Rosemary Raccoon lived in the forest beside a rocky river. She was a bit of a recluse, which means that she remained in her home all day and rarely received visitors. Only at night would she venture out to run and romp and reach for fish in the river. Her few friends worried about her.
Rita the Rat came by one night to remind Rosemary about the River Race. “You are fast runner, Rosemary. You really should race this year.”
“Really?” was Rosemary’s only response.
“Really!” replied Rita.
But Rosemary had an unreasonable fear of appearing ridiculous. She recalled one time she’d tripped while running and rolled into the river. “I’d rather stay home and rest,” she said, and rapidly shut her door.
Another day, Ronda Rabbit raced to Rosemary’s house with remarkable news. “Rambunctious Ramona is here in the forest! We’re all rushing to the redwood tree to play Rescue the Raven!”
“Really?” said Rosemary.
“Really!” replied Ronda.
But Rosemary had an irrational fear of taking risks. Rescue the Raven was a game that required you to recklessly climb the highest redwood tree and reach for the red ribbon tied at the top. “I’d rather stay home and relax,” she said, and rapidly shut her door.
That day, while playing Rescue the Raven, Rita and Ronda repeated their worries about Rosemary. Rambunctious Ramona overheard. “A recluse, huh? Afraid of everything, huh? Refuses to risk, huh? I know a reliable cure for that!”
Early in the morning, Rambunctious Ramona arrived at Rosemary’s house with a rake in one hand and rooster under one arm. She rapidly lit a raging fire right on Rosemary’s roof. Then she released the rooster by Rosemary’s window. The rooster crowed riotously. Rosemary ran to her door.
“Rosemary, hurry! Your roof is on fire! Grab the rake!” yelled Ramona.
Rosemary was terrified, but this was no time to refuse. Her house would soon be ruined. She raked and raked until she was red in the face. The fire raged on. Rita the Rat raced in with some water. Then Ronda Rabbit rushed over to help rake. The fire was reduced, but it was too late. Rosemary’s house was a wreck. No one knew how to react.
But Rambunctious Ramona was rolling on the ground, roaring with laughter.
“Ramona!” raged Rita. “You did this on purpose?”
“Sure did,” replied Ramona. “With no house, Rosemary can’t be a recluse any more!”
“That was reckless, Ramona!” cried Ronda. “Rosemary could have been hurt!”
Ramona just wrinkled her nose and ran away.
“Don’t worry, Rosemary. We’ll help you repair it,” said Rita and Ronda.
And so they did. Rita, Ronda, and Rosemary removed all the rubble. They replaced the walls, rebuilt the rooms, and raised a new roof. When it was ready, Rosemary requested that all her friends come to rejoice with her. They all held hands and danced Ring Around the Rosy around Rosemary’s house.
And Rambunctious Ramona watched from afar and had no regrets.