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Anya And The Foxgloves
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Anya was the youngest rabbit in her litter.
She loved to snuggle in the burrow with Daisy and their other sisters and brothers. When the weather was nice, the youngsters liked to play in front of the burrow.
One day, their Dad gathered the family together.
"Tomorrow," he said, seriously "we are going into the woods but we need to be careful because we might meet foxes in there."
Anya's brothers and sisters were so excited that they binkied!
(The binky is the bunny dance of joy).
Anya though, was scared of the foxes and hid away in the bedding hay in the corner of the burrow.
The next morning Mum and Dad woke the youngsters early.
They all washed their faces until they shone and brushed their powder puff tails until they glowed.
All except for Anya who lay quietly in the bedding hay.
Dad took Anya's brothers and sisters out into the woods while Mum stayed behind to talk to Anya.
"It's lovely out there Anya," she said, gently. "Why don't you want to join your brothers and sisters? You usually love playing with them."
"I don't want to go into the woods," said Anya, trembling "I'm scared of the foxes!"
"Oh Anya, we just need to be careful of the foxes. All rabbits go into the woods when they grow up."
"But I don't want to grow up," said Anya "I want to stay here."
"You will always live here, Anya" said Mum "but you will discover there's so much beauty in the woods."
Suddenly, Mum had a great idea!
"Anya! You love dressing up, don't you?"
Anya perked up her ears. "Yes, I do."
"Well" said Mum "I know something that you can dress up in and it will help you feel brave."
"Oh, what is it, what is it?" asked Anya.
She binkied in excitement, for she really did love dressing up.
"Come with me," said Mum, taking Anya's paw.
She led her out of the burrow and to the edge of the woods.
They stopped by some tall pink flowers.
"They're so beautiful!" said Anya, in delight "What are they?"
"They're foxgloves," answered Mum. "The foxes wear these to make themselves strong."
Anya stretched out a paw to touch a flower.
Mum pulled two flowers gently off the plant.
She put one on each of Anya's front paws.
Anya looked at her paws in delight.
"Oh Mum," she whispered, "these are so comfortable."
"Now you have the strength of a fox," Mum said with a smile.
Anya binkied happily, she was so proud of her new pink gloves.
"Can we go into the woods now?" she asked.
"Of course we can," laughed Mum "come on."
The two of them hopped happily into the woods.
Soon they found the rest of the family.
They had stopped by a tree that had fallen across the river.
"Look at my beautiful new gloves," said Anya, as she binkied in front of her brothers and sisters "they make me strong and brave."
"They're lovely," said Daisy. "Do they really make you strong?"
"And brave," said Anya, as she hopped over to the fallen tree.
She noticed ferns and small flowers were growing on the fallen tree trunk.
A lovely red ladybird walked among the plants and some ants marched along the trunk.
Anya was fascinated and before she knew what she was doing she was on the other side of the river.
Mum and Dad smiled at each other to see Anya being so grown up. They led the rest of the youngsters over the bridge and further into the woods.
The family spent all day in the woods.
Mum and Dad showed the youngsters where the best grass grew and where they could hear the sweetest birdsong.
After an exciting day, the family all returned to the burrow.
Anya had lost her foxgloves, but she knew she could always find more.
She also knew that it wasn't really the foxgloves that made her brave.
She had learned that she was really brave now that she was grown up.
"Oh Mum," said Anya before she fell asleep. "That was the best day of my life!
I'm so happy to have visited the woods."
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