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 gathered 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 with her handy basket 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 seized her by 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?”