Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rabbo II-Chapter 3

By Mark Crocker

Rabbo woke on the window sill and looked around and then slipped out of his body to see if it was still snowing and to see if the warren was still warm. Outside the snow was still falling but not as hard as it had during the night and as he traveled down to the warren Rabbo noted that everything was covered to about three feet.

At the warren Rabbo saw fresh rabbit tracks and that the mouth of each of the burrow was clear of snow. He noticed that the rabbits had dug into the snow to find grass. Rabbo wondered if the rabbits had gone to the storage shed and gotten any of the carrots and carrot tops that had been put in there and if they had how much they had taken.

Rabbo returned to the house and drifted in though the living room window. He saw Athena and Merwyn covered by a blanket sound asleep.

Rabbo laughed to himself thinking that more than likely they both had drunk to much wine and just fell asleep in the living room. He drifted out of the living room and up the stairs and into the twin’s bedroom. The twins where snuggled up together sound a sleep making Rabbo think that it was earlier than he had thought. So he drifted down the hallway and back into Athena’s bedroom.

Rabbo slid back into his body and waited until everything was back to normal before he slipped off the window sill and hopped to the bathroom and took care of his morning business and then cleaned his teeth.

Rabbo then hopped into the twin’s room and hopped up on their bed to make sure that they were ok. Then hopping down softly as to make as little noise as possible he headed down to the kitchen to make sure that his mother, Mischief, Soft eyes and the other kittens where ok. Soft eyes looked up at Rabbo and greeted him “Good daylight” she said.

Rabbo hopped over to the cool storage room and got fresh greens for his mother Mischief, Soft Eyes and the three other kittens. As he got breakfast ready he realized that Soft Eye’s might need something special to eat to make her health and heal faster. So Rabbo looked around and remembered that Athena use to give him what she called special milk. She had even told him what was in the special milk. So Rabbo looked around until he found the ingredients to make the special milk.

After he had placed the bowls on the floor Rabbo looked around to see if there was anything that needed to be done so that when Athena and Merwyn woke up they would not have too much to do. Rabbo went back into the cool storage room and saw a salami sausage hanging up. So he climbed up and got it down then he got eggs, cheese, milk and butter and hopped back out into the kitchen. Then he went back into the cool storage room and came back out with ham and bacon.

Rabbo broke the 8 eggs into a bowl and found the whisk and started to beat the eggs to make omelets. He then put the bacon in a frying pan and turned on the heat to cook the bacon. While the pan warmed up he cut some ham and then chopped it up. As he chopped the ham Rabbo remembered that Athena would put onions in the omelets as well as garlic. So he turned down the heat on the bacon and quickly hopped into the cool storage room. He then returned to the chopping board and chopped the onion and garlic as fine as he could.

Once the garlic and onions where chopped he turned the heat back up and started to cook the bacon. Once the bacon was nice and crisp he then turned the heat down low and got a second frying pan and poured a little olive oil into the pan and turned the heat on to warm the pan like he had seen Athena do. He waited until the oil started to steam a little and poured in some of the beaten eggs into the pan before adding the onions and garlic. He then waited until the omelet was cooking before he added cheese.

Once the first omelet was cooked he placed it in a warming pan that he put at the back of the stove and then started to cook a second and then a third omelet. The last omelet was smaller then the first two and was for the twins who would not eat as much.

Rabbo looked at the breakfast and thought that it looked pretty good. As he looked at the slices of salami he thought that he would try a little to see what it tasted like. So carefully he cut off a slice and tasted it. “Hmm” Rabbo thought and cut a second thin slice and then a third. He then looked at the ham and cut a thin slice and tried that.

All Rabbo had to do was wait now for Merwyn Athena and the twins to wake up. He turned around and saw Mischief talking to her kittens so he hopped over and sat down and listened to what she was saying.

It was then that he heard the faint thumping sound coming from the living room. He turned back to listen to Mischief and he realized that she was teaching the kittens their ABC’s.

There were faint soft footsteps above him and Rabbo turned around to see both twins standing at the top of the stairs.

“Breakfast is made” said Rabbo as the twins started down the stairs slow and carefully. As he watched he became worried that they would fall so Rabbo reached out with his telekinesis and lifted them up and brought them down stairs.

Rabbo sat shaking after using his telekinesis to lift such a weight and the twins looked at him with wide eyes.

Rabbo hopped over to the counter and served the twins breakfast and tried hard not to show how weak he felt after lifting the twins up and carrying them down the stairs.

The faint thumping sound that had stopped when the twins had appeared at the top of the stairs started again.

The twins finished their breakfast so Rabbo sent them back upstairs to wash and clean their teeth. Going upstairs was much easier for the twins but Rabbo followed along behind to make sure that they did not fall.

At the top of the stairs Rabbo rested while the twins went into the bathroom and washed themselves using the shower instead of the bath tub that Athena normally used on them.

Then Rabbo followed them into their bedroom and made sure that they dressed properly and that they had colors that matched and cloths that would be warm if they went outside.

Rabbo saw a book on the floor of their bedroom so he picked it up and looked at it. The book had pictures and it was clear that the book was one that Athena had been reading to them at bed time. So Rabbo told the twins to sit down while he read to them to keep them busy until Merwyn and Athena woke up.

Rabbo was almost though the second chapter that he was reading when he heard the sound of the living room door open and close. So he told the twins to play with some of their toys and hopped out of the twin’s bedroom and rode down in his elevator.

“MMM something smells really good” said Merwyn. Who was standing in the kitchen looking at the warming pan.

“I made breakfast for you, Athena and the twins” said Rabbo. “But that was awhile ago and it's more than likely a little dry by now”.

“That is so nice of you Rabbo” said Merwyn. “Are the twins awake yet”?

“Yes they had breakfast and they are washed cleaned and back up in their room playing” replied Rabbo.

Merwyn lifted the lid off the warming pan and looked at the bacon and omelets and then looked back at Rabbo.

“Oh that is outstanding” said Merwyn.

Merwyn took the two omelets and place them on separate plates before adding a slice of bread to each plate and then three rashers of bacon on each plate. He grabbed two knifes and two folks and headed back into the living room and closed the door again.

Rabbo hopped over to the fireplace and noticed that the fire was burning low so he added more wood to the fire and soon it was burning brightly with flames licking at the wood.

As he was placing an oak log on the fire Rabbo noticed that the supply of logs was low so he hopped to the door and opened it planning to get more logs. But his way was blocked by a snow drift that stood above his head.

Rabbo thought for a moment and came to the conclusion that he could burrow his way though the snow to the side of the house and get to the log pile. Or he could use his telekinesis and lift the snow out of the way. So Rabbo looked at the snow and lifted a small section using his telekinesis as a test to see how much he could lift.

The first section was only three feet by three feet by three feet and it was easy. So the next section he lifted was five feet by five feet by three feet.

Rabbo worked his way around the side of the house to the wood pile. But by the time he got to the wood pile he was so exhausted that he had to sit and rest. Plus it had taken him far longer than he had planned.

“Come inside at once” said Merwyn on the telepathic mode.

Weakly Rabbo hopped back along the path he had dug and by the time he got to the house he had cooled down and was starting to shiver from the cold.

“Silly rabbit” said Merwyn. “Let me show you something”.

Merwyn reached down and picked up Rabbo and carried him to the dry storage room and pulled a curtain to one side.

There was a small door about half way up the wall and Merwyn opened it to show the back of the wood pile.

“Can you keep the twins busy for a while” said Athena on Rabbo’s private mode.

“Yes I can. But why” asked Rabbo on the same mode.

“I’ll explain later” said Athena. “Come over to the living room and I will give you a book you can read to them”.

Rabbo hopped over to the living room and Athena peaked out around the edge of the door and passed Rabbo the book that Isis had written.

Rabbo looked up at Athena and she smiled down and then closed the door.

Rabbo hopped back to his elevator and was about to ride back upstairs when he spotted Merwyn coming down the stairs carrying a box.

“How long are you going to be” Rabbo asked.

“A while long as Athena and myself are working on something” replied.

It was about lunch time when Athena called Rabbo and the twins down from the twin’s bedroom to come and have lunch.

Rabbo weakly rode down in his elevator as the morning’s activity had caught up with him and he was feeling very sleep.

The twins were loud and cranky at the table which made Rabbo even more tired than he had been when he had rode down the stairs in his elevator. But he eat his lunch watching the twins as the started to shake their heads as Athena tried to get them to eat their lunch. Finally she had to threaten them with being spanked before they stopped misbehaving and sat and ate their lunch.

Rabbo hopped down from the table and hopped over to the living room where he could be alone and sleep in peace. The living room was warm and comfortable but smelt slightly odd as if Athena had been working out. That did not bother Rabbo as he was so tired that he quickly fell asleep. Rabbo awoke after a good hour and a half nap and felt much rested. As he opened his eyes he saw Athena sitting looking at him.

“You will have to pardon last night and this morning as I was healing dad of an old wound” said Athena. “But I understand from my girls that you lifted them down stairs this morning. I assume that was so that they did not fall downstairs”?

“Yes I did. It was a mental work out and a half I can tell you” replied Rabbo.

“I bet” laughed Athena. “While you were sleeping I checked you to see if you had strained yourself. I also see that you cleared a pathway to the wood pile. You know that you did not need to do that as there is a hatch in the dry store room that you can reach though and get wood”.

“Yes I found that out after I had moved all that snow” laughed Rabbo. “Merwyn showed me. Talking of Merwyn where is he”?

“Oh he went down to the warren to check the shed. It took him awhile to get there as he had to move a lot of snow”.

“Oh I checked the warren this morning and there was a clear area in front of the burrows so I know that they have already been out and around today” Rabbo said.

Athena stood up and smiled at Rabbo. “Let me put on something warm and check on the girls and we will go down and see what dad is up too” said Athena.

About ten minutes later Athena was dressed in a tight suit that had a wool collar. She had dressed the twins in warm cloths and made them put on heavy wool cloaks before they walked outside.

It was so cold that as they walked they left a trail of steam from their breath in the air as they followed the path that Merwyn and made down to the shed by the warren.

When they arrived at the shed Athena let the girls play in the snow as it was not as deep by the shed as it was at the house.

Rabbo looked around and saw Big sister come hopping out of a burrow and straight towards Rabbo. “Man talker thank you. Great warm in burrow” said big sister in rabbit.

Rabbo bowed his head towards big sister and answered in rabbit. “You are welcome. I will tell nice human male that you are pleased”.

“Yes tell him and tell female human same same” said big sister. “News bad. Mischief of daughter of you missing she no here and kittens missing of her”.

“Its ok. Mischief is at big house. Soft eyes daughter of mischief not well so nice female human make her better and kittens all stay at big house”.

Merwyn came out of the shed and looked down at Rabbo and big sister. “Ask her if the warren is warm”.

“She already told me that the warren is warm and she is much pleased with that fact” said Rabbo.

Just then a chuck of snow came flying though the air and landed a few feet away from Merwyn.

Merwyn turned around and laughed as a snow ball came flying though the air and landed closer to him.

Merwyn turned and looked at Rabbo “Better warn your sister that the children are getting a lesson in snow balls. She might get hit by mistake”.

Rabbo thought for a moment but was unsure about how to explain a snow ball fight to big sister. It was something that he had learnt the winter before when Athena, Bastet, and Merwyn had got silly one afternoon as a blizzard that had dropped over four feet of snow.

“Snow will fly though the air in balls. Human kittens playing in the snow” explained Rabbo.

Big sister looked at Rabbo and cocked her head to one side and looked at him with a confused expression on her face.

“Human kittens make snow in balls and fly though the air in play” Rabbo said trying to explain what was going on.

Big sister looked at Rabbo and the sat up on her hind legs and looked toward the twins who could be seen clearly in their long black cloaks.

“Human kittens umm”

Big sister sat down and then turned quickly kicking snow all over Rabbo. “Human kittens play snow” said big sister.

Rabbo reached down and made a small snow ball and throw it at big sister.

Merwyn looked on in amazement as big sister and Rabbo threw and kicked snow at each other. As Rabbo and big sister played in the snow other rabbits started to pop out of the burrows and watch. Littler brother hopped out with bossy and joined in the playing in the snow with Rabbo and big sister. Soon Boxer, Wriggler, fluffy tail joined in and a huge fight in the snow started between the rabbits.

Merwyn Athena and the twins watched in total amazement as snow flow in all directions as they rabbits played. The twins scooped up a hand full of snow and threw it as the rabbits.

The rabbits all stopped looked at the twins and started jumping around kicking snow at the twins and chasing around to confuse the twins. For about thirty minutes the snow battle was fought between the rabbits with big sister and Rabbo directing the other rabbits against the twins who were fighting a losing battle.

In the end the twins started to run back up the pathway that Merwyn had cleared earlier as the rabbits where getting the better of them in the snow battle. Both Merwyn and Athena started to laugh hard as it was clear that the rabbits had won the battle with the twins.

The wind started to pick just before dinner and snow started to bowl around making it look as if snow was falling again outside. Merwyn had the fires in the kitchen and living room burning brightly so that the heat was being pumped though the whole house.

Rabbo’s dinner was fresh greens with very thin slices of ham, salami and cheese. Merwyn Athena and the twins had steak with fresh greens and pasta with a white sauce dressing over the pasta.

Every so often the door would rattle and thump as the wind blow hard at the door. “Hearing the wind howl and push on the door like that reminds me of your poem Rabbo” said Athena.

“Rabbo! You write poetry” asked Merwyn.

“Yes it’s not very good. But the twins like it” said Rabbo bowing his head.

“Wabbo paints mind pictures when he weads” said one of the twins.

Rabbo looked at the twins. “It’s hard to know who to talk to when you don’t have names”.

“It is our custom that people and things name themselves like how you named yourself Rabbo” said Merwyn. “When they are ready they will name themselves”.

“What if they don’t name themselves” asked Rabbo.

“Then they will be older twin and younger twin or twin one and twin two” said Merwyn.

“Or hellion one and hellion two” snickered Athena.

“So that is why Cat is called Cat” asked Rabbo. “He never picked a name”.

“No he picked Cat as his name. Until he picked his name he was either fuzz ball or kitten” said Athena.

“Or that dam kitten” laughed Merwyn. “Talking of Cat have you seen him today”?

“Yes last I saw of him he was hunting rats in the barn” said Athena.

Rabbo closed his eyes and thought of Cat.

“What” said Cat.?

“I was wondering where you were that’s all” said Rabbo.

“In barn where it warm. But I come now. House warm? Paws will get cold. Warm paws at fire” said Cat.

“Yes the house is warm Cat” said Merwyn.

“I come now” said Cat.

A few moments later Merwyn got up from the table and walked over to the door. He opened the door and Cat came halfway in and stopped. Cat looked back over his shoulder and stood in the middle of the door with his back end outside and his front end in.

“Look Cat are you going to stand half in and half out and let all the warm air out or are you going to come in” said Merwyn.

Cat walked in and dropped at Merwyn's feet a large dead rat. “Cook eat make healthy”.

Merwyn looked down at the dead rat and looked at Cat “And what am I meant to do with it”?

“Cook eat make healthy” said Cat again.

Cat walked over to the fire sat down and started to clean himself.

Merwyn looked at the dead rat and the levitated it and placed it in a bag before putting the dead rat out of the way.

Merwyn washed his hands and sat back down at the table and finished his dinner.

“Wabbo wead to us” said one of the twins.

Athena and Merwyn cleared the table while Rabbo went to the library and got the book that Isis had written and sat down by the fire. The twins sat down in front of Rabbo next to Cat, Rabbo’s mother, Mischief, soft eyes and the three other rabbit kittens.

Athena and Merwyn slipped into the living room to talk leaving Rabbo and the twins in the kitchen with Cat, Rabbo’s mother, Mischief, soft eyes and the three other rabbit kittens.

For the next hour Rabbo read to the twins from the book until the twins started to get sleepy. The fire crackled popped and hissed filling the kitchen with warmth as the wind howled louder and louder outside. Every so often the door would bang hard as the wind pulled on it. Rabbo peeked out of the window at one point while he was reading to the twins and could see snow blowing past the window.

Snow had built up around the window pane with little chunks and flakes of snow sticking to the glass. The wind was now blowing so hard it was impossible to tell if it was wind blown snow or more snow that was coming down.

Rabbo looked at the twins and noticed that they looked very sleepy so he hailed Athena on her private mode to come and check to see if they were in need of going to bed. Athena walked out of the living room looked at the twins and bent over and picked the twins up placing one of each hip. Both twins placed their heads on their mother’s shoulders and weakly waved good night to Rabbo and the rest of the fur covered family that sat on the rug.

Rabbo looked down at his fur covered family that were sitting on the rug and wondered why the howling wind was hardly bothering them. But he had to admit that while the burrow was more than likely just warm enough to stop from being uncomfortable here in the house it was just like a warm spring day and it had to be better than a burrow. And while the wind was howling in the burrow it had to be just plain noisy and really hard on the ears. But there again it might not be as the way the burrows turned and twisted it might cut down on the noise level very well.

Rabbo looked at Mischief who was sniffing soft eyes stomach and licking the bare skin where she had been shaved so that Athena could remove the growth in her stomach. Gentle mischief sniffed the wound and the looked at Rabbo.

“Mark on soft eyes worry me” said Mischief.

“Athena is keeping a close eye on soft eyes so don’t worry” said Rabbo in a reassuring voice.

Suddenly the wind outside stopped howling and blowing and there was the feeling of the world waiting for something to happen.

Rabbo’s mother sat up as did Soft eyes and her brothers and sisters. Cat looked around then placed his paws over his ears as the sudden quiet was almost as loud as it had been when the wind was blowing hard.

Athena came down the stairs and stopped. “That’s a spooky silence. Very loud by its very lack of sound. Rabbo you feeling anything bad coming like an earthquake” asked Athena.

Rabbo looked at Cat and Cat looked at Rabbo and both shock their heads and said “No” as one.

Athena walked over to the window and looked out into the dark night to see if there was anything strange going on.

And still the silence hung in the air as if to say “And”!

Merwyn walked out of the living and looked around at Rabbo’s fur covered family then at Athena.

“The twins are in bed” Merwyn asked.

“Yes dad and they did not put up a fight. I think we have the prefect babysitter in Rabbo. After he jabbed them with that mental lance they just don’t want to upset him” said Athena.

“I am sorry about that. I just did not want them getting wild and crazy and I had to get them to behave and I felt so bad. But well what was I going to do” said Rabbo.

Rabbo would have kept apologizing but Merwyn held up his hand to stop Rabbo from going on. “You did just the right thing at the right time with the right amount of force” said Merwyn.

Suddenly without warning the wind picked up again and started howling as loud as it had before.

“Athena and Rabbo why don’t you come and join me in the living room” said Merwyn.

Rabbo and Athena walked into the living room and sat down, Athena sat in one of the chairs by the fire place and Rabbo sat down on the rug in front of the fire. In the living room it seems a little quieter than in the kitchen and the howling wind did not seem to be so mean and nasty.

“Athena I need your advice and input on what I am about to say” Merwyn turned and looked at Rabbo. “You seem to have a gift of painting pictures in the minds of people when you tell a story. So what I would like to ask you is umm” Merwyn seemed to be having a hard time coming up with the right wording on what he was trying to ask Rabbo.

“What dad means I think is that he would like you to read to my daughters most nights” said Athena stepping in.

“Umm kind of Athena. What I was thinking is that Athena’s daughters will need a lot of teaching and while I am sure Isis would do a great job I think Rabbo might make what they need to learn sink in better” said Merwyn. “After all being able to bring something alive is a very wonderful gift. Don’t you agree Athena”?

“Oh very much so” said Athena.

“When do I start teaching” asked Rabbo. “Is tomorrow too soon”?

“Tomorrow. Umm well no I mean yes. I was thinking more along the lines of late spring or mid summer Rabbo. I did not mean to put you on the spot like that” said Merwyn back tracking a lot.

Athena started to laugh “dad he is messing with you” said Athena.

“Oh you have started to get a sense of humor Rabbo” said Merwyn sounding very unsure.

“I have always had one. Just that I don’t find the same things funny. After all my height is an issue plus being a rabbit I see things differently sometimes. Or see and hear things that I should not” said Rabbo.

Athena looked shyly over at Merwyn and then turned back to Rabbo.

“Ok now back to the matter of teaching Athena’s two hellions. What I think we need to do is to come up with a curriculum. I was thinking of one class each day and that class being no more than Hmm lets say three hours? Would that work for you Rabbo”?

Rabbo thought for a moment “I think four hours with a break in the middle of umm about thirty minutes so that they can have something to eat and drink and use the bathroom. But two hours for each subject would be a good idea I think? We could do two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon” Rabbo paused and thought for a moment. “I do have a question? Why am I teaching them instead of Isis” asked Rabbo.

“Well Athena and I agree that you have this gift for making things seem alive and enjoyable. Having seen you read to the twins and watching how you hold their attention I feel and Athena agrees that you would make a good teacher to them. Beside it would finish your education too” said Merwyn.

“Finish my education? How” Rabbo said rather confused.

“What Merwyn means is that as a teacher you learn things from your students. Don’t you dad”.

“Very true” said Merwyn. “And as a teacher you have to go over what you know so often that you end up learning more yourself as students will often ask questions that surprise you and you don’t always know the answers. Plus it makes you realize how much you don’t know as I have said many times in the past. Rabbo it’s like this. As a teacher you will be schooled by your students and that you will learn things from them as well as them learning things from you. When I was teaching military science and history I learnt so much from my students. True most of them where going to be oath keepers but some where just taking the lessons as they had a drive to learn and understand. I remember one student who was not going to be an oath keeper that taught me so much while at the same time I was teaching her”

“That was my mom” said Athena.

“Don’t interrupt me dear daughter” said Merwyn rather dryly. “What I learnt was not just about history but about life and how people see things very differently than we do ourselves. So you as a teacher will learn from your students as well as they will learn from you. Yes I know I am repeating myself but it’s a very important point that I want you to understand Rabbo and you too Athena”.

“Ok dad so what are we going to start with”.

“Well they will need to be able to read. So what don’t we start there” said Rabbo.

“That’s a good starting point. But I think we need to start at the beginning and teach them basic things like colors shapes and the likes” said Merwyn.

For the next few hours Rabbo Merwyn and Athena went over a basic curriculum for teaching the twins. It was agreed that school would start for the twins in the late spring as the classes could be held outside in the morning or inside in the afternoon.

By the time they had finished going over the curriculum the wind storm outside had abated and an eerie silences had fallen over the house.

Rabbo peeked out of the window and could see snow falling gently and slowly. It was not the great snow storm of the previous night but the snow was coming in lazy huge flakes that seemed to stick to everything. Rabbo felt sleepy and tried from watching the snow fall and thought it was a good time to go to bed.

Merwyn and Athena still sat talking in their chairs and hardly noticed when Rabbo hopped out of the living room. Rabbo stopped in the kitchen and checked the fire and seeing that it was burning low Rabbo added a couple of extra logs to the fire so that his fur covered family snuggled by the fire would not get cold.

Rabbo then hopped over to his elevator rode upstairs and instead of going straight to Athena’s bedroom he stopped and checked on the twins. The twins where curled up together but their blankets had slipped off them yet they did not seem cold.

True the room was nice and warm but Rabbo worried that later they might get cold so he picked up the blanket and gentle hopped on the bed and covered them so that they would be warm if the room got cold.

Rabbo hopped out of the twin’s bedroom and down the hallway to the bathroom. There he took care of his nightly needs before continuing to Athena’s bedroom. Rabbo hopped up on his window sill pulled the curtains shut and curled up on his cushion to sleep.

Rabbo awoke feeling relaxed and happy. He opened his eyes for a moment and looked around the room.

Athena’s bed was empty and he could hear her faintly talking.

So Rabbo slipped out of his body and drifted down the hallway stopping at the twin’s bedroom.

The twin’s bedroom was empty so Rabbo drifted back up the hallway to the bathroom. He slipped in though the door and saw Athena in the bathtub with both twins washing and slashing them with water.

He then drifted out of the bathroom and floated downstairs and looked around the kitchen.

His fur covered family where sitting around Merwyn's feet waiting for him to give them breakfast.

Rabbo then drifted outside and was excepting to see lots of fresh snow piled up around the house.

Instead he saw bare ground and piles of snow that had been moved back from the house. A pathway had been cleared to the barn as well as pathways down though the garden towards the warren.

As Rabbo reached the warren he saw that the rabbits were already out and had been pawing at the few patches of grass that had not been covered by the snow.

He noticed that Big sister and little brother were keeping watch and the other rabbits huddled in groups for warmth.

To Rabbo it all looked very cold outside and he was not sure if he really wanted to be outside in the cold. After all why get cold when you could be warm when it was cold.

Rabbo was about to drift back up to the house when he suddenly had an idea. Rabbo lifted up over the trees and drifted off over the woods until he came to the temple that Helena was at. Rabbo noticed that while there was snow on the ground around the temple there was not that much. If anything it was just a dusting.

Smoke was coming from the chimneys of the two houses that where close by the temple and as Rabbo watched Helena came walking out wearing a long cloak wrapped tight around her. Her daughter followed along behind her looking around at all the snow. As he watched one of the other priestesses walked out waved at Helena and then started walking over. Helena, her daughter and the other priestess walked to the temple for their morning devotion to the goddess Demeter.

Rabbo turned back and headed towards the house as he traveled back slowly he saw that there were many life auras in the woods and all were wild animals. So he relaxed and was glad that everything was safe.

Rabbo slipped back into his body and waited for his heart rate to come back up and his body to get warm. Rabbo then slipped of the window sill and hopped down to the bathroom which was by now empty. He took care of his needs and then hopped out of the bathroom and rode down to the kitchen. At the kitchen table Athena sat reading a piece of paper that Isis had printed up.

“What are you reading there” asked Rabbo.

“Bad news” said Athena weakly.

“Dad has already read the print out. You better sit down Rabbo” said Athena sadly.

Rabbo hopped up into his chair and looked at Athena.

Merwyn came walking in from outside and stamped snow off his shoes and then walked over and sat down next to Rabbo.

Merwyn placed one hand on Rabbo and looked down at him with sadness in his eyes. Athena reached up to her nose and brushed away a tear. She took a deep breath and looked at Rabbo.

“It’s my grand children” said Rabbo with a sinking feeling clutching his heart and stomach.

“Yes” said Athena with tears dripping down her cheeks.

“What’s wrong with them” asked Rabbo dreading what the answer was going to be.

“They have some nasty negative reinforced genes. The growth in soft eye’s stomach is just the start of what is to come. All Mischief’s kittens have health issues. And if the live to be adults they are going to need special care” Athena looked down at the table “I’m so very sorry”

Athena reached over and pulled Rabbo off his chair and held him close wetting his fur with her tears.

Merwyn came over and knelt down and wrapped his arms around both Rabbo and Athena.

“I am very sorry too Rabbo”.

“Is there anything we can do” asked Rabbo.

“Not really. The only thing we can do is make their short little lives as much fun as we can and make the comfortable” said Athena sobbing.

“I should tell mischief” said Rabbo with no emotion in his voice. “Why did this happen to them”

Rabbo stayed snuggled in Athena’s arms feeling that he had to stay and comfort her first before he broke the news to Mischief.

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

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