass. Then, everything went dark.
“Bobby, wake up. Come on, Bobby, wake up,” yelled George.
Bobby slowly opened his eyes. His paw ached in pain. “Ouch! What’s wrong with my paw?” asked Bobby.
George said, “Bobby, we have got to get out of here. I know that your paw is hurt, but you will have to try and hop.”
Bobby looked around and saw that he and George were alone in the meadow. He asked, “Where is everybody?”
“They ran for the woods. You can’t blame them, Bobby. It’s not safe out here,” said George.
Bobby said, “Okay, let’s head for home. George, if the eagles come, I want you to run and leave me behind.”
George said bravely, “Bobby, don’t worry about me. Just hop as fast as you can.”
Bobby began limping slowly. He cried out in pain with every hop. George tried to clear a path while he kept an eye on the sky for eagles. At last, they made it to the warren.
Now, Bobby had to face his mother. He knew she would be angry. She said, “Let’s see the damage. Your friends told me you were hurt. What were you thinking? You could have broken your neck!”
His mother looked at his paw and leg. She said, “There is some good news. Your leg is not broken, but it’s badly hurt. It will take time to heal. You will have to stay off your paws for four weeks.”
Bobby cried, “Four weeks? Are you serious? I can’t go out to play with my friends for four weeks? Spring will be over!”
“Bobby, don’t you dare complain! You are one lucky bunny! You know better than to play out in the open meadow,” his mother scolded. She added, “You are lucky that George stayed with you and helped you get back home.”
Everyone knew that playing out in the open was dangerous for even the fastest rabbit. It was deadly if you were spotted and scooped up in the talons of a hungry eagle. Every mother told her young kits to remain in the safety of cover that Fire Fall Woods provided. Some, like Bobby, did not listen. They thought it was exciting to sneak out in the meadow.
Now Bobby was paying the price. He had to stay in the burrow while his friends were playing running and jumping games. Bobby was so sad and lonely. He thought that everyone had forgotten him.
His mother came and asked, “Bobby, do you feel well enough for a visitor?”
Bobby looked up to see George. George asked, “Bobby, how’s the paw feeling today? Would you like to hear what’s new?”
After that, George came every day to visit Bobby. George had a way of telling stories that made Bobby laugh and forget about his hurt paw. From that day on, Bobby was a loyal friend to George, win or lose.
You are lucky that George stayed with you and helped you get back home.