A fable about preconception and fear of the new.
Short and dark - but it features rabbits, so come closer..closer...
They all knew about the leg-hold traps.
Hunters came every day to set them. Sometimes a fox was stuck in the jaws, but other animals got trapped too,
like raccoons, wild cats and wolverines.
The hunters didn't care what they caught, but simply caged the animal and drove off
-or they shot it on the spot.
But rabbits never got caught. You just had to know your way around the traps, and nobody got hurt.
Then one day, a new rabbit moved into the neighbourhood. He and his parents came from a warren far away,
and they spoke in a different language.
"Say something," asked the rabbits.
He replied in a series of sounds and syllables that made no sense to the others.
"He's funny," giggled Lilac. "Say something else."
Once again, the new rabbit made foreign noises and pointed towards the mountains.
"I think he comes from beyond the mountain range," said Mallow.
"They say there are no humans on that side of the mountains. Only animals."
"But they're just as savage as any human."
"They can't stand each other; that's why they come here," said Burdock.
"Is that right," asked Lilac. "Are you savages?"
The new rabbit shrugged and made noises.
"It was cute the first time, but now you can say something we understand."
The new rabbit made more noises they didn't recognise.
"I think he might be a bit slow," said Mallow.
The new rabbit began following them around when they played. They tried to teach him some of their games
but he failed to get the idea before they grew annoyed with him. Burdock picked up a handful of pebbles and
threw them at the new kid, but he only winced and flashed his stupid smile at them. After that,
he followed them at a distance.
"Gods, he's persistent."
"The least he could do, is say something we can understand."
"He's not trying to fit in very hard," noted Burdock.
After a few days, the rabbits got used to the new kid following them. He remained at distance
and didn't talk to them anymore. Whenever they turned around, he only stopped and smiled.
Then, one day they heard a loud "SNAP!" When they turned around, the new kid stood still.
He looked to the undergrowth, where the maw of a leg-hold trap had closed around his foot.
Burdock sighed. "He got himself caught in a foxtrap."
"He's not even trying to get free," said Mallow.
"I bet there's nothing wrong with him -he's just pretending."
Lilac hopped back to the new kid and examined his leg.
"He's not pretending. He's stuck alright."
The new rabbit pulled at his leg but got nowhere.
"How did you get your foot stuck in there?" Asked Mallow.
The rabbit said nothing, but shrugged and smiled weakly at them.
"We should try to get him loose, I guess."
The rabbits tried to pry the jaws of the trap apart, but the spring was too tight,
and the new kid remained stuck.
"He allowed himself to be caught on purpose, just to get attention."
"If the foot can get into the trap, it should also come out the same way," noted Mallow.
So, they began pulling on the rabbit's leg, but he only made a strange howling noise that grew louder the more they pulled.
"He's scaring me with that sound," cried Lilac.
"He's not even helping."
"Maybe he's too stupid to help."
The rabbits sat down on a nearby hill, watching the new kid struggle.
"It's growing dark, said Lilac. My mom will get worried."
"I don't like the sound of his cries," said Mallow. "I wanna go home."
"We're gonna leave soon!" shouted Burdock at the new rabbit.
"We'll give him until the count of ten. Then we'd better return to the warren.''
"Make that thirty," said Mallow "- we're trying to help."
"Alright, THIRTY!" Shouted Burdock. "But you'd better get yourself loose if you want to follow us back before dark."
They counted to sixteen.
Then the hunters arrived.