Once upon a time in a deep sleepy shire there lived a fluffy being named Sam. On certain sunny days, Sam would hop across the green pasture over the roaring creek and into the growing garden to get himself an afternoon snack. (I know what you’re thinking, Sam must be a bunny rabbit with all this hopping around and eating carrots business. But Sam wasn’t your ordinary Peter Cottontail rabbit, not by any stretch; Sam was a jackrabbit. And with the title of jackrabbit came a vast distinction and added responsibility which included but wasn’t limited to: gathering food for his enormous appetite, fending off potential predators with his dazzling speed, and protecting his burrow from invading terrorists. One could say that Sam’s life was literally a constant rotation of eating, sleeping, and battling off bandits.)
Unfortunately for Sam, the growing garden wasn’t the friendliest place in the world. In addition to the human beings who were the keepers of the land, there were sly foxes and crafty bobcats always on the prowl surveying the area. Generally speaking these enemies were no match for this hasty hare who once broke a land record by moving his hind legs to a near forty miles per hour. In addition, he could zig zag like a lightning bolt and once jumped ten feet in the air to avoid a rattlesnake assassin. Even with the skills of a stealthy ninja, the threat of imminent danger was real enough, so these trips for carrot tops and celery stalks were somewhat limited.
Most days, Sam would venture around the greenlands of the pasture, mainly collecting dandelions, clovers, and grains for consumption. As already mentioned, Sam had quite a healthy appetite. For example, one day, he followed the roaring creek down to the wooded pass and found a thicket of raspberry leaves. Sam ate so much food that day that he nearly lost his life. You see, the wooded pass was notorious for owls. These winged creatures would come out at night looking for dinner and jackrabbit was seemingly at the top of their menu. So that day he ate the entire raspberry thicket and fell into a deep slumber underneath the bush. What Sam didn’t know is that after the sun sets the observant owls take flight. Sam’s speed and versatility were no match for these beasts and Sam spent the evening hidden and harrowed in that hole. Needless to say he hasn’t returned to this spot since that lowly night.
One vibrant day, Sam was taking a morning nap by his grove near a patch of blue gramma grass (this peculiar grass was one of Sam’s favorite meals because it was limitless as it grew almost faster than he could eat it). He was startled awake by a creature hopping along that Sam had never seen before. Truth be told, Sam didn’t get much visitors near his home that weren’t looking to harm him. Thankfully God supplied him with the longest ears you’ve ever seen and with that physical attribute came the innate ability to hear a lurking coyote or slithering snake from many paces away. This visiting squirrel seemed kind with its fluffy tail, tiny ears, and happy glow. It made eye contact with Sam and seemingly smiled as it passed through the shire. Without thinking, Sam decided to follow this gray creature for sport.
The shifty squirrel skipped down the roaring creek to the wooded pass, past the raspberry thicket to a clearing on the other side. This was as far from home as Sam had ever been. Nightfall was near and the owls and other birds of night would surely soon take flight. Curiosity got the better of Sam though as he followed his bushy-tailed friend a little further. They quickly reached a bank which ended Sam’s journey with haste. This bank met a body of water which separated another body of land that seemed similar to his shire. The crafty squirrel was able to hop across some rocks and vertically climb up the hillside but Sam didn’t have the skill set (or front legs) required to pull off that feat. And besides he really should be getting back home. Right before he decided to turn back something magical caught his eye. Another jackrabbit. Multiple jackrabbits in fact. Sam hadn’t seen another jackrabbit since his mother crossed over the growing garden when he was a boy and never came home. He knew immediately he had to find a way across but the gap was just too wide. The only way to do it was to leap. He was too scared. If he didn’t make the jump he would surely drown in the swirling water below. This fear sent him bouncing back home into his burrow where he fell fast asleep.
That night Sam dreamt of mint leaves and mango and wheat grass and watercress. He imagined that this new foreign land had the most amazing food his tiny mind could muster. He became transfixed on what it would be like to meet someone like himself and have the support of new friends and family. That night he tossed and turned, and the next morning he awoke with a fervor in his belly that could only be quieted with making that jump across the bank.
Sam said goodbye to his shire and slowly hopped to the roaring creek, taking his time to embrace what it all has meant to him. He stopped one last time to look over the growing garden and said goodbye to his mother, hoping that she was safe, wherever she might be. He hopped past the raspberry thicket and thought about that scary night alone under the stars and shrub. His anxiety quickly turned to elation when he began to think about how he may never have to feel that loneliness again if he made it across the water. He glanced up at the owls who were sound asleep and felt comfort in knowing that there was power in numbers and his new family could help protect him.
He reached the bank and imagined successfully making the jump. He could see the other jackrabbits in the distance happy and free. Sam backed up and gave himself enough room to maneuver a running start. Without a moment’s hesitation he ran. And when he reached the edge he closed his eyes and leapt. That moment seemingly lasted forever with the wind falling behind him and all the possibility of the world in front of him. The next feeling he experienced was the safety of the ground beneath him. He made it. And as Sam sprightly sprung along to his new home, he saw mango trees and new friends and knew that his life would never be the same again.