Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I roll over and force myself out of bed, into clothes, into shoes, out the door. The heat of the day is already settling in. The light is still gray. As I walk, the day gets lighter and the air gets thicker. I'm in shorts and my hair is wet with sweat by the time I am two blocks from home.

I turn the corner and see a rabbit. They're everywhere this year - the bunnies had a baby boom. When we first moved to this neighborhood, we'd see a rabbit every few weeks in the summer. This year, we see many rabbits every day. It's rabbit nirvana here. The yards are fenced and rich with hostas. I think that perhaps next year or maybe the year after that, we will be faced with a sea of rabbits in the street. We won't be able to drive lest we run over dear little bunnies. Or perhaps we'll set some traps and start feasting on rabbit stew. One little beasty seems to walk along with me for half a block. I get too close, he hops ahead. I get too close, he hops ahead. Finally, he bores of the game and hops off between some houses.

I hear a steady huff huff huff behind me. I move over to the very edge of the sidewalk, then realize the runner is in the street. He slowly huffs past. He's large, muscular, and hairy with the daintiest gait I've ever seen. He is taking tiny, mincing, bouncing step. Each step brings him further up than forward. I think he'd be more comfortable skipping rope. Then I think that I'm being petty and mean. After all, he's running and I'm walking and maybe I'd be better off moving a little more vigorously and thinking a little less.

I pace myself so that I can cross the street without stopping. Unfortunately, the driver is afraid that the rope skipper or I will throw ourselves in front of his car. He slows, we slow, he slows, we slow. It's the most excruciating game of chicken I've ever played. Finally, the driver speeds on and we cross the street and go our separate ways.

Just as I'm picking up steam, another runner comes up a cross street. He's a streak of orange. He's running so fast, faster than fast. I peek down the street to see who or what is chasing him. I see nothing but a rabbit. I pace myself so that the runner crosses the corner before I arrive. I'm not sure that he even sees me. I turn the corner, keeping my eye on the bunny just in case. Mr. Orange is already gone around another corner.

I realize that I should be home already, so I pick up the pace. Five minutes later, I take off my shoes and sneak into my own house. I tiptoe into the living room, drop my keys in my purse, and turn to see the grinning face of an imp. "It's morning! Hello!"

1 comment:

Mary Witzl said...

What a charming vignette -- just taking us around the neighborhood with you on a morning walk.

Don't you hate trying to cross the road when there is a cautious driver? You wish they'd just use hand gestures (polite ones, of course)and spare everyone a lot of time.