Having waited at home for an expected delivery, it was late when I was finally free to take my accustomed walk.  By the time I was on the homeward stretch, but little of the lingering twilight illumined the trail.  What's more, I usually walk with my glasses off to rest my eyes, so when a small animal scooted across the trail in front of me I was not immediately certain of its identity.  I thought "cat," but when it turned around and came back, it moved more like a rabbit.  Except that rabbits don't move toward people; they scurry away.  I was sure it would be gone by the time I fumbled my glasses out of my belt pack, but it was still hopping around; definitely a rabbit:  small, and as cute as a rabbit can get—and in my mind, rabbits go rather far in that direction.

Then the game began.

After watching him run back and forth a bit, I continued on my walk.  He followed.  He more than followed:  he'd come from behind me, then dart in front of my feet so close I'd stop for fear of stepping on him.  When I resumed walking, he'd loop around back and do it all over again.  We must have repeated this a dozen times when I tired of the game and decided it was time to do some running.

Silly me.  Have you ever tried to outrun a rabbit?  My ancestors may have been able to run down dinner, but I've eaten too many good dinners to run down anything I couldn't serve to a vegetarian.  The rabbit positively exulted in this new version of the game, in which I looked even goofier slamming on the brakes from a run than I had when walking.

Finally, as we neared the place where the trail crosses a major road, I said to him, "You're going to have to give this up soon, because you don't want to get too close to that street."  At that moment he vanished, and I saw him no more.

When my forebears saw animals behaving in an unnatural manner, they attributed the aberration to witchcraft.  (When they weren't being accused of witchcraft themselves, that is.)  Tonight I proved that I am not so far removed from them as I would like to believe, because I couldn't shake the question, "Do rabbits get rabies? What's wrong with this bunny?"  But he never attacked me, never touched me; he only acted like an adolescent boy who attempts to trip up his friend as they walk along—and he looked for all the world as if he were laughing.
Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, January 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Edit
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He must have been Benjamin Bunny. How fun!

Posted by joyful on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 3:43 pm
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