The Magic Of Multiplication
Once upon a time there was this rabbit. He was like any other normal rabbit, except when it came to chasing down carrots, he was a little bit afraid. When he was a young rabbit, just at the stage when rabbits learn how to dig for their own food, he set out to find his first carrot. He’d watched his parents dig up carrots, and thought it seemed pretty easy, so he figured it was time he could dig up his own, and not have to follow his parents around.
Now when it comes to rabbit and carrots, there is a huge window in the time that they get food from their parents, and when they learn to dig it up on their own. What makes it particularly confusing is that just around the time that rabbits start learning to dig up their own carrots, they start to learn how to make more rabbits, if you know what I mean. That can thoroughly confuse the issue with most rabbits.
It’s kind of tough growing up as a baby rabbit whose parents haven’t yet learned how to dig up their own carrots. Then you have a situation where grandma and grandpa rabbit are digging up the carrots for everybody. It sort of gives some time to the parents, sometimes. It’s not uncommon for several generations of rabbits to be alive at once, as everybody knows how good rabbits are at multiplication.
It’s not uncommon at all for a rabbit to live his whole life and never learn to dig up his own carrots. Of course, this story is about one young rabbit, and how he learned to this.
The first time he set out, he was really excited. He’d seen his dad do it plenty of times. His dad was known as the local expert in finding carrots. It’s not as easy as one would think. Most of the carrot lives underground, with only the green part sticking up. It’s easy to miss a good patch of carrots, and it’s easy to pull up a bunch of weeds that don’t turn out to be anything.
What happened to this young rabbit was particularly frightening. He set out by himself, because in case he pulled up a clump of weeds, he didn’t want to be laughed at by those older than him.
So he found a clump of green stuff, that he thought was likely a carrot. He looked around to make sure nobody was watching, and then he pulled with all his might. What he found horrified him. It was a carrot, but it had already been partially eaten. There was a squirrel that had gotten in and eaten it from the ground up. And he squirrel was still eating it, and caught completely by surprise by the rabbit. He reacted accordingly, and snarled and hissed at the rabbit. Now, had the rabbit spoken squirrel, or the squirrel spoken rabbit, they likely could have come to an agreement about splitting the carrot. But as it was, the rabbit fled in terror.
That was over a year ago. And since then, all the rabbit’s friends had learned to dig up their own carrots. Every time the rabbit ventured out to find his own carrot, he remembered the snarling and screaming squirrel. He would find a plump carrot just begging to be dug up, but would lose all his nerve. He would scamper home, empty handed and depressed.
One day he was on is way home, and he ran into his grandfather. (Or maybe it was his great grandfather, he couldn’t tell).
“What’s up?” Said gramps.
Young rabbit tried to ignore him.
“Still worried about that squirrel?” gramps asked. Young rabbit was shocked. He didn’t realize that anybody knew. Gramps chuckled.
“Old Chester once got scared off by a rock, thought it was a monster. Couldn’t dig carrots for years after that.”
Young rabbit felt a little bit better, but he didn’t know who Chester was.
“And Marvin was scared by a squirrel as well. But he learned a secret.”
“What secret?” young rabbit asked.
“Squirrels are all bark and no bite. They only scream at you so you’ll be startled enough so they can run away. They never, ever will fight over a piece of food. They’re actually pretty smart when you think about it.”
“What do you mean?” young rabbit asked.
“Just look around,” gramps said, waving his paw at the vast countryside where the rabbits lived.
“There’s enough food here to last everybody hundreds of generations. Why in the world would you fight over a small scrap like one carrot?” gramps said, laughing.
Young rabbit thought about it.
“Like take that small green shrub, pull it out and take a look at it.”
Without thinking, young rabbit turned around, grabbed the green leaves sticking out of the dirt and gave it a yank. A nice, plump carrot came out.
“Now take a look at that one, is it any different from that one over there?” Gramps said, motioning to another clump. Young rabbit turned, grabbed and yanked. He held the two carrots together. They were identical.
“Just look around, I’ll be in an hour you could find hundred just like that. Do you really think a squirrel would want to fight a rabbit over something that is so abundant?”
The young rabbit thought.
“No, I guess not.”
“So how many carrots can you eat in a day?”
“I don’t know, maybe one?”
“Well now, you’ve got two. Why don’t you find a nice pretty girl rabbit and give it to her. I think you know what comes next.” Gramps winked and hopped off.
Young rabbit thought. So many carrots to pull. So many girls to give them to. He suddenly realized why all the rabbits around him seemed so happy. He smiled and hopped off.