On days when I am still recovering from life-altering blows, I often try to find new realms, alternate realities to live in. (Retreating into a fantasy world is one of the reasons she gave for leaving.) And since, as a youth in Iowa, I raised rabbits for a 4-H project, I know rabbits better than I do human people. Rabbits are people too. So, I have been walking among the rabbit people. Seriously, bunnies are better people than most human people. They are not trying to profit off you. They are not trying to get everything they can off you. They are merely there to wiggle their whiskers, sniff for food, poop, gnaw on stuff, and make more bunnies.
I often see myself as a rabbit person. In cartoon form, I am the bunny-man teacher known to the Animal Town School System as Mr. Reluctant Rabbit.
As a teacher, I am always pulling out carrots of irony and gnawing on the ends of them in front of students. If they complain that eating food in class is supposed to be against the rules, I ask them, “Do you want a carrot of irony?”
“Oh, no, thank you sir.”
“They are good for your eyesight as well as your insight. You really ought to chew on healthier things like that.”
“Oh, no sir,” they say. “We prefer Hot Cheetos.”
And so, I taught on like that… like a rabbit, fast and frumious (a Jabberwocky sort of word), and never really bit anybody. Teaching is like that. You offer the good healthy stuff to nourish their little animal minds, and they always choose the junk food instead.
And so life goes on like that. Looking to rabbit people to ease my pain and need for good, wholesome carrots of irony.
I have recently run a free-book promotion on The Bicycle-Wheel Genius.One of the main characters in the book is Tommy Bircher’s pet rabbit Millis. During the course of the story about invading aliens, Secret Agent Robots from the CIA, and making friends when you need friends, Millis is turned into a rabbit-man by a lab accident. He teaches Tommy that you don’t have to be human to be a good, caring, self-sacrificing person. He also teaches him to eat his carrots and greens like a good boy should.
So, I will spend more time with the rabbit people and heal a little bit. That is what you do with the tragedy that life brings you. You spin it into whole cloth, making humor and poetry out of everything bad that happens… wrapping yourself up in a comforting blanket of lies (you can also call those fiction stories), and eating a little chicken soup on a cold day to heal your soul. (Oh, I forget, rabbits often gag on chicken soup. Let’s make that bean soup with carrot chunks.)