R. Rabbits

“What are you doing Mum?”

“I’m getting ready to go to the cemetery.  We’re going to visit Grandma remember?”

“Are we going to have a picnic?”

“Well I thought we could just spread the rug out and lay on it and enjoy the sunshine while we were there.  What do you think?”

“Okay.”  Bronte wasn’t sure, but she knew it was what her Mum wanted so she went ahead and put the blanket in the car.

“Hey Bronte, can you grab a couple of carrots out of the fridge please?”

“What for?”

“Just grab them please.  I’ll tell you later.”

For the second time that day, Bronte looked at her mother like she had lost her marbles.

Down at the cemetery, Bronte watched her Mum spread the blanket at her grandmother’s plaque in the lawn.   She watched as her mother sat down on the blanket and placed fresh flowers in the vase in front of  the plaque and watched, as her mum ran her hand over her grandmother’s name, tracing each of the letters as she spoke.

“How are you Mum?  I know it’s been a while since we’ve been, but we don’t get back here as often as we’d like.  Bronte is here with me, she’s been doing well as school Mum.  You would be pleased.  Bronte?  You want to say hello?”

“Hello Grandma.  Grandma, Mum made me bring down carrots.  Do you know what they are for?”

Bronte didn’t mean to dob on her mother, but she thought it all a bit strange. Her mother was talking to Grandma even though she was dead and couldn’t hear anything.  Why did Mum have to do that?  Bronte thought if she said out loud the thing about the carrots, Mum would realise how ridiculous it sounded and she might stop all this nonsense.  Instead, her mother started laughing.

“Mum, I thought I’d bring down some carrots for the rabbits.  Bronte, there are about a hundred wild rabbits in this cemetery.  I thought I’d bring some down so that Grandma would have some company.”

“Are you serious?”

“Of course I am.  There really are rabbits.  Just break the carrots in half and throw them around.  It will be ok.  The rabbits will come later.”

Oh boy, I think Mum has really lost it, thought Bronte.  However, she did as her mother bade and then sat and waited until it was time to go home.

“I’ll see you later Mum.  Say hi to Aunty Rose and Uncle Wal for me.”

Bronte and her mum got back in the car and headed home and, as they drove, Bronte reminded her mother that the rabbits never appeared at the cemetery.  “Of course not darling.  Not while we were there.”

Weeks later when Bronte and her mother returned home, they got a phone call from Pop.

“Hello Bronte!”

“Hello Pop.  How are you?”

“I’m good thanks.  I went to visit Grandma the other day and do you know what happened?  There was a woman visiting next to me and all her flowers had been eaten up.  You know what she said?  She said those bloody rabbits must have been at it again.”

“Really Pop?  Serious?”

“I’m serious Bronte!  And do you know what the strangest thing was?  Grandma’s flowers were still there.  Not one of them had been nibbled.  Don’t you think that’s strange?”

Bronte looked up suddenly aware that her mother was right behind her.

“No Pop” she said smiling, “I don’t think that’s strange at all.”

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