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Commander Bun-Bun and Earl the Squirrel met every morning at the tree in front of the gray house to share a kernel of corn and a sunflower seed or two. They’d been meeting every day, and although they each thought the other looked a bit strange, they’d gotten used to one another and didn’t mind the company. The squirrel was good at knowing when the truly good stuff had been put out, and his presence always meant that it was time to put the feedbag on. The rabbit was good at sensing danger. One sweep of his gigantic, twitchy ears, and he instantly knew if that darned black and white cat, the evil hawk or the rowdy brats from across the street were approaching. When he gave the signal, they both ran for cover.

Breakfast went on as usual, with the occasional mumbled comment about happenings in the neighborhood. Other than the new bluejay offspring which everyone already knew about because of their horrendous squawking and screeching when they wanted to be fed, there wasn’t much new going on. All was well. When Earl received a message from his sister, Pearl, that his wife was looking for him, he said his goodbyes and scampered off. Bun-Bun, who secretly envied Earl’s domestic bliss, ate quietly by himself for several minutes. He was concentrating on the seed when he suddenly heard soft footfalls in front of him.

Who was this creature? Could it be? Why, yes, it was a female rabbit. “Um, hi, hello? I’m Commander Bun-Bun,” he addressed the vision in loveliness in front of him. He was almost afraid to blink she was so beautiful. Her coat was glossy, her black eyes shiny, her gaze direct, her whiskers softly twitching, and her ears turned with just the sweetest curve.

“Hi, yourself,” she said. “My name is Hope, but everyone calls me Hoppy. Is this seed for everyone?”

“Yes, yes, it is,” he said, hardly daring to believe his good luck. She wanted to eat with him!

They ate in companionable silence, and slowly but surely, she crept closer.

‘Oh, my Gosh!’ thought Commander Bun-Bun.

She stretched closer, her whiskers twitching in that cute way that made Bun-Bun’s tummy feel all queer and twirly.

Just when it seemed like she was really going to kiss him, he panicked. Was his breath fresh enough? What if he tried to kiss her back, and he missed? Oh, no!!!!!

He was just too excited to stand still. He took off in a wild spin around the tree. He ran faster than he’d ever run before! He dashed a mad dash around and around. As he sped around, he could hear soft chuckles and snickers. She… she was laughing! She thought he was cute, too!

He screeched to a halt, near to his original spot.

“Hey, how you doin’?” he asked, in his best cool bunny voice, trying not to breathe too heavily and trying to appear much calmer than he felt inside. His nose twitched in excitement.

“Ah, Bun-Bun,” she sighed, twitching her nose back at him. “Would you teach me how to dash like that? You have some mad skills. Maybe when we’re through, you could walk me home? And maybe when we get to my door, I might try to kiss you again, and maybe you’ll stand still this time.”

Bun-Bun blushed, not believing his good fortune. He couldn’t wait to tell Earl.