Rabbit reverie

I saw the first one of the season just about a week ago, while driving along a back road on the blackest of nights. Through an infernal, eternal, cold Carolina rain, my headlight beams caught a flash of brown, a glimpse of white cottontail zigzagging like lightning off to the right.

—Rabbit.

—Spring is near.

The cheery thought sent me into a rabbit reverie.

My husband used to tell our boys when they were small that fog was really the rabbits making soup.  I immediately envisioned hundreds of tiny cast-iron pots over miniature campfires out in the woods, with rabbits meticulously stirring and stirring the steaming contents—Where’d you get this fanciful idea? I asked. My husband smiled: It’s what my father used to tell me. To this day, our sons, grown men,  look outside on a foggy day and nod sagely: “Rabbits making soup again.”

Baby rabbits hung out on our porch during the spring I was expecting the second of the two boys. The older one, seven turning eight, sat at the windows of his baby brother’s nursery-in-progress to watch them up close: Look, Mom, look! There they are! Easter bunnies!

I decorated the nursery with a Peter Rabbit theme.

The first good animal drawing that I ever did, that my first-grade classmates sincerely complimented, was of a rabbit. I didn’t tell them I’d traced it, as that seemed a totally insignificant point at the time.

I recalled my father mentioning the local radio station of his 1940s childhood, WRRF. He said it stood for We Run Rabbits Fast.

Life runs faster than rabbits, doesn’t it, Daddy. Too, too fast.

With that, all my rabbit thoughts left me as rapidly as they came.

Until I promptly stumbled upon this garden photo with two baby bunnies nestled in a head of—cabbage?

So that’s what this is about. I am clearly dealing with a motif.

Okay, Bunnies, I acknowledge you, your contribution to my life, your secret culinary arts, your near-omnipresence in children’s literature, your real and mystical connections to springtime, even your voracity.

I’m grateful for you.

I’m also thankful that I don’t have a garden for you to destroy, just saying.

And I am really, really sorry that I carried around that rabbit’s foot (dyed aqua) when I was nine. It wasn’t lucky anyway; that’s the year I broke my arm . . .

Seems I’ve long since redeemed myself, little friends.

16 thoughts on “Rabbit reverie

  1. I just loved reading each little snippet of a small moment. You managed to tell all your rabbit stories with great flow. I may have to use your rabbits cooking soup to explain fog to my grandchildren. Love it!

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  2. so many connections to rabbits…

    I love the “rabbits making soup” phrase. That will stay with me. That is one of the things that’s so great about reading slices…what we take with us from others writing.

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  3. I enjoyed this streaming reverie started from one rabbit-flash in the headlights,and thoughts of spring. We can’t always meander all over the place in a writing piece but this was successful. Me, I am guilty of sending many bad cell phone videos of bunnies running away to my grandson, because I love seeing rabbits so much!

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    • The thing with rabbits, I’ve noticed, is that once you see that first one each year, you see them EVERYWHERE. They always buoy my spirits and are a welcome sight (since I have no garden to strain our peaceful co-existence). Thanks for bearing with me as I intentionally chased my rabbits. 🙂

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  4. I heard a woodpecker this morning while taking my dogs out for a potty break. It immediately grabbed my attention and anticipation for spring! I too, love the idea of rabbits making soup!
    Might tell that to my kindergarteners.
    Lovely post!

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    • Woodpeckers are so beautiful – last year, one flew into the glass wall of our school and I feared its neck was broken. I rejoiced as it righted itself and flew off. If you tell your kindergarten class about the rabbits making soup, they’ll want to draw pictures, which you absolutely must share!

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  5. Really enjoyed your apology to the rabbit kingdom at the end for the dyed rabbit’s foot, The image of it in aqua was a nice touch. Fun stories to follow as you developed the motif. I especially liked your image of hundreds of cast iron pots in the woods….

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  6. I loved reading this piece from start to finish. I noticed two rabbits in my backyard today as I was walking toward the bird feeders. Neither one of them moved and I can’t explain why but I started talking to them in soothing tones assuring them that I wouldn’t be bothering them. And you know what? They seem to relax then and just sat there watching me feed the birds.

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