Free thinking

Check back here occasionally and you’ll find a story or essay that will give you a different perspective.

A Hare Up the Rear

Everybody thinks the Tortoise is so freaking cool, just because he won one dang race. Did he beat me because of genius or strategy? Certainly not. That turtle brain was in the right place at the right time and frankly, he took advantage of the fact I couldn’t help but brag on myself a little. I have to do that sometimes, and believe me, if you’d been brought up like I have you’d understand.

My own family humiliated me at every chance they got—I just couldn’t live up to their rabbit tales. There was Cousin Peter with his oh-so-perfect cottony behind, who made a mint by telling his story to some broad, who became famous and took Peter along for the ride.

And of course, there’s Whitey the Rabbit whose only claim to fame was getting a runaway girl to follow him long enough to fall down a hole. How can he claim that makes him a star? He doesn’t even know how to be on time for a garden party.

Even that gangly, googly grinning Roger has the hot dame Jessica hanging on his every word. It’s disgusting how those two carry on. It’s disgusting how they all carry on.

But the worst of them all is my cousin EB. That dude thinks his own pellets don’t stink just because he knows how to hide pretty eggs. Big freaking deal. EB has most of the kids believing he’s some kind of super stealthy secret agent, but he is just a dang bunny who needs a once-a-year excuse to be the center of attention.

They never shut up, my family, and they never let me forget I’m just a regular grayish guy with ears that flop down and bigger than normal feet.  

Is it any wonder that with all the woodland creatures gathered round the fire pit that day, bragging  about physical prowess or their supposed ability to teach humans life lessons that I might have the urge to speak up—even boast a little about what I could do. And who could blame me for taking up the gauntlet tossed down by a lame brain shell-back whose only claim to fame is long life and a ready-made house?

Being a rabbit certainly should have given me an athletic advantage over a slug with four heavy paws and an eternal backpack. It’s a shame, really, that my own overconfidence let to miscalculations on my part. Understandable that I would believe I had all the time in the world. I’m a speed demon on most days, using these really big feet to leap fences and run like the wind. But I get tired easily with this hyperactive physical make up. I sometimes need a little break, a few minutes rest under an old oak.

On that particular day, I only laid down because the turtle was way-the-heck behind me plodding along with his nose to the ground. I didn’t get much sleep the night before with the pressure of having a real shot at creating my own rabbit tale.

I was shocked to the ends of my whiskers when I woke up and saw Tortoise had crossed the finish line. And those woodland creatures were pretty cruel in laughing at me and saying I got what was coming to me. I may have bragged just a bit. But I’m a decent dude and no one should say different. I donate many carrots to the local Hutch for Orphans, and I give humans the cuter-than-cute twitch of the nose sometimes just to make their day. I’ve even helped my own darn family. I’ve gotten Br’er Rabbit out of many a fix even though he’s tried to drag me into his schemes. I’ve come to the aid of Bugsy several times by throwing old Elmer Fudd off the hunt.  

Besides, I’m coming off a bad relationship break—well, actually 15 bad relationship breaks in the last two weeks—okay, make that the last week. I am a rabbit after all.  

So maybe the old turtle has perseverance going for him, I’ll give him that. But I have something else—I sleep with my eyes open. Watch out, Mr. Tortoise. I’m coming for you and I’m bringing my whole brood of cousins with me.


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