First thing in the morning, Mr. Ferrier Fox found that he was hungry.
Granted, Mr. Fox was hungry most of the time. That was why he spent so much time hunting. But this morning, Mr. Fox was especially hungry, with an appetite for rabbit. And today, as he arose from his fox-den, shook off the dust and the leaves that made up his comfy but very dirty bed, and crept out of the hole with a yawn and a stretch, he decided, today I will have the best and tenderest rabbit in the woods! Because he was growing bored with hunting the normal rabbits that were just good and not best. Mr. Ferrier was a bit of a lazy fox, so he usually settled for normal rabbits, but he had slept very well last night, and was feeling up to something of a greater challenge.
The woods were generally filled with very nice critters, like Solomon Salamander and Tottles Toad (who you can read about in another story). There was a little town full of these critters, towards which Ferrier Fox found himself wandering. In this town, there was a family just full of rabbits, young little dumplings and a few older rabbits. Mr. Fox hadn’t harrassed them before, because the whole family was thirteen strong (fourteen if the father was home), and was a beloved fixture of the village, but today he was feeling rather daring.
So Ferrier went up to the village, along the little pebble-paths that the Mayor had laid down so long ago at the village’s founding. Ferrier’s house was just on the edge, so it was only a short walk.
The little family of bunnies lived on the southerly side of town in a south-facing burrow in a south-facing hill. The hill was positively lovely, with lots of flowers and many berry-bearing shrubs and bushes. The rabbits who lived there loved the sunshine in the morning that came in the south-facing entrance, and early in the morning, they would all be playing and romping about in the grass, totally unawares and very much off their guard. Momma bunny would be too busy with breakfast to monitor all of them, and so Ferrier saw the perfect chance to snatch one up for his own breakfast.
He hid in the bushes on the hill, watching the white little dumplings bouncing all over the place. He looked and looked, trying to find the tastiest-looking rabbit. There! She was a little one, but she was plump, the youngest of them all: little Ruthie Rabbit. Ferrier had talked to Ruthie once in a while, and she had always been so terribly innocent, and frankly was a bit of a simpleton (though that was expected for a bunny who was only five). So Ferrier decided to bide his time, and wait until the little bumpkin passed by. Then, he would snatch her up with his big sharp teeth, and run away before she could make a sound. Nobody would be the wiser until they all sat down for breakfast and realized that she wasn’t there.
He would not be able to talk to the rabbit family anymore, but that didn’t concern him now. Now, all he had to think about was his voracious appetite.
He waited. The little bunny was bouncing that way, and this way, and then the other way… it seemed like she was bouncing every way that wasn’t the right way! Ferrier needed her to bounce towards him, not away!
Ferrier slinked through the grass, but it seemed like no matter which bush he hid behind, she would always start bouncing in the opposite direction! And not to mention that, they would all start bouncing in the wrong direction! There wasn’t a single little plump bunny bouncing towards his bush!
It didn’t seem to matter how he moved. He would slink, crawl, hop, shimmy, walk, and shuffle, but no matter what it seemed like they all knew where he was, and wouldn’t go in his direction!
Now he was getting all frustrated. His tummy was growling and he got grumpy when he was hungry. The bunnies had all humiliated him, and now he would get one for sure!
But then momma Rebecca called all the little bunnies in for breakfast, and they ran up the hill in a big procession, all 12 of them, all very ready for momma’s perfectly-baked blueberry muffins and raspberry pancakes.
Ferrier didn’t like blueberry muffins and raspberry pancakes. He slunk away, very unhappy.
The rabbit children came out after breakfast, and though some of the older bunnies stayed inside to study, the younger ones went out into the woods, all ready to have a nice walk through the village.
Little Ruthie went with them. This was his chance!
By this time Ferrier was very, very hungry, and also very, very grumpy. He decided that he would tail the little bunnies through the forest, and that he would pick a hiding place where they wouldn’t see him, and would pounce at just the right moment!
Then, Ferrier saw one bunny come out of the hole that he wasn’t happy to see: Remington, the oldest and biggest bunny, was going to keep an eye on his siblings; Remmy had decided to follow, the third oldest (Rudius, the second oldest, was inside helping his mother homeschool the other bunnies; he was a more scholarly rabbit). The fur on the top of Remington’s head was stained red with blueberry juice, which had earned him his nickname, Red. Red and Remmy followed their little brothers and sisters into the woods, and Ferrier slunk silently after them.
What to do? What to do? It simply wouldn’t do to have Red looking after his baby siblings while they were out! They weren’t such easy prey, now. What was Ferrier to do?
He must separate Red from his siblings. But how was he to get such a watchful little rabbit away from the baby bunnies?
Ah! He must make a noise, a suspicious noise – one that would make them think that there was something to be watched for in the wrong direction, and make them turn his back on their siblings, so that Ferrier could snatch one up while he wasn’t looking! But how to make such a noise?
Perhaps he could throw a rock? No, they were smart enough to track the rock back to Ferrier. Perhaps he could try ventriloquism! But no, Ferrier was no good at that. Perhaps he could lie in wait under the bridge, and send something downstream to attract their attention while he snatched Ruthie off the bridge and ran cackling away in victory!
Well, they would probably be smart enough to realize that something had to have been upstream to send something downstream, but by that time Ferrier would be long gone. It was perfect!
Now all he had to do was execute it.
So he slinked away towards the river, to position himself under the bridge and lie in wait. It was a very small bridge over a very tiny river, and Ferrier had to squeeze himself under very tightly while he waited, getting all soaked in the process. Not long after the little bunnies all began to pound with their big bouncy feet across the bridge, giggling and laughing with each other.
Ferrier dislodged some rocks and waited to hear for a reaction.
“Hey, what’s that, big bro?” said one little bunny.
“Why – hey!” That was Red’s voice, more mature and deeper than all his siblings. “That looks like a tail!”
That was not the reaction he’d been expecting at all! He was shocked and affrighted at his own oversight. He had forgotten to hide his own tail!
“And what do you bet-” Red continued. “I think there’s a fox attached to it!”
Something poked him in his backside. It felt like a stick.
“Hello, Mr. Fox?” Red asked. “What seems to be the matter? What’re you under there for?”
“Yeah, Mr. Fox!” said Remmy. “What’re you under there for?”
He saw three little bunnies peeking down at his nose sticking out from underneath the bridge. The idea had been good, but the bridge was simply too small for Ferrier to hide under! How silly of him.
“Oh, just taking a – taking a rest here, little bunnies!” he said, trying to cover up both his silliness and his scheming but doing awful poorly for it. “You just run along, don’t mind ol’ Mr. Fox.”
“Okay, Mr. Fox!” said the bunnies. “We’ll leave you be.”
“Enjoy your rest, Mr. Fox,” said Remmy, as they all left.
Ferrier was not enjoying his rest at all. He was soaked to the nose, and getting very cold. He made a good effort to dislodge himself from his current predicament, but his jacket had gotten caught on something, and it was making it very difficult to get out from under the bridge.
“Well, bother!” Ferrier grumbled to himself. “By the time I’m out of here, it’ll be past lunchtime – and then I’ll be very hungry! Perhaps I shall just grab all of them the next time!”
He wasn’t going to be able to fit all six bunnies in his mouth at once, so maybe two or three instead would suffice to satisfy his terrible appetite.
Ruthie looked up at Remington. “Say, big bro?”
“You really don’t think Mr. Ferrier Fox was lying in wait there for us, do you?”
“I can’t say I’m not suspicious,” Remington admitted with a suspicious glance over his shoulder, “Especially considering what happened this morning! I’d think Ferrier has his eye on us bunnies, and he a’int up to no good!”
Ruthie looked a little frightened.
“Ferrier always seemed like a polite fox,” she admitted.
“There are lots of bad critters that look polite at first, before they gobble you up!”
Ruthie was looking a lot more frightened. “You’ll protect us, right brother?”
“Of course I will! That’s what big brothers are for.”
Ruthie smiled. “Whoaaa. Thanks, big bro!”
“No problem, sweetpea.”
Ferrier finally managed to squeeze himself out from under the bridge – not without snagging, pulling, and tearing his tweed jacket a little – and was a very angry, frustrated fox when he did. He had decided by that time that nothing was going to stop him from eating two little plump tender bunnies, no matter what he had to do, and immediately began to scheme again on what he should do next.
First matter of business was to locate the little caravan of cuties. He shook himself dry (well, more like damp), and then put his belly to the ground and slinked away in the direction the bunnies had gone, following their scent on the ground.
His stomach grumbled. His grumpiness reached critical mass, and he turned his sights – temporarily – to easier prey.
He spotted a little bluebird nest up in a tree, with a little momma bluebird sitting on some eggs. As he approached, though, the momma blue bird saw him, and fluttered to a nearby tree to warn the others.
The eggs were unprotected! They would make a welcome snack to stave off his hunger until he could find and snatch up the bunnies. Thankfully or not, Ferrier was a very good tree-climber, and skillfully scrabbled up the side until he was about halfway up the trunk. He paused then, because it abruptly began to rain. Now he was very much soaked again, along with everything else!
Now feeling rather frustrated, he continued to carefully claw his way up the now water-slicked trunk. Now, three quarters of the way up, the little momma bluebird dove down suddenly, and poked him on the head!
“Hey!” he barked. “Leave me alone!”
“And let you eat my babies?” She pecked him in the head again. “Never!”
“What am I supposed to eat, then?” He asked pointedly.
“I hear the bees around here are very generous!” she replied as she nipped his ear. “Now leave me alone. I’ve had a very long week!”
“Oh- oh- grrr.” So utterly frustrated and grumpy and hassled was he, that he decided to just give up and climb down the tree, pestered and pecked all the way down. He was too tired and too grumpy for this!
But the little bluebird kept pecking him even when he was on the ground.
“If you don’t leave me alone I’ll eat you instead!” he threatened, and she left without a word, quite satisfied that he had decided to leave her eggs well enough alone.
Now incensed by his failure, Ferrier tried to pick up the bunny scent trail again, and discovered that the rain had washed it all away. It was very soggy and dreary and cold and wet, and Ferrier was beginning to feel very sorry for himself.
“What have I gotten myself into?” he wondered aloud. “I only wanted one little bunny for my breakfast! But I got a wild goose chase instead.”
He looked up, wondering if there was something in the sky that could give him a proper answer.
“Ah. No matter!” he said to himself. “I will simply have to settle for a bunny dinner!”
And he walked away, looking for his next meal.
Ferrier was so hungry by this time that he actually deigned to take the little birdie’s advice, and got a little honey from the bees.
It wasn’t all that bad, and the bees were all very polite and generous when he asked. “This isn’t so bad, next to today’s disastrous hunt!” he thought to himself, though he would never admit it. “Perhaps I shall come back again?”
The bunnies went and had some lunch at Mr. Solomon Salamander’s house, with whom they were all in very good standing with, after he had solved the problem of the leaks in their burrow (which you can read about in another story). He was a polite and gracious host, maybe a little big-headed but that was of no consequence, and he had a very neat little glass jar table that he kept a pair of fireflies in as pets. They always made the table look very cool when they lit up, and Ruthie and her sister Ruby liked to stare at them while the older bunnies talked about older bunny stuff with Mr. Salamander.
They all nibbled on biscuits and berries while they were chatting, and overall it was a very good meal.
Ruthie kept an eye out for that mean ol’ Mr. Fox, though. You never knew when he was going to pop up again, and it wouldn’t do for Ferrier to sneak up on Solomon! Solomon was much too nice for that.
Ferrier’s stomach began to act up again around suppertime, and to him, it was like an alarm reminding him to go on the next bunny hunt. It was a bit of an effort psyching himself up for another difficult bunny hunt this time, though he did manage (it was easier now that he’d changed into a dry vest), and soon he was on his way.
When the little caravan of children came home, Remington and Remmy went straight to momma Rebecca, and told her all about the fox they’d encountered on their walk. Rebecca was concerned, especially after the story of the fox out in the field. Once dinnertime rolled around, she looked out the window and saw an orange-colored fox out in the field, and determined to go out and confront the fox who’d been harassing her children.
Remington reminded her that she probably wasn’t going to be able to face off against a fox by herself, and insisted that he go, but Rebecca didn’t want to put her child in jeopardy. Soon Rudius had overheard the conversation, and insisted to go with also, and soon Remmy followed, and then everybody else soon paraded into the kitchen to argue with mom about why they should go, even little Ruthie. Finally, Rebecca yielded, and began to formulate a plan for facing Ferrier, because it wouldn’t do to be putting little Ruthie, Rex, or Ruby in the line of fire.
He slunk out to the rabbit burrow again, watching the rabbits all mulling about their business. He didn’t see any little bunnies out in the yard now, but that didn’t matter none. Ferrier would go right up to the little rabbit burrow, right now, and-
Rebecca Rabbit came out her front door, looking quite severe with Remington and some of his other siblings at his side; there were five bunnies all in total. Rebecca was holding a broom in both paws, the head of the broom on her shoulder, and she looked like she was going to war!
Remington pointed in Ferrier’s direction, frowning, and the whole troop of bunnies began to hop down the hill toward him. Ferrier began to realize that it wasn’t just Rebecca armed with a broom; Remmy had a metal dustpan, Rudius brought the coal-tongs, Rodger had brought a frying pan, and Remington had a shovel.
Ferrier’s fur stood up on end at the sight. He didn’t want to run away from a pack of mere rabbits, but at the same time he was not keen on being pummeled; and besides that, where were the rest of them? He wanted to get away and didn’t want them to think that he had been trying to eat them, either!
The bunnies hopped down the hill, holding all of their big, heavy weapons. By the time Rebecca was at eye level with Ferrier, he was feeling very miffed, and wondering how he was supposed to hunt a bunch of armed and very peeved rabbits!
“Ferrier!” Rebecca barked. “Explain yourself!”
“Huh?” he asked dumbly, still staring at the small stream of armed bunnies coming down the hill. “Huh? I, uh, well…”
“My little children insist that you’ve been tailing them all day!” Rebecca pointed the broom at his face. “And yet you have the audacity to come back here after your attempt at an ambush! Look, I do generally try to be nice, but I’m not dense. I can recognize a predator when I see one!”
Ferrier decided to try and play dumb. “What? I’m not-”
“Don’t start that with me!” Rebecca shook the broom at him, looking very, very unhappy. “Your reputation precedes you, don’t you know?”
“Hmm?” Ferrier looked to the side, up at the sky, at the ground – generally anywhere where Rebecca’s unhappy face was not. “Well, I- I have a reputation?”
“Yes, and it’s not very good,” Rebecca insisted.
“I didn’t know it preceded me,” Ferrier replied helplessly.
“Very understandable considering your particular appetite,” Rebecca allowed, “But not acceptable! You won’t be eating my children on my watch!”
Ferrier looked at the armed bunnies on the hill, looking unhappy with him. But he figured that he could take them, and Rebecca was sounding all cocky now, and he didn’t like that one bit! “You’re a rabbit and I’m a fox!” he insisted. “I’m the predator and you’re the prey! That’s just how it’s been set up, you fool of a rabbit! You think you are better than a fox? I could gobble you all up right here if I wanted to!”
“I see.” Rebecca shook her broom again. Ferrier remembered what force he was dealing with: a momma rabbit! “Shall we test that, or will you leave peaceably?”
“Do your worst!” Ferrier said.
He immediately regretted that the words had ever left his mouth.
First he was swarmed with the little bunnies, all zooming and bouncing and hopping this way and that so that if he followed them too closely he would get dizzy, even if none of them attempted to hit him. On the hill he saw rows and rows of little rabbits pop up along the hillside, 7 bunnies all bearing heavy rocks, and they began to chuck the rocks over the hill and down at Mr. Fox! He fell on his side, disoriented by their quick action and confused by all the ruckus.
It was such a short fight, but he was hurting all over already and he couldn’t reach any of the bunnies; they were too fast and too wary of his teeth and claws. Remington’s shovel got him on the nose, which caused him to begin sneezing incessantly, making the whole ordeal more and more difficult.
Finally, he started to try and get away from all the bunnies, and the moment he was free sprinted yelping into the woods, as fast as his sore paws would take him, tail between his legs, and all very frustrated and finished with the whole idea of ever eating another rabbit.
None of the bunnies had been seriously hurt. A few of them were scratched, and some of them had been knocked on the head, and Rebecca Rabbit took those bunnies inside right away to treat them. The rest of the bunnies helped her out.
Remington had been a little too gung-ho, and ran right into one of Ferrier’s legs all by himself. Rodger’s weapon had been too heavy, and he accidentally hit himself with it. Remmy got scratched when Ferrier tried to snatch her. Otherwise all the bunnies were alright; they were all a little shaken up, the youngest bunnies all trying not to cry because they’d all wanted to go help mom fight off the big mean fox, begged with momma to let them go despite all her warnings, and they didn’t want to look like scaredy-rabbits either. So they all gathered together in the living room of their little home, sitting on the floor and on couches and in chairs and stuff, having gathered together all the blankets they could ever want, and they snuggled together to try and get some sleep and comfort, all twelve of them.
Momma Rebecca, in the meantime, made some hot fluffy buttery biscuits for them, straight from her momma’s recipe book. It was a familiar treat for them, a little richer than the normal biscuits and usually reserved for when visitors came over. She gave one to each of them, and they nibbled on their biscuits while mom sat down with a little leather book.
“You were all very brave today,” she said. “I couldn’t be prouder of my babies!”
Romulus blushed, because he didn’t think he was much of a baby anymore. Remington and Remmy were both too tired and just nodded. The other bunnies all looked at mom, saying ‘thank you’, and ‘it was really scary’ and ‘I don’t feel very brave’!
She smiled at them. “You don’t need to feel brave to be brave. Here, I have a story from when daddy and I were just married. I’d like you to hear it.”
“Really?” said Rush. “From that long ago?”
Rebecca laughed. “We weren’t married that long ago!”
“You did just have your twenty-fifth anniversary, mom,” Remington pointed out.
“Okay, okay.” Mom shook her head, laughing. “Well, anyway.” She opened to a page in the book. It looked like a journal. “Here we go.”
May 23rd, 1987.
It is the third day of our honeymoon here at Carrot Hill Resort. Lovey and I-
“Is this dad’s writing?” Rutherford asked.
“Lovey!” Rex snickered.
“Really far back!” Rush said in awe.
“Do you remember the last time we went to Carrot Hill?” Ruby asked Remmy. “It was grand!”
“The carrot cake was divine,” Remmy replied.
“Children,” Rebecca said patiently, and waited for them to all quiet down. She sighed. “Now then.”
Lovey and I had quite an eventful day, besides the usual excitement and fun surrounding such an occassion as a honeymoon. The day was started off with a sweet potato pie-
“I love sweet potato pie,” said Ruthie. “Mmm.”
Momma gave Ruthie a look. Ruthie quieted.
The day was started off with a sweet potato pie for breakfast, with a delicious, silky-smooth Pumpkin Sunset, I think is what they called it. I don’t know, it was some sort of beverage with pumpkin puree. Anyway, it was good. And then Lovey played the piano for a little while, and-
“Wait, you can play a piano?” Romulus interjected, shocked.
“I tickled the keys once in a while,” Rebecca replied.
“Woahh,” went little Ruthie. “Why don’t you play anymore?”
“No room for a piano with all twelve of you in here,” she teased, and turned back to the book.
And then Lovey played the piano for a little while, and we danced to some wonderful classical music by Bunthoven.
“Who’s that?” Rex asked.
Rebecca’s look worked on him, too.
Lunch was a light repast of cucumber sandwiches and Strawberry Sunrises.
“What’s repast?” Ruthie asked very quietly. She didn’t want to get the momma look again or interrupt the story anymore.
“A repast is a meal,” Remington explained. Ruthie was sitting very comfortably in his lap and so it was very easy to explain very quietly.
“Oh,” Ruthie said. “Fancy words for normal things.”
I don’t know what a Strawberry Sunrise is, except that it is a beverage using strawberry puree, and is very colorful. Anyway, it was all very delicious.
After lunch it was still business as usual. Lovey and I were sitting and very comfortably chatting together in our room, minding our own business, when a knocking came at the glass. We opened the window to look, and we saw a badger outside! He was a very big, fat fellow, and he didn’t look very nice.
“What’s a badger?” Ruby asked.
Mom was about to give Ruby the look, too, but then she realized that she probably needed to explain what a badger was. None of these children, bless their hearts, had ever seen one before.
“A badger is a big white creature with black stripes, like a cross between a skunk and a gopher, though it doesn’t smell. It digs big holes to live in, like we do, but sometimes a badger will eat a rabbit if it’s hungry enough!”
All the rabbit children got concerned looks on their faces.
“Badger on your honeymoon!” Remmy said sadly.
“I’m not done yet,” Rebecca smiled. “Let’s keep reading.
It seemed to want in, and we cracked the window to talk to it.
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
But it just started to shove its nose through the crack in the window! It was being very rude and threatening-like the whole time, saying a lot of very ungentlemanly things, and by its words I thought it was planning on eating me and my beautiful wife! Well, I couldn’t have that. So I went to go get my cane to whap it on the nose, but Lovey beat me to it and was beating it hard! Then I got my umbrella, and did the same thing, and we were both shouting for it to get out! It was all very exhilarating and frightening. The badger kept threatening to eat us the whole time, until it finally got so sick of being beaten on the nose that it tried to take its nose out the window – but then the badger realized that it was stuck! It couldn’t move!
So we called on some of the resort staff, who quickly dislodged and removed the badger from the premises. I hear they tossed him into a pond or something. He was wearing a very nice tweed jacket, and I don’t think he would’ve liked that at all. The customer service was great besides.
So besides all the fright, I think things went on very well. We were both a little shaken up and now we’re trying to get some sleep. Dinner was roasted vegetables with a Dusk Blueberry, whatever that is supposed to be, but it was all very good.
And Lovey did cry a little bit, but I cried a little too, and I don’t regret marrying a rabbitess who can beat up a badger faster than me! It helps me love her all the more. But I think I need to get some sleep. I’m very tired after beating up a badger’s nose!
“Aww,” Ruby went.
“How sweet!” Remmy said.
“He is a very sweet man,” Rebecca conceded.
“You know, when’s daddy coming back again?” Rush asked. “I wish he didn’t have to go away all the time. He should get a job as a bookkeeper or a librarian or something. Come home every day!”
“We all wish that!” Remington said. “I’ve been wishing that for seventeen years.”
“Woaaahhhh.” Ruthie said. “You beat up a badger!”
“Yes, I did, Ruthie,” Rebecca said. “We both did!”
“That must’ve been ultra scary,” Ruthie said.
“Mom, when’s daddy coming home again?” Rush asked a second time.
Rebecca looked at him, expression a little sad. “He should come back at the end of this week,” she said. “We can talk about getting him a new job again then, Rush.”
“If he stayed here longer he could actually find a new job,” Robert commented unhappily.
“I know, sweetling,” Rebecca said. “I know.”
There was a pause, and an unhappy, sad silence.
“But do you think I was feeling very brave when I was hitting that badger?” Rebecca asked.
“No,” said Ruby.
“No,” said Rex.
“That’s right,” Rebecca said with a smile. “I was very frightened. And I don’t think poppa Randy was feeling much better. But we powered through that and we fought off the badger – or at least, fought him to a point of frustration. Bravery isn’t not having fear. It’s powering through the fear.”
She was smiling encouragingly at her ragtag little band of brave little bunnies.
“I’m glad you fought off the badger,” Romulus said, sounding a little shaken. “I might not be here if you didn’t!”
“Me too, Romulus,” Rebecca said softly. “Me too.”
When Randy came back at the end of that week, he was greeted by a band of twelve hyperactive bunnies, all eagerly insisting that something amazing had happened at the end of that week, and that he had to sit down and listen while they all told the story, and that it definitely couldn’t wait until a decent hour of the day, and that if he didn’t listen right right now… well, uh, we’ll get to the details on the ramifications of that later.
Point was, Randy was forced to sit on the sofa and listen in horror an hour past his bedtime as his children told the story of how they had all fought off the ol’ mean fox. Feeling his pain, Rebecca got him a biscuit with some jam and some coffee to help him cope as Ruthie talked about how she’d used Rex’s slingshot to shoot Ferrier, how the oldest bunnies all jumped bravely into battle, and how some of his children had been hurt by their own inexperience (Rodger had been conked in the face with a cast iron frying pan)! And he was glad to hear how well it all turned out in the end, but afterwards Randy had a word with his wife, and there was some shouting because worry can make people angry and frustrated. Randy was partly under the impression that Rebecca had been irresponsible with the children, and she said that she had done her best; and besides, if she had gone by herself, surely she would have been eaten, and then the children would have no mother.
The apologies were enough, and besides that, the kids were all safe anyway. Finally, Randy decided that it had been partly his fault that he hadn’t been there to take care of his kids, and decided at the same time that there couldn’t be critters like Ferrier who would gobble up little bunny children walking around their peaceful little village. So the very next day, Randy sent in a letter to town, got a letter back the following morning, and got into his very best suit to go get an interview at the police station.
Being a salesman had been getting old anyway. This way, he could be close to home.
Besides that, while he was at the station, he reported the incident earlier that week with his wife and children, and Derringer Dog – one of the senior policemen there – shook his head, evidently not surprised. They brought Ferrier in for questioning the next day and were shocked to find out that he had actually converted to a vegetarian.
“Hunting has gotten to be a bother,” Ferrier said. “Everybody gets too mad at you! I’m sick of it. Watermelon and such isn’t that bad, anyway.”
So the matter with Mr. Fox and Mr. Rabbit and all his children was resolved peaceably, and Randy did grow to enjoy coming home and telling his children all about his daily patrol and all the wrangling up he did every day.
Rebecca told the story about the badger and the fox frequently for many years to come.
And Ruthie kept saying ‘woaaahhh’ all the days of her life.