Today will be a day of kindness! That’s what Harold the Rabbit said to himself.

He jumped out of bed, put on his bathrobe, and bounded into the living room to think. Harold’s dad had stoked the fire in the wood stove last night before going to bed, and it still felt warm. Hmm, thought Harold as he warmed his toes and wiggled his ears. You could always tell when Harold was thinking because his ears wiggled.

Harold got some paper and a pencil and made a list. Day of Kindness: 1) Make breakfast, 2) Sweep the path to Aunt Elizabeth’s house, 3) Visit Grandma, 4) Say hello to everyone I see today.

Harold filled the tea kettle and set it on the stove to heat up. He poured oatmeal into big mugs and then, once the water boiled, made hot cereal for mom and his brothers and sisters. (Jeffrey never would get out of bed so his turned into a stone, cold block of goo and Dad had left a note that he would be gone all day fishing).

Harold went to get the broom from the woodshed. After telling his mother where he was headed, he walked around the corner to Aunt Elizabeth’s. “Hi,” he said to Jessica the chickadee. “Good morning,” he said to Mr. Chip who was babysitting all of his fox nephews and nieces. Harold stopped at the end of the path to his Aunt’s house. She was his mother’s sister and she made the best cookies in the whole wide world! Really.

Harold began sweeping the leaves and grit off of the beautiful stone walkway that wound its way to the front door. When he was finished he knocked on Aunt Elizabeth’s door and then ran and hid. He watched as his Aunt opened the door, looked around, seemed puzzled, then smiled when she saw the front path.

“Whoever did this for me, thank you,” she said loudly. Harold just smiled.

Hello birds. Hello trees. Hello creek. Hello MacGregor. Hello Samantha. Hello blue sky. Hello Grandma. Harold had meandered his way to Grandma’s house, had knocked on her door and now here she was standing in the doorway. His grandmother had lovely gray fur and was wearing a polka dotted dress. She had been knitting and held her needles and yarn in her left paw.

“Grandma,” Harold said, “I came to hang out with you for a while and I was hoping you would tell me a story about what the woods were like when you were a little bunny.”

“Of course,” Grandma said.

She made some tea and they spent the rest of the morning together. Harold had a fine time and gave his grandmother a big hug when he left.

“Happy Kindness Day, Grandma,” Harold said as he jumped off down the path. Grandma smiled and thought it was the finest day she’d had in quite some time.

Jackson County 4-H celebrates everyone who is being kind and helping others during this time of the pandemic. The teen Youth Leadership Council donated $500 to The Community Table and made Kindness Cards to send to friends, family and those making a difference. The nine youth members and families of the Jackson 4-H Community Club donated six Thanksgiving meal kits, plus additional ready-to-eat canned food items, to the Little Free Food Pantry in Sylva.

For more information about 4-H go to our website jackson.ces.ncsu.edu and click on Jackson County 4-H.

Heather Gordon is Jackson County extension agent, 4-H Youth Development.