Dixie is sitting a rabbit.
And a virus.
A giant virus.
The rabbit stays in a little blue-roofed hutch beside Dixie’s big new tool shed. His name is Houdini. The virus has taken up residence in Dixie's tiny stomach, where there's hardly room for a standard-size guest, let alone a giant one. Dixie doesn’t know the virus's name. She doesn't know for certain if it’s a boy or if it's a girl. But, judging from its immensity, Dixie guesses that it’s a boy. Probably a boy named Bart.
Houdini is a kind rabbit. He sleeps a lot and eats lettuce and carrots, but mostly carrots and sometimes little green pellets that smell like old cut grass. The virus sleeps a lot too, but it is far less kind and eats nothing but Melba toast, (which tastes a lot like old cut grass), and very little of that.
Houdini belongs to Dixie’s dear friend Donna, who is in the midst of an extended move. Over the days, Dixie has grown quite attached to her dear friend's rabbit, with his pink and twinkling nose, and she tries very, very hard not to think of the day she’ll have to send him back home. The virus, on the other hand, Dixie acquired from her other dear friend, Jen. And although Dixie loves her two dear friends exactly the same… Jen, Dixie says, can come get her giant virus.