HOUR #4 (“She was, after all, only a rabbit.”—Jasper Fforde, The Constant Rabbit)

She was, after all, only a rabbit,

said the moderator,

trying to keep the peace

during the particularly rowdy debate

at the daily All-Squirrel meeting.

The rabbit had appeared

seemingly lost, foraging for food

and was quickly set upon by the squirrel patrol

for trespassing.

Amongst whistles and chirps from both sides of the aisle

(Throwing nuts was of course forbidden)

There was to be no consensus;

The rabbit had to go.


But one squirrel-

a scrawny loner

with a mediocre nut collection record,

used to sitting in the back

and keeping his squeaks to himself-

rose to her defense,

emitting a whistle so piercing

it suspended the room in stillness.

“If we exile this rabbit

for the sole crime of trying to survive

How are we better than those

who threaten us?”

(Humans, cars, little humans who chase us, pesticides-the list is long.)


His whistle,

floating over the other squirrels like a revelation

was suddenly replaced by chirps of agreement,

a few at first, then a flood;

the room exploded with a new sound

something between a chirp and a bark and a chuck.

And suddenly, the squirrels descended upon the rabbit

This time to embrace her

And welcome her to the family.


The lone squirrel,

having moved away from the joyous fray,

chirped to himself,

showing his toothy smile

And popped a nut in celebration.

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