Mama bunny found a hidden place in the tall grass. She chopped off enough of the stems with her sharp teeth to make a nice round home and dug out some of the earth to make a spot just right for baby bunnies. She lined the nest with grass and pulled some of her own soft fur to line the nest and make it cozy. She settled down then and gave birth to five baby bunnies. She was very proud of her family and kept them safe beside her while they grew.
The bunnies did grow and their own fur became soft and thick. The first bunny to hop from the nest came back with stories of a wide world of grass stems and clover blossoms. His brothers and sisters all wanted to explore, too. But the littlest bunny just curled up in a ball and went to sleep.
One by one, the little bunnies left the nest, hopping away through the grass. All but the littlest bunny; he just curled up in a ball and went to sleep. Mama bunny looked at the little bundle of fur sleeping so soundly in the nest. “Don’t you want to see the world?” she asked, poking him with her nose. “It is time you found some clover blossoms to nibble and time you tasted the morning dew drops. Come on, Baby Bunny, it’s time to grow up!”
But Baby Bunny just poked his nose under his paw and sniffled. “I don’t want to grow up!” he cried, “I want to stay here with you where it is safe!”
“Nowhere is safe for a bunny that won’t grow up! You must learn to hop quick-as-a-bunny and wiggle your nose to find food and learn to smell danger. If you stay here danger will find you!” And Mama Bunny hopped away leaving Baby Bunny all alone.
The nest was not quite as warm with Mama Bunny gone. He opened one eye and wiggled his nose. He peeked over the edge of the nest and saw Mama Bunny eating clover a few feet away. Maybe it was warmer over there! He hopped out of the nest and over to his mama. But Mama Bunny just hopped farther away!
Baby Bunny sat in the grass where Mama Bunny had been but it did not stay warm very long. He looked around. He was lonesome. Where were his brothers and sisters? He wiggled his nose and sniffed the air. What was that smell?
Baby Bunny hopped a few small hops and wiggled his nose and sniffed again. He did not smell his mama and he did not smell his brothers and sisters. But he DID smell a very good smell! It was a clover blossom hanging just above his head! Baby Bunny sat up on his hind legs and nibbled on the blossom.
Ummm, ummh! That was good! He nibbled until it was all gone. He looked around again. Another clover blossom was a few hops away.
Soon Baby Bunny was so busy nibbling on clover and a berry that had fallen in the grass that he forgot all about being alone. He felt himself growing. He felt himself getting braver. He was a rabbit! Rabbits hopped and ate clover and played with other rabbits!
Away through the grass he hopped and before he had gone very far at all, he found his brothers and sisters and Mama Rabbit playing tag. The sun was going down and the shadows stretched long and black across the meadow. All the grown-up bunnies and their mama jumped from shadow to shadow and played tag among the berry bushes.
The round moon rose in the sky and turned all the meadow grass to silver; and all the grown-up rabbits hopped and jumped and drank dew drops from the grass. When they had played enough to be tired, the grown-up rabbits found a spot near a willow tree and curled up together for a nap. It was not a nest but it was cozy and warm Baby Bunny knew he was all grown up!