Friday, September 12, 2014

Leave the rabbit be!

It was late in the day at Twin Rocks Trading Post, after 5:00 p.m., and the evening was coming on lovely. One of those infamous mid-August thunderstorms had just passed through town and left our high desert landscape looking rubbed and scrubbed of its, generally, dust laden mantle. The air was fresh and golden; sunlight filtering through scattered clouds left us feeling good about our recently weathered condition. The light breeze blustering about the wide-open Kokopelli doors smelled and felt as if there might be a seasonal change in the air. Could fall be near at hand? Not for a while now would be my guess. Surely Mother Nature was just teasing us with her tempestuous tendencies.

Just then a bright and bouncy British couple who appeared to be in their late thirties to early forties, bopped into the shop. The woman was tall, close to six feet, she wore her sandy colored hair short. On her perky nose rested large framed glasses, which highlighted her big brown smiling eyes. She was dressed for summer in a sleeveless, boxy, polyester blouse with a flashy flower print. The lady also wore Khaki shorts and brown sandals. The man, who was dressed for hot weather, was a good 3" shorter than his wife. He too wore his light brown hair cropped, had hazel eyes and gold-rimmed glasses. His Hawaiian looking shirt was colored in muted tones of brown and cream. Tan Khaki shorts and brown sandals completed his attire. To my surprise, tucked under his left arm, he embraced a raggedy purple, stuffed rabbit.
Navajo Turquoise Bead Rabbit Carving - Ray Lansing (#212)

The Brits were light hearted and funny, easily displaying the dry wit our friends across the pond are famous for. Noticing the lagomorph, Priscilla eyed me cautiously, knowing from past experience I was likely to make a saucy remark concerning this guy packing around a rascally rabbit. Noting her concern, I held my tongue and waited for a child to join the couple, which would explain the hapless hopper. After twenty minutes of banter and no youngster appearing, I about made a comedic comment concerning a grown man and his comfort toy, but my timing was off however, and I missed my chance when Laurie telephoned to ask if I would be on time for dinner. At that moment, the couple slipped out and disappeared into the brilliant evening light. Priscilla laughed merrily at my missed opportunity; relieved I had failed to poke fun at, what seemed, a rather obvious security blanket.

To my delight, the couple returned the following morning. A turquoise pendent they saw the previous day bothered the lady in her dreams and they had returned to retrieve it. Joy upon joy, there, tucked securely under the man's arm, was the object of my obsession. As I spoke with the couple, and fought to restrain myself, my sarcastic mind refocused on less than appropriate commentary relating to that well-worn rabbit. Just as I opened my mouth to spout, a tall, thin boy of approximately fifteen years walked into the store. The youth was followed closely by a girl of ten or twelve and another child no bigger than a biscuit. The tiniest child approached the man, kissed the well-secured bunny on the head, patted her "Pappi" on the arm and went to lean lovingly on her "Mumsi."

My miscreant commentary dissipated like a mirage on the desert and Priscilla gave me a "Man are you lucky you didn't mouth off" look. As the couple completed their purchase the man remarked, "You won." "Won what?” I queried, puzzled at the comment. He explained that he and his wife noticed my reaction when I initially spotted the rabbit and could see that I was struggling not to offer-up a wisecrack. They realized that I did not see their children, whom Buffy the Wonder Dog was entertaining on the porch of the Twin Rocks Cafe. When the couple left last night they had a good laugh at my internal struggle. When they decided to return for the pendant, they felt confident I would loose my emotional battle and come across with a sarcastic remark. "You won because you held your tongue," they acknowledged.

The couple congratulated me on my restraint, and recommended I work on my poker face. Actually the woman said, "What you were thinking was written all over your ruddy mug." That must often be the case because Laurie tells me the same thing all the time. Just before the family left I asked, "So do I get the rabbit as my booby prize?" "Well,” the man said, "you'll  have to take on little Penelope to get it and I wouldn't recommend you try." Looking into that sweet child's hazel eyes made me think of my own wee bairns. Our three children are mostly raised and working hard on becoming independent. We are, however, still deeply committed to them and their well-being. Because this Brit would carry a mangled rabbit around for his small daughter, without considering how his manliness might be questioned, showed me that he too was devoted to his family. "Enough said," I replied, "I wouldn't want to make a little girl cry." "You better not?" Priscilla warned, "leave the rabbit be!"

With warm regards from Barry Simpson and the team;
Steve, Priscilla and Danny.

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