Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rabbo Tales - Chapter 10

By Mark Crocker


    Rabbo awoke to the sunlight shining on his face and warmth all over his body. He lay still enjoying the feeling and stilled his mind. He could here Athena breathing softly in her bed as she slept deeply after the long walk from the village.
    Rabbo withdrew his mind from his body until he felt himself free from all its feelings that were a normal part of daily living. He floated up gentle from his fur covered body so that he could look down and see his body laying still on the window sill. Looking around Athena’s room he saw her toga laying like a headless body on the floor where she had dropped it. At the end of the bed lay Cat with his body sprawled out taking up the lower half of one side of the bed. Next to Athena’s head sat his mother who was cleaning her paws and ears. He drifted out of Athena’s room passing though the door. He turned towards the back of the house away from the bathroom and the stairs and instead headed towards the back of the house were Merwyn's rooms were. He reached the door that would let him into Merwyn’s room and started to move forward into the door.
    Rabbo had never been into Merwyn’s room and he was curious to see what was in Merwyn's rooms. So curious that he rushed towards the door not noticing the strange red glow that surrounded the door and walls.
    Rabbo felt his astral body start to itch with such intensity that he backed up away from the door. He moved to one side of the door and tried to push though the wall and again his astral body started to itch. So again he backed up and moved back to the door. He had seen Athena just open the door and walk in many times. Yet the few times he had tried to open the door it had been locked. Maybe it was locked by what Athena called “a mental lock” a lock that had to be undone by the mind.
    Rabbo looked closely as the door knob and it looked all fuzzy as if it was so out of focus that it was just a blob.
    Rabbo moved back up the hallway all the way to the top of the stairs. Then he rushed down the hallway at the door with such speed that he did not feel the impact nor the repelling force that sent him spinning end over end out from the front of the house.
    He sat in mid air looking at the front of the house and wondered what kind of force was surrounding Merwyn's rooms.
    He looked around and noticed that he was about the same length from the house as the length of the hallway. He looked down at the ground and saw Merwyn standing below him and looking up at him with a sad look on his face. Merwyn pointed his finger at Rabbo in his astral form “My rooms are private please respect my privacy”.
    Rabbo moved away back towards the house and drifted into Athena’s bedroom where his body still lay in the sun. He sunk back into his body and brought his heart rate back up to normal before he opened his eyes. He lay in the sun letting the sun warm his body back up so that he would not be freezing from his astral trip. As Rabbo lay on the window sill on his cushion he heard Athena let out a soft moan and then she rolled over and opened her eyes to look right at Rabbo.
    “Did you sleep well” asked Athena with sleep still in her voice.
    “He’s been awake for a while and sneaking around in astral form,” said Merwyn who was sitting on the chair at Athena’s dresser.
    Rabbo looked surprised at Merwyn who had just seen standing in the garden. “How did” said Rabbo stuttering a little.
    “I walked up the stairs and came in though the door. Silly rabbit” said Merwyn. “You took your time getting your heart rate back to normal. And that’s good. So I had plenty of time to come up here”.
    Merwyn switched over to the private mode “My rooms are private and my private study is very private even Athena can’t go in there. And don’t ask why as that too is private.”
    “I just wanted to see” said Rabbo keeping the tone of disappointment out of his voice the best he could.
    “Come sleepy heads breakfast is ready and it’s late in the day. The sun has been up for hours and there is much to do as being away did not mean things just stopped happening here while we were away” said Merwyn. Merwyn stood up and walked around the edge of Athena’s bed leaned down kissed her on the forehead and left the room.
    Athena sat up slipped out of bed grabbed her robe and headed to the bathroom to freshen up before going down stairs to have breakfast. Rabbo followed Athena into the bathroom and looked up at her as she brushed her teeth clean.
    “Should I clean my teeth too” asked Rabbo.
    Athena looked down at Rabbo as she pushed the tooth brush back to reach her molars and nodded. “It would not hurt. After all you may live a very long time and taking care of your teeth is a good idea”.
    “What’s in Merwyn’s rooms” asked Rabbo on Athena’s private telepathic mode.
    “Not much really. No bed, no rugs. Just a couch and some pictures. Mostly of mom and me. A few of friends long gone and a picture that takes up the window of what was our home. There are a few cushions on the floor in the corner and I think that’s where dad sleeps? And as for dad’s study I have no idea. I have tried to peek but he has a shield there that I can get though so I have no idea,” answered Athena in the same private mode.
    Breakfast was fresh milk dandelion leaves and spinach for Rabbo and nuts grains fruit bread with fresh butter and milk for Athena.
    Merwyn came walking in from the garden with a bucket full of milk and a bucket full of carrots, radishes and young squash.
    “Think you need to make more butter, Athena.” said Merwyn.
    “I wonder how the battle went,” mused Athena.
    “Like all battles. Bloody messing with the dead and wounded littering the field. The wounded to be pitied more than the dead” said Merwyn his voice a monotone with out any signs of emotion.
    “Sorry dad I just did not mean,” Athena’s voice trailed off.
    “Did not mean to what! I’m sorry just I hate battles and wars and all that goes with it,” said Merwyn as he walked into the cool storage room.
    Athena turned to Rabbo and looked him up and down.
    Rabbo noticed that Athena seemed to be glowing a little around her eyes and head. Almost as if she had a halo around her eyes and head. Rabbo cocked his head to one side and looked closer at Athena seeing that it was more than just her eyes and head that was glowing slightly.
    “What are you looking at” said Athena looking back at Rabbo.
    “You are glowing all over.”
    “Oh yeah it’s the fetus in me making me do that,” stated Athena.
    “Really, if I recall from my studies that you should not start glowing until week 6 of your pregnancy” asked Rabbo.
    The glow faded away and Athena’s body looked normal as she sat in the chair eating her breakfast. Then as she reached for the milk jug to refill her glass she winced a little and then half stood up.
    Rabbo for some reason thought it best to talk on Athena’s private mode. “How far along are you?”
    “Almost 6 weeks. Damn you Rabbo you know we can’t lie on the private mode,” answered Athena in the same mode.
    “Really I did not know that. But that would mean you were pregnant when Bastet got here”.
    “Why do you think I asked her to come here silly rabbit”?
    “Your pregnancy is unplanned”?
    “No I planned it. I wanted this baby.”
    Rabbo looked at Athena hopped down from his chair and on his hind legs walked carefully around to where she was sitting. He placed a paw on her leg and the leaned in and opened her robe careful and looked at her stomach but did not see any difference.
    Athena stood up with her robe open so that Rabbo could see better. Her stomach bulged a little but was hardly noticeable.
    Athena then closed her robe and tired the belt before she sat back down and continued to eat the last of her breakfast.
    Rabbo hopped down the pathway towards the garden and the area that the wild rabbits had dug before Merwyn, Athena, Bastet, Cat and he had gone to the village. He was surprised to see that the area was much large than he remembered and wondered if the wild rabbits had been digging more garden.
    Rabbo could see Merwyn working on the vines that had small leaves sprouting from them. As he stood up on his hind legs he saw the wild rabbits down at the far end of the meadow gathered around something. So instead of working in the garden Rabbo hopped down to investigate what was going on? When he arrived he saw a rabbit’s body laying on the dirt and the other rabbits pushing the rabbit body with their noses.
    Rabbo hopped closer and saw that it was the very old female rabbit who had passed. He felt very sad that age had come upon her and that she had to pass away as she was so nice and friendly. Rabbo looked around and saw a patch of bare earth and started to dig a hole so that she could be placed in there as he felt that for one so old her body she not be taken and eaten but the wild things that would come.
    One of his sisters hopped over and looked at him.
    “Help dig,” Rabbo said in rabbit language.
    “Why,” said his sister.
    “Not let eaters eat she,” replied Rabbo.
    His sister turned to her sister and brothers “Help man talker dig”.
    All of his brothers and his sisters joined him in digging a deep hole so that they could put the old female rabbit in.
    “Psst Rabbo I have placed fresh cut grass on the pathway near you,” said Athena. “Use it to make her a bed so that she can sleep in eternity on a bed of fresh grass”.
    Rabbo turned to his brothers and sister “Bring she here and bed I make for her um time sleep.”
    Rabbo hopped up the pathway and saw that very close to the beginning of the pathway was a pile of very fresh grass with buttercup and dandelions mixed in with the grass. Rabbo gathered up the grass in his paws and hopped back down to where his brothers and sister were waiting with the body of the old female rabbit. Rabbo made a soft bed with the grass, buttercup and dandelions and then helped to place the old female rabbit into the hole.
    The other wild rabbits gathered around and looked down at the old female rabbit. To Rabbo it looked like she was sleeping in an opened burrow. His brothers and sister sat quietly and looked down and bowed their heads and made a soft low cheeping sound that sounded very mournful and sad. Rabbo started to push dirt back in and when the hole was half filled two of his brothers pushed a flat rock onto the hole.
    “So eaters no dig old one up,” said one of his sisters.
    The rest of the hole was filled and a low small mound of fresh dirt was all that now marked the passing of an old well loved rabbit. Rabbo looked around and saw a bunch of wild flowers floating a few feet away. The flowers floated over and landed on the mound of fresh dirt. Behind it came a flat stone with words carved into it.
    The words were simple and read “mother of the warren, mother of all”.
    The stone sunk into the low mound and stood upright so that the words could be read by any that passed by and could read them. Rabbo’s vision blurred and tears poured forth.
    Rabbo sat alone in the living room looking into the empty fire place. He wondered why things had to die and pass from this world. He wondered where they went when they passed from this world. He stared into the empty fire place not really seeing the brick work or the ashes in the fireplace.
    Rabbo just sat there feeling such sadness that an old female rabbit that seemed so sweet and wise had passed. He knew that she was not able to talk to him and now he would never see her face again. He wondered if she could have talked what she would have told him, what had she seen in her life. What things she must have done in her life. And now they were all gone.
    Then a thought entered his head. Was she his grand mother or great grand mother? A glimmer of hope suddenly popped up inside him. He could find out. But that would mean digging her up and testing her body and Rabbo though that would be very bad.
    Rabbo stared long and hard into the fireplace trying hard to understand why anything had to die. Rabbo in his sadness did not notice Athena come into living room and sit behind nor did he hear her left. When Merwyn came in Rabbo did not hear him either nor did he hear Cat.
    It was dark outside when Merwyn spoke. “Rabbo please come and eat”.
    Rabbo shook his head and continued to stare deep into the empty fireplace. Finally Rabbo came to the conclusion that most of the rabbits if not all the rabbits in the warren including his mother, brothers and sisters and even himself had some of the old female rabbit’s blood in them. In a way it comforted him a little to know that she was living on though all the other rabbits in the warren.
    Rabbo turned to get up and almost jumped out of his skin as Athena was sitting on the rug right behind him. So deep had his thoughts been that he had not seen her walk in or heard her or even felt her presence. And the fact that she was so close meant that Rabbo had been so focused inwardly that he had not noticed the passing of time.
    “Come eat I made you something special.” Athena reached down and picked Rabbo up gentle and walked into the kitchen.
    At the kitchen table was a single table setting with a white napkin a wine goblet and bowl of salad and some kind of cake. Athena poured Rabbo a goblet full of wine. “Drink it all. Pour it down that little red lane of yours”
    Rabbo poured back the wine and put the goblet down on the table and looked at Athena and tried to smile.
    Athena refilled his goblet and walked over to the kitchen cabinet that the wine glasses were kept in. she brought out two wine glasses and brought them to the table.
    Merwyn walked in from outside and walked up to the table. The candle on the table sprung to life.
    “I light this candle with my mind to show that one who is gone is still loved” Merwyn said.
    “I fill these goblets with wine the color of blood to signify that life is fluid” said Athena
    “I offer my love to a member of this family that has lost a loved one” said Merwyn.
    “I call on those that have passed to the other world to welcome the wise old female rabbit into their arms with love” said Athena.
    “May she rest and recover while she lives in the other world” said Merwyn.
    “Great great grand son of the wise old female rabbit what words will you speak in her honor” said Athena.
    Rabbo looked down at the table and thought “I knew you a short time, too short, yet in that few weeks I loved you as a grand son would love his grand mother. I will miss you with all my heart and being”. Then Rabbo started to sob uncontrollably.
    As Rabbo cried and sobbed a ghost like form took shape of a rabbit that floated just above the candle.
    “He manifested in his grief” whispered Athena.
    “He manifested in his grief” whispered Merwyn
    “She is truly blessed by love,” they said together.
    “Drink this, her blood so that her spirit fills us all,” said Athena.
    “Taste this, her blood so that we are blessed,” said Merwyn.
    Athena looked at Rabbo and smiled. “Pick up the wine goblet and drink. You must drink first,” she said on his private telepathic mode.
    Rabbo picked up his wine goblet and sipped the wine. But as he sipped the wine the ghost like form faded away. Athena picked up her goblet and took a very small sip so that he lips were wet with wine and very little wine slid down her throat. Merwyn was the last to pick up his goblet and drunk deeply.
    “What was that misty shape that appeared above the candle? Was that her come back. And why did she fade away” asked Rabbo.
    “In a manner of speaking she did come back for a brief moment, my dear Rabbo” said Merwyn. “You made her appear using your mind. In other words you manifested her from your mind as you remembered her. Deep grief will sometimes do that.”
    “It’s very powerful when that happens,” Athena added.
    Rabbo looked at his empty bowl and then at Athena and Merwyn “why did you not eat with me,” he asked sadly. “Was it because of my grief and pain”?
    “No dear rabbit” said Athena. “It’s because we eat at the normal time and it’s very late. In fact it is way past the middle of the night”.
    “Am I really her great great grand son” Rabbo asked.
    “Yes you are. I tested her blood a few months back when we talked about your mother possible coming from that warren. I was going to tell you but well things happened and we got to busy and it slipped my mind,” said Athena a little apologetically.
    Athena picked up the empty bowl poured the rest of her wine between Rabbo’s goblet and Merwyn’s goblet. The candle that had been half burnt before Merwyn lit it sputtered out.
    “And so she passes” said Athena and Merwyn together.
    Merwyn reached down and pulled Rabbo out of his chair and turned to Athena “My darling daughter it’s time that you went to bed”.
    Merwyn headed towards the stairs and went up to Athena’s bedroom. Athena followed along behind. Once they were in her bedroom Merwyn put Rabbo down at the foot of the bed and turned his back and looked out the window.
    Athena slipped her toga off and slipped into bed.
    “Dad snuggle with me like you use to do when I was younger. Tonight I feel like a little girl that’s very insecure.”
    Merwyn kicked his sandals off and lay down next to Athena above the covers. Rabbo wriggled between them and as Merwyn snuggled with Athena and Rabbo they both drifted off to sleep.

Watch for July-August's continuation of "Rabbo Tales."

Click on Mark Crocker for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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