The snow was falling outside. The Rabbits were snug in their warren, engaged in one of their favorite activities of the year:
planning their garden. The Rabbit family loved their garden, though it must be confessed that sometimes one or two or five of the Rabbits
would sneak out in the night and nibble some sweet and tender lettuce. Not very much, mind you, but enough so that they were
reassured that the lettuce was indeed sweet and growing well.
"Well," Nonny Rabbit announced, "It seems we have agreed on what we're planting. We can check the seed we've stored and order
the seeds we need." Nonny patted the stack of papers that held the ambitious Rabbit Family planting schedule.
"Wait," Bonny Rabbit said, "we haven't talked about the fruit trees!"
"Fruit trees!" exclaimed Fanny Rabbit, "I love apples! Can we plant more apples?"
"Fruit trees take up space," grumbled Danny Rabbit, "I'd rather plant more lettuce!"
"But we have apples for the winter, and not much lettuce down here in the warren," Sonny Rabbit argued.
Grandy Rabbit wrinkled her nose and shook her ears, "We have perfectly good grass roots to nibble. That's what we did back in the day..."
"...of the Year One, dear. We do things differently now." Grundy Rabbit gently patted his beloved's paw.
"But," Lonny Rabbit added, "what are we going to do about that apple tree we planted three years ago? It never bears fruit!"
Bonny and Nonny and Grundy and Fanny started to chuckle.
"How about we give that apple tree one more year?" Grundy asked.
"Lettuce now! Cut it down!" Danny argued.
Nonny sighed. "That fruit tree has not borne fruit for three years, because we remove all the young fruits every year."
Lonny gasped, "You ate it and didn't share?!"
"Of course not!" Bonny laughed.
Grundy smiled. "If we let the fruit trees bear fruit right away, and don't have the discipline to wait and remove those early fruits, the tree will be weaker and less fruitful later in life."
"This is the first year we will let fruit set on the tree and grow to maturity. Next year and the year after there will be more and more apples!" Fanny rushed to explain.
Grandy joined the smiles. "We have to choose discipline."
The little Rabbits groaned. Grandy was always going on about discipline.
"Oh," Danny Rabbit joined the smiles now, too. "Just like we decide we can't do everything we want, so we have time to spend together,
and do other things that feed us all, like sharing stories and working in the garden..."
"And bringing our extra harvest to our neighbors who cannot garden for themselves..." Lonny added.
"And sitting still, breathing, thinking of the Great Rabbit In the Moon." Sonny put in.
"Yes," Nonny Rabbit said, "for they all bear good fruit. We might want to rush hither and yon and try to do everything, but we can't. We have to choose."
"And that," Grandy thumped her back leg, "is discipline!"
At which announcement all the Rabbits fell to laughing and asking Grandy and Grundy to share a story.