In response to The Daily post’s writing prompt, Fierce.

She sat alone and happy in the damp grass, enjoying the stars and quiet meadow. She rolled onto her stomach and stretched out, grateful no babies were there to climb on her back and pull her hair. How precious, this time away from her hectic home brimming with siblings. Mom won’t even notice she’s gone, not until bath time, anyway.

So what! She’s not a little girl anymore. She should be allowed more free time the older she gets, not less. She sighed and ate another blade of sweet summer grass. Maybe she’d stay in the meadow all night, feeling as big and brave as she did now.

He watched her from the shadows of the dark thorny thicket, not believing his luck. A pretty little thing all alone at night, relaxed and unaware. He curled his long toes into wet earth, preparing to sprint and snatch her while he can. He nearly whimpered from excitement and clamped his jaw closed, slippery from salivating.

The evening breeze shifted and she wrinkled her nose at the new smell. What’s that? Musk? Before she could turn around he was upon her, biting her neck and lifting her clear off the ground. She tried to squeal for help but nothing but a wheeze came out. She arched her back, trying to protect her small spine as he shook her violently from side to side. A sharp pain shot down her back and she cried for her mother, her legs trying to run, pumping in mid-air.

Young Vincent crawled toward them unnoticed. Just an arm’s length away now, he trembled with terror so close to the murderous creature he’d only heard of. He steadied himself and jumped with all his might, jumped higher and longer than physically possible, jumped like a grown-up rabbit three times his size, and landed atop the coyote’s head.

The startled beast jerked his head upward and Vincent held on tight, shocked to see his sister bloody in the moonlight, dangling limp from the coyote’s mouth. At this moment of clear sight in the bright moon glow, Vincent took his one chance and stabbed his two long teeth into the coyote’s right eye. He held the bite hard, choking on the warm jelly glop bursting into his mouth.

The coyote howled with pain, dropping Vincent’s sister on the ground with a plop. He bucked and twisted like a crazed bull, trying to throw Vincent off. The little rabbit lost sense of up and down, swinging around at such velocity. He dug his sharp nails in tight while bouncing around, feeling for soft tissue.

Sliding down the coyote’s skull, slicing skin, his nails took hold in its neck and he plunged his teeth in again and again and again. His eyes and whole face were covered in blood before the coyote lurched forward and collapsed on the grass, gasping for breath.

Vincent hopped away, staggering toward his sister crumpled and not moving on the ground. He called to her and her ear twitched, thank god, thank god. Finally reaching her, he was scared of what he’d find but he shook his tears away and looked for her injuries.

Her white fur was bloodied at the neck and she was shaking but her eyes found him and she wiggled her nose.

“Can you move?” he said, out of breath, “Can you stand?”

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” she cried.

“I know, I know you are but there’s no time for that now. We have to get away from him.”

They looked over at the coyote flopped on his side, uneven jagged gasps heaving his chest up and down. The two rabbits looked at each other in disbelief.

“Vincent? How did you..?”

“I don’t know,” he said.

The plumes of hot air rising from the coyote’s mouth grew slower and further apart. And stopped.

“You killed him?” she said.

“I killed him?” he said.

She wobbled to her feet, sat carefully on her haunches and tested her front paws, moving them up and down with pain, but functioning.

“Let me see your neck,” he said, gently nudging the matted fur with his paw. “I think it’s only a flesh wound, just a puncture, thank god.”

She looked at her little brother and realized she’d never truly seen him before.

“Thank you, Vincent,” she said softly, nuzzling his cheek, “I never imagined you could be so fierce.”

His little tail grew twice in size and he held his ears high and straight, like a hero should.