Original Short Fiction: "Suzy Rabbit’s Problem"
Miss Fuzzy Bunny had just put the last dish away, when she heard a knock at the door. She hung her dishtowel on the rack and then hurried to the door. She was surprised when she opened the door and saw her sister standing there.
“Oh, my goodness, Suzy Rabbit! I didn’t know you were coming to visit,” Miss Fuzzy Bunny exclaimed. She grabbed her sister and gave her a big hug.
“Oh, Fuzzy, it’s so good to see you,” said Suzy Rabbit as she returned Miss Fuzzy Bunny’s hug. “But I probably shouldn’t have come here.” Then Suzy Rabbit started to cry. “I shouldn’t bother you with my problem, but I didn’t know where else to go.”
“Of course you should come to me if you have a problem. You come right over here and sit down. I want to help you if I can,” Miss Fuzzy Bunny said.
“Oh, Fuzzy, this is beautiful! You have such a beautiful place to live,” said Suzy Rabbit as she walked into the living room with her bag.
“Yes. Actually, I have my own apartment upstairs, but I take care of the whole house, and I usually have meals with Jiggery-Jee, my landlord and housemate,” said Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“Do you really like living so near . . . a . . . dog?” stammered Suzy Rabbit as if she wasn’t sure she should ask that question.
“Oh, sure. Jiggery-Jee is a very nice dog. We get along great. He’s taught me a lot about people and cats and rats. And I’ve taught him about herbs and insects. We have a good life here and friends, too,” explained Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
Suzy Rabbit didn’t say anything for a long time. She just sat on the sofa looking around the room and down at her paws and then at Miss Fuzzy Bunny. She had a sad and puzzled look on her face. Miss Fuzzy Bunny could tell that something was bothering Suzy Rabbit.
“I’ll go make us some herb tea and carrots. You must be hungry. If you’d like to wash up, you can use the bathroom right in there,” said Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“Oh, yes. A bathroom! Oh, Fuzzy! You have everything. I want to see the bathroom,” Suzy Rabbit said excitedly. She picked up her bag and hurried off to the bathroom while Miss Fuzzy Bunny went to the kitchen to prepare tea and carrots.
Soon the food was ready, and Miss Fuzzy Bunny put it on a tray and carried it to the living room where Suzy Rabbit was again seated on the sofa still looking sad and puzzled.
“Here we are. Maybe this will make you feel better,” said Miss Fuzzy Bunny, as she put the tray down on the table in front of Suzy Rabbit.
Suzy Rabbit looked at the tray. She had never seen carrots look like that. They were so clean and orange and cut in little crinkles.
“How did you do that to the carrots?” asked Suzy Rabbit.
“Well, first, I washed them. Then I cut them with a special knife. You see, Jiggery-Jee would not eat carrots. No matter what I did to them he would not touch them. Then one day while shopping, I found a knife that cuts vegetable and makes them look crinkly at the same time. I don’t know why it is, but now Jiggery-Jee eats carrots,” explained Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“They look beautiful. You know,” said Suzy Rabbit, swallowing a mouthful of crinkly carrots, “I think they do taste better. And this tea is delicious!’
“I’m so glad you like it,” replied Miss Fuzzy Bunny. “I got the recipe from a good friend, Mr. Rat Narby.”
For a moment while she was enjoying the tea and carrots, Suzy Rabbit seemed to forget her problem. She and Miss Fuzzy Bunny gabbed about food and shopping and the weather and friends. But Miss Fuzzy Bunny knew that as soon as the talking stopped, Suzy Rabbit would start thinking about her problem, and again her face would look sad and puzzled. So Miss Fuzzy Bunny decided it was time to talk about the problem. Of course, she didn’t want to push Suzy into talking about it until here sister was really ready.
“Oh, Fuzzy, the food and tea were so good,” said Suzy Rabbit. “But I really need to talk to you.”
“All right, Suzy, go ahead. I’m ready to listen. I’ll do anything I can to help,” replied Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“Well, you see . . . I want to move to Bunnyville with my friend See-See. She’s a really good friend. We met at Carrot Valley Academy our junior year. Her uncle owns a store in Bunnyville, and he has offered us both jobs. We could get a nice apartment near the store. It is so beautiful in Bunnyville. I just love it there. It has such green grass and beautiful flowers and the place where we want to live . . . we could have a garden. It’s like a dream come true. Everything I want. But . . . but . . . but Mom and Dad are against it. They want me to marry Tyler Hare and have grandbunnies for them. They want me to live in Carrot Valley and marry Tyler Hare, and I don’t want to . . . I don’t want to . . . I don’t want to . . . .” Suzy began to sob and sob. She cried so hard that Miss Fuzzy Bunny felt so sorry for her that she began to cry too.
“Oh, Suzy! How can they want you to marry Tyler Hare?” asked Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“They say he has a good job and is well liked in Carrot Valley, and they say that if I don’t marry him and stay in Carrot Valley, and have grandbunnies for them . . . They say if I don’t . . . I don’t really love them,” Suzy stammered and continued to sob. “But oh, Fuzzy, I do love them, I do love them—but I don’t love Tyler Hare, and I don’t want to marry him. I want to go to Bunnyville with See-See and have my own job and a garden. It’s so beautiful in Bunnyville,” Suzy Rabbit cried on and on.
“Of course, you love Mom and Dad. But, Suzy, they are not showing their love for you if they insist that you marry Tyler Hare when you don’t want to,” explained Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“But they are my parents—how can I not do what they want me to?” cried Suzy Rabbit.
Suzy, You're a Big Girl Now
“Well, Suzy, you are a big girl now, you just graduated from Carrot Valley Academy, and it’s time for you to live your own life. You have a right to live it the way you want. No one owns you. Our parents are our guides when we are very young. They might even give us advice after we’ve grown up, but they cannot take away our freedom of choice. Let them know you love them, but also let them know that you are Suzy Rabbit, a big girl who has to live her own life,” explained Miss Fuzzy Bunny with her best sisterly advice. “I remember when I graduated from Carrot Valley Academy, Mom and Dad wanted me to marry John O’Rabbit, but I knew I wasn’t ready to marry, and I didn’t like John O’Rabbit at all. So I went to a teacher, Mrs. Hareson, and she told me the same things I am telling you. That we have to live our own lives.”
“Oh, Fuzzy—I know you are right. But I’m so afraid they will be hurt and mad at me if I just move to Bunnyville,” said Suzy Rabbit, still sobbing a little.
“Well, maybe they will be upset at first. They were upset when I moved here to Eden Valley, but they got over it. Mom really enjoys the recipes and housekeeping tips I’ve shared with her. She knows I wouldn’t have learned those things living Carrot Valley with John O’Rabbit. They’ll understand eventually and appreciate the person you will become. Don’t be afraid. It’s so good that you know what you want. Just let Mom and Dad know you really love them; then start living your own life,” encouraged Miss Fuzzy Bunny.
“Oh, Fuzzy,” said Suzy Rabbit, wiping her tears, “if that’s true, I’ll be so happy. I’ve worried and worried about this all summer. I’m afraid if I don’t take that job soon, See-See’s uncle will have to give it to someone else.”
“It’s true. Remember, I had the same problem. Just let them know you love them and live your own life,” said Miss Fuzzy Bunny. And putting an arm around Suzy Rabbit, Miss Fuzzy Bunny said, “Now, let’s go make some crinkly carrots for Jiggery-Jee’s supper.”
© 2017 Linda Sue Grimes