Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rabbo Tales, Chapter 6 - part 1

By Mark Crocker

Full Moon

    Rabbo looked up at Merwyn as Merwyn slept in the chair. Merwyn looked so peaceful with his eyes closed, but having his mouth open and drooling a little did not fit with the image of Merwyn that Rabbo had in his head. So Rabbo reached up with one paw and tried to push Merwyn’s month shut, but as soon as he took his paw away, Merwyn's mouth opened again. Rabbo settled down in Merwyn’s lap waiting for him to wake back up and avoiding the odd drip of drool. But knowing that could be awhile as Merwyn had been up all night. Rabbo wanted to thank Merwyn for hunting down what was causing those strange feelings in his head and coming up with something that would help with the problem.
    Athena came walking down the stairs carrying a light blanket and a choker with a small silver ball. She looked at Merwyn and smiled. Then she placed the blanket gently over Merwyn and Rabbo, making sure that Rabbo’s head was free and Merwyn was covered.
    Rabbo snuggled closer to Merwyn and pushed his head gently against Merwyn’s so that he would know in his sleep that Rabbo was nearby, and thanked him for all the hard work he had done to find what had been making Rabbo feel so strange. Rabbo then curled up in Merwyn's lap to wait for him to wake back up. But soon Rabbo joined Merwyn in sleep.
    In Merwyn's dream, Rabbo saw a field full of green grass with mountains in the background and snow on their summits. There was a crystal clear lake, and a young woman was sitting by the lake with her feet in the cold clear water. The woman stood up and turned to face Merwyn. She was about six feet tall with brownish blond hair. Her eyes were greenish blue and her skin slightly tanned. Her face was an oval with lips that were soft and full. She was slim yet had good muscle tone that spoke of great strength. Next to her on the bank was a basket with white padded linen and a little pink foot poking out of the far end.
    As Merwyn walked closer, the woman ran toward him and embraced him in a passionate greeting that almost knocked Merwyn off his feet. “Come meet our daughter, my darling!” The woman reached down into the basket and held up a little wriggling blond girl with the brightest eyes. “Athena, meet your daddy. Athena, this is Merwyn, your father. Merwyn, meet Athena. She has already named herself. Isn't that wonderful?”
    “What are you doing in my dream, rabbit? As you are here, enjoy one of the most precious moments in my life,” said Merwyn to Rabbo.
    Down on the beach was a blanket spread out with cushions and a basket with food and wine. “My darling Isis, I love you with all my heart. I am home and never will I leave you again.”
    “I know, and I will always be here for you and our daughter.”
    They sat down on the blanket, and Merwyn took hold of infant Athena and held her up so that she could look down on him. Isis snuggled closer to Merwyn and looked up at Athena. Merwyn lowered Athena and held her in the crook of his arm and started to sing to her.
    "The rest of this dream is private. So wake up, rabbit.”
    Rabbo woke up and wondered how he had got into Merwyn's dream, and how Merwyn had known that it was him in his dream and not Athena. Athena sat opposite Rabbo and Merwyn, teasing wool so she could spin it into yarn that she could later weave into cloth for Merwyn and herself.
    As Rabbo looked around the room, he saw his mother come hopping in though the kitchen door and hop over to her food bowl that was heaped full of fresh carrot tops and grains. Rabbo slipped off Merwyn's lap and hopped over and joined his mother at the food bowl and started to eat as he was suddenly very hungry.
    “Don’t you have things you should be doing today?” said Athena.
    “I guess you are right. But I would rather stay here and wait for Merwyn to wake up.”
    “That might be a while.” Athena said.
    Rabbo finished his breakfast and hopped off to the library.
    Cat was asleep in the window, and as Rabbo looked out the window he saw the wild rabbits playing in the grass. Behind them dark clouds were forming over the mountains and there was a promise of thunder later in the day. Rabbo was glad that Athena had given him the day off from his classes, as that meant he could do what he wanted and he wanted to check the garden to make sure the wild rabbits had not been what Merwyn called “raiding.”
    Cat would often patrol the garden to keep the wild rabbits away from the vegetables that they liked. But when Cat was off doing Cat things they would sneak in and “raid” the garden, often times eating a whole bunch of spinach and carrot tops. It was a good thing that Merwyn and he had planted extra so that the “raids” were not too bad as long as the wild rabbits did not go crazy as they had a few times.
    Rabbo hopped though the kitchen, stopping to check on the sleeping Merwyn before he went and got his rabbit size shovel and headed out to the garden. Rabbo stopped by the big barn that now housed the cattle at night and looked inside. Cat was lying on the straw that had been harvested from the meadow around the back of the house that Rabbo hardly ever went to.
    Cat looked up at Rabbo with sleepy eyes. “Shhh listen to mice. Go away now you scare mice and I no hunt with you here.”
    Rabbo hopped off and was about to head down to the garden when he had a thought. So he closed his eyes and pictured Cat in his head.
    “Psst Cat. Can you hear me?” said Rabbo
    “Pah I hear well. You slow learner. I talk with mind. Why you ask?” said Cat.
    “Well, I just wondered if you could talk mind to mind, that's all,” said Rabbo
    “Silly rabbit. Mind like yours,” said Cat. “Pah! Stop bothering me as I hunt.”
    Rabbo hopped off down the garden path toward the area that he had planned to plant more carrots and something called squash that Athena liked to cook with or eat raw. Rabbo had only tasted squash a few times and he was not sure he liked it. But his mother loved squash. She liked it so much in fact that when she smelt it she would run around in circles.
    Rabbo arrived at the spot he planned to plant the carrots and squash, and was a little upset to see a long row of grape vines right where he had planned to plant. As Rabbo sat and thought about where he could plant the carrots and squash, a thought popped into his mind. He needed to return to the house. Something was pushing on his mind shields and it was not good. Rabbo stuck his small shovel into the ground at the end of the row of vines and hopped fast up the pathway back to the house.
    As he hopped he thought of Athena: “Shields being attacked, need thing that Merwyn said would help protect me.”
    “I’m not sure how it works, but you should be ok close to me. So come inside and sit next to me.”
    Rabbo arrived at the house were Athena was standing waiting for him. She reached down and picked him up, sitting him on her hip before she walked though the kitchen into the living room. In the corner was her loom all set up, so she could make cloth for clothes that she and Merwyn could wear.
    Athena sat Rabbo down next to the loom and started to weave the wool into cloth. She had made some of the wool into different colors, and as Rabbo watch she wove the different colors in to make a checker board pattern. The wool was so fine that it looked like it would break, but as Rabbo looked close and pulled on one of the balls of yarn, he found that it was very strong.
    Rabbo started to get bored sitting next to Athena with nothing to do. But because he knew that the people far far way were trying to get though his shields he stayed close.
    Athena noticed that Rabbo was having a hard time sitting still, so she stopped working on the loom, got up and went to the book shelves, pulled down an old book and handed it to Rabbo.
    The book had a mix of words and pictures that showed huge bodies of blue water with huge fish like things swimming in the blue water. Rabbo started to read and was surprised to learn that they were not fish but mammals that had evolved to live in the water and were in fact very intelligent. As Rabbo sat reading about dolphins he heard a very faint rumbling off in the distance.
    “Thunder,” said Rabbo.
    “Ahh, I thought the storm was heading our way. You think it is going to be a big one?” asked Athena.
    “Yes, I think so. The rumble was long.”
    After a while Rabbo finished reading and sat and thought about Athena and the place she had lived before.
    “You talk of Bastet like Merwyn talks about Isis. Why is that?” asked Rabbo.
    “She was and is a very special friend. Well, more then a friend, really. She was my mother’s younger sister. And when my mother was sick, she kind of took over the role of mother for a while. Then she taught me about other things and we became … um … very close.”
    Athena closed her eyes and for a moment she seemed to blush and smile before she opened her eyes again.
    “You love her like Merwyn loved Isis?” asked Rabbo
    “Yes, I do. I just wish that she had come with us. But, well, she stayed to try and help the people. I guess in some ways she is stronger than Dad or me.”
    “She is a very strong woman, is your Bastet. And I am glad she stayed behind. I’m not sure if you would have got anything done with her around,” said Merwyn standing in the doorway looking a little less tired.
    Athena turned bright red and looked down at the ground, then lifted her head back up and smiled at Merwyn. To Rabbo it was clear that there had been some telepathic interplay between them on the private telepathic mode.
    A low rumble filled the room, and Merwyn turned and looked out the window at the approaching storm.
    “Looks like it’s going to be a nice storm,” said Merwyn.
    “Oh, I do love a good thunder storm,” chuckled Athena.
    This time it was Merwyn who blushed as he looked at Athena.
    A bright flash lit up the living room, followed by a loud crash of thunder close by. Rabbo stood up on his hind legs and looked out of the window and saw that the storm clouds were very close by. So close in fact that he could see rain falling over the woods at the end of the meadow.
    Cat walked into the living room, sat down at Merwyn’s feet, and started to clean his paws by spreading each toe apart and licking between then. Then Cat bit his claws and pulled gently to get rid of a nail that had split. After cleaning his paws and claws, Cat worked his way up his front legs, and then he turned and started to clean his hind paws in the same manner as he had done with his front paws.
    Rabbo looked around to see where his mother was, and she was sitting near to Merwyn who was looking down at her. Just then there was another flash of lightning and Rabbo’s mother hopped so close to Merwyn that he had to take a step back. Merwyn reached down and picked up Rabbo’s mother and held her close to comfort her as the storm drew close.
    A loud clap of thunder filled the room.
    “My, she hates thunder!” Merwyn said.
    “It hurts her ears and mine, too,” said Rabbo.
    Merwyn turned and looked down at Rabbo as he petted Rabbo’s mother. “I guess it would hurt her ears, and yours, too. That last clap was loud.”
    As if to make Merwyn's point, the next flash of lightning was followed very closely by an even louder clap of thunder. Then a hiss was heard followed by a flash, and right after the flash an even louder clap of thunder. The storm was right on top of them and the hissing, flashing and thunder boomed loudly overhead, jumping from one side of the house to another.
    Athena stood up with her hair standing straight out from her head from what Rabbo thought was the static charge in the air. As Rabbo looked at her, he noticed that she was on tiptoes and not moving her feet as she glided across the floor.
    Athena spun slowly in a circle and brought her arms out to make a cross. Her fingers glowed and little lightening bolts of static electricity popped out from her finger tips flying off harmlessly.
    Merwyn looked at Athena and shook his head sadly. “Just like your mother when it comes to thunder storms. Are you holding it overhead , too?”
    Athena laughed and carried on spinning slowly with small harmless bolts of lightning popping off her finger tips. Suddenly Athena arched her back and laughed wildly and her toga blew apart and she sunk down to the floor in a heap giggling and laughing wildly as if she could not control herself. She looked up at Merwyn, her eyes wide and with a look of pure delight and enjoyment.
    “I seem to remember Mom doing this once when I was little. It’s a thing I think I remember,” said Athena sitting on the floor not even bothering to hide the fact that her toga was in tatters laying in different parts of the room.
    She drifted back up from the floor and let her legs down as she spread her arms again. There was a bright flash of light and a loud boom that filled the whole house.
    As the boom shook the house, Athena arched her back let out a loud moan. “Storm! I let you be free to move away to where you will!” shouted Athena in loud passionate voice.
    Then a faint hissing sound was heard as the rain started to fall outside.
    Rabbo turned to look though the window and saw rain falling hard against the window and flashing as the storm moved off towards the south.
    Merwyn put Rabbo’s mother down and she hopped towards Rabbo and sat down, looked at him, and then started to clean her paws. She seemed unworried by the faint flashing and faint thunder booms coming from the south.
    Merwyn looked at Athena and walked past her as he left the room heading towards the stairs. Athena giggled and laughed as she floated with her feet a few inches above the hard wood floor. She then stopped spinning, arched her back again, making all her muscle tighten, and then bolts of harmless lighting shot out of her finger tips. She turned and drifted out of the room with her hair still standing wildly out.
    Cat walked over to Rabbo and looked at him shyly. “She like thunder bumpers. She make thunder bumper stay over house. She get silly with thunder bumper.”
    Rabbo hopped out of the room through the kitchen to the back door. He pushed open the door and watched the rain falling. Cat and his mother joined him and the three sat watching the rain falling in the garden and around the house.
    Rabbo mused to himself that Athena seemed to enjoy the storm so much that she was more than glowing and delighted by the storm, there was something that the storm had done to her, or was it something she had done to the storm? Some kind of energy that had made her whole body glow. Something he did not understand.
    It was almost dinner time when Athena came down the stairs and walked into the kitchen. She was as she had been when she drifted out of the living room. She walked into the living room and returned with the tattered remains of her toga.
    “I guess it was worth losing my toga,” she giggled wildly.
    “Why?” asked Rabbo.
    Athena just looked at Rabbo and giggled.
    Athena walked over to the cool storeroom and picked out fresh vegetables and three steaks of venison. She looked over at the cooker and small flames popped up on one of the burners. A large skillet drifted over and sat down on the flames. A bottle of olive oil floated over and a small amount poured from the bottle before it returned to its place. Athena walked over to the cooker, put the three steaks in the skillet, and walked over to the sink and started to wash the vegetables.
    As Athena cooked dinner, Merwyn came walking down the stairs carrying a white robe for Athena. Athena turned and took the robe without saying a word and started to chop carrots while keeping an eye on the green and yellow squash that was cooking next to the steaks.
    Merwyn started to set the table with knives, forks, spoons, napkins and wine glasses. He set out three dinner plates and four salad bowls ready for them all to be seated at the table. He then walked over to the cool storage room and came back with a wine skin.
    Merwyn poured the wine into a wine decanter and placed that in the center of the table were the condiments were sitting.
    “You going to get candles, too, Dad?” asked Athena.
    “Why?” said Merwyn.
    Athena laughed. “I know what today is. And don’t say that you don’t, as I know that you know what today is.”
    Rabbo looked over at Athena. “What is today?”
    “Dad, do you want me to tell Rabbo? Or are you willing to tell him?”
    “It’s not important what today is,” replied Merwyn.
    “Oh, so I have to tell Rabbo,” chuckled Athena. “Dad is 1725 years old today. It’s his birthday.”
    Athena turned back to cooking dinner and flipped the steaks, making sure that they were being cooked the way that Merwyn liked them.
    Dinner took about an hour to cook and it was starting to get dark outside. But just before the sun went down it broke though the clouds and sent a ray of sunlight shining in though the window on the west side of the kitchen. The sunlight lit up Athena and her white robe for a moment became transparent as she walked towards the library to get the candles for the dinner table.
    After they had eaten and Athena had cleared the table and washed the dishes, they all went into the living room and sat down. Soft music filled the room, and the fireplace sprang into life as the storm had left a slight chill in the air. Athena sat down on the rug with her wine glass and sang to the music in such a soft sweet voice that Rabbo did not recognize her voice. Each phrase was so clear and sweet that it was true beauty. The song filled Rabbo’s heart with delight and joy, and brought on such rapture that he could not look away even if he had wanted to. Rabbo got up and started to clap his paws in time with her words and the tempo of the music, yet he was unaware that Athena was in control of his body and mind.
    Merwyn watched as Rabbo danced and Athena sung. Totally aware that Athena was using Rabbo to entertain him for his birthday, Merwyn watched in delight. Yet he hoped that Rabbo would not be upset once he realized that Athena was using him as a puppet.
    Athena stopped singing and let Rabbo slip out of her control, so he could sit down and rest after dancing for Merwyn.
    Rabbo thought for a moment and then looked up at Athena, “Why did you do that to me?”
    “I wanted to entertain Dad for his birthday and thought you would not mind while I controlled your mind.”
    “Oh, I don’t mind, just please let me know next time,” replied Rabbo.
    Merwyn covered his face to hide his amusement that Rabbo knew Athena had been in control of Rabbo’s mind and body.
    “You know, that’s bad manners to do that to Rabbo,” said Merwyn to Athena.
    Athena turned to Rabbo, bowed her head, and said, “I am sorry I used you like that Rabbo my darling rabbit."
    “That’s ok, but next time please ask me.” Rabbo hopped up on her lap and kissed her on the nose.
    After a while Athena stood back up as a new song started and danced for Merwyn. She moved her hands and arms like ocean waves and swayed her hips almost in a seductive manner. The words she sang were in a language that Rabbo did not understand. Yet they filled him full of thoughts of a great body of water with waves and a rolling soft sound like millions of small rocks washing back and forth.
    As she sang and danced, her body changed into a half cat with brown and black stripped fur on her legs and lower body. She took off her robe and Rabbo was surprised to see that her skin had changed color, and that she seemed to be wearing a body suit of light brown fur with black strips on her back and shoulders and white fur on her stomach and chest. Her faced changed into that of a cat with pointed ears and cat's eyes and nose. As the song ended she sank down onto all fours and looked like a giant cat with no tail.
    Athena sat like a huge cat with her front legs towards Merwyn and Rabbo and her hind legs curled back around towards them.
    “I like how it feels to be a tiger. I might spend a whole year like this,” laughed Athena.
    Merwyn threw his head back and started to laugh hard. “Daughter, you are crazy. Just because Bastet spent ten years as a huge lion does not mean you should spend a year as a tiger.” Still laughing, Merwyn added, “Remember how she had a hard time afterwards and her face is still cat like.”
    “Yeah, and her tongue is still rough, or the last time I saw her it was,” giggled Athena.
    Rabbo turned and looked out the window and saw that the forest to the west had a faint white glow.
    “Rabbo, could you get the wine skin from the kitchen, please?” meowed Athena.
    Rabbo hopped off to the kitchen and went into the cool storage room. As he passed by the back door he saw that the full moon was casting a bright glow that filled the whole night sky with a bright silver glow.
    When Rabbo hopped back into the living room Athena was laying on the rug in her normal human shape sipping on an almost empty wine glass.
    Merwyn was talking about what he had planned for the garden and that he was going to have to cut down some trees to make a fence so he could fence off an area for the cattle as he thought that the bull might have covered one or both of the cows.
    It had had been a few hours since Rabbo had gone and got more wine, and he was starting to feel very sleepy. So politely he wished Merwyn and Athena good night.
    He hopped into the kitchen, over to his elevator, and went upstairs. Once upstairs he hopped into Athena’s room and climbed up onto the window sill. As he sat there looking at the forest and the full moon, he saw that the rabbits where out in the grass that had been cut short. Rabbo watched them eating, hoping that he would see his female rabbit friend. But there were too many rabbits and some where too far away to see if his female rabbit friend was among them. Soon Rabbo drifted off to sleep in his spot in the window sill.
    Rabbo awoke with a sudden start. He looked around and the moon was setting and there was a faint glow to the east that hinted of morning. The rabbits where still out at the far end of the meadow feeding. Two rabbits were on guard duty, watching over the other rabbits.
    Rabbo looked around and saw that Athena’s bed was still made and that she had not slept in her bed.
    Rabbo slipped off the window sill and hopped out of Athena’s bedroom and hopped down the hallway. When he reached his elevator he had to push the lever so it would come up. As he waited he heard the faint sound of Athena coming from down stairs.
    Once the elevator arrived he hopped on and rode down to the kitchen. As he hopped though the kitchen he noticed that the living room door was closed and a faint flicker of light was coming from under the door.
    Rabbo hopped outside into the early dawn light and sat and watched as the moon set over the forest. Then he hopped down to the meadow keeping his ears open for any sound that might mean danger.
    Rabbo looked back to the house and saw that light was coming from the living room and that he could see movement though the curtains. He turned back and headed down the path to the low mound where the warren was. Upon arriving at the low mound, he was greeted by two of his brothers his female rabbit friend and another female rabbit. His brothers sat up on their hind legs, looked around and started to chatter at him. Each time they stopped they looked at both females. Then they would chatter at him again. After a while of not understanding Rabbo had an idea.
    With his nose he pointed at the grass and said “grass” then he pointed again with his nose at the grass and said “grass” again. He did this a few times. Each time his brothers would look at him, cock their heads to one side, look at each other and then back at him.
    Rabbo tried again, and this time one of his brothers looked closely at him, shook his head, sniffed the grass and made a single sound. His brother then looked at him again, looked back down at the grass, made the sound again, and looked back at Rabbo.
    “That must mean grass,” Rabbo said to himself.
    So he made the sound again and sniffed the grass.
    One of his brothers shook his head, sniffed the grass, and made the same sound that he had before.
    Rabbo repeated the sound and pulled a single blade of grass up and looked at his brother.
    His brother nodded and nibbled the grass right out of his paw.
    “Ahh, if I can get them to make the sound for things, I can learn their language,” Rabbo thought to himself.
    His female rabbit friend hopped closer before Rabbo had the chance to start learning the rabbit’s language. She rubbed against him and was soon joined by the other female.
    As Rabbo sniffed the other female, he felt very interested in her. Suddenly she ran off a little way, turned and looked at Rabbo. His female friend nudged him from behind to follow the other female rabbit. Rabbo ran after her as she headed towards the large burrow that they had dug for him.
    It was full day when Rabbo came up out of the burrow. The light was very bright and it took him a few seconds for his eyes to adjust to the bright light.
    He hopped back up to the house, but about half way there he heard movement in the long grass. Before he could react a huge cat with brown and black striped fur and a white underbelly leaped out at him, knocking him to the ground. Rabbo rolled and pushed upwards with his paws and hind legs to stop the mouth from coming down on him. Then he felt himself being pinned to the floor. He sniffed in panic and something smelt very familiar to him. So he stopped fighting and wriggling.
    “Stupid rabbit,” said Athena's voice. “What if I was a real tiger? What then?”
    “I would be dead no matter how hard I fought,” answered Rabbo.
    Rabbo sniffed the air again and looked around with wild eyes. “Someone or something is coming. I don’t know their smell.”
    Athena in cat form started to close her eyes, but suddenly a light brown female lion leapt on her, biting at her neck. Athena in tiger form and the lion rolled around on the ground. To Rabbo it looked like they were fighting at first but then after a few moments it became clear that they were play fighting. Then the lion transformed into another woman. The woman was about six feet tall with brownish blond hair and green cat eyes. Her face had the look of a cat, yet was clearly human. She had good muscle tone like someone who keeps in shape and takes pride in how they look. Her skin was lightly tanned and totally naked.
    “Is Merwyn awake? I know how he feels about people being fully naked,” said Bastet. “Or have you cured him of that?”
    Athena turned back into her normal self and like Bastet she was totally naked. “No, but I am working on it,” laughed Athena. “But thankfully he just went to sleep. So he won’t be bothered by us being naked.”
    Athena looked down at Rabbo. “Come, let’s go back to the house and get Bastet some clothes.”
    Athena took hold of Bastet’s hand, learned in and kissed her on the lips. Then they both started to walk up the pathway, talking and holding hands, as Rabbo followed along behind them.
Once in the house, Athena made breakfast for Rabbo, all the while looking over at Bastet and smiling.
Watch for February'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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