“Would you like to share this apple?” Buddy asked. “It’s very good.”
The lady bunny nibbled daintily.
“You haven’t told me your name.”
“The… the princess?” Buddy stammered.
“Yes. But it’s terribly lonely being the princess. My father makes my suitors go on a quest. Either it’s too difficult or too dangerous. None have returned.”
“Well I shall return,” Buddy stated flatly.
Tears welled in Lil’s eyes. “I fear you will meet the same fate as the others.” She moved closer to him. They rubbed noses and kissed gently under the apple tree.
They munched the fruit, played in the garden and fell deeply in love that warm summer day. Near the end of the day, Lil retired to her home, the castle. Buddy slept under the hawthorn, content with the knowledge that soon he would have Lil’s hand in marriage forever.
Buddy awoke early the next morning and went straight to the castle. He asked for an audience with the king. Escorted to a grand chamber filled with lovely tapestries, Buddy hopped down a long red carpet toward the throne of King Bunbun.
He asked for Lil’s hand in marriage hiding the fact that they had already met the previous day.
The king laughed at Buddy saying, “What makes you think you’re worthy of my daughter’s hand? First you must prove yourself. The rabbit to have my daughter's hand must find a way to keep the hawk away from the kingdom.”
Bravely Buddy replied, "I'll find away to keep the hawk at bay if will earn me Lil's hand." But secretly Buddy feared this task. He didn't want to have to face the hawk.