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Hobba the Hare

Meet "Hobba" [Hobba comes from the Greek word "Opa" (A folk expression of good cheer, often used during dancing, expressing fun and excitement!)

Because Egyptians can't pronounce the letter P, the word became Hobba!]

Like his name suggests, Hobba is excited to be alive and especially loves being a Hare!. A Hare gets to hop everywhere and if he's really good at it, he can hop so high he's almost flying! Hobba practices his hop every day. One day he hopes to hop all the way to the clouds. They look so fluffy he can't wait to touch them! But no matter how high Hobba hopped, he couldn't reach the clouds. It didn't bother Hobba though. He was just happy to look up and dream. Especially on the days when clouds put on a show (he likes to think it's just for him ;-) ) and take all sorts of different shapes. Once they gathered together and made a great big dinosaur in the sky! One day, while Hobba was watching the clouds, he saw a flock of Egrets flying. As he watched them Hobba saw them doing the same thing as the clouds. They each positioned themselves as their leader instructed, to collectively look like one enormous Egret! Hobba was amazed... Then, an idea popped into his head! He began hopping as high and fast as he could after the birds shouting Hey! Hey! Wait! The leader of the Egrets, who was always on the lookout to protect his flock, told them to stay as they were and flew like a rocket straight at Hobba! When Hobba realised the leader wasn't going to stop before crashing into him, he hunched into a ball with his paws over his head and shut his eyes in fear. He couldn't see anything so he didn't realise that the leader was standing in front of him, watching him suspiciously still. "What do you mean by disturbing our flight?" "We were in the middle of practice!" "P..p..practice?" Squeeked Hobba hesitantly. "Yes practice! Don't you know there's a flight tournament in only 2 days! Have you been living in a hole?!" "Well...yes actually. I live there" Hobba pointed to a hole hidden by a plant just a few meters away from where they were. "Oh." The leader didn't know how to respond to that. He couldn't imagine living in a hole! He started feeling sorry for this long eared creature with big staring eyes. Why have such big eyes if you'll live in the dark, wondered Egret, but he didn't want to hurt the creatures feeling so said nothing. Hobba realised he surprised the Egret who's so used to his own way of life, he couldn't imagine how to live like a rabbit. "I like my home you know." Said Hobba with a little puff to his chest. "Yes of course uhhmm" leader cleared his throat in agreement but Hobba could see what leader was really thinking. "Come I'll show you" "I really don't have time. Must practice you know. And I can't leave my flock flapping their wings in the same spot for too long" Hobba looked up and saw the flock in exactly the same position their leader left them in. "No of course not. But you know, if you want to win that tournament, you and your flock can follow me" Hobba then began hopping away without looking back. "Wait." Leader hesitated while he thought this through. "What do you mean by that? How can you help us win a flying tournament when you live in a hole in the ground? What could you know about flying? You don’t even have wings!"

“I don’t need wings. I have imagination!”

Hobba hopped a little quicker now all the while hearing the leader grumbling behind him “hrrumph imagination. How ridiculous. It’s discipline you need. Discipline and teamwork. Imagination is for dreamers not doers”

Hobba stopped at that and instead of seeing leader leaving as expected after hearing his displeasure, he found him, followed by his flock standing in a very straight line, following Hobba.

When Hobba saw that, he decided not to argue Leader’s point and lead the team to his hole instead. Even though Leader complained all the way and instructed his flock on the merits of discipline and frivolity of dreams they walked behind Hobba, trying to imitate his hop, as they’re trained to follow, until they reached his hole.

Leader stepped forward and looked down at the opening which was angled in a strange way for Hobba or any creature of his size to be able to get through. Leader politely chose to stay silent about his doubts and waited to see what Hobba would do.

He expected Hobba would simply dig his way through the entrance but instead, Hobba moved past it and headed towards the plants behind it. To the flocks surprised oohs and aahs he then lifted the plants to expose another extension to the hole. Once again leader stepped forward to check before calling on his flock to follow with a subtle gesture of his wings, which the well-trained followers obediently responded to with quick, synchronised steps.

“oooh aaaah” again said the flock, impressed with what they saw in place of the dark narrow tunnel they expected of a hole’s entrance. Instead Hobba built what looked like a loooong slide! Hobba jumped first shouting weeeee!! to encourage the Egrets to join. The leader hesitated for a minute feeling like this is too childish for his dignity but he couldn’t resist the fun! So he jumped in calling to his flock “Onward and away!” as he usually did when they took flight. Weeee! Said the leader. Ooooh!aaaaah! said his followers who seem to have gotten stuck for words.

The slide was very slippery because Hobba built a narrow tunnel from the side to allow for the nearby river to trickle just enough into the entry to turn it into a mud slide! Yes, he was a very intelligent Hare with a very big imagination and yes, it took him a Very long time to make!

At the very end of the fast and slippery slide, where it opened up into a wide space then to another hole which the slide pointed up towards, Hobba hung what looked like a…paraglider?!? What?!! How could a Hare make a Paraglider? How could he even know about it?!!

Which is exactly what Leader asked him later. His answer was simply, “Imagination”.

As Hobba reached the end of the slide, he stretched his arms so he fitted the paraglider to his back and shoulders, then the shape of the lifted end of the slide together with the force of his sliding speed and the paraglider, lifted him up through the second hole at the other end of the cave and UP HE FLEW!! Weeeeee!!!! Ha Ha! They were all laughing with joy as they flew up into the bright skies again. Hobba with his Paraglider flying low while the Egrets, for once forgetting their disciplined “follow the leader” routine, were doing all sorts of somersaults, dances, twirling, it was a spectacular show of their skill! Suddenly Leader stopped in mid flight to watch his flock as they each flew in their own unique style, without copying each other’s moves or trying to follow in each other’s steps (or flights). Leader let them have some fun then called on them to huddle so he could tell them something in secret. As they stepped back from the huddle they began to fly right above where Hobba was standing looking up at them curiously. Suddenly they started shaking their whole body in all sorts of funny ways, including Leader!, circling Hobba like a crown, shaking all the time above his head, they let their feathers float over Hobba until he was almost covered in fluffy feathers. Hobba almost cried with glee as he felt like he was standing on a fluffy white cloud, just like he always dreamed…

Like a shot Leader then flew at Hobba in the same way he did when they first met. Hobba once again hunched down hiding his eyes and once again Leader stood there in front of him, waiting for him to uncover his eyes. Hobba looked up, this time not frightened… just surprised. Leader straightened his back and spread his right wing wide in front of Hobba, in the same way humans shake hands, and said “Thank you.” Hobba shook Leader’s wings and asked “for what?” Leader simply answered “Imagination” and flew off to his flock.

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