There once was a rabbit with big ears. You may say that that is nothing special, since all rabbits have big ears. But that is not the way that the rabbits see it. As far as they are concerned, we have small ears, and they have normal sized ears. Except for the ones that don't, such as this particular rabbit, who had, as I have said, big ears.

Because he had big ears, and sometimes fell over them, and because he was an unusual rabbit in several other ways as well, the other young rabbits made fun of him. They called him 'long-lugs' and 'floppy-top' and 'propeller-head' and a lot of other even worse names. In Rabbit, of course, where they sounded even worse. So he spent a lot of time on his own, away from the cruelty of his fellow rabbits.

It is not easy to find a quiet place in a rabbit warren. Everywhere there are rabbits going to and fro, in and out, up and down, and even round and round. So to get some peace and quiet, the rabbit with the big ears went for long walks, far away from the warren. The other rabbits thought he was crazy to go so far away from the safe holes of home, but he wasn't afraid of wolves and weasels, foxes and falcons, or even of dalmations and dingoes. He wasn't afraid of anything. That was one of the reasons the other rabbits found him so strange.

He never got lost while he was out on his walks, and it wasn't very long before he knew every corner of the countryside for miles around. He liked to find new places to explore, and that meant that he had to go further and further away. Sometimes he even went so far that he had to sleep away from the warren at night. The only place he avoided was the farm. That was where his father had died, shot by the farmer. It wasn't that he was afraid of the farmer and his gun. But he wasn't stupid.

One day, as he was walking along one of his favourite paths through the old forest, he heard the sound of a little boy crying. He went closer and saw the farmer's son standing there where two paths crossed. The boy was lost. He looked down the paths in all directions, and did not know which way to go. Then he saw the rabbit.

The rabbit with big ears was not afraid of people. He did not run into the bushes when the little boy saw him. The boy thought that was strange, and also thought that the rabbit's ears were rather unusual.

"You've got nice ears," he said, "but I bet you don't know the way home."

The rabbit, of course, didn't understand a word: the boy wasn't speaking Rabbit. But he realised what the boy's problem was. He turned and hopped a few paces down the path, then turned back and looked at the boy. The boy looked sceptical for a moment but then followed. Why not? He was hopelessly lost in the woods, things could not get worse. And the rabbit was unlikely to eat him.

Before long they were out of the woods. The boy still did not know where he was, because he had come a different way. The rabbit led him all the way home to the farm.

When the farmer saw the rabbit coming down the lane, he got out his gun. But then he saw his son coming behind the rabbit, and did not shoot. "Don't hurt him," called the boy, "he showed me the way home when I was lost." And he told his father what had happened. The farmer was annoyed with his son for getting lost in the woods, where he was not allowed to go on his own, but was glad that he had found his way home and had not ended up being caught out at night. He got a big bundle of carrots and followed the rabbit back to his warren.

When the rabbits saw the farmer and his son coming after the big-eared rabbit they all ran inside. When they dared to look outside again they saw him peacefully crunching his way through a big juicy carrot. There were plenty more for the others. After that day, the farmer's son brought the rabbits a pile of carrots every week. They did not call the big-eared rabbit nasty names any more. They gave him a beautiful name that meant "He Who Brought Many Carrots To Us Weekly." It sounded better in Rabbit.

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