|The snow fell and fell. Morning, noon and night it fell. It was the worst winter in living memory. Then, as wild rabbits rarely make it to two years old, that's not surprising.
A little pink nose poked out from the burrow, sniffed the icy air and quickly bobbed back in to the relative warmth of the tunnels. Joining his siblings in the inner chamber Parsley huddled down, taking warmth from the close gathered bodies.
Sage, the father of the bunnies, knew he would have to venture out into the freezing conditions; his brood needed feeding. Already Borage, the runt of the litter, was whining. It was only a matter of time before he would join his ancestors in the great last burrow. He nuzzled Forget-me-not, his other half, then he left her to care for the bunnies and headed out into the big freeze.
Sniffing the air, he judged the depth of snow. It was deep and hard by the burrow. Hopping along, his little feet leaving fresh prints in the powder, he sought more shallow snow. He came to the hedgerow and discovered a grassy patch deep within the undergrowth. He ate his fill of the sparse greenery.
As the snow melted on his thick fur he shook off the worst but he was still freezing. A wet rabbit is not a happy rabbit. Sage knew to retreat to the burrow quickly before the water froze on his back. On the return journey he came across a field mouse, frozen solid. He nudged it but knew it was no more.
Entering the burrow he could hear the pitiful dirge of Borage in the last throws of life. Too late he regurgitated the greenery to feed the bunnies. There really wasn't enough for all twelve. The stronger siblings pushed the weaker out of the way and fought over the meager repast. Borage was now too weak to even attempt to feed.
Forget-me-not rubbed against her mate, then took her turn with the foraging. Once outside the burrow she shivered uncontrollably. She peered through the icy veil, searching for the uncovered grass. She could barely see a paw in front of her face. She was scared to go too far from the burrow for fear of getting lost. She sniffed and scraped but could find no food.
She returned home just in time to hear the final scream from Borage as his life faded away. She shed a tear for her lost son. Huddling with Sage she looked at her brood. How many would be left by the time of the great thaw?