Once upon a time there was a house, and in the basement of that house was a clothes dryer. Every week the dryer worked hard, spinning its drum and burning gas to dry the laundry. Unlike the stove and refrigerator, which always seemed to be right in the middle of any party, the dryer was shy and stayed down in the corner of the basement. But the dryer was happy. It liked nothing more than to do its job quietly and efficiently and not to make a scene.
In the garden of that same house, there lived a rabbit. Every day the rabbit hopped through the bushes and flowers looking for tasty leaves to eat and avoiding the dog that lived in the house. Although he liked nibbling daisies and clover, the rabbit longed to eat up the crunchy lettuce, sweet carrots, and other vegetables planted within a fenced garden behind the house.
Every so often, the rabbit would hop along the side of the house, sit at the backyard gate, and gaze at the delicious vegetables beyond. The rabbit never went past the gate, however, because the dog might be there and because he had no way to get inside the garden fence.
One day, when he had finished gazing wistfully at the vegetables, the rabbit noticed a hole in the side of the house and a cover lying on the ground beneath it. The rabbit didn’t know what had removed the cover, but the hole looked inviting. “Perhaps that hole leads to the garden.” though the rabbit. “Perhaps it is a secret tunnel past the dog and under the garden fence.” With the thought of fresh carrots crowding all caution from his mind, the rabbit wiggled into the hole.
On that same day, the dryer was working hard, happily spinning its drum and burning gas to dry the laundry, when it was startled by a scratching and thudding in its exhaust duct. The scratching inched closer and closer to the hot spinning drum until suddenly the drum and the scratching came to an abrupt halt.
The dryer was not happy. It couldn’t spin its drum. It couldn’t burn gas. And there was wet laundry just sitting there not getting dry. This was not working quietly and efficiently.
As often happened, it took the man in the house a few days to remember the laundry in the dryer. By this time, the dryer was nearly beside itself with frustration about the wet laundry still inside it. What’s more, the dryer had begun to notice a decidedly unfresh smell coming from where the scratching sound had been. What a relief it was when the man finally came to collect the laundry. “Perhaps now I will be fixed,” thought the dryer. “Perhaps now I will be rid of that scratching, thudding, stinking thing inside me.”
And so, the man found the wet laundry. He tried to start the dryer. When the dryer didn’t start, the man turned off the dryer’s gas and electricity and began to take the dryer apart. He checked the dryer’s drive belt, but it was intact. He pulled off the dryer’s top and examined the drum. He vacuumed the soft lint from the exhaust duct. He noticed the decidedly unfresh smell. Finally, far underneath the dryer, the man’s vacuum sucked onto something large and firm. As the man cautiously pulled the vacuum hose from the dryer, he found the rabbit.
Before long, the dryer was reassembled and happily back at work, quietly and efficiently spinning its drum and burning gas to dry the laundry. The outside cover was back in place over the inviting dryer exhaust duct. And a new rabbit was sitting at the backyard gate, gazing wistfully at the delicious vegetables beyond.