Original Short Fiction: "The Quiet Life"
A Hare in the Forest
The twelfth and final fable from the collection, Jiggery-Jee's Eden Valley Stories.
Text of the Fable
Miss Fuzzy Bunny had always wanted to live a quiet and peaceful life, but it seemed that there was always something happening around her that made that impossible. She was always finding herself in situations that were anything but quiet and peaceful. Like the time her cousin, Ceci Bunny, got caught in a trap in Farmer Bain’s garden. Ceci yelled and screamed so loud that she woke Miss Fuzzy Bunny up from a much-needed nap. But as soon as she heard Ceci yelling for help, she ran and rescued Ceci from the trap.
Another time Miss Fuzzy Bunny was writing a report for school, and she heard her sister Suzy Rabbit arguing with their mother. Suzy wanted to wear a red hair ribbon to school, and her mother wanted her to wear a blue one. As soon as she heard the loud voices of her sister and mother, Miss Fuzzy Bunny ran to help out. She suggested that Suzy wear both ribbons—the red one on her right ear and the blue on her left ear. Both Suzy Rabbit and their mother were happy with that suggestion.
On the day that Miss Fuzzy Bunny arrived in Eden Valley, she began looking for a small apartment to live in. She walked up to the door at 7 Bobtale Road to inquire about the Apartment for Rent sign in the window. A young puppy opened the door but said she would have to wait until his mother returned. He told her that his mother had gone to the farm next door to help a neighbor who had swallowed a lot of buckshot and was quite ill.
Miss Fuzzy Bunny said, “Oh, maybe, I can help. I have lots of experience with that.” So she ran to the farm next door, and found Mrs. Scooter giving a large, red-haired dog a cup of beef broth.
“Oh, excuse me—but that will only make him sicker. Excuse me please,” said Miss Fuzzy Bunny. She pushed past Mrs. Scooter, rushed up to the large wailing red-haired dog, grabbed the beef broth, and dumped it out the door. Then she said, “Now, please just bear with me. I’m going to help you get better. It won’t seem that way at first, but it really will help.” She then jumped up on the big red-haired dog’s stomach and started jumping up & down, up & down as if it were a big red trampoline.
Suddenly, the big red-haired dog jumped up, ran outside, and Mrs. Scooter and Miss Fuzzy Bunny could hear him throwing up.
“Ah, yes,” said Miss Fuzzy Bunny. “He’ll be fine now. I’ll just go and make him some soothing lemon tea.”
“Who are you? And where did you come from?” asked Mrs. Scooter.
“I’m Miss Fuzzy Bunny, and I came from Carrot Valley. I’ve come here to find a little apartment, where I can do my writing and live a quiet and peaceful life. I’ve heard that it’s quiet and peaceful here, and so that’s why I’m here. I knocked on your door to ask about the apartment you have for rent and your son sent me here.”
“Well, looks like you got here just in time for Jiggery-Jee,” said Mrs. Scooter. “I had no idea what to do for him, now look at him, here he comes.”
“Oh, Jiggery-Jee, you look a lot better, but you’d better lie down and rest a while. Miss Fuzzy Bunny is fixing you some nice soothing lemon tea.”
“Oh, my, Mrs. Scooter. I’m so embarrassed. Isn’t that a rabbit? Why would she help me? I just gobbled up some of her relatives, and that’s how I got a belly full of buckshot.”
“Well, I don’t know. You can ask her yourself. I’m just thankful she came when she did. I had no idea how to help you. She must be a nurse or something. Anyway, I gotta go. My boy is taking phone calls for me, and I gotta get that apartment rented. See you later, Jiggery-Jee, and do what that little rabbit nurse tells you. She knows what’s she’s doing.”
“Thanks, Mrs. Scooter. Thanks a lot for your help,” said Jiggery-Jee.
Missy Fuzzy Bunny walked into the living room with a cup of warm soothing lemon tea; she handed it to Jiggery-Jee and said, “Here, Mr. Jiggery-Jee, please drink this. It will help your belly return to normal. You might have to throw up again after you drink it, but that’s good, because it will get rid of all the poison from the buckshot.”
“Thank you,” replied Jiggery-Jee and drank the tea. Miss Fuzzy Bunny was right. After he drank the tea, he did throw up again. But then he went to sleep and slept for three hours. Miss Fuzzy Bunny couldn’t leave him. So she sat and read a book while he slept. By the time he woke up, Mrs. Scooter had rented the apartment to someone else. But that was ok, because Jiggery-Jee invited Miss Fuzzy Bunny to share his house. Jiggery-Jee’s house was quite large, and he invited Miss Fuzzy Bunny to live in the apartment upstairs. He usually rented the room to farm workers, but he decided that letting Miss Fuzzy Bunny live in the apartment was the least he owed her, since she saved his life. Miss Fuzzy Bunny offered to pay rent on the apartment, but Jiggery-Jee refused any money. Still Missy Fuzzy Bunny felt she owed him something, so she insisted on cooking his meals and keeping the house tidy and clean. Jiggery-Jee didn’t mind at all, and he was happy to have a friend share his home.
Still the quiet and peaceful life eluded Miss Fuzzy Bunny; she was able to do some of her writing, but she found that sharing a home with Jiggery-Jee meant sharing his life, and Jiggery-Jee had a lot of friends, and over the years Miss Fuzzy Bunny visited and entertained all of them. But she did not mind for she had not lost sight of her goal, in fact, when she learned about the Joyist Sisters of Mercy and Compassion, she formulated a new goal: to become one of the Sisters one day.
When Jiggery-Jee’s brother came to live with Jiggery-Jee, and the new Joyist House was built, Miss Fuzzy Bunny was able to realize her goal, at last. She moved into the Joyist House of Mercy and Compassion on the first day of July. And although she still saw Jiggery-Jee, his brother, and all the Eden Valley friends from time to time, her life became much more quiet and peaceful. She had finally reached her goal.
© 2017 Linda Sue Grimes