The Foolish Rabbit
Peter T. Atkinson
On a bright and sunny day of spring
As I walked down a lone wooded road
A song in my heart to my lips did sing
Of an Easter morn long ago.
Where much to my surprise I spied
A rabbit in his full Sunday best,
Who asked me for an innocent ride
In my basket’s grassy nest.
“Of course,” I said, and you would too
For who could ever say no
To a rabbit who asked with the manners of few
And was arrayed in such wonderful clothes.
“Where to?” I asked as he hopped on in,
“Just where is your aim this day?”
“Any place you please, and thanks again,
For I just wish to be away.”
“From what” I asked, “do you so hurriedly run?
What cares could there possibly be,
For rabbits seem to have so much fun
Hopping and playing and free?”
“It may seem so to you, who is but a child,
But I always must stay on the move,
For new dangers lurk for me in the wild
If you don’t believe it wait and I’ll prove.
“Why do you think, God made us so quick.
We dash, dart, and hide in a jiffy,
But these clothes have slowed me down a tick
I can’t run while looking so spiffy.”
“Well that’s easy!” I said, “Just take them off,
And once again free you will be.”
But he just looked away with a scoff,
Saying, “You don’t know a thing about me.
“For how once being clothed in such finery
Could I ever be seen in the nude?
No, my pride won’t allow to let any see me
With nothing on! How indecent! How rude!
“No I have evolved, improved, changed you see
And so I could never go back
To a time where I wasn’t decorously
Fashioned. No, that is certainly a fact!
“I’d rather die than lose these my clothes
They’ve become a part of me now.
It would be like losing part of my nose,
The thought I could never allow.”
And so I carried the rabbit a while
But my little arms grew quickly tired
For to carry a rabbit is much for a child
And so I then him inquired.
“Is this far enough? I don’t think I can go
Just one more step with the load.
Is this a fair place to leave you so
I can keep on my way down the road?”
“Sure this will do,” he said, “Anywhere
Is just as good as the next
You could have even left me back there,
But I am much obliged to have been your guest.”
And so off I went, but I often think
That those clothes would soon mean his end,
And I feel saddened and my heart does sink
When I think of my poor silly friend.
And now as I walk on this spring day
When I pass that same stretch of road
What changes have I taken on by the way
That I’m so unwilling to unload.