Monday, November 1, 2010

Rabbo Tales - Chapter 5, part 1

Strangers dancing in my head

      Rabbo had spent his class room time studying the life cycles of rabbits and it had left him a little on the depressed side when he found out that rabbits only lived from between 5 to 10 years in the wild and maybe up to 15 years in captivity. At first he had been glad that he had the chance now to study what he wished and he had picked the life cycle of rabbits as being one he was very interested. After all he was a rabbit.

      True a much enhanced rabbit but none the less still a rabbit. But once he learnt that horrible fact that he had at most 14 years left and if he was lucky maybe just maybe a couple more than that he had become depressed by that fact. 

      He visited with the female rabbit as often as possible that had been brought to him and while it was clear she was just a normal rabbit he liked to be around her. He had even sneaked out that first night and spent the whole night with her. 

      When he had come hopping up the garden path in the early morning light he had been met by Athena who was waiting for him. At first she was upset with him for sneaking out. But when he explained to her where he had been she had gone from being upset to very pleased and said he was a healthy normal male and that was good. The only thing Athena wanted to know was where he was so that she would not worry about him as much.

      When she had asked him about how he liked the warren that the rabbits lived in Rabbo had to answer that while his size gave him advantage with other animals it did mean that he was too large to get into the warren. But he and the female rabbit had found a nice tree near the woods that they could both be safe in between the roots.

      The topic had moved away from the warren and his female rabbit friend. Instead it turned to the topic of warmer weather and that there would be hard work to do in the garden and that they would have to harvest hay for the cattle so that they would make it though the winter.

      While Rabbo and Athena were talking Rabbo felt like something or someone was talking to him but just out of his hearing range. He tried to shake his head to clear the strangeness in his head but that did not work. But after a few minutes it passed and it was as if there never had been someone or something trying to talk to him.

      Athena looked at Rabbo and smiled as there conversation drew to a close. “Dad will be in the village a few more days. Seems that he is helping around the village and is enjoying being around people. But he still does not trust them”.

      It took Athena a few moments to notice that Rabbo had been listening but other things where on his mind. “Rabbo what’s bothering you” Athena asked with a worried tone in her voice.

      Rabbo thought it best not to mention the strange feeling that he had a few minutes before but rather on the fact he had to face. “How long do I have?” Rabbo asked in a rather sad tone.

      “If I got things right with you like I did with cat you might live a very long time. Cat is already close to 80 years old on this planet and showing no signs of slowly down. Just wish he would learn to read”.

      “Paha reading is for humans and rabbits. Not for Cat. Cat hunter. Why read” said Cat from the doorway. At the Cat’s feet was a duck that he had caught and brought back from down by Athena’s pool.

      Cat turned his head and looked back though the door. “Rabbit you have visitor but won’t come close because fear”.

      Rabbo hopped down from the table and hopped over to the door. He stood on his hind legs and could see the female rabbit waiting near his mothers run. His mother was sitting just outside her run sniffing the other female rabbit who was sniffing her back.

      As Rabbo watched they moved around each other almost as if they were doing a slow motion circling dance. But it was more like they were getting to know each other.

      “Well I guess your mother should know the mother of her grand children. I just hope your girl friend is not her daughter or grand daughter. Don’t like the idea of too tight a gene pool” mused Athena.

      Rabbo looked up rather confused about genes and pools. The only dealing with a pool was a few days before when Athena had been what she called skinny dipping.

      It was still cool in the house and Rabbo rather liked it but then it had not been that hot outside either.

       As Rabbo watched his mother and his female rabbit friend sniffing each other he once again felt a strange feeling in his head. Again it felt like something or someone was trying to talk to him but they were just out of his hearing range.

      This time he looked up at Athena and she had a look of being vacant as if she was listening to someone. “Dad wants to know if you want anything from the village,” Athena asked once the vacant look had gone from her face.

      Rabbo looked up and wondered how the whole telepathic link thing worked and if he could one day learn how to do what Athena and Merwyn did with their minds. But well they had bigger heads which meant they could do more then he could with his little old head that he had on his shoulders.

      Rabbo turned and hopped away towards the female rabbit without answering Athena’s question about whether he wanted anything from the village. After all he had everything he wanted at the house anyway.

      He hopped outside to where his female rabbit friend was and sniffed her. He rubbed his nose on her fur and she did not smell as interesting as she first had when he had met her. But still she made him feel good and that was what was important. He spent the time before his afternoon class bouncing around with her playing and eating the sweet young grass in the meadow.

      But he always kept one ear open for the sound of humans from the village or worse. He had seen a few times a thing like a dog come though the garden when he had been sitting on the window sill in Athena’s room late at night. He had looked up on the computer and knew that it was called a fox and that it hunted small animals like mice rats and rabbits as well as bugs and anything it could catch that was smaller than it was.

      Rabbo was glad that he was about the same size as Cat and knew that if the fox went after him all the play fighting with Cat would help him. But he was not sure if he could beat a fox. But he knew that foxes went after easy prey and if he put up a fight the fox would run away, unless the fox was really hungry. So he kept one ear open to listen for a fox or even a hunting bird from the sky. And he had seen a few of those but they were small for the most part and seemed to stay clear of the house.

      The afternoon class was a hard one as it involved chemistry and while it was on the computer the sound blast from the computer would scare him badly if he mixed things wrong. Plus the loud noise would bring Athena running and he was always embarrassed when he would “Blow up the library” as Athena called it.

      So he was trying hard to mix the chemicals rights but his mind kept wandering off on his female rabbit friend. He was half listening to the computer about mixing three chemicals together and then adding another compound that would give it a bright blinding flash. “Pay attention Rabbo”.

      Rabbo looked around for Athena but she was nowhere to be seen yet he had just heard her voice very clearly as if she had been standing next to him. The lesson went on and he did not once make a mistake and was happy when the printout popped out telling him that he had scored an “A”. Rabbo hopped down the ramp holding the print out for Athena to see as he was proud that he had not “Blown up the library” and that he had scored well. It was rare that Isis gave an “A” and for him to get one was a good reward on its own. But with anything with Isis there was a down side and he knew that Isis would give him hard work to do.

      Rabbo hopped into the kitchen and saw his mother sitting in the doorway sniffing his female rabbit friend and two other rabbits. The two other rabbits looked at him and started to chatter at him. That reminded Rabbo that he needed to learn their language if he was to better understand the rabbits at the warren.

      He hopped over and listened as they chatted at each other than then at him. But he could not understand what they were trying to say to him or what they were saying to each other. He listened carefully yet he could pick out no pattern to the chatting sounds they were making. Plus the chatted so fast that he could not follow them even if there was a pattern for him to understand. Rabbo thought about how to learn the language of the rabbits and how to speak to them but he knew it would take a lot of time.

      If he could get them into the house and into the library he might be able to get Isis to record them and then be able to learn their language. But how to get them into the house?

      It seemed to Rabbo that the first problem was getting them into the house. The next would be getting them into the library. It did not enter into his head that Athena and Merwyn might not like the idea of having rabbits hopping around the house.

      Light foot steps came dancing down the stairs and Athena skipped into the kitchen. Once she saw the rabbits sitting close to the doorway she stopped and tried to make as little noise as possible. But it was too late as the wild rabbits had heard her skipping down the stairs and bolted like lighting.

      Rabbo looked up at Athena and was about to speak when Athena got a faraway look in her eyes. Athena looked at Rabbo “Dad still wants to know if you want anything in the village”

      Rabbo thought for a moment. “Nothing really. I have all I need”.

      Rabbo looked down the pathway at his female rabbit friend that was sitting on the pathway looking back at him. Rabbo hopped after her. He followed her down the pathway past the end of the garden down to the meadow to the low mound that the warren was dug into. To one side was a new hole. The hole was a large Rabbo size hole that he could hop into without any problems. The female rabbit hopped into the hole and looked back at Rabbo she then hopped out of sight down the hole.

      Rabbo followed her down the hole and it took a few moments for his eyes to adjust to how dark it was. The hole turned and twisted and a few times he saw other openings that were normal rabbit size. At last he reached the bottom and saw that there were fresh grasses and buttercups. The end of the burrow was a large area that he could turn around in and curl up in the bed of fresh grasses and buttercups.

      His female rabbit friend hopped into the grasses and curled up to sleep. So Rabbo nestled up next to her and waited until she was a sleep. As he waited he looked around and had to admit for a rabbit he did not like living in a cold damp burrow in the side of a low mound. It was too dark and his eyes could hardly see. The walls were too close and the low roof meant that he could not stand up on his hind legs. And worst of all he was worried that the roof or walls would fall in on him.

      Once Rabbo was sure that his female rabbit friend was asleep he slowly and gentle got up and moved away carefully as not to wake her. Half way down the burrow he was met by one of his brothers who started to chatter at him. It was clear that his brother was trying to tell him something and Rabbo guessed that it was about all the hard work that they had done to make him a burrow large enough for him to enter.

      “Thank you my brother for this wonderful burrow”.

      His brother chatted at him again and used his head to point to the walls of the burrow.

      Rabbo wondered how he was going to thank his brothers and sisters for all the hard work they had done. But that he was a little scared to sleep under ground. His brother turned around and hopped up the burrow towards the light that was pouring in though the opening. Rabbo followed and was almost blinded by the bright light of the outside world. He paused to let his eyes adjust to the blinding light of day.

      As he sat waiting he had that strange feeling that something or someone was trying to talk to him in his head. He looked around and spotted Athena lying in the tall grass near by. Being taller than the other rabbits he could see her tanned skin clearly though the grass. Looking right at her Rabbo could see she was watching closely what was going on.

      “Rabbo you will be late for your class if you don’t come along soon” said Athena’s voice in his head.

      Rabbo returned to the house just in time to start his afternoon class. The class was long and hard but as always Rabbo had to admit that he had enjoyed the class and learning was very addictive.
“Do you have any question unrelated to the class subject matter” asked the computer Isis.

      Rabbo thought for a moment and then looked around. He could not see or hear Athena so taking a deep breath Rabbo asked about the strange feeling in his head.

      Rabbo Isis was silent for a moment and then spoke, “Telepathic links often start with the feeling of someone talking in your head that is not your own voice”. As Isis spoke a red laser light flashed over Rabbo. “You are not my daughter” said the voice of Isis. Again there was a pause. “You are not human. Please wait while I access files” Isis paused “Oryctolagus cuniculus common rabbit. Detecting genetic manipulation”. Isis’s voice changed to one of all business. “Who did this to you? Was it my bond mate Merwyn or one of his colleagues”?

      Rabbo was rather confused by the sudden tone in the voice of Isis.

      “Umm Athena did this to me. And I like how it feels” said Rabbo becoming more alarmed at the tone of voice of Isis.

      “You are so I must deal with your being. I should not get upset as my own state I was willing to partake of. Please have my daughter come here at once” said Isis in a hard tone.

      Rabbo hopped down the ramp and went looking for Athena. He found her in the garden bent over picking fresh carrots for their dinner.

      “Isis wants to talk to you about me”.

      “Oh she scanned you at last. I was kind of dreading this day but it had to happen. I’m just surprised that it has not happened sooner.”

      Athena walked into the kitchen and put the fresh carrots on the counter top. Then washed her hands and walked into the library. Rabbo followed but as he reached the door it closed in front of him so that he could not enter the library. He reached up to turn the second door knob that was at his height but the door was locked so he sat down outside and listened.

      He heard Athena explaining all that had been done to Rabbo and the reasons why for each step. Then he heard Isis explain the moral issues of why she had a problem with what Athena had done. However Isis had no issue at all about the end result.

      The conversation when on until it was dark outside and Rabbo lost interest when things started to get to complex and they started to talk about another related issue. Rabbo hopped back over to the ramp that lead up to the counter top and hopped over to the carrots. He filled the sink with water and washed the carrots. He then cut off the tops and placed them in a bowl for himself.

      He chopped the carrots and then hopped down of the ramp off the counter and over to the store room where other vegetables were kept. He carried pea’s that were in their pods and thin beans back to the counter and shelled the pea’s and cut the thin beans. He was wondering if he should try and cook something hot for Athena when he heard the door to the library open and Athena walk out.

      She had a sly smile on her face that made her look even young to Rabbo. “Well mother is ok with you but not happy about what I did to young brothers and sisters but in time that will work itself out,” after a pause “we think. But only time can really tell”.

      Rabbo looked at her from the counter top and moved over to the basic salad that he had made for her. Athena added lettuce spinach salami and ham to her salad and added some peas and beans to Rabbo’s carrot tops.

      They sat and talked about what Isis had told Athena and then the subject of the feeling that Rabbo had of something or someone trying to be in his head.

      Athena looked at Rabbo and smiles then without moving her mouth or lips Rabbo heard her voice clearly in his head.

      “I better explain something about what I did. Years ago I was very sick and dad took a few brain cells from me and cloned them so that if something went wrong he could clone an embryo of me and use a host mother. Well I got better and we had the brain cells in cold storage in a manner of speaking”. Athena thought for a few “well after I worked on Cat I knew that one day I would be able to do better”.

      Again she paused for a moment. “Don’t get me wrong Cat is smarter than the humans on this planet. Just I forgot that cats are well cats and getting them to do things they don’t want to do is next to impossible. Just ask Cat. So anyway I thought maybe if I implanted those brain cells into your brain when you were very young I could make you just as intelligent as Cat. Only thing is that I used more brain cells than I wanted as I was not sure if they were good or not. What has happened is that your brain has been changed to something between a rabbit and a Sirian. You have all the mental abilities that I have as your brain is part of my brain”.

      Rabbo looked at her and then asked “So what abilities do I have?"

      “Well you have healing, astral travel, creativity telekinesis and coercion. All the ones I have. Telepathy all Sirian’s have and that is being able to talk mind to mind like I am with you right now. Now to talk privately like I am with you, you have to think of the person and picture them in your mind. Or like I am now just make eye contact and once that is made we can talk privately. If you want just to talk to anyone you shout out inside your head. But that would not be a good idea as some of our race don’t think highly of dad or myself. While others that are here on this planet just don’t want to be bothered” again Athena pause. “They have their own reasons as we have ours. But there are not many of us left. Well there were not many of us here in the first place. We are what you call exiles and by our own choosing. Not that I had much say in the matter as I was young when we came here”.

      Rabbo and Athena talked back and forth about what his and her abilities were and how he should start learning to use them. It was late and Athena was sitting in her dad’s chair in the living room. “Ok let’s try something. Think of dad and call him.”

      Rabbo sat still and pictured Merwyn in his mind and how he was dressed when Rabbo last saw him a few
      days before “hello Merwyn” Rabbo shouted in his head.
And in his head Rabbo heard the voice of Merwyn. “Hey don’t shout. I’m not deaf you know. So Athena has taken it on herself to teach you telepathy. I guess I will have no peace now”? The tone in Merwyn’s voice was more humor than being upset. Rabbo and Merwyn talked back and forth as they did Rabbo felt himself start to get very tired.

      “Your mind voice is fading Rabbo. I think you need to rest as you don’t want to burn yourself out” said Merwyn. “And don’t answer as you need to rest your mind”.

      And with that Rabbo felt Merwyn drop out of his mind.

      “Ok daft rabbit you are faded and your ears are drooping. I think you need to sleep.” and with that Athena picked Rabbo up and carried him upstairs to bed. Athena tried to hold Rabbo like she had when he was just a kitten rabbit but he had gotten too big to be held like that so Athena put his front paws over her shoulder and carried him up to her bedroom. She placed Rabbo on the foot of her bed next to his mother and she then pulled the bed covers back.

      “I better wash first as walking around in just my skin while feeling good is not smart plus I have to wash places that don’t normally see the light of day when dad is here”.

      Athena walked out of the room and down the hallway to the bathroom.

      Rabbo awoke from a rather strange dream to see Athena sitting on his window sill cross legged looking towards the meadow with her eyes closed. Rabbo hopped up next to her and waited for her to open her eyes so that he could tell her about his dream. As he waited he looked out the window and saw the rabbits from the warren playing in the moonlight. One rabbit was sitting on the chopping block that Merwyn used for cutting wood. The rabbit’s ears were moving as if scanning for other animals. As Rabbo watched a second rabbit hopped over and took up position on top of the compost heap looking towards the first rabbit.

      To Rabbo it was clear that both rabbits where watching out for foxes or other hunting creatures. Plus from where each was sitting they could see what was behind each other.

      After a few minutes two other rabbits replaced the first two rabbits and so it went until his brothers and sisters had each taken a turn at watching out for hunting animals.

      As Rabbo watched he saw Cat watching from the long grass. Cat moved slowly in a hunting crouch ever closer towards the rabbits. For a horrid moment Rabbo thought that Cat was hunting the rabbits but as he watched Rabbo saw a large rat close to the shed that the cattle were in.

      Suddenly Rabbo felt a hand run up his back. He turned so sudden that he almost fell off the window. Athena looked down at Rabbo. “Can’t you sleep?”

      “I woke up from a dream and wanted to tell you about my dream but you were watching something with your inner eyes,” said Rabbo still trying to calm down and slow his fast beating heart.

      Athena got up and moved over to her bed. She slid between that covers and patted the pillow so that Rabbo would come and sit close.

      “So what was your dream” Athena asked as she lay in bed.

      “I dreamt that I was floating above the house. I could look down and I could see the roof and the garden. I floated free above the house but I could not float far away. Then I saw a bright light come flying out of the window and it went over the garden down past the meadow and far far away. I wanted to fly after it but it was gone before I could follow”.

      “That bright light was me in my astral form” she looked at Rabbo and smiled. “I went to see dad and to make sure he was ok. He is fine and packed so he can leave in the morning” after a pause Athena added in a sleepy voice and trying hard not to yawn “can we talk about this in the morning”.

      Rabbo too suddenly felt very sleepy and he was about to hop over to the window sill to sleep when Athena reached out and placed a hand on his back. “No sleep here next to me. I don’t want to be alone” said Athena this time she did not hide her yawn. Rabbo snuggled close to her like he use to when he was much younger. He felt the warmth of her breath blowing softly across his nose and it reminded him of when he was tiny that she used to do that to him to calm him. Rabbo woke briefly from a rather confused dream and looked over at Athena. Her face was all happy and relaxed and she had a smile on her lips.

      Rabbo awoke to hear Athena’s voice drifting down the hallway from the bathroom. His mother was sitting in the window and Cat was sitting next to her licking her fur clean.

      Rabbo smiled to himself as this was an improvement over how she would run and hide if Cat came close.

      Athena came walking into the bedroom looked at Cat and Rabbo’s mother and laughed softly. Then she walked over to her closet and pulled out a short toga and looked at it.

      “I guess I should wear something as dad will be home in about 2 hours. Oh well I did enjoy being in my skin”.

      She started to slip the short toga on and stopped. She reached back into the closet and pulled out a tube top and a short white skirt. As she dressed she kept looking at herself in the mirror and turned this way and that as if she was making sure she looked good from every angle.

      “Come on Rabbo get out of bed and come down to the kitchen for breakfast. I want you in class before dad gets back” laughed Athena.
Breakfast was leftovers from the night before and a little fresh milk.

      Rabbo hopped to the library and found the door was locked so remembering what Athena had told him about talking telepathically to someone he pictured her in his mind and spoke. “Can I come in please for my morning lesson?”

      “Just a moment I am finishing something up with mom. Don’t ask so I won’t have to lie,” Athena’s voiced drifted though his head.

      Rabbo waited outside the library and tried not to listen. But that would have done him no good as Athena was typing on the key board and talking to her mother Isis that way so that Rabbo could not listen in.

      It was about five minutes later when Athena walked out of the library she looked down at Rabbo and smiled before she skipped off though the kitchen. Rabbo sat down in front of the computer Isis and started his lesson. While he was watching a video he looked out of the window and saw his mother with other rabbits from the warren sitting on the grass in front of her run.

      “Pay attention to the video” said Isis

      Rabbo turned back to watching the video but it was hard as it looked like the other rabbits where having fun. After watching the video Isis started asking questions which Rabbo had to answer and explain how he had come to the answers. As class finished there was a bright flash followed a few moments later by a loud rumbling sound outside.

      Rabbo hopped as fast as his legs would carry him to the kitchen back door and saw dark clouds overhead. He looked around for Athena but she was no were to be seen. Plus all the rabbits where gone from the grass.

      Rabbo hopped back inside and went looking for his mother. He found her in the living room sitting under Merwyn’s favorite chair. She did not seem too worried about the loud noise so Rabbo started to relax until there was another bright flash that lit up the whole room and then another loud long rumbling sound that seemed to go on for ever.

      His mother moved further under the chair and this time she was shaking so Rabbo moved close to her partly for her comfort but mostly for his.

      Then there was another bright flash followed very quickly by a long rumble. After a few moments there was a hissing sound and Rabbo could smell rain. So he moved away from his mother and hopped to the kitchen back door to look outside.

      From the kitchen door he saw Athena running up the pathway with the rain pouring down around her. Her tube top and skirt were so wet that they were clinging to her body. The rain was kicking up mud so as Athena ran her legs were getting a fine coating of mud. As she reached the house she suddenly stopped and turned and stood still with her back to the house.

      As Rabbo watched he saw a black hood start to come up the pathway and soon he could make out a black cloaked figure. The black hooded figure was totally dry yet the rain was coming down so hard that Athena was totally soaked and her clothes had become transparent from the rain. Her hair was so wet that it just hung down sticking to her head and body. Then she started running down the pathway not caring about the rain.

      Rabbo noticed that a wind had picked up and the air was turning cold and he started to worry that if Athena did not get dry soon she would get a cold and be sick. Athena wrapped her arms around the black cloaked figure and shouted “Daddy”

      Rabbo smiled and wondered if it was normal for Athena to suddenly seem so much younger. Merwyn and Athena walked into the house and headed straight to the fireplace. As they walked over the fire suddenly lit itself and warmth started to fill the kitchen.

      “How many times have I told you not to get cold and wet,” said Merwyn. “Get out of those wet cloths before you get sick and sit by the fire”.

      Athena smiled shyly and slipped her short skirt off, then her tube top and sat down next to the fire. Rabbo noticed that she was shivering a little and trying hard not to let her teeth chatter from the cold. So her hopped over and jumped up on her lap and snuggled close so that his body heat would help warm her up. Merwyn took off his cloak and wrapped it around Athena to speed up the warming so that she would not be cold too long.

      “Why were you out in the rain in the first place” asked Merwyn trying to keep an upset tone out of his voice.

      Athena looked up. “Dad I was down at my pool skinny dipping and I got out and was warming myself on a rock and fell a sleep. I honestly did not see the storm coming”.

      Rabbo snuggled closer into Athena sharing his body heat so that Athena could warm up faster. As he snuggled close her felt her start to shiver and at last she let her teeth chatter.

      Merwyn who had walked over to the stove to make something warm for Athena returned and looked at Athena as she shivered. He shook his head and started to walk away then he turned back and closed his eyes. Suddenly Rabbo felt warm all over and Athena stopped shivering and looked at Merwyn and smiled.

      “Dam you daughter you know how I feel about showing off with my abilities and if I did not know better I would say that you got cold just to make me use them,” despite the tone in Merwyn’s voice it was clear that he was not upset.

      Rabbo wriggled out from under the cloak and looked at Merwyn then Athena. He stretched out and put his front paws over Athena’s shoulder. Rabbo was glad that he had come out from under the cloak as it had gotten very warm under there and he had started to pant a little from the heat. Athena slipped a hand out from under the cloak and started to pet Rabbo by sliding her hand gentle up and down his back.

      Rabbo slipped down into Athena’s lap and rolled onto his back so that she could rub the soft fur on his belly. He wiggled in her lap so that his head hung down off her legs.

      From his upside down view point he saw his mother sitting in the kitchen door way watching the rain falling hard.

      The rain was coming down so hard now that there were deep puddles of water forming around the doorstep. Further away the tree’s were being blown hard by the wind and clouds where moving down from the mountainside covering the top of the mountain.

      Rabbo rolled and slipped of Athena’s lap and crashed to the floor.

      “I meant to do that” said Rabbo as he rolled over and stood up.

      Both Merwyn and Athena started to laugh.

      Merwyn walked back over to the stove and came back with a bowl full of soup. He then walked to the door looked outside and then reached down and picked up his pack that he had placed there when he had gotten home. He reached into the pack and pulled out a small black item and walked over to Rabbo. Merwyn opened the small black item which was made of black cloth and there was a small sword about 12 inches long. The black cloth Merwyn opened up and it was a small black cloak also there was a black leather belt and scabbard for the sword.

      “I had these made for you. The cloak has pockets in it so that you can put things in.”

      Rabbo took the sword and looked at it carefully. He then looked at the leather belt and scabbard and he put the sword into the scabbard. Carefully he put the belt on and the sword and scabbard hung down onto the floor. So he took the belt and scabbard off and placed them gently on the floor. Rabbo then took the cloak and placed it over his shoulders and did up the clasp. He stood up on his hind legs and looked around.

      Merwyn walked back over to his pack and pulled out a wrapped item that stood about 18 inches long. “Now my daughter something for you and something to think about.”

      Athena unwrapped the item and it was a statue of her wearing her armor and looking very goddess like. As Athena sat and looked at the statue Merwyn unpacked a few other items that he had brought back from the village, such as a couple of wine skins some parchment, ink, seeds, and little leather bags with dried herbs.

      Rabbo hopped over and sniffed the herbs and looked up at Merwyn then he looked at the parchment and ink. He then sniffed the wine skins and by the shape he could tell that they were full. Then he noticed still in the pack was a bunch of sticks with roots still attached to them. Rabbo looked closer at the sticks with the roots and wondered what they were for and why Merwyn had bothered to get sticks with roots when he could dig up living sticks with roots. Rabbo turned to look at Merwyn and was about to speak when Merwyn spoke first.

      “Those are not dead Rabbo they are just asleep. They are grape or will be grave vines so that we can have grapes to eat or make our own wine.”

      “Wine? How do you make wine” Rabbo asked.

      “Another time Rabbo and I will explain or better yet tomorrow I will plant these and next year I will show you how to make wine.”

      Athena got up from the chair near the fire and handed Merwyn his cloak back and walked out of the kitchen. Merwyn watched her leave and then took the vines out of his pack and put them beside the door. Then he went and filled a bucket with water and put the vines in the bucket. It was still raining hard outside but the kitchen was now nice and warm with the fire burning brightly.

      Rabbo’s mother came hopping over and sniffed Rabbo before she hopped to the kitchen door. She took one look at the rain then hopped over next to the fire and sat down on the rug in front of the fire.

      A few moments later Cat walked in dripping wet from the rain. He looked at Rabbo and walked by and sat down next to Rabbo’s mother and started to lick himself then he leaned over and started to lick Rabbo’s mother. She rolled over on her back so that Cat could clean her stomach. Rabbo was rather surprised at how relaxed his mother had become towards Cat and that she no longer moved away or even hid when Cat was around.

      Athena came walking back into the kitchen wearing a short white robe that she had left undone. She walked over to the storage room and came back with a tray loaded down with cold cuts of meat and fresh vegetable. She walked over to the kitchen counter and started to make dinner which looked like it would be cold cuts of meat and vegetables.

      Merwyn who had left the kitchen returned wearing a pair of shorts and a loose shirt he looked over at Athena and stopped. The look on his face was sad and he lowered his head for a moment to hide tears.

      Rabbo looked at Merwyn and wondered why he suddenly looked sad as he knew that there was no reason for Merwyn to look sad.

      Almost as if reading Rabbo’s mind Merwyn said. “She looks so much like her mother dressed like that.”

      Athena turned and looked at Merwyn “sorry dad I did not mean to upset you. I know that you still love my mother. But I am not sorry that I look like her. After all I am her daughter and your daughter so if I look like you or her, it’s natural” she turned back to preparing their dinner.

      Rabbo hopped out of the kitchen and head to the library as he knew it was close to his afternoon classes and that if he did not start the class now he would make dinner later not just for himself but for everyone. Rabbo’s afternoon class was went on a little longer than normal as it had left him with many questions that he wanted to answers too and he questioned Isis for a while unaware that over an extra hour had past. When Rabbo looked out of the window he could see that it was still raining and that the sun was starting to sink down towards the hills.

      He hopped down the ramp away from the desk that the monitor for Isis sat on and headed into the kitchen. The table was set but other than Cat and his mother there was no sign of either Merwyn or Athena.

      Rabbo hopped over to the kitchen door and pushed it open to see they their where outside but as far as he could see there was no sign of them outside. He hopped over to the elevator and was about to go upstairs when he heard foot steps coming down the stairs.

      Athena walked into the kitchen her hair wet from a bath. She was wearing a short skirt and a halter top. She walked over to the cool storage room and came out with the tray full of the food she had prepared earlier. Athena placed the food on the table and filled Rabbo’s plate with fresh greens with carrots and some fruit.

      Merwyn came down the stairs and went to where he had placed the wine skins and picked up one. He then got two large goblets and a small goblet and placed them on the table before filling them with wine. Rabbo sniffed the wine and wondered if it would taste as good as the wine he had before and whether it would leave him with what Merwyn called a hangover.

      “This won’t give you a hangover Rabbo” said Merwyn as if reading the rabbit’s mind.

      Dinner was very cheerful which pleased Rabbo as Merwyn had looked so sad before Rabbo had gone to class.

      After dinner Merwyn cleared the table and washed the dishes before he came over and sat in one of the chairs by the fire place. Athena sat down across them Merwyn and sipped on her wine.

      “Now, Rabbo, Athena tells me that you are starting to use your minds abilities is that right” said Merwyn in a very business like tone.

      “Yes or that’s what I think is happening. She speaks to me mind to mind and I hear her voice in my head. Also I have dreams where I float and I told her about them and she said that I was astral traveling”.

      “Tell dad about the feeling like something or someone is in your head, Rabbo,” said Athena.

      Merwyn looked at Rabbo and raised an eye brow. “You have that feeling? ” He turned and looked at Athena who looked away.

      Rabbo nodded and was about to speak when he had a strange feeling in his head. It persisted for a few moments before it stopped.

      “Like that” ask Merwyn or like this?" Again there was strange feeling in his head and he hopped around in a circle.

      “What did you just do to me?” asked Rabbo.

      “I am sorry I controlled your mind to make you do something” said Merwyn “It seemed easier than telling you.”

      “No neither of those feelings are like the one I was telling about. It’s more like when someone is in another room and they are talking low so I can’t listen” explained Rabbo.

      “Seems like you need to build a mind shield to keep unwanted thoughts and feelings out,” said Merwyn.

      As Merwyn started to explain how to make mental shields to protect Rabbo’s mind Athena sat sipping on her wine and from time to time she would look over at Merwyn smile or wink. Merwyn would pause and take a sip from his wine and then continue explaining to Rabbo how to build and use shields to protect himself.

      Merwyn then had Rabbo make a mental mind shield and then Merwyn would probe it and tell Rabbo how to make it stronger and better. It was quiet late when Merwyn finished explaining and testing Rabbo’s mental mind shield and Rabbo was feeling sleepy.

      He hopped over to his elevator and rode upstairs to Athena’s bed room. He climbed up on to the window sill and looked out over the garden and the meadow. He could see the other rabbits down at the far end eating the rain wet grass. But he was too tired to go out and join them.

Watch for December's continuation of "Rabbo Tales."Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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