Terry Rabbit And The Carrot Stew
One fine Saturday afternoon, Ricky the racoon awoke from his nap to the smell of something cooking. Ricky peered into the kitchen window of Ms. Mirabelle’s house and noticed a pot on the stove. Having himself a closer look, Ricky could make out the ingredients of Ms. Mirabelle’s stew. Ricky saw onions, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, salt, pepper, and butter. “Oh no!” Ricky exclaimed to himself. “Those are the ingredients for rabbit stew! I had better warn Terry about this!” Terry was one of Ricky’s friends. Other than that, Terry was the only rabbit Ricky knew who could possibly end up in Ms. Mirabelle’s rabbit stew. Ricky found Terry right away as Terry was often able to be found right next to the back door of Ms. Mirabelle’s house waiting for scraps and attention from Ms. Mirabelle. “Terry! Thank goodness I’ve found you!” said Ricky.
“Why, hello, Ricky. What do you look so frightened for?” Terry asked. His eyes were drooping and his ears hung low, so it seemed to Ricky that Terry was ready for one of his most numerous naps throughout the day.
Ricky said, “You must flee as soon as possible! Ms. Mirabelle is cooking up a rabbit stew and I believe she aims to make you the main ingredient!”
Eyes opened wide, and ears fully erect, Terry asked, “What?”
“It’s true.” Ricky said. “I was watching her through the window. She’s got a stew in there with onions, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, salt, pepper, and butter. Those are the ingredients for rabbit stew if I ever saw them!”
“That’s ridiculous.” said Terry. “Ms. Mirabelle loves me very much. She would never eat me. She treats me very well. She is always paying me a lot of attention. She keeps me clean and takes care of me when I’m sick. She also feeds me very well. Why, I do believe I’m the most well-fed of all the animals on this farm. Why would she ever try to eat me?”
“I don’t know why she’s going to do it,” Ricky explained. “I just know she’s going to do it, so you’d better run away while you still can!” Just then, the back door began to open. Ricky ran away and hid as quickly as he could. He stayed close enough, however, to listen.
Ms. Mirabelle brought out some scraps for Terry to eat. When she noticed Terry wasn’t eating the scraps, she asked, “Aren’t you hungry, Terry?”
“Ms. Mirabelle,” Terry said, “Ricky the racoon told me you were making rabbit stew in there. It’s not true, is it?”
“Why Terry,” she said, “are you going to listen to that nasty old racoon who’s always knocking over my trash cans in the middle of the night waking up all the critters and me? You know he can’t be anything but a lying fool. I’m making carrot stew, Terry. As a matter of fact, I’m going to invite you in to help me eat it after I’m done making it. How does that sound?” “That sounds great!” Terry said.
“Okay then,” said Ms. Mirabelle, “I’ll call you in when it’s ready. Now you eat up and don’t worry about what that foolish racoon tries to tell you.” Ms. Mirabelle went into the house. Ricky came out of his hiding place and told Terry, “I’m telling you, Terry, she’s making rabbit stew if she’s making anything.”
“Well, I don’t believe you.” huffed Terry. “She said it was carrot stew and she’s making it, not only for herself, but for me too.”
“Oh, Terry,” Ricky begged “Please believe me. She’s trying to trick you.”
“If anybody is trying to be tricky,” Terry retorted, “it’s you, Ricky. You are, after all, a racoon.”
“Terry,” Ricky began to plead, “if you don’t believe me, just ask the other animals. They should know what she’s up to.”
“I’ll do just that!” Terry exclaimed. “But I don’t want you following me around trying to spread your lies. I’ll do this by myself.”
“Fine!” Ricky yelled, quite tired of being called a liar. He stomped away and climbed his tree to sulk while he waited for Terry to return.
The first animal Terry came up to was Christopher, the horse. “Well, hello, Terry.” said Christopher. “What brings you so far away from the house?”
“Well,” said Terry, “Ms. Mirabelle is making a stew. In this stew, she put onions, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, salt, pepper, and butter. Are those the ingredients for carrot stew?” “Why yes, Terry. Those are the ingredients for carrot stew.” said Christopher.
“Thank you, Christopher.” said Terry as he hopped away. The next animal Terry came to was Horace the pig. “Horace.” Terry said. Then he yelled, “Horace!” because Horace couldn’t hear Terry while he was eating his slop.
Finally, Horace looked up. “Hello, Terry. What brings you so far away from the house?” he asked.
“Ms. Mirabelle is making a stew. In this stew, she put onions, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, salt, pepper, and butter. Are those the ingredients for carrot stew?” Terry asked.
“Why yes,” Horace said, his mouth still dripping with his food, “those are the ingredients for carrot stew.”
“Thank you.” said Terry, as he hopped away. The next animal Terry came to was Benjamin the sheep. “Hello, Benjamin.” said Terry.
“Well hello, Terry. What brings you so far away from the house?” Benjamin asked.
“Ms. Mirabelle is making a stew. In this stew, she put onions, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, salt, pepper, and butter. Are those the ingredients for carrot stew?” asked Terry.
“Yes, Terry. Those are the ingredients to carrot stew if I’ve ever heard them.” replied Benjamin.
“Thank you.” Terry said, and hopped away. Terry continued almost throughout the entire farm asking every animal he came across the same exact question, “Ms. Mirabelle is making a stew. In this stew, she put onions, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, salt, pepper, and butter. Are those the ingredients for carrot stew?”, to which each animal replied, “Yes, those are the ingredients to carrot stew.” Finally exhausted after doing more hopping in one day then he could ever remember doing in his lifetime, Terry went back to his spot by the back door. “You see, Ricky,” he yelled up at the tree where the racoon was still sulking, “Ms. Mirabelle is making carrot stew.” He then stuck his tongue out at Ricky and began chewing on the last bits of vegetables he left behind.
Ricky was climbing down from his tree to try to convince Terry he was still in danger when the back door swung open. “Terry, the stew is ready for you.” called Ms. Mirabelle. Terry hopped as quickly as he could inside the house.
His head hung low, Ricky walked out to the yard where he found the animals staring in horror through the window. Addressing all the animals with sadness in his eyes, Ricky cried, “Why didn’t you tell him those were the ingredients to rabbit stew? Why?”
Each of the animals told Ricky the same thing. “Terry didn’t ask if those were the ingredients to rabbit stew. He only asked us if those were the ingredients to carrot stew. As a matter of fact, those are the ingredients to carrot stew, but if you add rabbit, then those are the ingredients to rabbit stew. If he would have asked, we would have told him. We had no idea.”
The moral to this story is: If you are already determined to hear the answer you want to hear, you may never hear the truth.