Up at the House something wonderful is happening! A funny little rabbit with lop ears has come to live on the Meadow. Mary found him in a pet shop and felt sorry for him because no one wanted to buy him. His name was Lancelot. He looked more like a little wombat or an otter than a rabbit! The pet shop owner said  that Lancelot should be introduced to Arthur McHale McHopp very carefully because rabbits can be very territorial. She was worried that Arthur might attack him and hurt him.

Arthur McHale McHopp has lived all alone on the Meadow for two years. He is friends with the Meadow folk and he is friends with Vincent the Blackbird but he isn’t friends with the Meadow Dogs because they remind him of Mr Fox.  At night the wild rabbits hop past.  They often stop and rub noses with him through the wire. Sometimes, just sometimes, Arthur has felt lonely and dreamed he had a rabbit friend to share his two story hutch and the lovely grassy run.

And do you know what? From the moment Arthur and Lancelot met they were friends. They sniffed noses, which is a very polite way to say “hello”. Then Arthur showed him all around his grassy run. It was a bitterly cold morning and poor little Lancelot felt miserable. He was used to living in a pet shop and didn’t understand frosts and icy winds. First of all Arthur showed him a nice spot so he could soak up the sun. Then he said, “Come on Lancelot! I’ll organize a nice little breakfast of carrots and oats for us”.

Arthur showed Lancelot the stone steps leading up the laundry door. Then he knocked on the laundry door to let the Meadow Folk know they were ready for their breakfast. He felt very proud showing Lancelot all the things he could do!

Soon the Meadow Folk brought a plate with oats and two carrots – one for Arthur and one for Lancelot. Arthur pounced on the breakfast plate! Yummy! Yummy oats! After having his fill, Arthur invited Lancelot to come and have some too.

Lancelot enjoyed his breakfast very much but was startled when a big blackbird swooped down and sat on the fence staring at him. He stood up tall and said quite rudely “Go away, you horrible blackbird! This breakfast is for rabbits, not blackbirds! Go away!”  Then he hopped away  as quickly as he could because he was really quite scared of the blackbird.

Arthur said “Don’t worry, Lancelot! This blackbird is my friend! His name is Vincent and he always comes to share my breakfast!” Then he introduced Lancelot to Vincent saying “This is my new rabbit friend.  His name is Lancelot. He is a pet shop rabbit and only arrived this morning. I hope we can all be friends!”

Vincent thanked Arthur for the nice oat breakfast and said ” I’m so glad you finally have a rabbit friend, Arthur! I have lots of blackbird friends but you have never had a rabbit friend of your own!”

Lancelot – who was really a very polite little rabbit – hopped back, looked Vincent in the eye and said “I’m sorry I was so rude to you.  I just didn’t understand.  I really am pleased to meet you!”

Lancelot has a lot to learn about the Meadow, doesn’t he? But I am certain he will settle in soon. Arthur McHale McHopp is a kind rabbit and is sure to look after him. He has even let Lancelot sleep on the top story of his very fine two-story rabbit hutch!

Have you ever come to a new place and suddenly had lots to learn?

Ryan O’Brien