He sat there for a moment and vanished into the wild. As far as I was concerned, I was left thrilled, curious, and amused. Perhaps my presence made him nervous. Hence I started respecting his privacy. Both of us would now customarily sit in leisure for long hours, relishing our own personal spaces. He chewing his greens and I reading my books.
I noticed him first on a spring morning. I was sitting on the deck of my house sipping herbal mint tea and reading Alice in Wonderland. I had this habit of taking pondering breaks while reading something. During one such pondering sessions when I was immersed in thoughts, admiring the bounty of nature, I saw something hiding behind the dandelions in my yard. At first I was not sure whether it was a racoon, coyote or a rabbit. I stood up for a better view. Lo and behold, there it was, stone still, a rabbit. For a moment I wondered whether it was a real one. I had been reading the first chapter of Alice in Wonderland and Lewis Carroll’s rabbit had just appeared muttering,”Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”.
I noticed the rabbit in my yard was nothing like Carroll’s rabbit. It was not white. Additionally, it neither was wearing waist coat nor was holding a pocket watch. The unlikeness was enough to make me realize that this was not an illusion.
I had never seen a rabbit like that before. Not that it had ten legs or four ears. It was the colour. Back in India I had been accustomed of seeing white rabbits. So much so that I had developed a habit of associating white colour with rabbits. I remember one of my childhood expeditions when for the first time I came across a colony of rabbits. They were – white, delicate, fluffy and flawless. Some with black eyes and some with red eyes. I was excited to see them, but the ones with red eyes seemed a little uncanny to me. No offence to those fond of red-eyed rabbits. For me the idea of rabbit had always been white ones with black eyes (Although there are many types of rabbits in India which are non white, but my mind had always denied to acknowledge their existence and fancied them as white). That childhood encounter with red eyed rabbits altered my image of rabbits. Years later once again my impression of rabbits got challenged and modified. The one visiting my yard was a grey-brown- black with black eyes. Red eyes would have been a mismatch.
I later found out, these kind of rabbits were quite common in Ontario, in fact in entire North America and were known as cottontail rabbits. In the months to come, he became a regular visitor in my yard. Keeping his interests in mind I even decided to let the dandelions and grasses go wild.
It has been more than a year and I have become addicted to his company. For the last few weeks I have stopped sitting on the deck due to the cold weather. I look for him everyday through my kitchen window.
The winter is here and the greenery in my yard has started disappearing. His visits have also become limited. But something strange happened last week. I was sitting in my dining area when I saw something snooping through the glass door. At first I could not distinguish what it was? To my surprise, there he was peeping through the glass door, perhaps looking for me. Perhaps he had noticed my absence. Perhaps he too enjoyed my company. Perhaps for him, I too had vanished behind the wooden walls.
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