Now Playing: George's Christmas Story - Part I
Topic: Da Lore
Oncest Upon A Time...
There was a bunny named Belinda, who went to the Rainbow Bridge.
After all the happy meetings there, Belinda Bunny tried to settle down to waiting for the other bunnies to come from Our Warren.
Certainly The Meadow Beyond the Rainbow Bridge was pleasant. The grass grew just high enough for perfect binkies, and no matter how fast a bunny ran, or how high they jumped, or how erratic their course, The Meadow was always perfect for running. And the weather was always perfect, with regular sunshine and gentle, well-planned brief showers that refreshed and revived, with occasional bouts of thunder to toss in a little excitement. And then there was, of course, at least one snow-storm every now and then, which was always fun.
And there were the friends and sorely-missed bondmates that were now restored, like, dear, sweet Hawthorn, her blue-eyed white Holland-lop. He was here to sit with her again and to nudge her with his fuzzy flat head. Belinda had been secretly afraid she’d lost him when he'd gone on before her, and was delighted to have him back. The Power that watched over this Meadow place had cured the disfiguring cancer that had misaligned his little toofies, misshapen his dear little apple-shaped skull and finally extinguished his bright little life in the World Below.
And Willow was here! Silly Willow, the not-so-bright-but-always-loving, french-fry eating bunny who Maman had saved from a pet-store snake, was right here, paddling along on her huge feets, following right behind Belinda as she always had done before head-tilt had wrung her neck in the World Below.
Belinda saw so many bunnies who had come across the Bridge from the World Below, not just the special bunnies with whom she had shared Our Warren.
But although everything was perfect, it was not so perfect that an English Spot bunny could not think of ways to improve upon perfection.
So Belinda took to sitting at the very end of the Rainbow Bridge, next to a large rock, with her black ears pricked forward and her dark, intelligent eyes intent, staring off into the misty darkness that spanned the distance between the worlds.
Now at Christmastime, this curtain that separates the worlds wears very thin. The old year is passing; and the new year is yet to be in place, so here the curtain between the World Below and the World to Come is but the thinnest tissue. Not without reason do mortal beings tell of miracles, strange beings singing amongst the clouds of heaven, and animals who speak in the languages of men and angels on Christmas Eve. Here, where world touch and one breaks through into the other, is where those things that cannot be explained by human science or logic occur. Here are miracles and the genesis of faith, where human hope is born and where bunnies see with certainty free of the Sin of Adam.
So it was in late December (for so runs out the human calendar) that Belinda saw Hunny, the Elder of Our Warren, determine that the time had come for him to begin his journey to the Bridge.
And Belinda waited for him by the Rock at the End of the Bridge, with ears pricked, and eyes intent.
Hunny, oldest and wisest of the bunnies at Our Warren, was not afraid, she knew. He had been the rabbit who had counselled her to seek help in releasing her hold on life in the World Below in order to begin her own journey to the Rainbow Bridge. He had been able to see in Old Rabbit Dreams, the pathway to the Bridge, and how she must travel by night in order to arrive in the Light. It was because of his wisdom that she had been able to seek out Maman and Dadda in their bed, say good-bye to them there, and then leave with a peaceful heart.
But as she sat gazing toward the end of the Bridge where the curtain between life and Life was thinnest, she could see other bunnies, some of whom were struggling to leave for the safety of the Bridge, and not able, as she had not been able, to see that there was a Light that shown beyond the darkness that was enveloping them.
She remembered her life before coming to Our Warren.
On the Journey to the Bridge, one remembered so much.
And some of it was so horrible, that one ran, as fast as one could, from the overwhelming fear of those memories, driven by a terror so consuming that it blocked all sound except the beating of one’s own heart in one’s throat, and the thudding of one’s paws over the frozen ground. One ran, because that’s all you could do – out-run the on-rushing black cloud of memory; run until the lungs burned and the legs were weak with effort. Run, run, continue to run towards the faint, flickering glow that was the Bridge in the Distance.
Run from the wire cages, the filth, the empty water bottles, the rain, and the fright-filled night! Run from the cold, clean laboratories of torment and death! And run from the predators: the vicious humans with their dogs and their fire and their gas and their guns. Outrun hunger so vicious that a bunny alone in a cage in a cold and cheerless barn would gnaw its own paws in desperation. Outrun the countless acts of cruelty that the stronger visit upon the weak and voiceless because they can. Outrun the horror and the sadness. Outrun the silent cry of a hopeless, broken heart.
Run, because to stand still means to be overtaken by the memory of unhappiness so profound that there can be no expression beyond the scream that goes unheard in the wilderness of despair.
And that is the wasteland of memory that lies before the Bridge.
Belinda remembered it well.
“I can’t be habbin’ wif dis.” She muttered and shook her anvil-shaped head.
And yet, she knew it was what “had to be”, because without the pursuing terror of memory, bunnies might not find their way to the Rainbow Bridge, and once finding it, might hesitate to cross the Great Divide that the shining arch spanned. There had to be some impetus that drove them across and that impulse was the memory that bunnies share, of cruelty, abuse, and fear that is known only to those who are born into life as prey.
“But still,” Said Belinda. “I can’t be habbin’ wif dis.”
Because she had come to Our Warren in her third year of Life Below, and found herself in a house with Hunny and Maggie and Heatherington, and Phil-the-Lad and, of course, Maman.
There hadn’t been much in the way of what Maman called “munny” – which was something which was apparently needed to secure large amounts of hay and pellets and those lovely green veggytables; and there hadn’t been much in the way of “creetchur comforts”, but there was a lot of love. Belinda had gotten many, many pets, and had been given all kinds of things that, while they were very perplexing, were pleasant, indeed.
And in her great rabbit heart, she had learned to give these same perplexing but very pleasing things to other rabbits. Where Hunny, who was somewhat what Belinda called, “skatty”, sat and told stories and taught bunnies The Lore (that he said every bunny should know), Belinda set about making every bunny feel as secure and happy and as “at home” as she did.
So she nursed the sick, befriended the friendless, and most of all, welcomed the newly adopted and showed them the ways to get on in Our Warren.
Of course, there had been times when she’d had to have a few pootie wars to establish just who was “in charge,” but because she was an English Spot Bunny, and quite large with exceptional powers of digestion, she had prevailed in all of them. Even at the end, when she was terribly, terribly “sik”, and her pooties weren’t at all what they should have been and she had no idea why when she was chowing down three salads a day and all the treats she could fit her teeth around, she had still proved herself to be Top Bunny to that belligerent Netherlands Dwarf bunny named “Mouse”.
Well, what Belinda had done in the Life Below, she could certainly carry on doing here in the Life After.
If Terror drove bunnies over the Bridge, she could at least do what she did best and do something reassuring about their arrival at The Meadow.
Because The Meadow was safe.
That was important to let a new bunny know.
Race for your life.
Stay out ahead of the Terror.
Get to the Bridge.
You are SAFE!
But how to tell bunnies who were new to The Meadow this wonderful news?
So she settled into loaf position there beside the Rock at The End of the Bridge, and did what any English Spot bunny would do: she had a “fink”.
This lasted quite awhile.
And when the while had ended, Belinda Bunny stood up, stretched and yawned, and pricked her pointed black ears forward and narrowed her dark, intelligent eyes.
And then she hopped off to find Hawthorn.
To Be Continued Tomorrow…