What a curious place Allison thought, taking in the brighter than bright colors all around her. Grass so green, flowers so bright, a sky so vibrant that it didn’t look real. Of course, she wouldn’t dare voice her thoughts out loud. None of the others seemed the least bit amazed by their surroundings, and she didn’t want to stand out.
The brown rabbit hopped and stopped just in front of a large tree surrounded by spotted mushrooms, his nose twitching as he looked back at the others. “This is the spot. One of you should ask for directions.”
The little gray rabbit shook her head so quickly, her whiskers became a blurr. “Not me. I hate talking to strangers. What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t like them?”
“Me neither,” the black rabbit grunted. “Because I just don’t wanna.”
Brown rabbit got that annoyed rabbit look again, crossing his paws over his fuzzy chest. “Well, somebody has to. I’ve already taken the lead of this adventure and it wouldn’t be fair to make me do all the work.”
Three pairs of round eyes turned to Allison. She gulped. Should she tell them she was afraid too? That she didn’t want to either? And that it didn’t seem fair to put all this pressure on her?
Just as she opened her mouth to argue her point, she froze. A grin – and only a grin – appeared in the leaves of the tree just above brown rabbit.
The others sensed her shock and turned around, their little rabbit jaws dropping to the ground. Gray rabbit jumped up in the air and bolted behind black rabbit, shaking all over.
“Fear,” the grin said slowly, growing even more grin-like, “will prove to be a snare, my dear.”
“I-I’m not afraid,” gray rabbit managed, her voice shaking more than her body.
Two yellow eyes, full of as much mischief and mystery as the grin, appeared as well. “You could have fooled me, the cat in the tree. Self-conscious and worried, always quite flurried. Fear always hold you back – there’s no doubt about that.”
Allison’s heart beat hard inside of her little rabbit chest, seeing that those yellow eyes weren’t on gray rabbit but on her.
“Tell me,” said the purple cat – now fully visible, “my bunny friend, when does it end? The doubt and unease, they make you freeze. You won’t take a risk, so much you have missed.” He slowly began to disappear again until only that grin remained. “Fear..will prove to be a snare, my dear.”
And like that, the grinning cat was gone.
Gray rabbit peeked out from behind black rabbit. “Is he gone?”
“The nerve,” brown rabbit huffed, his fur bristling. “Speaking to us like that. He had no right. Come along, let’s hop to it.”
As the others moved forward, Allison paused for a moment. Fear? A snare? Like one that would catch a rabbit? Not wanting to think too much about it, she pushed back the uneasy feeling once more that she was forgetting something. Something important. “Wait for me!” she called, not wanting to be left behind, though she still had no idea where they were going…
To be continued…