Mater Head was a feisty little rabbit. He didn’t mean to cause trouble, trouble just seemed to naturally find him. But Mater Head was a likable fellow, and everyone wondered what he would get into next.
Mater head’s best friend was Slow Poke. Slow Poke was a tiny box turtle.
One of Mater Head’s and Slow Poke’s favorite pastimes was sunning themselves at the edge of the meadow behind the farmer’s house. On one particular day, they had their noses in the air enjoying the delicious aroma floating from the farmer’s kitchen. Rhubarb pie!
They both loved rhubarb.
“Let’s go to the rhubarb patch,” said Mater Head with a mouthwatering grin.
“Can’t do it,” said Slow Poke. “You know we’re not supposed to be in the farmer’s garden in the day light.”
“But think of all that rhubarb,” said Mater Head.
“Think of all the trouble we might get into,” said Slow Poke.
“What if we just looked at it from the edge of the bushes,” replied Mater Head.
Slow Poke thought for a moment. The temptation was great.
“I suppose if we just looked at it, it wouldn’t hurt anything,” Slow Poke said, giving in.
It took some time (they didn’t call Slow Poke slow poke for nothing) before they finally arrived at the rhubarb patch. But low and behold, the farmer had already picked all the rhubarb. However, way down at the end of the row sat a big pan, and it was brimming over with big, red, juicy stalks of rhubarb.
“Oh my,” said Mater Head, “there sits the last of the rhubarb, and doesn’t it look scrumptious?”
“Oh no, it looks almost too good,” agreed Slow Poke. “Let’s leave before you get us both in trouble.”
“No way. Let’s get a little closer so we can see it better and smell it better,” said Mater Head.
Mater Head followed the edge of the briers until he was almost even with the pan. Slow poke followed reluctantly. They got so close they could almost touch it.
“See how the juice glistens where the stalks were cut,” said Slow Poke.
“Yes, and doesn’t it smell heavenly,” said Mater Head.
They sat there enjoying the delicious aroma wafting from the pan. Oh, how they wanted to taste the rhubarb!
“It wouldn’t hurt anything if I just ran out there and took one little taste and came straight back”, said Mater Head.
Before Slow Poke could disagree, Mater Head ran over to the edge of the pan. He took one nibble, two nibbles, three nibbles, oh it tasted good, and then ran back.
“This is the best rhubarb,” said Mater Head. “I’m going to have another taste.”
One nibble, two nibbles, three nibbles, and he ran right back. One nibble, two nibbles, three nibbles, and he ran right back. He did it again and again.
But then one nibble, two nibbles, three nibbles…four nibbles, five nibbles, six nibbles, and he kept right on eating.
Slow poke ran to the pan of rhubarb as fast as his stubby little legs would carry him. He couldn’t take it anymore, he had to have some rhubarb, too.
Mater Head gave him a gentle nudge, and in a moment Slow Poke sat on top of the rhubarb like a king.
Mater Head and Slow Poke were so busy eating rhubarb they didn’t notice the farmer coming up behind them.
“Shoo!” shouted the farmer as he ran the last few steps to the rhubarb pan.
Mater Head dashed off into the bushes and Slow Poke ducked under the rhubarb. Mater Head didn’t go far. He crouched under an overhanging branch and sat still as a stature, like rabbits sometimes do, as he watched Slow Poke being carried off in the pan of rhubarb.
“Oh no,” thought Mater Head, “and it’s all my fault.” He just knew Slow Poke was going to be baked in a fat rhubarb pie.
Mater Head ran back to the edge of the meadow where he could watch the farmer’s house. At the edge of the meadow sat little caterpillar on a milkweed leaf laughing so hard he could hardly hold on.
“What’s so funny?” cried Mater Head. “The farmer carried off Slow Poke in that big pan of rhubarb he just took in his house.”
“Yes he did, but look,” said the fuzzy caterpillar pointing to the middle of the meadow.
There was Slow Poke walking crazily toward them, zig-zagging this way and that.
“The farmer’s wife let out a screech and whizzed him out the window,” said the caterpillar. “He rolled halfway out into the meadow. He’s so dizzy form rolling, I bet he could dodge the farmer’s dog.”
“I bet he could at that,” said Mater Head, letting out a relieved chuckle.
Slow Poke was just fine, but he doesn’t eat rhubarb anymore. He says it makes him dizzy.