Bunnies Cherry Food

“What are you feeding Sunny?” Holly asked her older brother with her eyes narrowed. She didn’t trust Ben with her bestest pals.

“Just a couple cherries I picked from the tree in the Anderson’s yard,” Ben replied in a distracted tone. He bent over and peered into the cage as Sunny picked up the blood red fruit in his black paws.

“That’s not bunny food!” Holly said and folded her arms across her chest, which made the tree embroidered on her t-shirt fold up into a bush.

“Well Honey sure seemed to like hers,” Ben said with a nod of his head in the second bunny’s direction. Holly hopped onto her bed, careful not to land on any of the sheep playing in the meadows of her bedspread, to get a better look. She gasped when she saw Honey’s snow white fur stained dark red around her mouth and down her front.

“You have to clean them up you big dummy!” she shrieked.

“I do not, I’m just giving them a treat.”

“Do too! Or I’m telling Mommy.”

“Do not,” he muttered as he watched Sunny take a tentative bite. Cherry juice squirted into Sunny’s eyes and Ben roared with laughter.

“Mom!” Holly hollered at the top of her little lungs.

“Oh fine, I’ll clean up after they‘re done eating,” Ben told her. “You’re such a little tattletale.”

Several minutes of silent observation passed as the siblings waited for something to happen. Well, one waited for something to happen; the other hoped desperately that nothing would. Holly chewed her lower lip in between giving her brother dirty glances.

“What if you poisoned them?” Holly whispered when she couldn‘t stand the silence for a second more. “I heard Daddy say that Mr. Anderson uses pester sides in his tree.”

“What if it gives Honey and Sunny superpowers?” Ben countered.

“That’s such a boy thing to say,” she said with an exasperated shake of her head that sent her brown curls bouncing. She really didn’t understand what went on in boy heads - maybe nothing? That would explain their fascination with burping.

“Did you hear that?” Ben asked suddenly, his eyes wide with excitement.

“I didn’t hear anything.”

“Hello,” a quiet voice said. Ben looked at his little sister, then back into the cage. He pointed spastically at the two bunnies.

“It’s them! They’re talking!”

“You’re crazy,” Holly said. “Have you been eating dirt ag-”

“Hello Holly,” Sunny said, his head cocked to one side, his nose wiggling.

“Bunnies can’t talk!” Holly croaked in shock.

“Why, of course we can - but only after we eat cherries,” Honey told her. “Why haven’t you fed us any before?”

“I… I didn’t know!” Holly was deeply embarrassed. She thought she knew everything there was to know about taking care of bunnies… how could she not know about this? “I’m so sorry!”

“Well I think that’s enough chatting for today,” Sunny announced. “Perhaps you could get us some more cherries tomorrow night and we can talk again? Thank you very much Ben, we are in your debt for getting us this precious food. How can we ever repay you?”

“Oh, it was nothing at all,” he told them proudly as Holly hid her bright red face behind her hands. “You don’t have to do anything for me.”

Holly went to bed that night without looking at her pals at all; she didn’t want to see their disappointed faces watching her every move. She didn’t even wish them sweet dreams like she always did. The next morning she dressed in a rush (her sweater ended up backwards) and fled her bedroom. She didn’t even make her bed, and she never left without doing that.

That afternoon, while her brother was out at soccer practice, Holly kept herself busy by exploring his room. Her mother might have called it an “in vase in of pirate sea”, Ben would most definitely have called it “sticking her nose where it didn‘t belong”, but Holly always called it exploring.

After much investigation, Holly found a book that she had never seen in Ben’s room before. It was in plain sight too: under his bed behind a box of old coloring books. She didn’t understand the first word on the cover, it was big and confusing. But she recognized the last two: For Dummies.

“I always knew he was a dum-dum,” she said as she opened the book on her lap. She began flipping through the pages, looking at the pretty pictures and trying to work out some of the bigger words by scrunching up her nose and thinking really, really hard.

Just as she was getting tired of the big yellow book, one picture caught her eye. She studied the picture for a while before reading the words underneath it. As understanding came to her she became very, very angry. She stood up, gathered the book under her arm and marched downstairs.

She found her mother in the kitchen, reading the newspaper and drinking tea. Standing on her tippy toes Holly pushed the book onto the table and placed her hands on her hips as she faced her bestest grown up pal.

“Mommy,” she announced, “Ben tricked me!”

“What did your brother do this time?”

“He used his Van Tree Low Question on me and my bunnies!”

The End

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