Cottontail, Class Warrior

Don’t start thinking Velveteen Rabbit when you see me.  I’m not going to come alive because of a child’s love—that would be ridiculous.  If that were possible, do you think I would be here, sitting on a train heading somewhere.  I’d tell you where, but what do I know?  Until recently, I was Franny’s toy, and we had Thomas—awful and smelly Thomas, how I miss you—who did all the planning for the family.  Franny, for those of you who don’t travel in the upper-echelons of society and I don’t expect many of you do, is a member of very well-off family.  I, Cottontail D. Bunny III, played a major role within Franny’s family.  You might even say I was a part of the family, which is why I’m dressed like a child, even though I’m a stuffed animal.  It’s also why I’ve been left behind on a stupid, filthy train heading somewhere I can’t tell you.

There is a part of me, admittedly, that is relieved to be free of them.  Franny’s mother didn’t like me—never liked me truth be told.  She thought Franny was too old to carry around a stuffed animal, and though I think that accusation a bit unfair when Franny first received me (she was five at the time), I can see her mother’s point now (Franny just turned twenty-seven).  Franny’s father was also no picnic, though for different reasons.  Over time. I believe he developed a fixation for my lovely outer-shell.  I am made of the finest cashmere, which means I’m heaven to the touch—this is not braggadocio on my part.  It is truth.  It is also why I can’t blame her father when he’d wait for Franny to fall asleep and then kidnap me to his bedroom where he would squeeze me between his legs for the duration of the evening.  He did this until Franny’s mother found us.  Not being that kind of toy, I would’ve said something if I could—not that Franny’s mother would’ve listened.  She never listens, at least that’s what Franny tells Dr. Stanley, her therapist.

As I hope you’re starting to see, Franny’s family was complicated and it wasn’t always easy being among them.  But still, being here alone on this train, I realize that the relief of not being with Franny’s family might be short-lived.

There are really only two options for the abandoned stuffed animal as far as I can see, and both options start the same way: with someone, some stranger or group of strangers, handing me around—touching me all over.  Awful is the only word that comes to mind.  As much as I didn’t like Francesca’s father or her mother or even her, their hands were known hands with known, refined germs.  Do you know how many people use the bathroom and then walk around with unwashed hands?  More than you think.

People can avoid the cooties, I believe that’s what some call it.  Franny’s mother, for instance, avoided shaking hands with anyone she did not know well.  I, of course, am not so fortunate.  Not only am I an inanimate creature, I’m also made up of the finest cashmere, as I mentioned previously, which as most people will tell you, is infamous for harboring germs.

Awful, again, is the only word that comes to mind.

If the person or persons who find me are respectable, they will take me to the train’s Lost & Found area.  There, I will be forced to live in a small box with other “toys,” a term I am using loosely.  No one of my pedigree will be there, I am almost certain of that.  It’s the land of the great unwashed—stuffed animals covered in cotton-blends, or worse, synthetic materials—nylon, rayon, and other –ons of that sordid nature.  I know that all toys are equal in the eyes of God, but there are limits—there have to be.  If you could just feel my quality.  Feel how smooth I am.  I don’t give children rashes like some of those synthetic stuffed animals do.  So it’s not really fair that I end up in a box with them.  It’s just not.  But what can I do?  Nothing.

As bad as the Lost & Found area is, however, there is a worse option.  With my luck, of course, the people who find me will be poor.  Probably the man who cleans the train when all the passengers get off will see me, and he’ll think I’ll make a nice gift for his lovely daughter—who is probably not very lovely at all.  Or maybe he’ll have more than one not-so-lovely child and he’ll tell them to share me.  Oh my God.  I can just see it.  The small house he has.  The rooms smelling like food, which means I will eventually smell like food, too.  Cashmere is also infamous for absorbing odors, by the way.

Then, his many children will all touch me with their little food-smelly hands.  Poor children, from what I hear, are not frequent bathers.  Oh, why couldn’t Franny have just dropped me in a forest somewhere?  Then I would’ve been gnawed at by real animals, which is not ideal, but even that is better than being a poor child’s toy.  If I could, I’d throw myself out the window right now.  I’d probably tear in the process and some of my wonderfully expensive goose-down innards would fly everywhere, but even so, I’d be in tact—maybe not physically, but in a more important way: I would be unsullied, untouched by the common.  For that, when you get right down to it, is the worst fate for a toy like me.  I am anything but common.  I am special.  I am heaven to the touch.

I am Cottontail D. Rabbit, III, and that should mean something.

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Categories: fiction

Author:the circular runner

g. martinez cabrera currently lives in San Francisco with his lovely and talented wife. He holds degrees from Columbia and from the Harvard Divinity School where he spent three years thinking about lofty things. Since then, he tries to write some lofty and some not-so-lofty things down so others can see how lofty he sometimes is. When he’s not writing or spending time with said wife, he tortures young people with learning. He blogs at www.circularrunning.wordpress.com and Tumbls at www.circularrunning.tumblr.com

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