On a warm morning in the spring, Mother Jackrabbit is working quietly under the thick sagebrush. She is using her paw to scrape out a smooth spot in the dry, sandy soil.
Mother Jackrabbit covers the spot with some of her own fur to make a soft bed. Tucked under the sagebrush, the little bed is hidden from all other animals.
This bed is called a form. And soon Mother Jackrabbit will give birth to her babies here. This is why the bed must be so soft.
When the soft bed is ready, Mother Jackrabbit gives birth to three tiny baby jackrabbits. There are two girls and one boy. The boy jackrabbit is named Baby Jack.
Like his mother, Baby Jack has bright eyes, smooth brown fur, and a nose that constantly twitches. His big ears bounce up and down as he hops around the desert.
Jackrabbits' ears can be longer than their bodies. Also, their long ears keep them cool in the hot, desert sun. These long ears allow their heat to escape, cooling the body.
Even though he is young, Baby Jack is eager to explore his new world. His large ears pick up many wonderful sounds: the songs of a meadowlark, the barking of a prairie dog, and the "hooooo" of the wind blowing across the dry land.
As he sniffs the air, he enjoys smelling the sagebrush and the sweet cactus flowers.
Baby jackrabbits are born with fur on their tiny bodies. And they can hop about and explore their new world almost immediately after they are born!
During the hot desert days, Baby Jack does not explore. It is too hot for exploring when the sun is shining. Like his mother, he sits still in the cool shade of a clump of grass.
He feels safe in the shade. His brown fur blends right in with the soil and the dry grass. Hungry coyotes and eagles that are hunting for food cannot see him easily.
If an animal did come after Baby Jack, he would wait for the right moment. Then, in a flash, he would run away and find another safe hiding place in the grass.
In the desert, almost every day is bright, dry, and sunny. But this afternoon, Baby Jack watches gray clouds gather in the sky. The day gets cooler and darker. Then, Baby Jack feels drops of water coming from above. It is raining!
Rainy days are rare in the dry desert. The rain is new to Baby Jack. He hides behind a rock when the thunder sounds and the lightning flashes across the sky.
To find out what happens next in "Little Jackrabbit," go to the next page.