A mother rabbit, buzzing with zest,

spied on four speckled eggs in a nest.

With the hawk away, she took her chance

and climbed branch to branch

up to the very top of the tree

and grabbed all the eggs she could see.

~

The other rabbits thought it absurd

to avenge kits gobbled by a bird.

While she wove an egg basket,

they said, “You’ll wind up in a casket!”

Now her handy basket was brimmed,

back down the tree she skimmed.

~

The thief couldn’t believe her luck!

She sat still, unblinking, in the muck.

She’d made it back without a scuff,

and suddenly four eggs wasn’t enough.

There had to be more she could take

and put an end to her heartache.

~

Emptying her basket in her burrow,

the rabbit journeyed to and fro.

Up twisted trees she bound

along branches far from the ground.

But her luck ran out at the last nest.

A hawk swooped in and clawed her chest.

~

“Not me, hawk!” declared she,

and bit the bird to get free.

She plunged, hitting this branch and that,

 and a good dozen eggs went splat.

She was saved by moss so soft,

but her lungs rattled with a terrible cough.

~

She gathered up the surviving eggs,

and crawled home on shaking legs.

Her warren was crammed!

Gleaming eggs were rammed

in every crevice, tunnel, and hole.

What worthless trinkets she’d stole!

~

The neighbour’s kits found her

with eyes rolled white and tattered fur.

The oldest ran to tell their friends

their neighbour had gone round the bend,

but the littlest began to fear

the eggs would bring the hawk near.

~

The thief cried, “Don’t give them back!”

clinging to an egg so bloody it was black.

Suddenly, the little one had a plan

and into the woods she ran,

to collect materials that would disguise

the thief’s precious prize.

~

The thief looked on with a frown

as the kit muddied some eggs brown

while others she stained grass green

or used pollen to dust a yellow sheen,

until every egg was covered

to keep them from being discovered.

~

Newly disguised in browns, yellows, and reds,

they hid perfectly in flowerbeds.

So the kit used gardens to hide the plunder

and left all the humans to wonder,

“Why on earth would a rabbit leave eggs?”

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