The Lucky Rabbit Foot

June 28, 2012
By Anonymous

“It’s not you-it’s me. I mean, look at me. I’m not meant to hide in the dirt. It would ruin my pristine white coat. I’m not meant for the heat of the jungle either. The only things we have in common are that we both are meant for the wild and we are both trapped here. Mother knows best. Her law states that it would be unnatural for us to be together. I belong in the arctic and you don’t. It’s as simple as that!” Arctic Hare hopped away from the neighboring tribe.

“Ooh, Ahh! Ooh, Ahh!” Mad Monkey chanted behind her back, other members joining in his chorus.

A few seconds more, and every confined animal in this horrid place would have been shouting their grievances at another if it wasn’t for Lazy Lion’s mighty roar, “Quiet!”

Of course, Brazen Bird had something to add, “The British are coming! The British are coming!”

Another roar and a yawn coupled with a cat stretch, “It’s the Keeper, not the British. Haven’t you imbecile’s learned anything by now?”

There was a tittering laugh from Brazen Bird, “Oh…The Keeper is coming! The Keeper is coming!”

It was every man, every animal for himself now. Quickly, silently, they all rearranged back into their designated positions. A bright light flashed through the night, stumbling footsteps following it. The light swung first toward one home and then the other. Nothing seemed out of place. Not one seemed to be creating a disturbance. The Keeper turned to leave.

“Would you animals just give me some peace and quiet? I’m trying to sleep!”

“It was her fault. Arctic Hare did it. She created all this trouble!” Tattletale Turtle poked her head out her shell as she called to the Keeper’s retreating figure.

“Shhh!” Sly Snake hissed.

“Did you really have to go and stir everyone up?” Gossiping Gosling asked.

“Of course she did, of course she did. You know how Arctic Hare loves drama! She didn’t get enough attention today with all the creature’s looking at her beautiful coat!” Prickly Porcupine answered.

“I didn’t mean to cause all of this! I swear I didn’t!” Arctic Hare cried, her nose twitching.

“Of course you didn’t, of course you didn’t” Prickly Porcupine sarcastically consoled her.

“You’re just jealous!” Arctic Hare turned and exposed her tail, shaking her fluffiest portion before hopping off to bed.

“I’ll show you jealous sister!” Prickly Porcupine slipped through the bars, crazed.
Her sharp points stabbed into delicate Arctic Hare, leaving a red stain on the white fur.
The other animals were stunned into silence. Even the birds stayed quiet until morning.
The Keeper arrived a little before sunrise. It was mealtime. As he fed them, he took notice of their odd quiet and spoke, “I guess after all the commotion ya’ll put up last night you tired yourselves out. Well, ya better look spiffy once the crowds get here. They don’t like a bore!”
He paused when he got to the rabbit’s cage. “Would ya look at this? Dang rabbits, always getting into trouble! They die and cause me trouble because I have to clean up after them. What a sight. Well pretty lady, I guess you’re done for.”
As he took care of the mess in the rabbit cage, he took a glance towards the monkeys, still subdued. One was sprawled out on the ground, motionless, a red rose dangling from his limp grip. He looked back at the Arctic Hare.
“It does go to figure that this would be another Romeo and Juliet story gone bad! A monkey and a hare, I’ve never heard the likes of it. What a crazy world. I don’t understand animals. No, I sure don’t.”
A few weeks later the Keeper paid Prickly Porcupine a secret visit while the other animals slept. She received a special treat for her efforts as the Keeper dangled a furry white foot in front of her.
“You see this? This is the foot from that first Arctic Hare. It’s the only one I’ve kept, because it was the first and the prettiest. The ones that I’ve collected since then have all sold out in the Zoo Gift Shop. People have started calling them ‘Lucky Rabbit Feet’ and they can’t wait to get more. You keep giving me those rabbits Miss Porcupine, and I’ll keep giving you treats. Boy, I’m gonna make millions out of this!”
That night, a rabbit caused yet another commotion. That night, Prickly Porcupine lost her temper again and crossed over into the other cage. That night, would be the last night that the rabbit hopped around. Prickly Porcupine crossed back over into her cage and closed her eyes. She was almost asleep when Brazen Bird whispered softly through the darkness.
“It’s funny how everyone wants a lucky rabbit’s foot, when the rabbit that lost it was very unlucky. I guess why it’s called the lucky rabbit’s foot, and not the good luck rabbit’s foot.”

The author's comments:
A Fable

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