Saturday, September 06, 2008

Leslie and the Fair, a fictional story for Chris

“Is today the day? Is this the day the fair starts?” asked Leslie

“Yes,” said Chris, “Today we’re going to the fair.”

“Do you have everything ready?” the rabbit asked. “Is my food dish in the car? Did you pack my water bottle? What about my hay cubes? Are you sure you didn’t forget anything?”

“I made a list,” said Chris. “On the list I wrote:

List of stuff I need for fair

1. Carry cage (to take Leslie in)
2. Water Bottle
3. Food Dish
4. Sign for Leslie’s Cage
5. 4-H record books
6. Rabbit food
7. Snacks for me (and juice boxes)
8. Leslie

“I have everything in the car except the cage and you,” said Chris.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” asked Leslie. “I don’t know if I’ll like sleeping in a cage away from our house. What if the other rabbits are mean? What if they laugh at me?”

“They won’t laugh at you,” Chris replied. “They will think you are wonderful. I think you are wonderful and I am excited to take you to the show.”

Chris was looking very handsome wearing his long sleeved white shirt and black slacks. He had a fresh haircut and had even used some hair gel that morning. Looking good was important to Chris and today he wanted everything to be just right. Show day was finally here!

After reassuring Leslie that today would be a fun day, Chris picked his rabbit up and gently placed her in her travel cage. The travel cage was small, just a little bit larger than Leslie. It wasn’t meant to live in, just to transport rabbits from home to the show. Leslie liked her travel cage. Its small size helped her feel safe. She wouldn’t slip around in there when the car drove over bumps in the road.

The show started at 8:00 in the morning. Chris left home at 6:30 in order to get his cage area cleaned up. It was important to have everything looking just right before the fair opened to the public later in the morning. After he cleaned his cage and placed Leslie inside with her food dish full of pellets, Chris filled her water bottle with fresh, clean water and used a wire to attach it to her cage in the fair’s rabbit barn.

Leslie didn’t like the cage the fair had assigned to her, “It’s too rusty,” she said. “I don’t like the floor, it is bumpy and it smells funny,” the rabbit complained. “This is not like my cage at home!”

“It’s ok Leslie,” said Chris. “You won’t notice the smell after a while and although the floor is bumpy it’s not so bumpy it hurts your feet,” he explained. “You are lucky to be a rabbit in the rabbit barn. This barn has air conditioning. If you were a pig you would be outside under the canopy and you would be very hot. I saw kids spraying their pigs with water to keep them cool.”

The superintendent (she was the lady in charge of the rabbit show) called out that it was time to get ready for the show, “I need everyone to come to the arena in 10 minutes,” she said. “Please have your show clothes on and be ready to go.”

Chris was already wearing his show clothes so he made his way over to the bleachers at the side of the arena and waited for the rest of the kids to get there. Once everyone had checked in the superintendent introduced the judge and asked if anyone had any questions. No one did so the judge told the kids what he was looking for in showmanship (where the kids are judged on how they handle their animals) and then the superintendent called the first class.

The youngest kids showed first and Chris, at age 6, was in the first group to show. He was very nervous. What if Leslie got scared and tried to run away from the table? What if she got mad and bit somebody? What if that somebody was Chris?!? “Oh no, what if I look silly?” he asked.

It was time to take Leslie to the show table. Chris tucked his carpet square (for Leslie to sit on) under one arm and then very carefully picked Leslie up. He tucked her head in between his elbow and chest and cradled her hindquarters in his hand. The opposite hand rested across Leslie's back, making sure she was secure and wouldn't be able to get away or get hurt.

Chris placed Leslie's carpet square on the table and then set her down and posed her facing to his right. The judge asked everybody to move their animals in certain ways and check them for different health conditions or disqualifications. Then he asked all the kids some questions about their rabbits. Some of the questions were hard and Chris didn't know the answers, but others were easy for him to answer correctly.

At the end of the class the judge awarded ribbons to everyone. They were rainbow colored and had the word "Cloverbud" printed on them, along with the fair's name and 2008.

“Leslie didn’t hop away and she didn’t bite anyone,” Chris was pleased with how good his rabbit had been during the show.

“I am glad we came to the fair,” Leslie said. “It has been fun and now I am looking forward to returning to my cage and watching all the people who come to see the fair. You will have to hang my ribbon on the name sign above my cage. I want everybody to know what a good job we did today!”

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