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From The Wish Fairy of the Sunshine and Shadow Forest by Alice Ross Colver; Henry Altemus Company, Philadelphia, 1919; pp. 54-63.



ONCE upon a time, long, long ago, when all the animals lived together in friendly fashion in the Sunshine and Shadow Forest, little Lady Bunny Rabbit didn’t have long ears. No, sir, she didn’t. Her ears were about the size of the ears of Miss Pussy Kitty — little short ones. Only Little Lady Bunny Rabbit’s ears didn’t stick up in the air like Miss Pussy Kitty’s. They flopped over close to her head, just like Mr. Bow-wow’s ears.

Of course, with ears like that, Little Lady Bunny Rabbit couldn’t hear very well.

And, of course, if she couldn’t hear very well, she very often made silly answers to her animal 55 friends when they were talking to her.

It used to bother Little Lady Bunny Rabbit very much not to be able to hear, but she made the best of it, and was always sweet and gentle and polite, even though her neighbors did get cross with her when she made them say a thing three or four times.

One day — it happened to be the Saturday before Easter Sunday — Little Lady Bunny was munching crispy leaves in her front yard, and along came Miss Pussy Kitty.

“Good morning, Little Lady Bunny Rabbit,” Miss Pussy Kitty cried, cheerfully. “How are you this morning?”

“No, thank you, not yet,” Little Lady Bunny Rabbit replied.

Miss Pussy Kitty stopped and stared at her.

“I asked you how you are this 56 morning,” she repeated distinctly.

“And I said, ‘No, thank you, not yet,’” Little Lady Bunny Rabbit answered, with great dignity. “I haven’t finished my breakfast yet.”

Miss Pussy Kitty walked up to Little Lady Bunny Rabbit and lifted up the flap of one ear.

“I asked you, ‘How are you this morning?’” she shouted as loud as she could.

“Oh!” Little Lady Bunny Rabbit smiled foolishly. “I thought you said, ‘Won’t you go walking?’ I’m fine, thank you.”

Miss Pussy Kitty walked on, waving her tail in the air.

A few minutes later along came Mr. Bow-wow and saw Little Lady Bunny Rabbit munching her leaves very happily.

“Hello!” said Mr. Bow-wow, “What’s that you’re eating?”

“Fine, thank you,” Little Lady 57 Bunny Rabbit said, quickly. This time she was sure she had heard, and that Mr. Bow-wow had said, “How’r you feeling?”

“I didn’t ask how it tasted,” Mr. Bow-wow said, “I asked you what you were eating.”

“Fine, thank you,” Little Lady Bunny Rabbit repeated, politely, wondering why he asked her twice.

Mr. Bow-wow tossed his head impatiently. Then he lifted the flaps of Little Lady Bunny Rabbit’s ears and barked at her.

“What’s that you’re eating?”

“Oh,” said poor Little Lady Bunny Rabbit, very much embarrassed. “Excuse me. It’s lettuce leaves. I thought you asked me how I was feeling.”

“Humph!” Mr. Bow-wow said, and walked on.

Then along came Miss Reindeer, and she stopped to chat with 58 Little Lady Bunny Rabbit, for everybody liked her though she seemed stupid because she was deaf.

“Good morning,” Miss Reindeer said, “Going to the circus today?”

“Lettuce leaves,” Little Lady Bunny Rabbit answered.

Miss Reindeer looked at her with pity in her soft brown eyes. Then she said louder —

“No, no, dearie,” I didn’t ask you what you were eating. I asked you if you were going to the circus, today.”

Little Lady Bunny Rabbit listened as hard as she could.

“Going to whip us?” she cried in terror. “Who’s going to whip us — what for?”

Miss Reindeer felt so sorry for Little Lady Bunny Rabbit, who had misunderstood her and was afraid that she was going to be whipped, that she stepped up close 59

A Bunny is walking on a path, upright, holding an umbrella and wearing a red skirt and a red and white polka-dotted shirt.  She has a bonnet of flowers and leaves on her head between her two brown years which are pointing upright.


and blew the flaps of Little Lady Bunny Rabbit’s ears up.

“Going to the circus today?” she repeated.

“Oh!” Little Lady Bunny Rabbit replied, with relief, “I thought you said somebody was going to whip us today. Yes, I’m going later.”

“I’ll see you there, then,” Miss Reindeer said, and hurried on her way.

Little Lady Bunny Rabbit squatted on all four legs and stopped nibbling lettuce leaves, and let herself look as sad as she felt.

“Oh, my! Oh, me!” she sighted. “I’m always seeming stupid just because I have such little teeny ears and can’t hear. I wish they were just ten times bigger and stood up straight in the air.”

Miss Wish Fairy popped out from under a big head of lettuce. 61 She had been there all the time.

“Little Lady Bunny Rabbit!” she cried, “You wish for long ears that you may hear. So be it! Long ears you shall have.”

So she waved her wand and said some magic words to herself and behold! Little Lady Bunny Rabbit’s ear-flaps suddenly stuck right straight up in the air. And the next minute, behold! they had grown six or eight inches long.

“Oh, my! Oh, me!” Little Lady Bunny Rabbit cried, “How queer I feel. How do I look?”

“To tell you the truth,” Miss Wish Fairy said, tilting her head on one side and looking at the log ears, “You look quite distinguished.”

Little Lady Bunny Rabbit hopped to a pool near by and peered in. At first she could hardly believe that what she saw in the water was herself.


“Oh, my! Oh, me!” she cried again, “Ho queer I look! But I think — yes, I am sure it’s a great improvement. Thank you very much. And can I wiggle ’em?”

“Try it and see,” the Wish Fairy said, smiling.

So Little Lady Bunny Rabbit tried it and found she could.

“I feel as though I had a whole new head,” she giggled.

“They won’t fall off when I walk, will they?” she asked anxiously.

“No, indeed,” the Wish Fairy answered.

“And I can hear,” Little Lady Bunny Rabbit said, happily. “I can hear everything. I can even hear the wind away up in the tops of the trees.”

“You will find your ears very useful,” the Wish Fairy said, and flew away.


She was right. For what do you s’pose? When Little Lady Bunny Rabbit went to the circus that afternoon she found it very hot in the sun. What did she do but fasten a big leaf on her two ears, and, behold! she had a sun-umbrella.

This gave her an idea, and the next morning when she went to church and marched down the aisle with her beautiful long silky ears sticking up in the air, everybody turned to look at her. For smart Little Lady Bunny Rabbit had decorated her two ears with flowers and vines and berries in very pretty fashion, so that she looked as though she had on a hat. And that’s the story of the first Easter bonnet!


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