There was once a doe-rabbit who had many children. As a good mother, all day long she told them what was best for them: The herbs they should eat, the herbs they should reject, when they could go out, when they couldn’t even have a peep...
“Above all,” she said, “you pay attention to the date of the opening of the hunting season...”
“But how are we to know about it, if we don’t read the newspapers?” asked one of the bunnies.
“As soon as you hear gun shots, even in the distance, and barking dogs, you must run for shelter,” their mother warned.
One day, one of the youngest arrived at their burrow in a fright.
“I’ve heard shots, mother. Please hide me.”
The rabbit reassured him.
“So have I, but those are not gun shots. They are rocket flares. There’s a party taking place in the village. Can’t you hear the music played by the band? What do you want your ears for? As long as they are amusing themselves, we can be at rest.”
Some days later, the whole family was grazing when a sweet and wicked melody echoed in the air like a dancing snake... The Bunnies, who had never heard anything like it, looked inquisitively at their mother.
“We’d better go home,” she said, “and stay there for a long time.”
The same rabbit found it strange:
“But mother, couldn’t such sweet music be another party?”
“It’s no party at all. Hurry up. It’s Peter Sheeper, who plays the pipe and roams around scattering disaster. He sets traps all over the place, which tear us to pieces. Oh, I shiver at the thought of them!”
A little while later, the bunny came to his mother again, and he was in great distress: “I’ve seen men with guns. They must be hunters.”
“I’ve seen them, too” said his mother. “You mustn’t worry about these. They are forest guards and they are collecting the traps that Peter set, because they are forbidden by law. We are free now. However, it’s always good to be on guard.”
Life in the woods is certainly very dangerous. Just the things a rabbit must learn to keep himself from being shot!