"I Saw a Dirty Stuffed Rabbit"

October 18, 2012
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I’m astonished at the high quality of poetry in Teen Ink, and the October issue left my stanza-craving side satisfied. After I read “I Saw a Dirty Stuffed Rabbit” by Isabella B, I found myself staring at the black and white print, my mind racing with different meanings behind the three intricately simple stanzas. Isabella weaves a short tale of her driving down the street and almost running over a stuffed bunny. The basic questions ran through her mind, asking why the bunny was there, and who would leave a defenseless creature all by its lonesome?

This poem left me wondering, too. I pictured the bunny as threadbare, flapping along with the breeze given off from the unforgiving tires surrounding it. Perhaps the bunny is something more. I imagined the bunny once belonging to the tiny child that we all once were, sitting merrily in the back seat. Maybe the child threw the bunny out the window, or a strong gust of wind came and swept the bunny up and away. This bunny represents a lost childhood. Now the question is, did you throw it out the window, or was it abruptly taken away from you? Either way, it ended up in the street, dodging around to avoid the heavy obstacles in life.

The author is “pretty sure it’s not a cardinal sin to run over children’s toys,” but she swerved out of the way. She thinks that only a “cruel god” would leave a poor bunny in the streets. Truthfully, that is what happened, and that is life. We can’t always hold on to our childhood bunnies. Some choose to let it go early, or it gradually fades away. Once it is gone, it cannot be retrieved. I feel as if my bunny is being taken away as I fill out high school applications. The basic struggles of adolescence, such as relationships, friends, family, and school, are all cars trying to run the bunny over. It is inevitable. Sometimes, you have to let it go, no matter how much it hurts.

“I Saw a Dirty Stuffed Rabbit” has made its way on to my favorite poems. I love when I can interpret it in my own way, without an English teacher hovering over my shoulder. Thank you to all of the wonderful poets who submit their work to the magazine. Thank you Teen Ink for giving me something to relate to in this ever-changing literary world. Now, if you would excuse me, I have some applications to fill out and a rabbit to say goodbye to.

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