The Tale of Peggity Rabbit
written and illustrated by Idris O'Neill
dedicated with love, to Morgan my grandchild
copyright Idris O'Neill 1999-2001
The morning dawned, full of sunshine and puffy white
clouds sailing in a pale blue sky. The butterflies and wood nymphs
could be seen flitting here and there. The creatures of the Little
Woods were gathering food and playing chase games. The Wee One could
see Peggity Rabbit across the meadow, gathering wild violets for her new
bunnies. The mother rabbit would gather the greens and then disappear
down one of the many rabbit holes, in the meadow. “I wonder if she
will have time to show me her babies?” the fae thought hopefully.
Suddenly a very loud crack was heard, which frightened the inhabitants of the meadow. The sky turned dark and foreboding just as quickly, as Mrs. Peggity could jump down a rabbit hole. In a wink, great kurplunks of rain began to fall. The wind howled and drove the rain sideways. There was great confusion as all the creatures tried to find a place of safety, as the storm raged.
The Wee One hid under a hosta leaf half way down the faery mound. She watched as water formed a rivulet and ran off across the meadow and towards the Little Woods. Loose bits of twig and colorful flower petals floated as wind swept boats. She held her hands over her ears because the wind screamed like a banshee. The rain continued to pelt down and soon parts of the meadow flooded. The fae moved further up the faery mound to keep from being washed away.
Now, the Wee One was further up on the faery mound she could see Peggity jumping up and down and looking very upset. “Something must be terribly wrong,” the fae thought to herself. She tried to take flight. The wind caught her. She tumbled down the hill, landing in the swifty moving stream. The Wee One continued to float down the rushing water clinging to an oak leaf.
The fae managed to climb aboard the bobbing leaf, just as the storm moved out beyond Tintagel Head. The wind calmed and the wood nymph took to the air as did the rest of the faery folk. Hundreds of glittering golden wings headed towards the place the fae had last seen Peggity. The mother rabbit emerged from a rabbit hole, wet and carrying one tiny bunny.
Peggity cried, “Take care, take care!” Then she disappeared down the rabbit hole, time after time, until all of her babies were safe from their flooded home. The fae moved the wet little bunnies to the top of the faery mound, one by one. In short order all six of the babies and their mother were drying out in the sun. In no time mother rabbit had all of her little ones cleaned and fluffed.
Peggity sat back on her haunches, her gaze searching the meadow. "Where is my mate Whiskers?" She thought to herself.
Some of the faeries appeared with their bubble rings. Soon giggles could be heard all about the meadow, as the baby rabbits jumped to pop the bubbles floating on the gentle breeze. In the distance Peggity could see the sparkle of faerie wings, flitting low and coming towards the mound. Mrs. Rabbit hoped that the fae had found Whiskers. The Mother rabbit waited calmly, trying not to show fear to her bunnies.
As the fae got closer Peggity could hear them shouting. “He’s okay, he’s okay!” Mother rabbit, sighed with relief and hugged the closest bunny. As the fae set down, they explained that Whiskers had been caught in a mud slide and was stuck fast in the mud.
“I should go to him then.” Mrs. Rabbit said as she started to hop in the direction the fae had come from.
“No, he is being helped by Rufus who just happened to be near by with his wheelbarrow.” The faeries explained. “Whiskers said he would come directly home as soon as he could. He was worried you needed help to clean out the warren.”
“Oh heavens, I forgot all about the mess the storm must have caused.” Peggity cried. “The children must have a warm dry place to sleep tonight and food to eat.”
Soon the fae had organized a cleaning party, to go underground and clean up the mud and debris that littered the warren. In no time at all, word was sent throughout the meadow that help was needed. All the animals that were small enough to crawl into the warren, were scurrying about, removing mud and other clutter from Mrs. Rabbit’s home.
As the shadows grew long, Whiskers and Rufus could be seen, coming across the meadow. Papa was greeted with kisses and hugs and was relieved that all was well.
“Well, I see you have managed very well without me, my Dear,” Mr. Rabbit said, as he inspected the warren. “My, but I am hungry!” Whiskers remarked, as he emerged from their now tidy home, munching on a carrot.
Peggity laughed and said, “You are always hungry, Whiskers.”
All the material on this page is Copyright 1999 Idris O'Neill
Faerie under mushroom pic by Robyn Officer