Buddy the rabbit has huge ears — but he has yet to learn how to use them. Whenever his parents ask him to do something, they can have confidence that their son will mishear the request. Then one day, Buddy goes out and a hair-raising encounter with the Scruffy Varmint teaches him how to listen the hard way.
This book includes examples of the following tropes:
- Bears Are Bad News: Buddy's parents warn him to stay away from the Scruffy Varmint, who has a bad temper. When Buddy winds up running into him anyway, he keeps his temper and accepts the bunny's help only to get the soup done faster. After Buddy ruins it, he decides to eat him.
- Hold Your Hippogriffs: The day he learns to listen, Buddy gets his parents' okay to go for a long hopnote
- Mondegreen: Even after several repetitions, Buddy usually does something that sounds similar to what the other person told him. For instance, asking him to get a load of squash will result in him bringing you a load of wash.
- No Listening Skills: Buddy never listens closely enough to understand what the other person asks him. After nearly getting killed because of his lack of listening skills, he starts listening better.
- No Name Given: Buddy's mother and father never get referred to as anything but his parents.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Presumably, the Scruffy Varmint has a name, but we never hear it.
- Sapient Eat Sapient: After Buddy has hurt his fingers with briar branches, ruined the soup with a variety of weird ingredients, and dumped the "soup" into the fire, the Scruffy Varmint has enough and decides he'll make rabbit soup. However, Buddy runs off before he can catch him.