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Once upon a time, in a backyard lush with green grass, there lived a brave little bunny named Henry. His fur was a soft blend of browns and whites, and his eyes sparkled with the zest of a born adventurer. Yet, above all his adventurous spirit, Henry held a badge of honor as the protective older brother to his two sisters, Emma and Stella.

Henry, Emma, and Stella had been enjoying a leisurely hop under the care of their mother. It was a day like any other, with the sun playing hide and seek behind the clouds and the air filled with the sweet scent of spring. But in an instant, their peace was shattered by a loud, ominous boom. Startled, their mother bounded away in a fright, darting across the yard and disappearing into the forest’s edge, leaving Henry and his sisters behind.

With his heart pounding like a drum, Henry did not let fear take hold. Instead, he herded Emma and Stella to what seemed like a stone fortress—a humble cinder block. “Quickly, under here!” he ushered his sisters, guiding them into the hollow of the block, their small hearts beating in unison.

As they huddled together, the ground began to tremble. The rumbling grew louder and closer, and through the grass, Henry spotted the source: a gigantic, wide-mouthed lawn-eating machine, pushed by a man with headphones, lost in his own world.

Henry knew they couldn’t stay hidden forever. The lawn mower was coming their way, and they needed a plan. “Listen,” he whispered to his sisters, “I will lead the way, and we will hop as fast as we can to the flower bed on the other side. It’s full of daisies and roses where we can hide.”

With a determined nod from Emma and a brave gulp from Stella, they waited for the mower to turn away. As it moved in the opposite direction, Henry gave the signal, and like three flashes of lightning, they bolted across the open yard.

They were almost there when the lawn owner, a kind-hearted lady with a love for all creatures, noticed the commotion. With a swift intervention, she signaled the man to stop the mower. Henry and his sisters, with the last of their strength, dove into the safety of the flower bed, their little chests heaving with relief.

The lady approached the flower bed, her eyes full of concern. She carefully reached in among the daisies and roses and was greeted by the tiny, brave faces of Henry and his sisters. She saw the fear that had once gripped them, now replaced by the triumphant sparkle of courage in their eyes. Smiling, she decided to create a safe haven for the bunny family right there among the flowers.

With gentle hands, she placed a protective ring of cinder blocks around the perimeter of the bed, ensuring the bunnies had a secure place to call home. The flower bed, already a natural fortress with its thick stems and petals, became a castle of sorts for the little adventurers.

Henry and his sisters learned that day that bravery doesn’t always roar. Sometimes, bravery is the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’ Thanks to Henry’s protective instincts and adventurous spirit, and the kindness of a stranger, the bunnies found not only safety but also a new home within the flower bed’s embrace.

And so, in the heart of the lush backyard, amidst the daisies and roses, Henry, Emma, and Stella lived happily ever after. They had the courage of their big-hearted brother and the kindness of the lawn owner to thank for their sanctuary. They never forgot the lesson they learned: that fear does not define you, but rather the courage that you muster in its face does.

And whenever other backyard creatures found themselves in a pickle, it was often Henry who would come up with a plan, a reminder that even the smallest of us can have the heart of a lion.

© Eric Montgomery, 11-February-2024

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