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Literary Subscale Passage and Items
The Upside-Down Mice
Rabbit Raises the Earthquake Alarm

Rabbit Raises the Earthquake Alarm

Rabbit Raises the Earthquake Alarm
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by: Rosalind Kerven

There was once a rabbit who was always worrying. “Oh dear,” he muttered all day long, “oh deary, deary me.”

His greatest worry was that there might be an earthquake. “For if there was,” he said to himself, “whatever would become of me?”

He was feeling particularly anxious about this one morning, when suddenly an enormous fruit fell down from a nearby tree—CRASH!—making the whole earth shake.

The rabbit leaped up.

“Earthquake!” he cried.

Hares

And with that he raced across the fields to warn his cousins.

“Earthquake! Run for your lives!”

All the rabbits left the fields and rushed after him.

They raced across the plains, through forests and rivers and into the hills warning more cousins as they went.

“Earthquake! Run for your lives!”

All the rabbits left the rivers and plains, the hills and forests and rushed after.

By the time they reached the mountains, ten thousand rabbits pounded like thunder up the slopes.

Soon they reached the highest peak. The first rabbit gazed back to see if the earthquake was coming any closer, but all he could see was a great swarm of speeding rabbits.

Hare

Then he looked in front but all he could see was more mountains and valleys and, far in the distance, the shining blue sea.

As he stood there panting, a lion appeared.

“What’s happening?” he asked.

“Earthquake, earthquake!” babbled all the rabbits.

“An earthquake?” asked the lion. “Who has seen it? Who has heard it?”

“Ask him, ask him!” cried all the rabbits, pointing to the first one.

Hare and Lion

The lion turned to the rabbit.

“Please Sir,” said the rabbit shyly, “I was sitting quietly at home when there was a terrible crash and the ground shook and I knew it must be a quake, Sir, so I ran as fast as I could to warn all the others to save their lives.”

The lion looked at the rabbit from his deep, wise eyes.

“My brother, would you be brave enough to show me where this dreadful disaster happened?”

The rabbit didn’t really feel brave enough at all, but he felt he could trust the lion.

So, rather timidly, he led the lion back down the mountains and the hills, across the rivers, plains, forests and fields, until at last they were back at his home.

“This is where I heard it, Sir.”

The lion gazed around—and very soon he spotted the enormous fruit which had fallen so noisily from its tree.

He picked it up in his mouth, climbed onto a rock and dropped it back to the ground.

CRASH!

The rabbit jumped. “Earthquake! Quickly—run away—it’s just happened again!”

Hare and Lion

But suddenly he realized that the lion was laughing. And then he saw the fruit rocking gently by his feet.

“Oh,” he whispered, “it wasn’t really an earthquake after all, was it?”

“No,” said the lion, “it was not and you had no need to be afraid.”

“What a silly rabbit I’ve been!”

The lion smiled kindly. “Never mind, little brother. All of us—even I—sometimes fear things we cannot understand.”

And with that he padded back to the ten thousand rabbits that were still waiting on top of the mountain, to tell them that it was now quite safe to go home.


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