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The Rabbit This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   My aunt and uncle live in California. They have a friend named Fred. Fred has a neighbor named Earl. Earl and Fred get along fine as neighbors, except for one thing, Earl had a rabbit that he loved and cherished. Fred had a dog that he liked pretty well. Fred lived in constant fear of the yellow Labrador leaping the low hedge between the two yards, burglarizing the rabbit hutch, and devouring the rabbit.

One day, Fred's fears were realized. He looked out the window, through the swaying trees, and saw his dog scratching with dirty paws at a widening hole in the turf of Earl's lawn. He watched, transfixed, until the dog's teeth dragged forth a bloody, muddy, mauled rabbit corpse. Fred opened the door and began to run down the steps, calling to his dog.

But then he thought of Earl, and changed his gate to a sneaking lope, and lowered his voice while gesticulating furtively to his dog. The dog came to him, but just as he dove at it, it skitted away. He looked up at the dog, and it looked down at him for a second before spitting out the rabbit on a tree root.

Fred scrambled over to the tree, scooped up the rabbit, and stole back toward his house, attempting to hide the furry cadaver in his jacket. Up the steps, a quick glance over his shoulder at Earl's house, and into the momentary safety of the kitchen.

Now, Fred and Earl got along pretty well, like I said, but Fred didn't waste a moment on the moral high ground of telling Earl the truth. He thought for a few muttering seconds. Then he went straight to the sink and began to wash the rabbit. I don't know exactly how he did it, but in about a half hour he had that rabbit scrubbed and looking whiter and cleaner than it ever had. He experimented with putting it in lifelike poses on the counter. But even when he propped it up with the vegomatic, the rabbit still looked obviously inanimate. It might, if it were lucky, pass for sleeping. "He'll have to do," thought Fred.

The next part of Fred's plan would have to wait until nightfall, so he picked up the rabbit by the scruff of the neck and wandered around the house to look for a hiding place. First he stuffed the rabbit behind the couch, but then he thought that spot was a little too vulnerable to his dog. So he pulled out the couch and snatched up the rabbit again. He tried a number of other spots, and then finally hid Ernie (that was what Earl called the rabbit) in his golf bag in his bedroom closest.

That night, if you had been watching Earl's rabbit hutch at about 12: 30, you would have seen a slightly chubby shadow making its way cautiously out and over the hedge. You would have seen it reach inside the hutch and carefully position a little bundle.

The next morning, Fred stayed in bed a long time. He really didn't want to go out and run the risk of meeting Earl. He imagined himself nervously making polite conversation, then blurting out something like, "So, how's the wife today? And how's your dead rabbit? Boy, it's a good thing my dog didn't choke on him."

Soon Fred would be quite late for work, so he gritted his teeth, and got up to start the day.

Fred had gotten fairly good at sly movements around his home, or so he thought, and he had almost made it to the mailbox and back to his car before Earl called to him. He froze. His brain drew up a quick list of arguing out by the mailbox, executing his dog, and descendants battling for generations in an eternal suburban feud.

Earl spoke. "Good morning, Fred. Darndest thing happened this morning. I went out to take down the hutch, and there was Ernie, y'know, my rabbit. Didn't I tell you? He died a few days ago, and I buried him in the yard." n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Krikette This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 30, 2010 at 11:14 pm
Nice ending! Clever and unexpected.
 
Target Man22 said...
Dec. 1, 2008 at 5:55 pm
That was really funny i have a dog and he killed a rabbit.
 
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