Benny Bunny & the Carrot Famine
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Far away in the countryside, where gophers freely dig and deer frolic through the fields, was a small town called Bunnyville. Priscilla Pigeon buzzed into Bunnyville with news from afar. Bunnyville Mayor Brown called a village meeting to read her dispatch:

Desperate need for carrot seed.
Carrots won't last, send help fast!
- The town of Rabbit Rio

Mayor Brown faced a hard choice. Rabbit Rio was in trouble, but Bunnyville needed every experienced rabbit to harvest their own carrot patches. So Mayor Brown announced, “We need one brave young bunny to rescue Rabbit Rio. Are there any volunteers?”

Silence fell over Bunnyville. From the back of the crowd, one of the smallest bunnies inched forward. Benny Bunny slowly raised his right paw, and with a quiver in his throat, he squeaked out...
“I will.” Mayor Brown thanked Benny Bunny and declared,

“Here is a backpack with just what you need.
A large bag of carrots and a small bag with seed.
Carry these maps with you every day.
Count on the words to show you the way.”

All of the town's bunnies filled Benny's backpack with a big bag of carrots, carrot seeds, and maps before sending him off with their prayers.

After hours traveling in the hot sun, Benny came to a crossroads. The many paths on the left were smooth and worn, having been much traveled. The solitary path on the right seemed rocky and less traveled.
Flocks of crows flew with the wind, leftward. Benny shouted to one of them, “Excuse me, Mr. Crow, do you know the way to Rabbit Rio?” The crow responded, “CAW! Why don’t you take the easy path? Everyone’s going that way!” Confused, Benny reached into his backpack and pulled out a note that read:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”

“This isn’t a map, it’s just words,” Benny sighed. “Oh! What should I do now?” Bowing his head, Benny pled, “Lord, direct my path!” Just then he opened his eyes. The sun shined brightly, lighting the path to the right. Without a full understanding, off to the right he went. Hours later, Benny eventually grew tired and stopped to rest at a sign which read:

Farmer Falcon’s Strawberry Patch

He cried out, “Farmer Falcon!” No one responded.
Then through the silence, came a rustling beneath the bushes. When suddenly, Wally Weasel emerged.
“You don't see anyone, do you? We could weave in and out, and no one will ever know,” the weasel whispered.

Licking his two big front teeth, Benny slipped off his backpack. Another note fell out which read:

“The man who makes honest choices walks safely,
but the one who takes crooked paths will be found out.”

Benny hung his head and began to back away.
“Fine! Walk away! The more for me!” the weasel sneered as he slithered beneath the falcon’s fence.
Suddenly a big brown bird wearing a straw hat swooped down, snatched the weasel, and sent him plummeting into the river.

Farmer Falcon then flew down to Benny and said, “Thank you for being honest and not stealing from me. I will reward you with a basket of strawberries.”

Benny thanked Farmer Falcon and continued on his journey, eating his delicious reward. Then, he heard loud roars of laughter just off the path ahead of him.
Tiptoeing closer, he saw a gang of foxes swinging from a large oak tree. They were laughing and drinking what appeared to be old, sour, smelly grape juice. Benny sighed, wishing he could unload the weight of his heavy backpack and join the crowd.

Fast Fetcher Fox spotted Benny and his bag of goodies and cried out, “Hey, little bunny! Come take off your backpack and join us for a swig of juice!”

Excited about his invitation, Benny dropped his bag. The carrots and another note rolled out which read:

“He who walks with the wise grows wise,
but the companion of fools suffers harm.”

Reading this, Benny Bunny came to his senses.
Suspecting that there may be more to Fast Fetcher’s invitation than it seemed, he crouched down to scoop up his belongings.

Fast Fetcher Fox ran over to Benny and insisted, “Come on and join the crowd!”
“No, thank you,” Benny quivered, “I really don’t think that’s wise.”

“You can be wise in your own eyes,” Fast Fetcher fibbed. “We really want you to stay for dinner, don’t we boys?” Just then, he lunged for the carrots. Benny quickly snatched his backpack and scampered away. The foxes gave chase, but since they drank so much, they stumbled over each other and rolled into the river.
Frantic and frightened, Benny fled. Finally, he no longer felt the foxes following him. Then suddenly, “UMPH!” He tripped over a hard rock. His foot throbbed. And to top it off, all his carrots were gone!

Benny hobbled towards the rock, sat down and sobbed. “I”m lost, I’m limping, and I’m left with no carrots for Rabbit Rio. I’m a failure. I give up.”

“What’s all the commotion?” a groggy voice said. “Now that you woke me from my daytime nap, can I help you?” asked an owl wearing a big red bow. “Since when does a bunny need help from an owl?” Benny said indignantly. “Those foxes tricked me and that weasel led me astray. How do I know I can trust you to help me find my way?”

To this, Ollie Owl replied,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”

“I recognize those words from Mayor Brown! Now I understand,” Benny said as he kneeled down to pray.
“Lord, with you I’m not a failure, I promise I will put faith in you from this day forward.”

Suddenly the rock beneath him trembled, knocking him off the mysterious stone-like mass. What appeared to be a rock was not a rock at all!

“Excuse me,” the rock said as a bald, green, wrinkly head appeared. “I am Terry Tortoise of Turtle Town. I was napping when you stumbled upon me.”
“I’m so very sorry,” Benny apologized. “That’s okay. I heard you talking to Ollie. I, too, am on my way to help Rabbit Rio. I’ve been traveling along the river bank with a cart full of carrots for the hungry hares.
“Really?” squealed Benny Bunny.

“Yeah! And here it is!” said Terry Tortoise as he dragged out his careening cart of crunchy carrots.
“Then you have just what they need!” Benny said.
“Well, not ALL of what they need. Unfortunately, our town was out of carrot seed,” Terry said.
“No problem,” exclaimed Benny. “You have the carrots for today, and I have the seed for tomorrow. I think we make a fantastic team!”

“My slow pace won’t bore you?” Terry asked.
“No, better to be slow and on the right path than lickety-split and wander off,” Benny replied. With that, the young rabbit climbed onto the shell of his new friend and partner. “Next stop, Rabbit Rio!” they both proclaimed.

All of Rabbit Rio rejoiced at the arrival of Benny and Terry. The tortoise and the hare had brought carrots for today and seed for tomorrow. The carrot famine was over! In celebration, Benny Bunny gave Priscilla Pigeon a dispatch to deliver to Bunnyville...

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