Archive for April 6th, 2012

6th April
2012
written by amber

Davie and the Rabbit

There was this boy Davie, and he was going to have a rabbit. He’d seen one once in a movie about Earth, and he’d asked his Great-grandfather (who remembered Earth) if there were any rabbits on the Avani Ship. And his Great-grandfather had said yes. And then he fell asleep. Great-grandfather slept almost all day, every day.

In the movie there had been trees and flowers and the sky all blue like the painted ceiling of a room and a little girl. She put on a pink dress and walked with her family outside without an atmosphere suit and they went into the largest room Davie had ever seen, with beautiful illuminated view ports, and they sang songs and stood up and sat down along with many other people. Then they went home and the little girl ran through the growing flowers and green plants without anybody getting mad at her, and she found things to eat, which was not the way food was found on Avani Ship. Then her father brought a box to her and in the box there was the rabbit.

“This is your pet,” he told her, and Davie didn’t know what that was, but his vocer told him that a pet was a small animal owned usually by one person alone, to be their companion. The owner had to care for the pet, which was a good way for a child to learn responsibility.

Davie thought that was a very good idea. His mother often complained that he had no sense of responsibility. He wasted water and food, he played too hard and tore his clothing, he broke a tea cup that had belonged to her mother and was their only possession that had come from Earth.

But his mother said that he couldn’t have a rabbit, and his father laughed as if it was the funniest thing he’d ever heard. And the other children in his classes also laughed, and said that no one of Avani Ship could have a pet. And some of them said there were no small animals on the ship. Weddell said there were too, there were rats, he’d seen one. Neva said she thought there were some very small cows.

His grandfather promised to take Davie to see rabbits on his seventh birthday. Davie tried to be extra-good until then, but three months was a very long time during which he wasted more water, bumped into someone in the hall and made them fall down, and disgraced himself at a meal by spitting out food that tasted very bad. His father later whispered to him that he’d thought the food was ‘a bit off,’ but that didn’t stop Davie from being punished by having his vocer game options limited for a week.

And after that week, it was his birthday. Even though his mother was still angry, she did allow Davie to go with his Great-grandfather to see the rabbits.

They were behind the large rooms called the Farm, where Davie had once run through the green plants and cost his family a lot of credit, even though he was only three years old. He was very careful today to stay in the centre of the aisle and stay far away from the plants.

The rabbits looked exactly like the ones his vocer had showed him, small and covered with soft hair, with large eyes and big ears flopped down beside their faces. But they were in cases and he couldn’t get anywhere near them to touch them and see how fuzzy they were.

It was nice to watch them eating the green plants exactly as they grew, instead of processed the way his family ate them, and it was nice to see them hopping around and sniffing at each other, but he really wanted to stroke them and see which would be the most friendly toward him, which would be his pet.

“Do you have a special occasion?” the Farm worker who’d brought them into the room asked.

“Yes, it’s the boy’s birthday,” Great-grandfather said. “But we don’t have enough credit to buy one. We just wanted to look at them.”

Davie felt very disappointed to hear this, but he tried to hold his tears back, wanting to ask the man how many credits were needed to get a pet rabbit. Great-grandfather started to drag Davie toward the door. “Davie boy, I’m about done in. Time for us to head for home. We can’t afford rabbit, I’m sorry to say. I haven’t had rabbit for years.”

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

The first line of this story comes from the children’s book, Shadrach, by Meindert DeJong.