Original Short Fiction: "Miss Fuzzy Bunny’s Announcement"
Rabbit in Art
From Jiggery-Jee's Eden Valley Stories, the character Miss Fuzzy Bunny has an important event coming up in her life. She makes special arrangements and then announces her momentous event to Jiggery-Jee and Jaggery-Joe.
Text of "Miss Fuzzy Bunny’s Announcement"
On a bright June morning Miss Fuzzy Bunny got up earlier than usual, performed her morning exercises and devotionals, and then she prepared a special breakfast for Jiggery-Jee and his brother Jaggery-Joe. She had to get up extra early to fix breakfast, because Jaggery-Joe had been preparing Jiggery-Jee’s breakfast, since he came to live with them. But today Miss Fuzzy Bunny had a special announcement, and she wanted to make it over Jiggery-Jee’s favorite breakfast. So after she fried the dog-ear flap-jacks and squeezed the orange juice, she set the table with her finest plates. As she was scooping up the butter and placing it is in the serving bowl, she heard Jaggery-Joe come down the stairs.
“Well, oh, well—Miss Fuzzy, you are up already,” said Jaggery-Joe, as he peeped at the food Miss Fuzzy Bunny had prepared. Then he noticed the table already set.
“Oh, yes, I wanted to make Jiggery-Jee his favorite breakfast, because I have a special announcement to make this morning.”
“A special announcement. Sounds mysterious, Miss Fuzzy. Care to give me a hint?” asked Jaggery-Joe.
“I’d really rather wait until after breakfast, and then I’ll tell you both,” said Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
Jaggery-Joe poured a cup of hot cider-tea and sat down at his place at the table. Miss Fuzzy Bunny spooned out the applesauce into a serving bowl and set it on the table. Then she brought out the bottles of lemon, maple, and strawberry syrup. By the time she had all the food on the table, she heard Jiggery-Jee coming downstairs. Jaggery-Joe got up and poured himself another cup of hot cider-tea, and he also poured one for his brother.
“Good morning, everybody,” said Jiggery-Jee, as he rushed out the front door to retrieve the morning newspaper. He brought the paper over to the breakfast table and sat down without noticing the food.
“Jigs, don’t you notice something about this breakfast?” his brother asked.
“Well, well—it’s mighty big, isn’t it? You didn’t have to put yourself out, Jags. Your usual muffins and tea always hits the spot with me,” said Jiggery-Jee.
“Oh, no—I didn’t make breakfast this morning. Miss Fuzzy Bunny did. Well, my goodness, she was just here. Now where did she vanish to?” asked Jaggery-Joe.
“I’m right here,” said Miss Fuzzy Bunny, who had slipped into her room and changed from her usual house dress to a long white dress with a white shawl and a white cap. “Shall we sit down and have breakfast? What a beautiful day it is, don’t you think?”
Jiggery-Jee and Jaggery-Joe looked at each other and smiled, but each one was wondering why Miss Fuzzy Bunny was dressed this way.
“Yes, it’s a lovely day. I think we might get some rain this afternoon,” said Jaggery-Joe, who glanced at his brother again. Both brothers were still puzzled about Miss Fuzzy Bunny’s attire.
And so the three friends sat eating and chatting, and finally everyone had had enough food. Jiggery-Jee folded his napkin and laid it beside his plate and said, “Miss Fuzzy Bunny, this is one of the finest breakfasts you’ve ever served, and I must add, you have always served wonderful breakfasts. Why, this seems like a celebration, doesn’t it, Jags?”
“I’ll say it does,” said Jaggery-Joe, as he looked quizzically at Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“Well, Jiggery-Jee and Jaggery-Joe, it is a celebration. I have a special announcement to make. You see, well—you have both seen the new house that has been constructed on the land just west of your farm, Jiggery-Jee?” asked Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“Oh, yes—who could miss it? We’ve been debating each other about what it is? I think it’s a school, and Jags thinks it’s a hospital. And Cat Fink was slinking by the other day, and he said he and Mr. Rat Narby thought it was a convent. But I told him that the convent was over on the other side of the valley, and I hadn’t heard about any new ones being built. So Miss Fuzzy Bunny, if you have news about that new building, we’d sure like to hear it.”
“Well, you are all right about the building. It is a school and a hospital, because it is a new house for the Joyist Sisters of Mercy and Compassion,” explained Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“But I thought the sisters were having a hard time keeping up the convent they have. How could they afford to build a new one?”
“I built it, Jiggery-Jee, and I am going to live there; I am going to become a Joyist Sister of Mercy and Compassion.” There it was! She had said it. Now the brothers remembered where they had seen costumes like the one Miss Fuzzy Bunny was wearing, and now they understood why she was wearing it.
“What? But how did you get that much money?” asked Jaggery-Joe. Jiggery-Jee was glad his brother had asked that question, because he wanted very much to know but didn’t have the courage to ask.
“Oh, I saved it from sewing, and selling tea, and the catering I do from time to time. Plus I sell my gardening essays to three newspapers. You know that little column you read in the Bunnytimes.”
Jiggery-Jee and his brother looked at each other, puzzled, because they had never read the Bunnytimes.
“Well, that’s swell Missy Fuzzy Bunny, just swell. I’m sorry to say, though, that I’ve never even heard of the Bunnytimes. But I guess that’s what you’ve been doing all these years when you are banging on the typing machine. I always thought you were just writing letters to all your friends and relatives,” said Jiggery-Jee.
“A lot of the time I was writing letters, but most of the time I was typing my stories and essays for the Bunnytimes, Rabbit Press Gazette, and The Daily Hare,” explained Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“That’s wonderful, Miss Fuzzy Bunny, but I still don’t understand—does this mean you are going to become a real sister of the order?” asked Jaggery-Joe, again relieving Jiggery-Jee of having to ask the question.
“Oh, yes—I have wanted to become a sister for long time now. But there wasn’t an order in Carrot Valley, where I’m from, and after I moved to Eden Valley, and became friends with Jiggery-Jee, I hated to leave him, and our other friends depended on me for so many things. I felt I owed Jiggery-Jee so much for offering me his home here in Eden Valley. But now that you are here, Jaggery-Joe, all that has changed. Jiggery-Jee has his brother to keep him company, and you are a fine cook and housekeeper, Jaggery-Joe. You will be able to help Jiggery-Jee entertain his friends like Mr. Cat Fink and Mr. Rat Narby. Now I don’t have to worry about Jiggery-Jee being alone. Of course, I will miss you, Jiggery-Jee, but since I will be living on the farm next to yours, I will be able to see you from time to time,” explained Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“Well, Miss Fuzzy Bunny, I am very happy for you. I’m just sorry that you felt you had to put off your dreams because of me,” said Jiggery-Jee.
“Oh, don’t fret about that. It all worked out for the best. If I hadn’t stayed and saved the money, I would not have been able to build the new house. The other sisters love the new house. And they say that our order can grow now, since we will have more room. The farm is large enough that we will be able to build on. The reason the order is so poor is that they never had space to grow their own vegetables. Plus most of the Joyist members live on this side of Eden Valley. Now the members can attend services here in a beautiful chapel, and they will want to donate to us to help keep our chapel and buildings nice. Also with the school and hospital, we will be able to render great service to Eden Valley. Oh, listen to me going on and on. I know you are not interested in all these details,” said Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“Oh, yes, Miss Fuzzy Bunny—I find it fascinating. I’ve never known a Sister of Compassion and Mercy before. I used to see them when I was little on my way to our friend Fluky Flannigan. I think he was a member of the Joyists, but he didn’t attend services very often. But I always wondered about them. They always looked so clean in their white uniforms and white hats. And they were so nice. They never chased us off when we tried to climb the fence; they were just concerned that we would hurt ourselves. They would give us apples and cookies sometimes,” said Jaggery-Joe.
“Yeah, I remember those days, too—I remember one time I was on my way back from Fluky’s, and I was crying because Fluky’s pet hamster died. A sister saw me and asked what was wrong. So I told her, and she explained to me how the body dies, but the soul goes on. I have always remembered that, and it has always consoled me when there’s been a death of someone I care for. So Miss Fuzzy Bunny, I am very happy for you. You will help a lot of people by being a Sister,” said Jiggery-Jee.
“Hey, I know what we will have to do. We will have to have a big party to celebrate Miss Fuzzy Bunny’s new position as a Sister of Mercy and Compassion,” said Jaggery-Joe.
“A splendid idea—and no one can throw a party like my brother,” said Jiggery-Jee.
“Oh, my—that would be a good way to announce my decision to all of our friends, and, Jaggery-Joe, I will be happy to help with the party,” said Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“When do you enter to order, Miss Fuzzy Bunny?” asked Jaggery-Joe.
“I will officially move in on the first day of July,” said Missy Fuzzy Bunny. “Then we must get the invitations out right away,” said Jaggery-Jee.
“I want to help too,” said Jiggery-Jee. “Here, let me clear off the table so we can get started with our plans.”
© 2017 Linda Sue Grimes