At that moment, Buddy’s life flashed before his eyes. His home with his human family where every day he received love and attention was so clear he could imagine being rubbed. His long walk through the woods where he got advice from the animals appeared. His gentle kisses from Lil felt warm on his lips.
He knew he was going to die in the monstrous beak of the hawk. He knew that that beak was going to tear the flesh from his bones and eat him.
The mighty hawk reached again to grab Buddy. Buddy shook off his visions taking a quick hop back. The mighty hawk lifted his massive wings trying to fly, but stayed firmly on the ground. He reached those mighty talons trying to grab Buddy, but the rabbit was just out of reach.
The hawk could only run after Buddy and did so, screeching and snapping with each step. But running was not something the hawk was very good at.
Buddy cried out, "Chatter, run!" The two heroes took off toward the castle. The hawk grew tired of the chase being ill equipped to catch its prey while running along the ground.
Buddy and Chatter ran as fast as they could, not knowing the hawk had already given up.
As he ran, Buddy stashed the feathers in his belt to show the king. They retraced their path back to the castle, finding the streets once again filled with small animals. Wearily Chatter and Buddy entered the castle and asked to see the king.
The two entered the king’s chamber and walked down the long red carpet. The king noticed that they were dirty and clumps of fur were missing from Buddy. "Rabbit, I didn’t expect to see you again."
Buddy laid the tail feathers on the carpet at the king’s feet. The king recognized what they were immediately.
"So the hawk won’t return?" the king questioned.
"No, your highness; your kingdom is safe. I owe a great debt to my friend, Chatter. Without him, I couldn’t have done this."
The king gave a nod to Chatter. But before he could say anything, Princess Lil hopped into the chamber and immediately rushed to Buddy and Chatter. Seeing his battle injuries, she softly began to nuzzle him and clean his fur.
The king saw this and grew angry. "What’s the meaning of this?" King Bunbun demanded.
The princess sensing danger simply said "I saw him in the garden and fell in love at first sight. Besides, he is injured and needs my care."
King Bunbun calmed a bit, but still was suspicious.
Buddy decided to press his luck, "King Bunbun, I too saw your daughter from the garden. I fell in love with her at first sight so I come to you for the second time to ask for her hand."
The king loved his daughter deeply and was hesitant, but he saw the love in Buddy’s and Lil’s eyes. He knew Buddy had gone to great peril risking his life for Lil’s hand and to protect the kingdom.
Being a bunny of his word, King Bunbun granted their marriage.
One year later...
Lil and Buddy married soon after the king gave his permission. Buddy moved into the castle with his bride and their love continued to grow. On occasion, Buddy and Lil would venture back to see his human family, but never stayed too long, for the kingdom needed them.
The animals quickly learned of Buddy and Chatter’s bravery in freeing them from the wicked hawk. They held the pair in high regard, creating songs in tribute to their bravery. Chatter, who could observe and remember patterns, became an advisor to the king, helping in times of danger.
Shortly after their marriage, the king started grooming the Buddy and Lil to be the eventual rulers of the kingdom. Together, the couple gained the wisdom and strength to guide the animals with a firm but compassionate hand.
The hawk never returned and was never seen again.