Ebunny: the black bunny

It was that time of year again, the leaves were changing and the mood of autumn surrounded everything. Time was passing, as it always does, and the people in town were preparing for the holidays.

“Ebuny?” Ashley called out. “It’s time to come over and get ready for bed.” Ashley was Ebuny’s older sister, and he turned his bunny nose towards her when she called to him. He loved his sister, and she could always feel his love.

Ebuny ran to greet her. He knew she was always thinking about him. And he knew she always had a good snack ready for him to eat. Cilantro, or bananas, or his daily carrot, Ashley always found a way to cheer him up. She even decorated his cage and his home. Ebuny couldn’t imagine a life without Ashley. She was his best friend.

But life wasn’t perfect. I guess that’s how life is. It turns out Ebuny had a physical deformity. One of his ears stuck straight up, the way it was supposed to, but his other ear hung down, floppy and sad, and his lazy ear made poor Ebuny feel ugly and unlovable. True, Ashley didn’t seem to notice, or care, yet it made him feel isolated and unwelcome by the other bunnies. He felt like he had to stay inside, which meant he couldn’t live his best life.

One day, Ashley insisted that Ebuny go outside, since there were a few wild bunnies making a snack of the front lawn. Ashley said, “You should go and make a new friend!” Ebuny was terrified, though he had no choice. She pushed him through the front door and delicately closed it behind him, the every-bunny-welcome sign rattling as it shut.

There Ebuny was, shaking and looking left and right on the porch, unsure of himself and hiding behind a potted plant. He peaked over at the wild bunnies on the lawn. They saw him! He held his breath. He tried to hide again, but it was no use, they were jumping over.

A mean older bunny named Jack yelled at Ebuny, “I’ve never seen you out here before, and I’ve never seen a bunny with all black fur. Is that supposed to be a Halloween costume or something?”

Jack’s wild gray fur taunted Ebuny. He had always been self conscious that he was a different color than the bunnies he would see out the window.

Ebuny stuttered as he tried to reply, “ No… I just…I…”

“And what’s with your ear, is something wrong with you?” another wild bunny, Dante, joined in.

“Stop! Leave him alone!” interrupted Sarah, a beautiful girl bunny with all white fur. The two bullies cowered as she appeared from behind a great tree in the front lawn.

“Why do you care, Sarah? Is he supposed to be your boyfriend or something?” Jack venomously said.

“He’s never even been outside! Can’t you two tell he’s scared and shaking? Why are you picking on him?”

“What… he can’t handle being outside? Maybe he should have his mom take him in.”

Ebuny tried to reply, “My sister… she’s my…”

“He can’t even talk! What a waste of time.”

“Will you two just get out of here!” she cried, glancing over with concern at Ebuny, who was laying flat on his belly by now with both paws covering his eyes.

Jack and Dante ran off, laughing as they bounced out of sight. They escaped into the woods.

Sarah approached Ebuny and put her soft white hand on his back. “Don’t worry about them, they’re too stupid to know that rabbits come in all shapes and colors,” she whispered. “And besides, I used to live inside, too.”

But before she could say anything else, Ashley opened the front door, and Ebuny ran as fast as he could inside the house. Ashley stood there confused for a moment, then closed the door on Sarah.

For the next several days, Ebuny stayed in bed, hiding under his Peter Rabbit blankets. Ashley did everything she could, but it was no use, not even several carrots could lift his spirits this time. There was no silver lining.

Ashley tried and tried, she even took him for a wagon ride through the neighborhood and park, but all he did was nest under his blankets, out of sight. She couldn’t even see his tiny bunny nose sticking out. He was hidden as deep as he could be hidden. Ashley wasn’t sure, but she thought she could even hear an occasional cry coming from the blanket cocoon in the back of the wagon.

The next day, to Ashley’s surprise, she heard a soft knock at the door. It was Sarah. Ashley spoke to her briefly, then quietly shut the door. When she went over to check on Ebuny, he was, to no one’s surprise, still hibernating under his favorite blankets.

“Sarah was at the door. She was looking for you. She wanted to know why she hasn’t seen you outside for the past few days.”

Right when Ashley gave up trying to talk to Ebuny, she began to walk away. But as she looked back, she thought she noticed his bunny nose twitching and poking out from under the blanket. After glancing at something else, she looked back at him, but he had disappeared into hiding again.

Days went by, weeks, yet nothing could shake Ebuny from his bone-deep depression. He was afraid of the world outside the safety of his blankets, and he was especially afraid to go outside.

It was the 25th of October now. Ashley had tried to enjoy the holiday season. She took Ebuny to hunt for pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, she took him on hay rides, and she decorated the front porch with scarecrows, candy corn pots, and fall decorations, but it didn’t seem to matter. Ebuny couldn’t be comforted. Nothing seemed to work.

A few days later, Ashley heard another soft knock at the door. Again, it was Sarah.

“Is Ebuny home?”

“Yes, but I don’t think he’s looking for any guests. I mean… I’m really worried about him…”

But just then, when Ashley was getting ready to close the door, Sarah saw Ebuny’s tiny black nose peak out from behind Ashley’s ankle. She was excited to see her friend again.

“Hey… Ebuny… I hope you’re doing alright?”

But all Ebuny could do was nod a brief yes as he stood on his hind legs and held his sister with one paw.

“Well… I guess the reason I wanted to talk to you was… I was wondering if you had any plans for Halloween?”

Ebuny shook his head no.

“Great! I was thinking that maybe we could go trick or treating together. I’d love to show you my new costume!”

Ebuny agreed, hiding almost completely behind Ashley as he did so. And Sarah could see a relieved look on Ashley’s face as she closed the door.

Ebuny woke up to Ashley crossing out the 30th of October on the calendar with a big, red pen. “It’s finally Halloween, ebbs!” Ashley sang. “Are you excited to go trick or treating?”

Ebuny was sitting with half his body covered by his blanket. You could tell by his face and posture that he was nervous about the night ahead. He gave a nervous glance over at Ashley.

A few hours later, Ashley brought Ebuny to the front porch to get ready and put on his costume. Only a few hours ago, Ebuny couldn’t decide between being a pirate or a zombie, but, at the last moment, and with a bit of encouragement from Ashely, he decided to be a bunny vampire.

Just moments before Sarah arrived, Ashley had finished sewing Ebuny’s cape and helped him put in his fake vampire teeth. She threw the small cape onto his back and tied it around his neck. He was ready!

Sarah walked up wrapped from head to tail in white bandages with eye holes cut out, “Hey, Ebuny, love the vampire costume!”

Ebuny looked a little shy, but smiled at her. He only half recognized her at first, realizing who it was when he heard her voice complimenting his costume.

“And… are you supposed to be… a mummy?” he asked.

“No!” she declared. “I’m a cute bunny mummy,” with a flirty tone, as she defiantly turned her nose up at him.

“Oh… well… you look great… and my sister is almost ready, too… I hope we get a ton of candy tonight!” He seemed a bit shy, but you could hear excitement in his voice.

Off they went, with Ashley behind them. “Slow down you two!” she panted.

They made it to their first house. Ebuny and Sarah stood next to each other staring, big-eyed and with a bit of fear in their stomachs, up at the gates of the house. It had a huge yard with a black, wrought iron fence and an organ that could be seen through the window. Everything about the house seemed like a cemetery, including the skeletons escaping from tombstones in the front lawn.

“Should… should we go up?” Sarah said, even she was scared to approach the front door and get her candy.

They walked carefully through the gate and slowly moved towards the front porch. Sarah whispered something to Ebuny, but all he could hear was his heart beating in the back of his neck.

Suddenly, a bright light shined down on them as they landed on the doorstep. Thunder and the rattling of skeletons was heard, while giant spiders slowly repelled down from their dangling strings. Two ghosts appeared from the side yard and let out a haunting moan.

Ebuny made a run for it, while Sarah was frozen in place. But just before he made it out of the black gate and down the street, Ashley grabbed him and pulled him up to her arms. He may have ran all the way home if she had let him.

Jack and Dante appeared from under their ghost costumes. “Happy Halloween!” they yelled with laughter in their voices.

“YOU TWO BETTER RUN!” Sarah screamed. And then she slapped Dante across the face with the back of her hand.

They both ran off, Dante holding one paw to his bruised face. They had stopped laughing.

Sarah stayed on the porch panting with anger.

Ebuny peaked out from Ashley’s arms to see what had become of Sarah. He watched as a man opened the front door, oblivious to what had just happened, and placed a single candy corn on Sarah’s outstretched paw. She was still shaking with anger.

Sarah walked up to them and said, “Ebuny… I hope you’re alright… I don’t think they’re going to bother us any more tonight…”

Ebuny thought deeply to himself for a moment, then he stuck his legs straight out into the air, signaling to Ashley that he wanted to be put down next to Sarah.

Ashley kissed Ebuny on the top of his round head and put him down next to Sarah. He smiled as he landed next to her.

They both proceeded to the next house, and Ashley noticed how excited Ebuny was as he ran alongside her.

A few more hours passed, the night seemed to be flying by. They ran from house to house as fast as their bunny legs could take them. Ashley had trouble keeping up, but partly because she was carrying both bunnies’ candy with two separate pillow cases.

It was a perfect night, full of pumpkins and treats, exploring the vast neighborhoods and taking in the magic of Halloween. The full moon was lighting their path and adding its own magic to the beautiful evening.

Eventually, Sarah and Ebuny found themselves on the front porch of his house, exactly where the whole night started.

“I can’t believe how much candy we got!” Sarah couldn’t believe her luck.

Ebuny gave her a shy nod and added, “Thanks… thanks for looking out for me tonight… it means a lot…”

She looked at him shyly, and with a slight smile, leaned in to give him a big kiss. He melted. And they both stood frozen, their bunny noses pressed together.

Sarah turned and ran off, looking back at Ebuny — who was stuck in the same position, only with his eyes open now — and yelled, “Goodnight, Ebuny!” With her mummy costume falling apart, she ran and disappeared into the suburban darkness.

Ashley opened the door and picked Ebuny up, who hadn’t moved since his kiss with Sarah, a kiss that took place on the front porch of the house, the most romantic place to have a first kiss.

“Time for bed, ebbs! You can sort your candy tomorrow.” She walked inside with him in her arms and closed the door behind her.

The clock hit midnight and the last light in the house turned off. The only light left was burning inside the pumpkins on the front porch.

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