Ronnie Rabbit snuggled closer into his mother’s warm fur. It was cold outside, colder than he had ever known it to be before. The icy wind was seeping down into the warm cozy lair where Ronnie lived with his mother and two sisters, Rebecca and Rachel. Of course, Robbie had not know many cold days. He and his sisters were only a few months old and this was their first Christmas.
Ronnie was excited. He had heard so many wonderful things about Christmas from his Mom. She told him and his sisters about the wrapped presents and stockings filled with carrots, seeds and celery stalks. She also told them that it was a special time when creatures all over the world thought of peace and love. That was okay but the part Ronnie was most excited about was the presents. He couldn’t wait!
As he lay there warm and cozy thinking about Christmas his Mom awoke and hopped up. She said, “Get up Ronnie! Get up Rebecca and Rachel! We can’t be lazy today. This is Christmas Day and there is much to do before our guests arrive.
After a delicious breakfast of carrot juice and cabbage, Mom and the two girls began cleaning the lair and preparing food for the guests. Ronnie wanted to help so Mom gave him a very special job to do. She sent Ronnie out to gather nuts and berries for the party. He was glad to do that job because it meant that he could go out into the snow. Ronnie loved the fluffy, soft stuff that made the forest a magical wonderland.
As he ran out the door with his sack Mom called out, “Be careful and don’t be late because our guests will be arriving soon.”
Ronnie jumped, and hopped and tumbled through the snow with sheer delight. He was having so much fun that he forgot the time. Then, he remembered what Mom had told him. He quickly filled his sack with lots of juicy nuts and berries and started back home.
Soon he came upon Mr. Squirrel. Mr. Squirrel was digging frantically in the snow. He seemed to be very upset.
“What is the matter?”, asked Ronnie.
“Oh! I am so worried about my family. They will surely starve because I was lazy and did not store enough nuts for the Winter. Most of the nuts are covered by snow or have already been picked up by someone else. Oh my! What will I do?”
Ronnie looked at his full sack. He felt guilty because he had gathered all the nuts. His Mom needed nuts for her guest but he could not let Mr. Squirrel and his family starve, so Ronnie took the nuts from his sack and gave them to Mr. Squirrel.
“Thank you so much”, said Mr. Squirrel. “Because of your kindness my family and I will have a happy Christmas.”
Ronnie was already late so he hurried on his way. He decided to take the short cut pass the house where the humans lived. His Mom had warned him to never go that way since humans could sometimes be cruel and hurt little rabbits. He was scared but he took the short cut anyway because he knew his mother would be worried about him.
As he neared the humans’ house he heard someone crying. Then he saw it. It was huge! It must be a monster! Ronnie looked closer. It was a human. He had never seen a human before but his Mom had told him that they were very big and funny looking. They had short ears and big noses she told him. How strange!
It was a girl human with golden blonde hair and sky blue eyes, but why was it crying? Ronnie carefully and quietly edged closer.
She saw Ronnie and stopped crying. Ronnie started to hop away but she said, “Please don’t go!”
He stayed against his better instincts.
“Why are you crying?”, he asked.
“Because my Mother sent me out to gather berries for our Christmas Party but I can’t find any. Someone has gathered all the berries.”
Ronnie felt sorry for the human girl but what would Mom say if he did not bring berries home for their guests? He remembered that Uncle Ben would be there and he loved to eat berries. What should he do?
The human girl began to cry again.
Ronnie made a decision. “Please don’t cry. Here is a sack full of berries. Take them home to your Mother.”
The girl was so happy. She gave Ronnie a big hug and promised to be his friend forever as she skipped off to take her treasure home.
Ronnie was happy that he had made two new friends today but he was also sad because he had let his Mother down. She had told him many times that he was a responsible young rabbit. She would probably never say that again.
When he got back to the lair most of their guests were already there. Rebecca and Rachel scolded him for being late and coming back without the treats.
Ronnie began to cry. Mom said, “Ronnie, we were so worried about you. Are you okay?”
Ronnie tearfully told his Mother about Mr. Squirrel and the human child and what he had done. “I am so sorry I let you down, Mom. I have ruined your Christmas Party.”
Mother Rabbit hugged him and said, “You did not let me down, Ronnie. I am very proud of you because you see, today you taught all of us the true meaning of Christmas. It is about loving, and caring, and sharing with all God’s creatures.
Merry Christmas, Son!”
“Merry Christmas, Ronnie!” chimed in all the guests.
Even Rebecca and Rachel gave him a big hug.
Ronnie was so happy. What a wonderful day. Ronnie would remember this day all his life and he would never forget the real meaning of Christmas.
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