The Rabbit needed a place to rest. And the safety in the open was a matter, as usual, of grave importance. So he claimed the right of the land and began to dig. Down. Sloping down. Into the cool and welcoming Earth. Some creatures were displaced, with as much grace as could be administered in the circumstance, and a network of tunnels joined the network of tunnels that formed the local underground. A refuge of perpetual night.
One digs to escape, dig it?
There were Moles in the underground.
It was to be expected. As the rabbit was relaxing after a cool dig, in the cool splendor of his new digs, one of the moles literally tripped over him.
“I say, who’s there?” shouted the Mole in a horse whisper.
“I am just an adventurer,” said the Rabbit. “I am not a fighter.”
One digs to escape, dig it?
“Well, sir,” said the Mole, “You are a malingerer! Hiding away from the troubles of the world! A shirker. What do you say for yourself?”
“At the moment,” said Rabbit, “Nothing.”
The accusation was not without some merit.
“Deadly silence,” said the Mole.
And there were dim eyes all around. The underground. Moles in the underground. Suspicious. For good reason.
One digs to escape.
“We are the consolidated underground,” said the Mole. “We are what is left of those who came before. Scraps. Bits and pieces.”
“Where will you go from here?” asked Rabbit.
“Onward,” said the Mole. “To the inevitable ending. We fight no longer to win, no longer is it personal survival which drives us. We fight especially hard when we cannot win, for then our actions matter even more. For then it is a matter of righteous history.” He shrugged his slight shoulders. “We travel the underground. It provides escape routes and comfort. Comfort is, you know, fleeting in this world.”
Among the Moles were scattered others. To the far side was a Shrew. Her eyes illuminated and flickered reflecting the Rabbit’s light.
“Now,” said the Mole, “We construct the story of our glory. Battling against great odds we keep true to our ethics. And hope that our ideals emerge victorious. You see young Vanja. She joined us after her village was destroyed. We have scattered into cells and travel the tunnels. We emerge one at a time and tell our story at random locations, to random listeners. Then we retreat back underground. It is the only way. Vanja is particularly adept at this kind of warfare. It is like starting a thousand fires. It is uncontrollable. It is unconquerable.”
“Have you heard,” said Vanja, “The song of the traveler? It is reverberating everywhere. The traveler landed in a field. Fell out of the sky. And arose. It was a celebratory feast the traveler had landed on the outskirts of. There were park benches and food. Flowers. And merriment. But the traveler saw above the festivities hung the body of a man, dangling over the events. Still. And no one else gazed toward the sight. Instead children played and lovers fraternized, even quarreled over trifles, while above the man twisted in the happy breeze. And the traveler said, ‘Who is that man? Why does he hang around here?’ And the crowd turned ugly. For it was not a topic for polite conversation. And words were minced. And there were misunderstandings and malice. And the traveler left, for it was not the destination, you see, but afterward people kept looking at the hanging man, who they had previously forgotten. And they were ashamed. But they did not know what to do about it. And that is how the picnic was spoiled, but there were disagreements about why.”
I propose. A tax on marriage. And other things I may disparage. I further call for attacks on syntax. A sin tax on grevious body attacks. A body tax on mischievous snacks. Some thumb tacks To impress some paper About the accord. To hear read aloud at the notice board. A blanket tax on climate change. A partial tax on a rearrange. A carpet tax on well thrown rugs. A rug tax for a balding thug. I ask for all these things in turn. So we may all have money to burn.
“If you were a rabbit, in, say, 1956, let’s say you would spend most of your time readjusting your rabbit ears. Why? Well. Reasons of perception, my dear. Reasons of perception.” – Father Rabbit pontificating about the nature of time, identity, and the perception of otherness¡ but he really just talks to himself.
You could see the top of the mountain from my house from far away, until it disintegrated into the atmosphere – putting it below the tree line. The mountain rained down like gray snow. Turning mainland into sandy beach. It blew in the air like heavy smoke. It clogged standard vacuum cleaner filters. It ran down the river and heaped into tall mounds, now covered in grass, brush, and trees, masquerading as Hills. People scooped it up into glass jars which once had held preserves in order to store it in the cellar. To rise the status of even the most humble dwelling to top of the Hill. Visitors from afar who visited thereafter would inquire what happened to the mountain. Most were surprised to hear it had been re-distributed. Now that it was gone it belonged to everyone.
Hark, dear friends, a terrible fate America ran down the sewer grate Beavers shouted “damn!” But it was too late They were attending a party at 10,000 a plate “What to do?” said the otter to its mate “Why I otter…” was the reply-but it was too late The Dragon said, “We’ll consolidate!” “We can own this parched landscape if we concoctitrate!” “If anyone tries to stop us we’ll denunciate!” “Berate. Sublimate. Keep both eyes on Homeplate. Trust in me and I will make this land again great!” “The first thing we’ll do is seal up those drains. So we can keep all the water when it rains.” And the creatures sang the dragon’s refrains And they praised his renowned business brains So they sealed up those drains And muddied those plains And reminded that only a traitor complains About the mixture of clean water with sewer drains And how drinking sewage causes stomach pains But complaints, the dragon, he disdains For it is his golden reign. Let it rain golden showers. Let it rain. Let it rain.
I awake. I think of breakfast. I post on Facebook about breakfast, and get a warm response. Yet no breakfast occurs. I become concerned that there are rats in the walls. My walls. Rats. There is an alternative explanation which seems too cut and dry. This is a world where rats in the walls are as plausible as any other explanation. I would be disappointed were there no rats in the walls. My walls. Those rats! It is not something I could accept. It is a good opening line for breakfast. “I have rats in my walls.”
Are these American rats, these rats in the wall? Are they outsiders looking to ingress or insiders looking to egress? Do they want my food? My breakfast? I punch a hole in the wall and cold air ingresses. The chill of the night invades the inner sanctum. I dance a dance of bitter cold. I shout out sanctimoniously. Rats have put a hole through my abode! Rats! Rats in the walls!
The bear ate a pear You think, how debonair But she wanted the eclair Which was already eaten in a picnick-error By a picnicker who was an au pair But tasted like an upholstered chair So the bear followed up by eating a pear And slept that night without a care.
– From the little book of rhymes about well fed-up bears