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Coming Home MAG
The rabbit slid off his stool at the counter. He brushed the crumbs from histweed waistcoat, pulled a few coins from one of its small pockets, walked to thedoor of the coffeehouse and left without paying. The rabbit considered it, but heknew that they didn't care if he paid or not; they were happy to have a mind likehis in their provincial little "coffeehouse." The thought almost made him smile: Country mice pretending at the sophistication of the city! Humorous,nearly.
In fact, the rabbit was amused by everything in the small littlehamlet where he was born, raised, and ran from to the great city at a moderatelyyoung age. He had only returned now to settle the estate of his deceased parents.The rabbit had loved them, but he knew that he had to escape the life of thecountry rabbit, they represented that, so he fled. He did take their money,though.
The village, the mice, squirrels, and other rabbits were all thesame as when he had left them. Sons had taken over their father's work; daughterswere married off. Compared to the great city, this place was incrediblybackwards; retarded socially, he thought.
On the small road, one of thevery few with cobblestones (a new addition; "progress," he grinned), he saw thesmall house where a girl he had once thought he would marry lived. On an impulse,he walked to the door and knocked, not expecting, yet somewhat fearful, that itwould be answered by her.
The thin-paneled door opened inward and, to therabbit's increasing sadness, his old "love" stood, haggard beyond her years bythe constant stress of motherhood and domestic slavery. She leaned against theframe of the door, searching her mind for the face before her.
"Yes?" saidher voice, "I can't buy anything if you're selling."
The rabbit couldn'tsee any of the beauty he remembered in her tired old face.
"Forgive me,ma'am. I am at the wrong house. Good day," he said, turning his back quickly onher.
The rabbit hurried to his old home, not stopping to reminisce,knowing that to be dangerous. Once you leave, he thought, coming back is likedying.
He was coming home again, after school or church, down the littlepath to his house. There was no escape from the deluge of emotions and vaguememories of the place. He was five again, younger, older, everything before heleft; the love and the pain, and the desire to be more than his parents were, allhere.
His whiskers seemed to droop, and he felt heavy in the chest. He didnot want to cry; he wanted to go in the little house.
His hand was on thelatch of the door, his heart was hammering inside his tweed coat; he expected hismother's happy, strained voice to welcome him. He listened for the sound of hisfather's saw in the back woodshed. Except, only the door creaked to welcome himhome. There was dust and cobwebs, unthinkable things in days past, all over hisold home. Sunset cast shadows, long and forlorn, over the old tattered furniture.He started to cry uncontrollably, regretting everything he had said to his nowgone parents.
Back in the great city, the rabbit was reviewing thestatement he received from his lawyer. The sale of his parents' house hadactually been profitable. He put the paper down on his big desk and went down tothe large carriage waiting for him outside.