By Mark Crocker
It had been many months since the little rabbit kitten has started to be changed by the human female. So many months had past that if he was what could be by a normal rabbit’s life be fully grown yet he was still growing and still have strange things done to him that he could not fully understand.
There had been times when parts of his body had been shaved of all fur; times when he had to be fed by a tube in his tummy. But that was all now in the past and while what had been done some times had hurt, he knew that it was making him into a better rabbit.
He still spent time with his mother and liked being around her but she was smaller than he was now yet he knew for a rabbit she was big. He had learnt so much about himself and he knew that he was thinking in his head and knew that other rabbits did not think, they just reacted. He knew that he was unlike any other rabbit that there had even been, but he still did not understand why this was being done to him. Nor did he know what he was meant to be doing.
He had enjoyed it when his mother’s hutch and his hutch had been set up so that they could go outside and sit in the long thing. He liked how he could run up the long thing that climbed up to his hutch. He like how he could be inside his hutch and look one direction and see the unlike straw and then turn to another direction and see the bright room when the female human and the male human would come and make sounds to him.
He liked to watch them when they did things. The sounds them made to each other and to him seemed to mean things and he thought that maybe he could make those sounds.
So at the dark time when they were not around he would try and make the same sounds that they had made. It was hard for him at first as his mouth could not shape the sounds like the humans did but slowly he could. He still only thought of them as sounds as he did not know what the meanings of the sounds were. But he knew that in time he would learn what the meanings were of the sounds that they made and he knew if he worked hard enough he could make those sounds and be able to know the humans better.
It was a cool fall evening as he lay snuggled in the female’s humans arm when she moved him around and started making shapes at him with her mouth. The shapes made sounds and the young rabbit watched her closely and then her mouth.
He wondered what she was trying to show him and he knew that there was a number of possibilities but he was very unsure of which it could be. He thought to himself that she could be just making silly faces at him for the fun of it or she could be trying to teach him something? Or she could be showing him how to move his face for some reason that he could not understand.
He looked up at her watching carefully as her lips made a shape and then a sound. Then she repeated the shape then the sound. Then she did it again all at once. Just as he was thinking that maybe he should try and make the shape and sound another four legged creature walked in. It walked across the room and sat by the big hot thing that danced and gave of a glow that filled the room with heat and a glowing light.
The creature had four long legs a long tail and rounded head with pointed ears and a short nose with huge whiskers. It also had funny eyes that had ovals instead of round dark centers. The creature started to licks itself and seemed to ignore the female human. Then it turned its head and looked at the human female and made the same sounds that the humans made. The female human made sounds back at it and then the sounds flowed back and forth between the creature and the female human. At times the creature would make sounds for a long time and the female human would be silent and nod her head.
Then the creature came over sniffed the young rabbit and looked at it very closely before it made a new sound that was unlike the sound the humans made. “Meow feow” said the creature. The creature looked up at the human and started to make human sounds again before walking back over to the big hot glowing thing that gave off light and heat.
The female returned her attention back to the young rabbit and started to make shapes and sounds again. Just then the human male walked in and walked over to a low table with a back to it. The creature got up walked slowly over to the male human looked at the male human and started to make human sounds again. Then without warning the creature leaped up onto the human and curled up in his lap. “Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” said the creature.
The young rabbit thought for a few moments than he tried to make the shape with his lips and mouth that the female human had. He tried over and over until the human female started to rub between his ears. Then she held his head and made the shapes with her lips and mouth and made a sound.
The young rabbit suddenly knew what she wanted. So he tried to make the shape with his lips and mouth and the sound at the same time. But nothing came out. He looked up at her again placed his paws on her shoulders and looked closely at her lips and mouth.
Again she made shapes with her lips and mouth and she made a sound. Being so close to her lips and mouth he felt the air move as she made the sound.
He sat back in her lap and thought about why shapes made with the lips and mouth and the sound make the air move. Maybe that is what he should do. Make the shaped with his lips and mouth and make the sound by pushing the air out of his lips and mouth.
He sat there filling his lungs with lots of air so that he could make the sound. He pulled his lips back so that his teeth showed as if almost a smiles. At the same time he pushed air out of his lungs and he made a “el” sound. He was so shocked that the sound sounded like part of what the female human had been making that he fell back onto his legs.
He looked up at her and could see that he lips were pulled back and the sides were turned up. She picked him back up and places his front paws on her shoulders and started making the shapes again with her lips and mouth while pushing air though her mouth and making the sound.
He tried again copying what she was doing. This time he did all of it making the mouth shape of pulling back his lips and then bringing them together and a small tube. And the same sound the female human was making came out “el oh” was the same sound she made.
The female human shook her head and started to make the shapes with her mouth and lips and make the air move and the sound. The young rabbit watched closely and then sat back down in her lap and took a long deep breath “Ell oh”. The female human reached down and stroked his long ears and rubbed the tips making him feel good.
Then she started making sounds very fast and he could feel that she was excited. The male human started to make sounds and soon the sounds where going back and forth between the female human and the male human. Then the creature sat up and started to make the same sounds that both humans were. As the humans and the creature made sounds back and forth he felt himself start to get sleepy so he curled up in the female humans lap and went to sleep.
He awoke with dull light coming in though the side of the hutch and he could hear his mother hopping down the long thing to were the unlike straw was. He lay there thinking about what he had learned before his sleep. The making of shapes with his mouth and lips, and the pushing of air though his mouth and lips to make a sound that the humans liked.
As he lay there he started to make the shapes and just the air though his mouth and he made the sound again. But he made it softly to himself so that he would not scare his mother with what he was doing.
Suddenly she came thumbing up the long thing and hopped right up to him. She had water on her fur and he wondered how she had done that and that it was making his nice dry straw damp. He sniffed her and she smelt a little funny like when the tube to the water broke and had covered her in water.
He hopped up and hopped down the long thing to were the unlike straw was and as he hopped onto the unlike straw he felt water falling from the sky. His paws felt damp and as he stood there wondering what this new wet thing was that was falling from the sky he noticed that his paws were cold.
He turned around and hopped as fast as he could back up the long thing and bumped into his mother that was standing at the top of the long thing. He gently pushed his nose against her to make her move backwards. But she just stood there looking past him and the water falling from the sky.
Just behind his mother and outside the long thing was the female human looking down at him. She had a long thing over her that covered her head but not her face and went all the way down almost to the ground. The front was open but he could see no place for her to put her arms though.
He looked up at her and made the shapes with his lips and mouth and pushed the air in his lungs out and made the sound he had the night before “ello”. The human female smiled and made the shape with her lips and mouth and made the sound back at him but it sounded a little different “Hello” then she added more sounds that he did not know.
His mother turned and looked up and then hopped back into the hutch. She stood up on her hind legs and looked up at the female human. The female humans hand came out from the opening of the covering she had on and she held a couple long thin things that his mother liked to eat. The human female turned away still holding the long thin things but soon reappeared on the other side of the hutch where the opening was that she would take him or his mother out through. She placed the long thin things in the food bowl and his mother hopped over to the bowl and started to munch on one of the long thin things.
He hopped over and gently picked up the other thin long thing and sniffed it and then started to munch on it too.
After another sleep he hopped back down to where the water was falling from the sky and noticed that water was not falling from the sky anymore and the creature from two sleeps before was sitting on top of the area covered by a huge mesh area. The creature looked at him and walked over and made the “ello” sound. So he made the “ello” sound back.
The creature pressed his face close to the wire mesh in the hutch and the young rabbits mother moved back against the far wall her nose twitching and the shake of fear in her.
The creature made what sounded like calming sounds but his mother just crouched down shaking all over. Then he heard the female’s human makes sounds and the creature looked up shook its long tail and walked away.
It was early dark when the female human return. She brought with her fresh food for his mother and fresh clean bedding. The female human opened his mother’s hutch and started pulling out all the old straw while making sure his mother stayed in his hutch.
The young rabbit hopped over to the side of his hutch and stood up on his hind legs and looked at the human female. He waited until she was finished before he made a shape with his lips and mouth and pushed air though his mouth to make a sound “ello”
The female human looked over and smiled and made the “ello” sound back. He thought for a few moments and then remembered another mouth shape that he had seen the male human make. He thought again for a few more seconds and thought he would try making one set of lips and mouth movements and then add a second set. So he took in a deep breath and made the shapes a few times before pushing air though his mouth.
“Ello door tar” he said.
The female looked at him and her mouth dropped open. Then she started to make sounds that seem to make her whole body shake and her face turn red. The young rabbit turned his head to one said and tried to mimic the movements and sounds that was coming from the female human. But no sound came from him. But it did make the human female make the sound loud and her body shake even more. And her face was so red now that it looked like it was burning hot.
The male human walked in and looked at the female human and made sounds. But the female human could not answer as she was still making sounds and her body was still shaking. She pointed towards the hutch and the human male walked over.
The young rabbit stood back up on his hind legs and made shapes with his mouth and lips then after a few tries again made the sound that he had made to the human female “ello door tar”. The human male smiles but did not start to make sounds or his body shake or his face turn red. Instead he brought his hand to his chin and looked at the young rabbit and made a sound without his mouth of lips moving. The male human reached into his hutch and went to gentle pull the young rabbit out. But instead the young rabbit hopped right over his hand and out onto the area his hutch was on. He hopped across to the human female who had now stopped making sounds and shaking. Her face was also returning to a normal color.
He hopped up to her and sat down in front of her and looked closely at her. The human male started to make sounds and the female human looked at him and nodded and smiled. The female human reached down and picked up the young rabbit and put him in her arm and walked off to the room where the big bright glowing thing was that gave off light. The young rabbit felt so relaxed and comfortable that he closed his eyes and rolled on his back so that his tummy could be rubbed. He felt his tummy being rubbed and his ears being stroked and a finger gentle rubbing his nose.
When he opened his eyes she was sitting in a short table with a back next to the glowing bright thing that gave off heat and light. He sat up then stood up putting his paws on her shoulders and looked at the female human’s mouth. The female human started to make a shape with her mouth and then a sound. He looked watched as the female human made the same shape with her mouth and lips over and over again and then make the sound over and over again.
When the young rabbit was sure he was ready he started to make the shape with his mouth and kept doing it until he was sure that he had it right. Then taking a deep breath he made the sound. The female human shock her head and started to repeat making shapes with her lips and mouth and then making the sound.
He tried again and this time it worked. “wabbit”.
It became a regular event that every time the female human took him into the room with the big glowing thing that gave of light and heat she would sit with him and make a different set of mouth and lip shapes and sounds.
Months passed and the mouth and lip shapes became more complex and the sounds went from a single sound to two sounds one after another then three sounds one after another until the young rabbit was making lots of sounds one after the other. At the same time the young rabbit started to understand that these sounds meant that he could make the sounds and the humans would make other sounds back to him.
One of his favorite sounds was the sound “food”. He like that sound as the humans would put food out for him to eat. And that made him very happy. He also learnt that if he said the sound “food” to often in a short time that they would either make the “no” sound or ignore the sound altogether.
It was one afternoon that the young rabbit was sit outside in his run watching the male human digging in the garden that he saw a big thing that had a long nose and floppy ears four long legs and made a sound like “woof”. The big thing had long legs much long than the cats legs. Its nose was long from what he could see as it was close to the ground and the grass hid it some of the time. Its fur coat was long with black, brown and white fur. The big thing looked at the male human and stopped. Its fur on its back raised up and the big thing started to move slowly like when the cat hunted mice.
The rabbit took a fast deep breath and as hard and as loud as he could he shouted “Human danger Human danger”.
The male human looked up just as the big thing was leaping towards him. The male human turned fast on his feet and kicked out at the big thing catching it right in its face.
The big thing made a yelp and ran back off into the woods that boarded the area where the humans lived. The male human walked over to the run that the rabbit was in and stopped and looked down at the rabbit.
“My many thanks to you, rabbit” said the human male.
“No hurt you” said the rabbit.
“No I’m not hurt and again thank you for warning me” the male human replied.
“What that big thing” asked the rabbit?
“That was the dog that hunted your mother that I saved her from”
“Some dogs yes. But you are safe in your run”.
“Oh. I warn next time dog comes”?
“Yes when a dog comes you warn us”.
The rabbit looked down at the ground and thought for a few minutes. Then he looked back up at the human male.
“When daughter come”?
“She will be back soon. She had to go to the village to trade for wool.”
“That will have to be another lesson for you, my dear rabbit”.
The rabbit nodded and was glad that it would be a lesson as he like the lessons the human female would give him.
But sometimes the human male would be there and those lessons were different as he would try to get him to hold things in his paws or he would be made to do strange things like push small square things that made shapes on a bigger square thing. He was not sure if he liked those lessons as they were hard and made his paws hurt sometimes and he could never make the same shapes on the big square thing that the human male could.
It was after the rabbit’s second sleep of the day that he smelt the human female near by.
He sat up in the chair that he had hopped up into in the study for his lunch time nap and looked around. The human female was wearing a short white dress with a wide bright metal colored belt around her waist. Her hair was held back by the same colored headband showing off her round ears.
“Hello daughter” said the rabbit with a slight laugh in his voice.
“Oh hello sweetie” said the female human. “Did you have a good nap this afternoon”?
“No funny dream again and not have words” said the rabbit trying to not sound disappointed that he did not have the words to explain about his dreams.
“Ok I will have to teach you more words tonight”.
“New word I learn. Dog. Dog bad. Dog try to hurt father of you”
“Yes dad told me. It was the same one that tried to kill your mother when she was pregnant with you. He comes from the village where I go to get the wool to make the cloths we wear. You know they don’t like us in the village so I have to change how I look so that they don’t harm us. They look like us but we are not like them. It’s like a wild rabbit and your mother looks, like you, but you are so far above them that you are more than just a rabbit”.
The rabbit nodded as if he understood but in fact there were too many words for him to understand what she was telling him. But a few he did understand. Was he really very different from his mother? True she could not talk with humans. True she could not talk to the cat. True she could not talk to him. But she was still his mother and still cleaned him even though he was bigger than she was. Was he really so different? It was something that he did not want to think about.
The female human reached down and slide her long fingers up and down his ears before she walked out of the room.
As he sat thinking about how different he was from his mother and maybe other rabbits he smelt an odor coming from the room that the humans cooked and prepared their food. This meant it would soon be time to join them as they would often give him treats from the table.
As he sniffed the air the cat walked in and looked him up and down. “Silly rabbit” muttered the cat. The cat reached out with one of his front paws and playfully hit the rabbit across the side of his head. This meant that the cat was feeling playful and that the cat had been off doing whatever the cat did when it was gone for a couple of days.
The rabbit leapt at the cat and at the last moment the cat moved out of the way and swatted at the rabbit making him roll across the floor. The rabbit rolled to a stop and got ready to pounce like the cat did when it was either playing or hunting mice.
The rabbit leapt at the cat and this time angled his body so that the cat would think that he was aiming for its stomach but in fact he was aiming for his head. The cat turned as fast as he could but because he though that the rabbit was aiming for his stomach and not his head he caught the full force of the rabbit right in his shoulder. This made the cat and the rabbit tumble onto the ground and they rolled around play fighting until the rabbit was out of breath. The cat swatted at the rabbit again knocking him to the ground.
“Silly rabbit. If not friend. If not asked. Hunt you I would and eat you” said the cat with an amused tone to his soft sing song voice.
“Hunt you and eat you I would” said the rabbit.
But before the old debate could start they both heard the sounds of the human male putting fresh food on the plates that they all would be eating from. The cat leaned forward and gentle put his paw on the rabbits head and mimicked what the female human would do when she would stroke his long rabbit ears. The cat stalked into the room were the humans would have their meal followed by the young rabbit hopping along with his long ears scanning for the sound of the female human.
The cat stopped right in front of the young rabbit with his tail swishing around as he smelt fresh meat. The young rabbit could smell fresh uncooked vegetables plus the odor of cooked meat as well as the sounds of the female human washing up before she came to join them at the table. So he did not notice that the cat had stopped and bumped right into him send them both into a heap right at the foot of the table.
The cat jumped up and squared off with the young rabbit. They both looked at each as they moved into the leaping position that the cat used to hunt and play. As one they leapt at each and started to tumble around on the floor under the table. As they play at fighting the young rabbit started to kick with his hind legs into the stomach of the cat.
The cat pulled back and hissed at the young rabbit “stop. Hurt that did”.
The young rabbit pulled back and looked at the cat and notice that chunks of cat fur lay on the floor were they had been play fighting. The young rabbit sniffed the cat fur and lowered his head looking and the cat. “Sorry hurt you I did not mean not to” said the young rabbit in a sad tone.
“No harm so ok. But back legs of you much strong” mused the cat.
“Will you two monsters knock of all the fighting” said the human male who was looking down at the fur that the young rabbit had ripped out of the stomach of the cat.
The female human walked in wearing a short white dress with a yellow metal colored belt and sandals that had straps that ran half way up her calves. “You like my new toga dad? I’ve been working on it for the last week” said the female human in a soft voice.
“You know my thoughts about you dressing like that” said the male human.
“If the people in the village think of me that way I will play the part. It keeps us safe and them away from us”.
“I know I know. But your mother” the male humans voiced trailed of and a sad look crossed his face.
The young rabbit looked up sensing much sadness in the male human. “What food we eat” said the young rabbit and to make his point that he was feeling hungry he thumped his left hind leg hard on the floor. He hopped over to the tall chair that had been set up for him and looked up at the human female. He stood up on his hind legs so that she could pick him up and place him at the table on the seat of the chair. The female human reached down and picked up the young rabbit placing in his chair and making sure that his empty bowl was close so that when there was food in his bowl he could eat.
The cat leaped up into his chair that was next to the young rabbit and sat down so that he looked like a small fur covered human. The male human walked over carrying a tray with a bowl full of salad a bowl full of pasta and a couple bowls of steaming vegetables. Also on the tray was a small bowl of carrot tops fresh green grass and dandelions with the flowers still on them. Meal time had always been a lively time since the young rabbit had been aloud to join the humans and cat at the table.
The discussions would be anything from what the female human had seen in the village to what the cat had been up to. And this meal was no exception until the cat said “walk far I did. Climb big big big tree. From top I see big big big hill with white on top were white not before in many many time”.
“Snow already? It’s a little early for snow. But it has happened in the past. I need to check my records. You have done well cat. I will get you a reward after dinner” said the male human. The conversation at the table turned to stocking up and getting ready for winter as the possibility of it being an early winter and a cold one was upper most in both the humans minds.
The rabbit sat in the female human’s lap facing her as she spoke in her clear soft voice.
The rabbit listened and stopped the female human every time she used a new word that he did not understand. He would hold up one paw so that she could see that he had a question about the word she had just used. Then he would say the word three or four times to make sure he had it right and so that he would remember what the word was.
A few times the human female would correct the young rabbit when he said the new word wrong.
Sitting on the other side of the big glowing thing the male human had the cat in his lap and they were both looking at paper things that had a hard leather covering. That cat would be speaking softly as the human male looked at the paper things. A few times the human male nodded at what the cat was saying. And a few times the human male would point at something in the big paper thing and the cat would look down nod and ask a question. The human male reached over to a side table and picked up a long thin thing that made marks on the paper.
“What that he hold” said the young rabbit to the human female?
“What is that he holds” said the human female correcting the young rabbit.
“What is that he holds” said the young rabbit making sure that he said it slowly and that he had said it right.
“That is a pencil my clever little rabbit. It is for writing so that you don’t need to trust to memoir. When you are ready dad will teach you to read and if you can he will teach you to write with a pencil”.
“The cat brings up a very good point here. He thinks we should teach your rabbit how to defend himself incase that dog comes around again” said the human male.
The human female just nodded and continued teaching the young rabbit. The lesson was almost over when the young rabbit thought of a question to ask the human female. A question that he had thought of before but had never asked. “Why my mother even with her hutch door open never comes near when you both are around”
The human female looked at the rabbit and smiled “She is a wild rabbit and it’s hard for her to trust humans. It is the way she is. Maybe you could help and get her to come in here and sit by the fire” young rabbit nodded and knew that it would be hard but he could do it but would take time. As he pondered how to get his mother to come into the library she suddenly felt very strange as if something was building inside him. The cat let out a loud meow and he could hear his mother in the kitchen thumbing one of her hind legs on the ground fast as if she was trying to warn every rabbit that there ever was.
“Earth shake coming big big one” howled the cat. Both humans got up quickly and the male human went straight to the kitchen and grabbed the young rabbit’s mother. They then walked outside and sat down on the grass away from the house and surrounding tree’s.
“What happening. What earth shake” asked the young rabbit with a scared tone in his voice.
The feeling inside of him was such now that it hurt him all over and all he wanted to do was run far far away from the feeling. Just then everything went still and then the ground began to shake and roll and move from side to side all at the same time. This went on for what seemed like for ever and the young rabbit hid his head in the female humans lap.
“I think I should check on the village and see what damage has been done and see if they need our help” said the female human.
The building feeling in the young rabbit had not gone away yet and if anything it was getting worse. It felt to him as if he was going to explode.
“That little big one big one to come soon” hissed the cat. The air hung heavy as if something had been left unspoken by the first earthquake. Then the ground started to shake even hard then before with such force that one of the outer buildings started to fall apart.
The second earthquake rocked and rattled for what seemed like ever to the young rabbit and with such force that he could not help but peed on the female human’s lap. The young rabbit looked over at the male human and saw that he was holding tightly onto his mother and that she too had peed herself and all over the male human’s arms. The male human was stroking his mother’s fur slowly and gentle and was talking softly into her long ears.
“Dad, our house should be ok”? asked the female human.
“Yes it’s on an earthquake pad so there will be either no damage or very minor damage and nothing that has harmed the house. However my shed is gone. But that’s nothing as that just had stuff for the garden. I really should have put a small earthquake pad under it but I was being lazy when I built it. Guess that will teach me”.
The female human put the young rabbit down on the grass and stood up and then sat back down this time with her legs crossed.
“I’m going to check the village and see how bad the damage is”.
“Ok and I am going to put her ladyship here back in her hutch and close the door as her poor little heart is thumbing so fast” said the human male.
The female human closed her eyes and slowly over a couple of minutes her breathing rate almost stopped. The young rabbit looked around and saw that the cat was walking away as if he had a mission to do.
About 20 minutes later the human female opened her eyes and looked at the rabbit. She looked a little dazed and sat swaying slowly as if she was going to fall over. Then the female human got to her feet slowly and walked weaving her way into the house.
After a few minutes sitting out on the grass in the dark alone the young rabbit started to get scared that something bad would come out of the tree’s or that the ground would start to shake again so he hopped back to the house. The kitchen door was open so he hopped in and noticed that a few plates lay on the floor broken and a wall hanging picture was tilted at a crazy angle.
The male human and female human were sat at the kitchen table talking about how they could help the village.
The young rabbit hopped though the kitchen into the huge white bright room where his and his mother’s hutch was to make sure that it was safe. He hopped up the ramp to the hutches and pushed up the door to his hutch and hopped in. he hopped though his hutch and hopped into his mother’s hutch.
The young rabbit’s mother sat there eating her food as if the ground had never shaken and that nothing bad had ever happened. And for short moment he envied the fact that his mother lived in the moment and the past was so forgotten.
As he sat musing about how his mother lived in the moment and never thought at all he heard the sounds of things being moved around as if the human were getting ready to do something. After a while the female human came in walked up to the hutch. She leaned down and looked in the hutch and smiled.
“I am going to be away for a few days, maybe a week. I will be back once I have helped the villagers get started on rebuilding” said the female human. She reached into the hutch pulled the young rabbit out and kissed his pink nose before she put him back into the hutch. He was placed back in his hutch gently and softly.