They all met at a Thanksgiving feast a few years back.
Everyone had been invited. The squirrels, birds and groundhogs.
Each brought their favorite treat. There was loud chatter as neighbors got to know each other and the babies played together all day long.
Three different personalities clicked. Fancy rabbit was unusual to others. He dressed in the finest clothes. After meals he puffed on a cigar the size of a large carrot. Foxy fox was the most clever of all, or so he thought. The others thought with his smarts he could teach them new ways of getting food much quicker. Roxy raccoon was a little chubby and always seemed to have lots of food. He was sneaky too and never got caught when he was rummaging through human’s trash cans.
So the three hooked up and remained friends from then on. Anywhere you saw one you couldn’t help but notice the other two. Each of them took a lot of pride in themselves. They frolicked through the woods and people’s yards.
From each other they learned to steal food not only from trash cans but to hide behind bushes and sneak in through open windows. Roxy raccoon taught his two friends how to use the tree as a jumping pad and hop onto roofs. He showed them how to eat holes in the roofs and lower themselves down into the food area, but his buddies were too afraid to try the climb. That seemed pretty high to them.
They each helped the other when needed. One time Fancy rabbit’s home had been invaded by water. Flooding was taking a way all his pride possessions. Foxy fox dug a tunnel for him and this allowed the water to drain faster. Roxy raccoon found bits of plastic and this was used to cover up all of Fancy rabbit’s furniture.
Now this is what true friendship is all about. Helping others, not caring what background each other had. They had picnics and laid under the breezy branches at nights. Each was on guard for the other at all times.
When babies were sick they each took turns watching over them while the others hunted for food. When it came time to teach the young to hunt, they all gave their advice and in no time excellent hunters were bring back fine kill.
Fancy rabbit’s had four kids. Foxy fox had two kids and Roxy raccoon had not been able to have a family. Roxy raccoon was really bothered by the fact that there was no one to teach to hunt and to watch grow up. He started to stay in the background when there were gatherings. He became more into himself and didn’t talk as much.
His friends took notice of this and tried to find the truth, but Roxy wasn’t opening up. Roxy became so restless that he wasn’t sleeping well. He found himself over at Foxy’s grandkids home just watching them play. He watched Foxy teaching them grown-up games. He heard the laughter and could sense the closeness between the kids.
One evening when he was extra restless he quietly went over to the house he always watched. It was quiet. Everyone was sleeping. He crept up closer to the house. He used his tricks and jumped on the roof, chewing a big enough hole to slide down the inside of the house.
He made his way to the kids bedrooms. He went from room to room and would sit in the doorway just staring. Watching them sleep, listening to the snores. Roxy got to the place a routine was formed. Night after night he made his way over to the house.
But this one night when he landed on the floor he was standing right in front of Foxy fox. With anger in his eyes and teeth showing, arms crossed he immediately asked Roxy raccoon why and what was he doing there.
Roxy raccoon was too afraid to tell the truth. They both turned around when they heard a patter at the door. Foxy fox went and opened it and let Fancy rabbit in. Now here were all three best friends standing on guard of each other.
Each waiting to be attacked. Each instinct was in full force. Again Foxy fox asked Roxy raccoon why he was there.
Roxy raccoon hung his head down low and pretending he was brushing something off of his paw said, ” Nothing. Just nothing. I wasn’t doing nothing wrong.”
” Now come on Roxy, you know me. You wouldn’t be coming over here during the night, breaking into my roof, destroying it by chewing a hole in it and then staring in at my kids while they sleep.”
Roxy raccoon turned to walk a way and Fancy rabbit hopped over to the door and blocked it so Roxy could not leave. ” Look here Roxy. We are your friends. We do everything together. What ever is wrong you need to tell us. Let us help you. Haven’t we been friends long enough that you can trust us?” asked Fancy rabbit.
Roxy raccoon covered his striped eyes with his paws and started to weep. ” I, I , I am so lonely. I just want a family too. I want to be like you and show my kids how to find food, and chase animals.”
When the other two heard his story they walked over to him and they put their arms around their friend and patted his head trying to make him feel better. ” Well Roxy raccoon, I can sure understand what you are saying. I guess I would feel the same way if I didn’t have my own family. But that’s no reason to sneak in here and scare the hair off our backs is it?”
Fancy rabbit shook his head and Roxy raccoon looked down at the floor. Foxy fox tapped his chin while thinking of how they could help their friend feel better. He paced the floor back and forth thinking. Pretty soon the other two followed him and they were pacing and thinking.
Suddenly Foxy fox stopped. The other two bumped into him knocking him down. Foxy fox picked himself up and brushed grass off his clothes. Soon all three were laughing. ” I tell you what. I think I have an idea. What if you took care of our grandkids. You know the parents have a lot of work to do. We each here have been taking turns keeping an eye on them, but I got things to do myself and I am sure Fancy rabbit has some work waiting for him. So why don’t you become the grandpa of all the grandbabies?”
They each looked at the other. Foxy fox and Fancy rabbit nodded at each other in agreement on this idea. Roxy raccoon dried his tears and looked into each of his friends eyes and then smiled real big. ” I like that idea. I like it real well.”
From that day on Roxy raccoon grandpa took over when everyone was busy. He played games with them. They went swimming and found new hunting grounds. Each night when he went to bed he was worn out and he never was restless again. The End
Moral of the Story; We all need to feel we belong, just like the creatures of the world. Showing love and friendship is the best gift you can give. When you are shopping for gifts this year at Christmas, and you are complaining of the extreme prices, always remember : friendship is the best gift you can give and it is always free and I am pretty sure it will be welcomed. Terry Shepherd