Favorite

Follow the white rabbit 

The Observer's belated ode to Halloween: Like horrors on the tides they came to The Observer's front door, wave after wave, gory-masked, full-body-suit weird and fake-blood-splattered. Then, there was the boy in the button-down shirt, tie and slacks. "Businessman?" we yelled after him as he made off with his Reese's buttercup. "Math teacher," he said over his shoulder. Scary to some, I guess.

Oh, and Pablo Picasso showed up, too.

The Observer is, of course, a chronicler of all things strange and wonderful, but stuff does slip off our back burner and fall behind the stove from time to time — even the oddest of things. So it is that we forgot to tell you in recent weeks about seeing a large, white rabbit roaming the wilds of Stifft Station.

We'd seen him twice on Maple Street, both times on the north side of the big hill above Plateau that we nicknamed Old Misery some years ago when Yours Truly began nightly walks from The Observatory to Markham and back. We first took it to be a white cat, but the way it moved and a pair of unmistakable ears quickly proved it to be a huge, fluffy, perfect bunny like something from a children's storybook, the creature flashing across the street from left to right before disappearing into the bushes, always at night, always just at the edge of our headlights, no pocket watch in evidence but obviously very, very late for his date with Alice. It took us awhile to believe what we were seeing, even though we regularly catch glimpses of rangy brown city rabbits sitting in our driveway in the spring. No, this one was different: The Ghost Rabbit of Maple Street; somebody's pet, maybe, either let loose by an owner tired of finding rabbit beans in the hallway courtesy of a grown-too-big Easter present, or absconded through a gap in the wire of a cage somewhere, the Call of the Wild heard and answered. Clearly an Omen, we chuckled to Spouse the first time we saw him, even though we're both too old and pickled by the rigors of the world to believe in such nonsense, even when no less than Lewis Carroll is on the other end of the cosmic telephone. Still, Your Correspondent must admit that it took a good bit of willpower to keep from stopping the car, taking our Beloved by the hand, and following our friend down the rabbit hole.

We recalled this to tell you about it, sadly, because the Ghost Rabbit is gone. Driving up Maple Street the other night in the rain, we saw the sad, sodden lump of white fur in the road. Though we hoped against hope, our eyes soon made out the ears and the rabbit's foot, lucky no more. Though we considered getting out and dragging the body into the bushes, the night was dark and cold, and our warm house beckoned. Instead, we motored respectfully into the other lane and left him behind, a meal for whatever dutifully retrieves the dead from Maple Street by moonlight.

It occurs to us that there is a truth here, friends — some sad fact, and not a pretty one. Something about fairy tales, maybe, which is too depressing to say out loud. Then again, we're probably reading too much into it, as we're prone to do. Besides, if you're adult enough to have read this far, we don't have to say it aloud for you to understand it, do we?

Eager to get out of town and see the paintbrush of fall, The Observer and family motored out to the pavilion and dock on the Maumelle River at Pinnacle Mountain on Sunday, not a prettier place in all the world by our reckoning. There, walking in the woods just off the parking lot, we happened upon a white chef's apron, white and fairly clean, but wadded and hurled into the bushes. The Observer is a storyteller, and so we couldn't help but imagine how it came to be there: A junior chef, fresh from a dressing down by the crabby Frenchman over a collapsed souffle, comes out to smoke, mutter and contemplate by the river. Eventually, having decided To Hell With It, he casts his apron into the weeds, gets in his car, and turns the wheel toward the coast. He knew a girl there once, who taught him how to make a roux.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • The hart

    It is hard for a straight person, The Observer included, to imagine what it would be like to be born gay — to be shipwrecked here on this space-going clod, where nearly every textbook, novel, film and television show, nearly every blaring screen or billboard or magazine ad, reinforces the idea that "normal" means "heterosexual."
    • Feb 26, 2015
  • Metropolis

    About a month ago, The Observer helped a friend move from Fayetteville to Little Rock for work. Said friend is a quiet guy given to solitary activities, fond of cats and weightlifting, and he tends to get ideas in his head that are difficult to shake loose once installed — in this case regarding his new city of residence. Though he grew up in a Memphis suburb, he's lived for over a decade in Conway and Fayetteville, and it was clear his vision of Little Rock was a little skewed. Moving to a real city, he kept saying.
    • Nov 20, 2014
  • Little Rock trans people and the police

    LRPD Chief Buckner issues new policies regarding interactions with transgender citizens.
    • Nov 27, 2014

Most Shared

  • Lawsuit filed over settlement in forum-shopping class action case

    The lawyers facing disciplinary action by federal Judge P.K. Holmes in Fort Smith over their settlement of a class action lawsuit against the USAA insurance company have a new legal headache.
  • Cherokee tribe backs the casino amendment

    NOW, I get it. The group circulating petitions for a constitutional amendment to establish casinos in Boone, Miller and Washington counties reveals that the deal anticipates operation of the casino in Washington County by the Cherokee tribe that now has casino operations in Oklahoma.
  • A modest proposal for charter schools

    It was just a little over a year ago when Baker Kurrus was hired as the superintendent of the Little Rock School District. With new Education Commissioner Johnny Key there was a strong concern that the Little Rock school system would be converted to all charter schools and the entire public education system would disappear.
  • Highway Department: Key parts of new Clarendon bridge installed upside down.

    The future of the old Highway 79 bridge at Clarendon is uncertain, but it's a good thing the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department didn't jump the gun on demolishing it.That's because the new bridge at Clarendon — or at least the western approach, which is elevated over U.S. Fish and Wildlife wetlands — is snakebit.
  • Mansion wars

    It has never been as consequential as Versailles, which helped trigger the French Revolution, but the royal palace of Arkansas's First Family has always been an object of political intrigue.

Latest in The Observer

  • Thy lake

    The Observer got up to DeGray Lake over the weekend to the beach there, the true Redneck Rivera if there ever was one.
    • Jun 23, 2016
  • The bench

    The Observer has spent the past few weeks doing the backstroke in the poo lagoon of another terrible tale. Read on for more, if you dare, and if your heart can stand it. It's the job, sons and daughters, and we're happy to do it. Keeps us off the streets, with three hots and a cot. That ain't chickenfeed.
    • Jun 16, 2016
  • Can you spare a Harriet?

    In elementary school we were solidly Team Harriet, who we learned about as a voracious reader in the kids' section of the library.
    • Jun 9, 2016
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

June

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation