An Argument About Rabbits

Eb thought he should introduce Florence properly to his mother. They had seen each other at the Circle Gathering, but that was before he had talked to Hannah about their plans. Hannah had avoided getting into conversation with Flo at the Lord’s Day Gathering, because though she had heard talk about the new relationship, she wanted to have heard it from Eb – many a troll could have saved herself serious embarrassment, Hannah thought, by treating hearsay with due caution.

Today Eb had promised his time to Andy Whichart in the carpenters’ shop, but thought that if he went by the Lightfoots’ home on his way there, he might find Florence helping with breakfast and dressing the children.

It was still barely sunrise when Eb came down the hill to the Lightfoots’ place. As he walked round the side of the house, he could hear soft laughter and Florence’s voice in quiet conversation. Then the next moment he saw her, standing with a basket of washing ready to hang on the line, chatting to a couple of rabbits. He stopped dead, surprised and rather shocked.

One of the rabbits caught sight of him the minute he came into view, whispered hastily to her friend – and making their excuses and bobbing little curtsies to Flo, they melted away into the shadows in the direction of the barn.

Flo turned, wondering who had alarmed them, and her face lit in a smile to see Eb.

“My, you’re about early!” she said.