The next morning before Buddy left, the hedgehog whispered, “Friend, you need to have something to help protect you from the dangers in the woods. Take one of my quills and use it to poke an enemy if he approaches.”
With that, the hedgehog pulled a quill and Buddy slid it into his belt. “Thank you, my friend. But now I must continue on my adventure.”
Buddy hopped away feeling sad about leaving his new friend. As time passed, the dew under his feet dried as the day grew hot and dry. He traveled a great distance. The sunlight filtered in through the trees, but Buddy kept to his travels.
Suddenly, he saw the shadow of a bird on the ground in front of him. The bird flew in lazy circles, but Buddy saw the shadow grew larger. He stopped in terror. The bird flew to a nearby branch, cocked his head and laughed, “Caw Caw.”
Buddy turned to the bird and queried, “Are… Are you the hawk?” Buddy was prepared to run.
“No, not a hawk; a crow. The hawk is my mortal enemy.”
Buddy began to relax. “Can you give me any advice to ward off the hawk?”
“The hawk can’t fly with out his tail feathers. You just watch out little rabbit. The hawk is not one to mess with.”
The crow eyed Buddy for a moment before dropping some string. “Take this string. I use it in my nests, but you too might find it helpful.”
Buddy thanked him and continued on his way toward King Bunbun’s castle and the fair maid, Princess Lil.
Buddy traveled for a long time and finally arrived at a small garden beside the king’s castle. The garden was filled with all manner of delights. Fresh asparagus, all manner of lettuces and the trees were hanging heavy with apples. Buddy began to nibble an apple that lay upon the ground.
“Who goes there?” a female voice called.
“Just a weary traveler who stopped for a morsel. No harm intended. I am just having a bite of this apple that had already fallen.” Buddy looked around but didn’t see the person to whom the voice belonged. “Will you not come out to greet me?”
From the shadow of a hawthorn bush, hopped the loveliest bunny that Buddy had ever seen. Buddy introduced himself with a deep bow. The lady bunny was silent.