Frosty and Pea Rabbit were two very different rabbits. Frosty liked to brag about how courageous she was and Pea was quiet, shy and modest. But despite their differences, the two rabbits were the best of friends. Pea looked up to Frosty because she thought she was brave and daring, and Frosty liked Pea because Pea worshipped her.
One day, Frosty came rushing up to Pea, who was on a picnic with the rest of the rabbits in the village. Her white ears were sagging and she was panting for breath. "Oh Pea," Frosty gasped, totally ignoring that Pea was already having a conversation with Hickory Rabbit. "I was in my bed, thinking of the scrumptious lunch you must be having on this picnic. And then it hit me, shazam!" Frosty whirled around for emphasis. "We are running out of raspberries on this side of the pond. So I must think of a way to get across the pond and gather up all the raspberries on the other side. That way, we shall have more food.
A gasp rippled along the other rabbits. Cross the pond? But that was where that rabbit eating alligator, Fertuous, lived. The last time a rabbit tried to cross the pond was when the village was just settled. Grandfather Rabbit, as he was referred to now, was eaten up by that nasty alligator. Hickory reminded Frosty of that story.
But Frosty just laughed. "That was in the olden days," she reminded everyone.
"Oh, Frosty, you're so brave!" Squeaked Pea. "I wish I was as brave as you!"
"Oh, sweet Pea, you've no need to be brave." Said Frosty. "I'll protect you."
"Don't believe her, Pea," said Hickory. "Frosty's just boasting, as usual."
"Well, if you are so sure about that, why don't all of you come down to the pond and see for yourselves?" challenged Frosty. "Then we shall see who is boasting."
So one hour later, once the picnic was packed up, the whole village went on a hike to the pond. The pond was in the forest, separating the village from the wilderness and danger of the outside world. Frosty and Pea led the way. Frosty kept a determined face, and a stride to match it. Pea paid no attention to what she was doing, because she was too busy trying to visualize herself as Frosty. But it was no use. I'm nothing but a plain, ordinary, scardey- cat rabbit, she thought to herself. But at least I can watch my best friend be brave.
Fertuous was sleeping on the other side as the rabbits came across the pond. Frosty said, "Pea, you are much to close to the water's edge to be safe. What if Fertuous were to wake up, swim over to this side of the pond, and swallow you whole? I must put you up in the branches of that old oak tree behind us." She hitched Pea onto her back and hauled her up to the highest branch. "There you go, Pea, nice and comfy out of harm's way." Said Frosty, panting.
Pea, afraid of heights but not wanting to tell Frosty, decided not to say anything. As Frosty scurried down the tree and reached the ground, Pea found the courage within her to look down. She could see Frosty exceptionally well.
In a quiet but firm voice, Frosty said "I think I shall build a raft out of logs and strands of grass." She set to work as the rest of the village watched. Once done, Frosty used all her energy to push the raft into the water. She grabbed a stick to row with, jumped in, swam to the raft and got on. But suddenly, a catastrophe occurred! A strong wind aimed its force at Frosty's raft and it toppled over, throwing the rabbit back into the water. Forgetting that Fertuous was asleep, Frosty began screaming and the alligator woke with a start. His evil eyes fixed on Frosty. Meanwhile, the rabbits on the shore ran to the village and Frosty turned to stone. It was up to Pea and she knew it.
"Oh no, I can't save her!" wailed Pea. "I'm more afraid then she is!" But then her conscience took over and Pea told herself firmly, Frosty would do the same for you. You must test your friendship by helping her out. So she backed up, took a running jump, and made a dive into the water.
Fertuous thought he was the luckiest alligator in the world. He would eat two rabbits in one day! But Pea thought otherwise. "Frosty!" she yelled out. "Grab onto my paw!" and she extended it.
"I can't reach it!" Frosty said with terror in her voice.
So Pea moved even closer to Frosty and Fertuous. "Try now!" she yelled. "Try with all your might!"
Frosty extended her arm almost as far as Pea did and Pea grabbed onto it with iron force. She hauled the shaking Frosty out of the water.
But Fertuous wasn't going to give up a meal that easily. He began swimming to the other side of the pond and climbing up the bank. "Run, Frosty, run!" Pea screamed.
"I can't!" Frosty cried. "I'm too scared!"
So Pea carried Frosty piggyback and ran her hardest away from the pond. By the time they'd gotten out of the forest, Fertuous had given up.
The whole village watched as Pea carried Frosty, like a heroine would, across the village limits. As soon as she set Frosty down, the whole village began applauding, for they had heard everything.
"Oh, Pea, you are so brave!" gasped all of the little rabbits. "I wish I could be as brave as you!"
"Well, Frosty, have you leaned your lesson about true courage?" Hickory asked after congratulating Pea.
It took awhile for Frosty to react. "Yes, I have." She said. She put a paw around Pea. "True courage is about being there for your friends, not just showing off. If Pea hadn't shown her courage, I would have died! The only thing I want in the world now is to one day be as good of a friend as my best friend Pea."
"Well it's easy to be a good friend," Pea said shyly. "All you have to do is-"
"Follow your example." Frosty gave Pea a smile. "Hey, everyone, I suddenly got an idea!"
Everyone groaned. "Oh, Frosty, haven't you learned-" Hickory began but Frosty interrupted her.
"No, this time my idea isn't to boast. I say, let's all get a cup of freshly squeezed raspberry juice and give three cheers to Pea!"
"Oh, you don't have to-" began Pea but she didn't get a response. Everyone was rushing home to get their juice cups.
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