Renard and the rabbit

Renard once pounced and snared a rabbit
And splayed out its neck, preparing to stab it,
His hooked fangs ripping its soft supple skin,
When the rabbit said, “Wait, just breathe in,
Before you take my life, before I am dead,
Before my warm blood stains your chin red,
I have an intriguing proposition for you.
Why not listen, then decide what to do.”

Renard was hungry, hadn’t eaten in days,
But a talking rabbit did much to amaze
Even the most cunning of creatures,
And cunning he was, made clear by his features.
“Speak now,” said Renard. “But do beware,
For I am a fox, and you are a hare,
And devouring you is, as far as I see,
As natural as the mountain lion who aims to hunt me.”

“You can surely eat me, and sated you’ll be” said the rabbit,
“But there is juicier prey about, and I can help you nab it.
If you’ll follow me into the wood, beyond those two creeks,
You will find plump flightless birds with worms in their beaks.
They are dumb, ambling beasts. And how slow! And how fat!
All day a dozen rest and feast.  What do you think of that?”
The rabbit paused and nibbled at the air, perhaps its last meal,
While Renard sat on his haunches and considered the rabbit’s appeal.

Renard opened his snout and snapped it shut at the tiny hare,
Whose gentle whiskers trembled in the damp autumn air.
Renard let out a sigh of rotting flesh as he spoke,
“You will lead me to this flock, but know that I will choke
Every ounce of breath from your meager frame,
And I will find your rabbit brethren and do the same,
If it appears for even a second that this a trick,”
And Renard grabbed the rabbit by its fur so thick.

And so Renard carried the rabbit in his mouth by its scruff,
His grip, while firm, was gentle, not rough,
But by his dripping drool it was known that this kindness was brief,
“If this is a ruse, rabbit, you will die,” he said through clenched teeth.
They padded in darkness and emerged to a murmuring brook
In a moss-filled meadow where wind-swept birch leaves shook.
And there, still for all to see,
Stood a single wide-eyed turkey.

“My part of the story,” said the rabbit, “is done.
Why don’t you drop me here and off I’ll run.”
Renard, a fox through and through, was much too cunning.
“I think instead,” he said, “you’ll not go off running.
For I can gobble you up here first,
And drink from the brook to quench my thirst.
Then, at a snail’s pace so pleasant,
I will sink my teeth into that there pheasant.”

The rabbit, shaking weakly in Renard’s chops, said,
“Far be it for me to tell you how dine, Mr. Red,
But wouldn’t munching on my too slight figure.
Spoil your hunger for that bigger,
Rounder piece of meat over there?
To be fair, I’m mostly bone and hair.”
Renard, grudgingly, was forced to agree,
Unclenched his jaw and let the rabbit free.

And so Renard stalked, as only a fox can stalk.
His tail dragged along the ground while he walked.
The bird stood numb, a worm dangling from its dumb beak,
While Renard creeped closer and salivated in his cheek.
The turkey’s eyeballs swivelled left and right,
But it showed no sign of any fright.
The only sound to be heard,
Was the clucking of the bird.

Suddenly, there came a loud snap.
Renard had stepped into a human trap!
The jagged metal pressed, crushed Renard’s ribs,
When he noticed the rabbit scampering back to make some jibs.
Renard squirmed and squealed and kicked in convulsive shocks.
“There is no lesson here,” said the hare to the struggling fox.
“Only that it’s unwise to make a habit,
Of trusting a rabbit.”

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