Who can say why the rabbit was on the roof? It was not an everyday occurrence, and yet, his tracks left the evidence of a departure from normal. The world has shifted from normal in response to a pandemic. It feels like a season of improbabilities. So, of course, rabbits would take to rooftops.
Carrot Ranch encourages writers to do what writers do best — write. It’s an activity we can enjoy and share while also practicing social distancing. This week, they showed up to ride herd on rooftop rabbits, following the prompt to where it led.
The following stories are based on the March 19, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a rabbit on the roof.
PART I (10-minute read)
Rabbit in the Stars by Saifun Hassam
Only the tops of lodge pines showed above the deep snow around the Observatory. The constellations glittered in the clear frigid air.
Rabbit paused on the nearest pine branch to the Observatory roof. An expert gymnast and acrobat, he jumped, spiraling through the air. He landed perfectly on the flattened area of the domed roof.
An automated Space Telescope rotated under the transparent window in the roof. Rabbit leaped across the window. And back and forth. Spiraling and twisting with the stars through the night skies. The telescope recorded beautiful mystifying shots of a rabbit flying among the constellations!
Rabbit Moon by Jo Hawk
On full moon nights, Vivian lit candles, rained rice onto the altar cloth, and prayed to the moon goddess. She had never forsaken Vivian. Gossamer clouds slid like silk across the sky, obscuring the moon’s rabbit image. Tonight, her entire heart filled her plea, as she begged for her townsfolk’s safety.
Cinnabun whispered to his mistress. She nodded. Armed with life’s elixir, Cinnabon descended to earth. Hopping to every village rooftop, he spread the remedy to each family.
At dawn, Vivian spied Cinnabun perched atop her garden fence. He gave her a wink, before the goddess spirited him home.
Magic Circle by Anita Dawes
Humans, what can you do with them?
The Great Bandini, my whiskers
Has overbooked the children’s party
Leaving my cage door open
So I am off, freedom awaits.
White fur, big ears, not so easy to hide
Wait for the fool
to open the door, load his van,
take my chance in the great outdoors
I need to get higher
The roof looks good
From here I can see the lay of the land
And look for my own kind
How did I get on the roof?
You may ask?
I cannot tell you, that’s magic,
don’t you know…
Feed Your Head by D. Avery
Leaning against the chimney, he put in his earbuds, listened to Jefferson Airplane while polishing his pocket watch. Unless the girl tripping around below suddenly became quite tall she would never think to look for him here. And anyway, she was much more interested in the March Hare, mad as he was. But it mightn’t be till May that the March Hare be less raving mad.
Yes, it was much the most interesting. The chessmen, all white too, were maddest of all, falling about in no direction.
Smiling, the rabbit flung his pocket watch into the endless blue sky.
Quick Like A Bunny by Dave Madden
Frankie headed toward the roof of his apartment with his coach—six-feet away from one another, of course.
The gym had been closed since the order of self-isolation went into effect.
“I think you’ll like this workout,” coach chuckled.
When Frankie stepped onto the roof, he counted about fifty bunnies hopping around. He was speechless and looked back at his coach with curiosity.
“Well, catch em’ and put em’ in that box,” was coach’s response to the silent stare.
Forty-minutes later, Frankie was completely exhausted.
Coach grabbed the box and headed to his next student’s place.
The Storm to Pass by Donna Matthews
The old-growth forest was a perfect place to calm her nerves. Out of control kids, cranky co-workers, and an ever-growing distance from her husband made her spirit anxious. A mile in, the sky darkens. The tall redwood trees surrender and sway in the high wind. Soon, the hail starts. Sharp, little pieces of ice falling on her head. She scrambles to find a fallen log to crawl inside. But she isn’t alone…running across her makeshift roof are the rabbits and squirrels seeking to share her shelter. She hurries to make room. They wait together for the storm to pass.
New Life by Susan Sleggs
Trying to focus on paperwork in the Iraqi heat had Michael agitated. The only positive, he was inside. Then he heard the words, “The babies are out.” He grabbed his binoculars and joined the parade leaving the building. They raced passed a lone guy loading a truck, went to the far fence and raised their glasses. Michael enjoyed the moment then returned to the loader. “I’ll do this, you go have a look.”
The newbie joined the group and after guidance, saw the hares playing on the burned remains of a jeep roof half-buried in the sand.
The Rabbit on the Roof by Faith A. Colburn
When my grandparents put in the septic tank back in 1951 when we got REA, they found the hewed rafters of Billy Arnold’s original soddy, wood that lay rotting in a jumble beneath generations of dirt and prairie on the level north of the house. When Grandma told me, I closed my eyes and pictured the blocks of root-frozen dirt and the roof, a growing prairie of grass and wildflowers. If I were the rabbit on the roof, would I vary my diet with some tough purple coneflower, or daisy fleabane? Perhaps I’d just stick to the succulent grasses.
The Roofing Rabbit by H.R.R. Gorman
Velour wiped her brow and sat back, hammer in paw. The roof of the cabin had been difficult so far, as they only had honey locust thorns as nails and bark for shingles.
“How goes it?” Velour’s mate, Timber, asked. His ears drooped from exhaustion, as he’d built the catted chimney.
She smiled. “We’ll have this finished by winter.” She pointed to a clay bottle sitting on a stump. “Take a break and have some ginger beer.”
“Only if you come down from the roof and drink with me.”
Velour clambered down, and the pioneer rabbits rested a minute.
Rabbit on the Roof by Joanne Fisher
Jess came back to the homestead to find Cindy was climbing to the roof.
“Hey honey, whatcha doing?” She asked.
“There’s a bunny up here.” Cindy replied.
“On the roof?” Jess clarified.
“How did it get up there?”
“No idea.” Cindy shrugged her shoulders.
After a short moment Cindy came back down the ladder cradling a rabbit in her arms.
“What is it with you?” Jess asked. “Since we got married you’ve become a lost animal magnet. We have a dog and a cat, and I guess we’ve got a pet bunny too now?”
Cindy smiled at her.
Granny by Tammy Toj Gajewski
I sat on the bench which used the window trim as the table waiting, with my spoon poised. My feet dangled several inches from the floor swinging to the beat of Granny’s humming. She moved from the wood stove like a tank that can only turned slowly left. Her cotton dress covered with small pink flowers, flour towel over her shoulder, ladle cocked and loaded with the stew. It hopped into my bowl and smelled like heaven wrapped in warm towels from the dryer. I filled my mouth with the soft meat and my stomach growled with want.
Spring Picnic by tracey
Unbeknownst to the humans below a family of rabbits lived on the 94th floor (aka the roof). The first spring-like day they decided to go on a picnic. The aunts got busy making egg salad sandwiches and carrot cookies while the uncles dug out the picnic baskets. The cousins gathered quilts and Frisbees and badminton sets.
They headed to the park and set up under a tree whose leaves were still buds and basked in the warm sunshine. They enjoyed the good food, pleasant company and fine spring weather. The simple things in life are the best they agreed.
Stuff You Wouldn’t Find on Netflix by papershots
They saw a movie last night. First they discussed which movie; he’s been downloading movies all week – stuff you wouldn’t find on Netflix. Then they talked about the movie for a while before switching everything off for the night. The building across the street: the same; so in the apartments below, above. They appreciate the dialogues of the movies they see, they find the plots credible, they spot holes and admire the cinematography. “Would they like mine?” His eyes go red, he twitches his little-white-rabbit nose, and on the roof he says, “Yes, I’m happy I started this pandemic!”
Wishes… by JulesPaige
across lily pads
thick enough roofs for baby
bunnies in this wood
away from foxes and hounds
within the fairy forest
just one wish of three
to allow those cotton tales
another day to live
Still have two left. Though perhaps only one. Within minutes his son made it to his father’s bedside. Our son using his emergency vehicle raced in record time from the airport to the hospital. After a flight connection cancellation to the local airport made a time shift later on arrival at another, further airport.
Third wish? A fantastical quick cure for our present disease…
Police, Fire or Ambulance? by Anne Goodwin
What service, please?
We’ll need a fire ladder to access the roof and an ambulance in case he’s injured … I don’t think a crime has been committed but what was he doing there?
Okay, calm down, let’s get this straight: there’s a man on your roof, not a burglar, you’re worried he might be injured and can’t get down?
It’s not a man.
Makes no odds whether they identify as male, female or non-binary, if a person’s in trouble …
I wouldn’t anthropomorphise.
It’s a rabbit.
A rabbit. How long have you been self-isolating, madam?
Rabbits on the Roof by Charli Mills
A hummingbird with wings green as shiny jalapenos flit between foxgloves. Caleb stilled his chubby hands. Marta couldn’t say her neighbor would’ve approve of foxgloves where he once mowed lawn. He would’ve hollered at barefoot urchins digging in his yard. Those who survived, claimed it as a community garden. His house served as a schoolhouse. Not like the old institutions. Marta taught all ages how to garden with pollinators. On the rooftop, they raised rabbits. The neighborhood had two milk cows. Three years after the Great Calamity, no one hungered. Humanity reclaimed what it lost. The Industrial Revolution ended.
PART II (10-minute read)
Rabbit What Rabbit by Susan Zutautas
“Hey Mom, you gotta come see this, there’s something on the roof of Maggie’s doghouse.”
“On the roof? Really? Hold on a minute, let me see if I can find my glasses.”
“You won’t find them, remember you left them at Aunt Becky’s.”
“Oh ya, I totally forgot. With all that rain coming down I can’t make out what it could be. Grab the umbrella and let’s go investigate. Don’t let Maggie follow us just in case … “
“Just in case what?”
“Never mind let’s go.”
Giggles … “Look at that, she’s such a silly dog, it’s her stuffed rabbit.”
Carrot Ranch by Nobbinmaug
“Is that a bunny on the roof?”
“Bunny is the equivalent of a slur to them.”
“Uh… Is that a rabbit on the roof?”
“You don’t seem impressed.”
“Does that happen often?”
“Working at a Carrot Ranch, one learns not to underestimate rabbits.”
“Even climbing on the roof?”
“They used to tunnel under the fence until we extended it deeper.”
“That doesn’t explain how it got on the roof.”
“How do you think it got up there?”
“Maybe. Our job is not to question the rabbits but to protect the carrots.”
Rooftop Rabbit by Kerry E.B. Black
They studied the painting, heads cocked, brows furrowed, careful to keep their champagne-filled flutes upright. Aggy whispered into Greg’s ear, “What do you suppose the symbolism means?”
His cheeks colored, and he tugged at his tie as though it had tightened. “The artist admires theatre?”
She side-eyed him. “Well, ‘The Fiddler on the Roof’ symbolized tradition.‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ a restlessness of spirit. But this?” She waved at the canvas.
A sheepish smile peeked beneath his clipped mustache. “Solidarity for Heffner?”
Her eyebrows crinkled as she examined the rabbit atop the structure. “I don’t get it.”
The Temptation of Rabbit by Doug Jacquier
Rabbi Tannenbaum trudged through the snow and knifing winds until he saw the diner. Inside, he was greeted by an older blonde woman.
‘Cold enough for ya?’ she said, her smile frozen but her eyes taking in every detail.
‘Could I get something to eat?’
‘Ain’t had no supplies in 2 weeks. How ‘bout a toasted ham or bacon sandwich.’
‘I just made a pie for my husband, Pastor Schicklgruber. We got lucky. Rabbit fell of the roof last night and broke its neck.’
‘Can I just have coffee?’
‘Kosher can’, she said, her eyes daring him.
Rabbit Trap by Michelle Wright
It was the Saturday after Nicolas and I had completed our first week of high school together. We had both been home schooled up until now. We each climbed out my window from my room and sat on the roof as we usually did. I asked him how he felt about school. He said, “Well, it’s cool to be around more dudes.” Before I could say anything some of those dudes from school shouted up at us, “Are there a couple rabbits on that roof?” I learned how disgusting teenage boys could be, including Nicolas. I locked my window.
Twitching by Hugh Roberts
As Sophie walked towards the figure of the woman, she noticed the front cover of the book in the woman’s hand. A rabbit on a roof. But was she dreaming, or was the rabbit’s nose twitching?
As Mike looked up at the ceiling of his room, the tapping noise he heard sounded like a rabbit he’d once seen hopping along a newly tiled roof. Particles of paint dust falling from the ceiling forced his eyes to twitch uncontrollably.
Two floors above, Doug’s eyes twitched on Clarice’s face. “Run rabbit, run. Doug, did you know there’s a gun?” she asked.
The Late Afternoon the Rabbit Died by Bill Engleson
“It’s too high, Charlie. I’ll break my legs.”
“You won’t break no bones, Pearly,” I tell her.
I don’t know a course.
“It’s just an old barn. You land right, problem solved.”
“There’s got to be another way. I never was a good climber.”
“I’ll git you up there. Don’t have to worry about climbin’. Just jumpin’.”
“Maybe we should wait a little while?”
“Pearly, we wait much longer, you be showin’ like a fat old momma sow. Then everyone’ll know.”
She gives in.
I boost her up.
Don’t matter to me which way the rabbit dies.
Rabbit Run by Lisa A. Listwa
Liz stared hard into the darkness. There was that familiar sound, just enough like someone walking in the attic space above that it made her start. Every time.
Probably a squirrel or a bat or the pair of mourning doves who lived in the neighbor’s tree.
Still, the sound frightened her. Not because Liz believed it was anything sinister, but because it always set her mind racing. Faster they came, fear after fear crashing through her brain, a line of rabbits increasing as they passed.
Tonight would be a long night.
Near morning the eagle’s grasp would save her.
A Wild Hare: Post-pandemica by Liz Husebye Hartmann
I looked in the mirror, unsure. Six months quarantine, but now it’s safe to go out. I stepped out back, hesitating to shake free the sheet full of recently cut hair. Could this be used?
Out front, the neighbors laughed and called to one another. I jogged around to join them.
They’d all done their own haircuts, looking like offspring of Seuss and Scissorhands: this one with curls cascading frontwards, buzz cut out back; that one tinted with precious bleach, a dandelion gone to seed; another with untamed lion’s mane.
And me, joyful, with a rabbit on my roof!
Bunnies on the Roof by Cara and Mikey Stefano
The day was hot. I looked out my window in delight, watching the bunnies hop around on their long furry legs with their enormous ears twitching like antenna in the wind. Our split level house was the perfect way to watch the world go by. I figured I knew how those jack rabbit bunnies had made it up to the roof – they took the stairs, polite as you please, hopped up on the window sill and from there – an easy jump to the roof for those long legged jacks.
What Rabbits? by Norah Colvin
“Wassup?” He knew something was when she stopped rocking.
“Nothin’.” She continued rocking.
“Musta bin somethin’.”
“Nah. Thought I saw a rabbit on that roof, is all.”
“I ain’t never seen no rabbit on a roof.”
“You ain’t never seen nothin’.”
“Thought there was two rabbits on that there roof.”
The rabbits multiplied, but she never stopped rockin’ and she never said nothin’.
One day, he stopped.
“Shhh. I hear somethun.”
“Sounds like …”
A multitude of rabbits exploded from the roof, landing all around, even in their laps.
They kept on rockin’.
The Rabbit by Roberta Eaton Cheadle
How did the rabbit get on the roof? Did it have wings? Had the whole world gone completely mad and animals suddenly attained previously unknown attributes?
The poor little creature pattered across the hot metal roof, confused and agitated.
A bit like me, thought Laura. Being isolated at home is making me feel peculiar, as if I am the only person in the world or the whole world has stopped except me. Business as usual, but not.
“At least I can do something positive to help the rabbit,” she mutters, heading for the garage to get the tall ladder.
Alice and Janice Save the World by eLPy
Alice sat atop the roof waiting for Janice. This wasn’t like her. Alice squeezed tight against the gable.
There came a high shriek. She twisted her ear listening. She heard the call and hopped out.
Janice landed next to her.
“I’m sorry Alice. You alright?”
“I am. You?”
“Should I worry?”
“No. It seems we’ve started a movement. Others want to know how we, prey and predator, have forged an alliance. They want to help. This is how we will prosper in these times now that humans have turned their backs on the world.”
“Well done my friend.”
The Library Reader by Saifun Hassam
It was close to midnight. An aerial silk ribbon was suspended from the Library roof. How had that fearless Library Cat Rainbow anchored the ribbon to the eaves??
Rabbit secured the ribbon around himself and in two spiraling movements he was up on the roof. A gymnast and acrobat.
Ferret had opened the trapdoor near the chimney. Rabbit clambered into the attic, down the steps into the library. Rainbow had left the door ajar.
On the nearest shelf were Carroll and Seuss stories. Rabbit loved to read. Before dawn he was gone, dreaming of March Hares and Green Eggs.
Smokin’ Caterpillar (Part 1) by D. Avery
“Kid, yer grinnin’. Figgered ya’d be scowlin’ over this wild prompt.”
“Didn’t ya hear? Shorty’s gotta surprise comin’.”
“What is it?”
“Dunno, jist that it’s a surprise fer me an’ you.”
“Huh. Prob’ly hookin’ the bunkhouse up with television. It’s rabbit ears she’s on about!”
“That’s receptive of ya, Pal, but I don’t think so.”
“Then what the heck is up with a rabbit on the roof?”
“Mebbe thet hare went over the rooftop ta see what it could see. It’s a unique rabbit. Ya know how ta catch a unique rabbit, Pal?”
“Ya ’neak up behind it.”
Smokin’ Caterpillar (Part 1) by D. Avery
“Smokin’ caterpillars? Thet better be a litter-airy ref’rence. An’ look at us, comin’ in behind thet dang D. Avery. Kid, what the heck is goin’ on?”
“Jist chasin’ rabbits, I s’pose, Pal. Been kinda hard ta focus lately. An’ now I’m jist so x’cited ‘bout
Shorty’s su’prise. Cain’t wait. Mebbe after the weekend we’ll see it.”
“Hmmf. Yer chasin’ rabbits alright. D. Avery know anythin’ ‘bout this su’prise?”
“Cain’t say Pal, not knowin’. We kinda drifted apart, disassociated, like. All I know is Shorty said it’s bigger’n a bread box, an’ it’s fer us ta take care of.”