was a warm spring night. The full moon was shining brightly
on the forest. In a small clearing, a brown rabbit with a
fluffy white tail hopped up onto a large, flat white rock.
a little gray field mouse cried out. "You frightened me!"
moon is bright tonight," the rabbit said.
better be careful." The mouse nodded. "I hope the owl isn't
around! Why does he have to eat mice?"
rabbits, too," said the rabbit. "It's hard having to worry
about being eaten all the time. Those owls and hawks and foxes
have it easy. Nobody ever bothers them."
hawk almost got me yesterday," said the mouse. ''I saw his
shadow just in time. I wish I were a hawk. I'd just spread
my wings and fly away."
like to be a fox," said the rabbit. "Then nobody would bother
The rabbit and 'the mouse did not know it, but the rock they
were sitting on was a magic rock. In the light of the full
moon it had a special power. Soon the rabbit and the mouse
would find out.
The next day, the mouse was nibbling some grass seeds in the
meadow. A hawk, circling high above, spotted him. Like a bolt
of lightning, it swooped down and grabbed the mouse. Then
the hawk took to the air again, carrying the squeaking mouse
in its claws.
Suddenly the mouse's squeaks turned into harsh cries. The
hawk was now holding not a mouse, but another hawk, even larger
than itself. The magic of the rock was working. It had given
the mouse his wish. He had now turned into a hawk. The other
hawk cried out with surprise and let go. The mouse-hawk flew
off, free, into the sky.
Meanwhile, down in the meadow, the rabbit was in danger. A
fox had caught his scent. It was sneaking up on 'him. When
the rabbit heard a rustle in the grass, it was too late. The
fox sprang on him. Holding the rabbit in its jaws, it trotted
off toward its den.
The rabbit screamed and struggled. But suddenly his screams
turned into barks. The fox stumbled and let go. The magic
of the rock was working. It had given the rabbit his wish.
He was now a fox, even larger than the one who had caught
him. He growled at the other fox, and it ran away.
The rabbit-fox bounded happily through the forest. He would
not have to worry about enemies now.
as the sun was setting, the rabbit-fox realized that he was
hungry. He nibbled at some grass. But somehow it didn't taste
good. And he was getting hungrier all the time. He needed
some meat to eat. He knew now that he would have to kill a
mouse, a bird, or even a rabbit to stay alive! If he did not,
he would starve.
The next two days were terrible. It was not so easy to catch
a mouse or a rabbit. The mice dived into holes, and the rabbits
hopped away. But slowly he learned. He was often hungry, but
at least he did not starve.
one day some hunters came to the forest. A dozen dogs raced
ahead of them. They sniffed and barked. And they found the
trail of the rabbit-fox. Now he had to run for his life. On
and on he raced. The dogs were getting closer. They were almost
on him now.
Suddenly the rabbit-fox saw another fox. The two of them ran
together for a while. Then they came to a stream. The rabbit-fox
crossed the stream, but the other fox did not. Now the dogs
followed the other fox, while the rabbit-fox disappeared into
the thick forest. Tired and frightened, he finally lay down
to rest on a large, flat white rock in a little clearing.
Meanwhile, the mouse who had turned into a hawk had also had
a difficult month. He, too, had learned that he must kill
mice and rabbits and other small animals in order to live.
He, too, was hungry much of the time. But at least he was
free -- until that last day. The hunters who were chasing
the fox looked up and saw the hawk flying by. They raised
One of the bullets hit the mouse-hawk's wing. Down and down
he fell, while weakly flapping his wings. He fell into a little
clearing in the forest. He dragged himself over to a large
white rock and fell down beside the tired rabbit-fox.
only I were a mouse again," sighed the mouse-hawk.
wish I were a rabbit," moaned the rabbit-fox. Just then the
full moon came out from behind a cloud. The magic of the rock
was working. A small gray mouse jumped down from the nook
and scampered into the grass. And a brown rabbit hopped happily
2013 The Silversteins