“I wish I didn’t have to go to school today,” Bhuti Rabbit said when he woke up. “I wish I could stay at home and sleep all day.”
In the kitchen Gogo Rabbit was busy making porridge. “Hurry up, children,” she called. “Breakfast is ready.”
“Coming, Gogo,” called Sisi Rabbit, bouncing out of bed. Sisi Rabbit always wanted to go to school.
“I don’t feel well, Gogo,” Bhuti Rabbit said. “My head is sore and my leg is sore and my throat is sore and even my elbow is sore.”
Gogo felt his head and took his temperature. “There’s nothing wrong with you,” she said. “Now get up and get dressed.”
Bhuti Rabbit got out of bed. Quickly he dropped his shoes out of the window. “I can’t find my school shoes,” he called. “I can’t go to school because I haven’t got my shoes.”
Sisi Rabbit had seen him. “You naughty rabbit,” she scolded. “You tried to hide them. Now hurry up. We’re going to be late.”
Bhuti Rabbit ate his porridge. Then he went to sit on the toilet. “My tummy hurts, Gogo,” he cried. “I’ve got such a pain in my tummy. I can’t walk to school.”
Gogo brought her big bottle of bitter medicine. “Here you are,” she said, “take two tablespoons of this and it will fix your tummy.”
“No, no, no!” shouted Bhuti Rabbit. “My tummy feels better now.”
“Off you go then,” said Gogo, giving them their school lunches. “Now learn hard and come home clever.”
Bhuti Rabbit dawdled behind his sister. She hopped and skipped and danced and pranced all the way to school, but he crawled along the road feeling sulky. “I don’t want to go to school,” he muttered. “I want to stay in bed.”
Soon they reached the school gates. “Bye-bye, Bhuti,” called Sisi Rabbit, running inside.
Bhuti Rabbit looked around. Nobody was watching him. Quickly he hid behind a bush. He sat there, dead still and waited till the bell rang and everyone was inside the school. Then he ran back home. He climbed through the bedroom window and curled up in his bed. Soon he was fast asleep and snoring.
At eleven o’clock Bhuti Rabbit had had enough of sleeping. He was bored. He peeped out of the bedroom door. Where was Gogo? Oops. She was sitting in the kitchen, drinking tea with Mrs Dassie from next door. Bhuti Rabbit sighed. It was so boring lying in bed all day.
At twelve o’clock Bhuti Rabbit was thirsty. He peeped out of the bedroom door. Where was Gogo? Oh no. She was baking bread in the kitchen. Bhuti Rabbit sighed. He wanted some water to drink and someone to play with.
At one o’clock Bhuti Rabbit checked again. This time Gogo Rabbit was talking to Umfundisi Fox. Umfundisi was eating some of Gogo’s home-made bread. The smell made Bhuti Rabbit’s mouth water. He wished he could have some of Gogo’s bread, hot from the oven. Bhuti Rabbit sighed.
At three o’clock Sisi Rabbit came bouncing home. Bhuti Rabbit jumped out of his window and came running in the front door after her. “Hello, Gogo,” he called. “I’m home from school.”
“That was the best day ever,” Sisi Rabbit said. “We had a drawing lesson with a real artist. We learnt to draw comics. And our principal is getting married. She brought cooldrinks and cake and chips for everyone. It was fun, wasn’t it, Bhuti?”
“Yes, yes,” said Bhuti Rabbit. His heart was sinking. Oh no. The one day he stayed in bed they got cake at school!
“What kind of cake did you get, Bhuti?” Gogo asked.
“It was chocolate,” Bhuti Rabbit lied. “Chocolate cake with caramel icing and cherries on the top.” I wish I’d gone to school, Bhuti Rabbit thought. I wish I’d had some of the cake.
Just then there was a knock on the door. There stood Bhuti Rabbit’s teacher, Miss Mouse. She was carrying a plate with a big piece of lovely cake.
“Hello, Gogo Rabbit,” she said. “I was so sad that Bhuti Rabbit was sick on such a special day that I kept a piece of cake for him. How is he? Is he feeling better?”
Oh no. Now Bhuti Rabbit was in trouble. He ran to his room, jumped out the window and went to hide in the tree in the yard.
“There he is,” Sisi Rabbit told Gogo. “He’s hiding in the mango tree.”
Gogo and Miss Mouse stood under the tree. “You’ve been a very naughty rabbit,” Gogo said sternly. “You ran away from school.”
“I’m sorry, Gogo. I’m sorry, Miss Mouse,” Bhuti Rabbit cried. “Please don’t be cross with me.”
“We will have to teach you a lesson,” Gogo said. “I wonder what we should do.”
“I know,” said Miss Mouse. “Why don’t you make me a cup of tea, and we can eat this delicious piece of chocolate cake. That will teach him that running away from school is very naughty.”
So Gogo put the kettle on, and she and Miss Mouse got two spoons and shared the piece of cake between them. Bhuti Rabbit’s mouth watered and his tummy rumbled, but there was no cake for him. Not one tiny crumb.
From that day on Bhuti Rabbit never ran away from school again. Not even once. Staying in bed all day was just too boring!
Imagine that Bhuti Rabbit decided to make a card for Miss Mouse, which he was going to give her when he went to school the next day. What might he have written in this card? Suggest that your children make the card.