A Bunny Rabbit Eats Tea Leaves On TV

William Gallien

William Gallien

Will Gallien writes as various people including Ofelia Hunt (Today & Tomorrow, Magic Helicopter Press, my eventual bloodless coup, Bear Parade). He was also a co-founder and editor at the now extinct alice blue.

She isn't so much a bunny rabbit as a small girl in a bunny rabbit costume. Bespoke. Brown corduroy, with beaded cuffs and cotton-ball ears. The ears are long and lie back over her shoulders as she reclines on a day bed near a picture window that looks out over the top of a thick forest canopy.
A small boy in monster pajamas holds the camcorder. He coughs quietly into his hand, then zooms in and approaches slowly.
The bunny rabbit carefully removes a small leaf from the heart-shaped tin at her side and places it on her tongue. She adjusts her position, sits crisscross applesauce, arms wide, shuts her eyes, and begins to sway.
"Tell me my future," the boy whispers, the camcorder trained on her face.
Muffled thumps and tinkling piano from below.
"There will be many rabbits!" she begins. With a theatrical sob, the bunny rabbit throws an arm across her face. "Oh woe and terror! The animals of the forest have gathered at the cliff's edge and are throwing themselves into the sea!"
"Can they swim?" the boy whispers, as he backs slowly away, and squats with the rabbit and day bed centered in the viewfinder.
"There is a storm and lightning and there are millions of forest creatures floating in the tossing waves!"
"I'm tired." The boy sits, camcorder on his lap.
A momentary shadow falls across the picture window.
"They swim together!"
More piano, chords, from below. A footstep upon the stairs.
"And the waves all calm down and the animals link their legs and paws together until they are a vast raft of fur and snouts and there a ton of stars, a googolplex of stars, and, finally, a bunny rabbit and a boy stand at the cliffs edge and look down and..."
"And what?" The boy adjusts the camcorder and zooms in very close to the bunny rabbit's face. There is no more piano. Only the creak of feet on stairs and wind. Through the picture window, the boy can see the swaying branches below and a purplish sky.
"And they tumble off into the air and float slowly to the animal raft where they lie back and stare at the stars and sleep in the floating bed of warm fur and feel the animal hearts thumping into their backs as they beat their way across the ocean in the cold night while the stars move slower and faster and slower until there is only dark and warmth and quiet."

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