MISTER RABBIT GOES TO TOWN
By Eric T. Williams
Illustrated by Axel von Kaenel
For Sally J. Hull
Mr. Rabbit Begins His Journey.
Mr. Rabbit trotted down the lane, his pink nose taking in the smells of nature around him. He adjusted the spectacles on his nose as he hopped down the road.
Mr. Rabbit looked up to see a brown bundle of fur approaching him along the road, and he had just enough time to readjust his yellow waistcoat before acknowledging his friend.
“Good morning, Mr. Mole,” he enthused with a tip of his hat. “How goes the burrowing in your neck of the wood?”
“Wonderfully!” His friend cried as he tipped his hat in response, “The ground is finally starting to thaw and warm.”
“Great! I trust that your stay in the big city was good?”
“Oh, indeed! I enjoyed it immensely,” Mr. Mole answered. “What errand draws you to the city today?”
“My master has sent me to town to pick up a pink satin dress for his daughter Anna. Anna’s birthday is today, and he bought her the most fabulous dress that you ever saw.”
“I’m sure Anna will be delighted!” Mr. Mole said clapping his paws together.
“Little Anna will just love it!” Mr. Rabbit agreed.
Mr. Mole pulled a watch from his dinner jacket and opened his shiny gold pocket watch and glanced at the time. “I’m afraid that I must say good-bye to you, Mr. Rabbit. It has been quite charming talking with you, but I must get home, or I’m afraid supper will be horribly ruined.”
“Safe journey to you, Mr. Mole, and please say hi to Mrs. Mole and your family for me.”
“I shall. And good day, Sir.”
With tips of their hats, both parted company walked away in different directions as Mr. Rabbit continued down the dirt road toward the city.
Mr. Rabbit Arrives In Town.
It wasn’t very long until Mr. Rabbit felt the cold, hard cobblestones of the city street beneath his paws.
Mr. Rabbit hopped out of the road and onto the sidewalk, still taking in the sights, sounds, and smells as if he had never been in the big city his entire life.
“Excuse me, Mr. Rabbit?”
The sound was barely loud enough, even for Mr. Rabbit’s sharp hearing, so he looked ‘round to see if he could locate the sound of the voice.
“Down here, Mr. Rabbit!” the high-pitched voice said louder.
Mr. Rabbit looked down to see a little brown dormouse wearing a red bow tie, leaning against a cane looking up at him.
“Oh, how do you do, my little friend?”
“I’m getting along quite nicely. I had a rather nasty encounter with Mr. Cat some time ago, and I thought for sure that my time was up on this earth and that I was headed to the Great Mouse Hole in the sky. I was spared, though, and I only have a slight limp to show for my misadventure.”
“Why, thank heavens!” Responded Mr. Rabbit. “It certainly has been good to see you again.”
Mr. Rabbit took a golden watch from the pocket of his waistcoat and opening it, exclaimed, “I’m afraid that I must leave you immediately, Mr. Mouse, for I must get to the shop before it closes! Forgive me for being rude.”
“No offense taken, my friend! Good luck on your adventure!”
Mr. Mouse and Mr. Rabbit said good-bye to each other, then Mr. Rabbit continued walking down the city street.
Mr. Rabbit’s quest
Mr. Rabbit readjusted his top hat on his head and glancing up and down the street, continued down the sidewalk toward the dry-goods store.
“Heeeey, Mr. Rabbit!”
Mr. Rabbit stopped and looked up to see Mr. Horse, who was standing on the side of the road tied to a hitching-post, beating a hoof against the hard ground to get Mr. Rabbit’s attention.
“Good gracious!” Mr. Rabbit exclaimed. “Why, Mr. Horse, what a pleasant surprise to run into you!”
“Why, Mr. Rabbit! I never dreamt in a million years that I’d find you wandering in these city streets.”
“I am on a mission from my master to pick up a dress at the store.” Mr. Rabbit explained.
“How is your wife and children, Mr. Rabbit?” Mr. Horse asked his friend.
“Getting along quite well, I must say.”
Mr. Rabbit took his gold pocket watch from the pocket of his coat and, opening it, saw the time, closed his watch, and placed it back into his pocket.
“If you will excuse me, Mr. Horse,” said Mr. Rabbit with a tip of his hat. “I would love to stand here and talk longer with you, but I must get to the store and finish my errand before it closes.”
“I understand,” Mr. Horse said nodding his head. “Is there any way that I can help you before you leave?” Mr. Horse asked.
“Hmm,” Mr. Rabbit stated thoughtfully as he took a slip of paper from his coat pocket and held it up so that his friend could get a look at it. “Can you tell me how much farther down the road this address is? I know that this is the right street, but I want to be sure that I’m walking in the right direction!”
Mr. Horse lowered his head to look at the slip of paper then snorted saying, “I can’t read very well, so I get around town by using landmarks and just walk wherever my master guides me. I do know that there is a store a short distance up the street in the direction that you’re going.”
“Good! So I am not as far away from it as I thought. Thank you for your help, Mr. Horse!”
“You’re welcome and good luck!” Mr. Horse said in reply.
After tipping his hat in farewell to his friend, Mr. Rabbit walked down the sidewalk with a lighter spring in his step, dodging feet and obstacles on his way to the store.
The Dry-Goods store
Mr. Rabbit paused on the street in front of a brick building. He pulled the piece of paper from his coat pocket and looked at the address that was written on the paper. Mr. Rabbit read the address again and scanned the front of the building. The numbers on the building matched with the numbers and address written on the paper.
Seeing that he could not reach the door bell beside the door no matter how hard he stretched standing up on his hind legs, Mr. Rabbit had no choice but to scratch at the door.
Shortly thereafter, the wooden door of the establishment swung open so quickly that it gave Mr. Rabbit quite a surprise.
Mr. Rabbit readjusted his spectacles and addressed the man standing at the door. “Good afternoon, Sir,” Mr. Rabbit politely said as he tipped his hat to him. “I’d like to pick up a pink silk dress. If you would kindly help me, I would greatly appreciate it.”
The tall, friendly man standing in the door knelt down smiling said, “C’mon in my friend. I was told that you’d be here to pick up the dress.”
The man opened the door wider so that Mr. Rabbit could step into the store, then, shutting the door, the proprietor led Mr. Rabbit into the store so that he could get the dress.
Little Anna's happiness
A little girl silently sat on a sofa beside the parlor window, reading a book by candlelight from a candlestick sitting on the window sill. This little girl was named Anna; she was the birthday girl and the owner of Mr. Rabbit.
A knock sounded on the door of the cottage, to which her father rose from his seat, and after closing the door, Anna saw that he had a brightly-wrapped package in his hand and Mr. Rabbit standing beside him.
“Happy birthday Anna!” Her parents cried in unison.
Little Anna jumped up from the couch with excitement, and taking the gift from her father, quickly tore off the wrappings and opened the box to reveal the pink silk dress.
“What a wonderful surprise!” Anna said, joyously clapping her little hands. “Thank you mommy! Thank you daddy!”
Little Anna bent down, and setting the package down, gently picked Mr. Rabbit up and, cradling him in her arms, kissed him and rubbed his fur saying, “Thank you, Mr. Peepers! You are such a good little rabbit!”
After the gift had been opened and the hot food placed upon the dinner table, the family, including Mr. Rabbit, sat down to enjoy a warm, festive birthday supper.
Copyright © 2009 MightyBook, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
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