In Which the Rabbit Died

I remember lying in my futon (traditional bed in Japan) in our apartment back when I used to live in Japan. I remember not being able to sleep through my father’s snore, and I remember one story my mother always tells.

“Once upon a time, there lived a baby rabbit and her mother inside a tiny hut beside the wood.”

The lights used to be turned off by then, and my brother would have slept through it as he couldn’t care less of what was to happen to the rabbit. She’d tell the story with soft, soothing voice and I wouldn’t be able to make out her face in the dark.

“The mother rabbit always tell the baby rabbit to not go out into the wood,” she used to tell me. “The wood is too dangerous. There is a fearsome bear ready to hunt little rabbit like the baby rabbit, and there are many dangerous creature living inside.”

My younger self would have imagined a dark forest with bats and howls by then.

“But one day,” my mother hushed, and I whimpered. “the baby rabbit didn’t listen! She played outside into the wood until late in the evening, and the fearsome bear found her before her mother did! So he ate her, and she died. Her body was never found by the mother rabbit. The end.”

I remember crying like one would when he or she is dumped by their lovers. I sobbed into my mother’s arms, grieving for the fate of the little rabbit.

“Which is why you should always, always, listen to your mother,” she ended the tale with a light and airy giggle. Must be amusing for her to see a little girl cry for the poor fate of an imaginary rabbit. I would have done the same if I had a daughter.

I brought the story back to my mother a year ago, I think. She laughed about it and told me she made the story up completely. Someday, I’ll follow her legacy and laugh as I make my daughter cry with the legendary, fearsome story.

My daughter won’t know what hit her.


In response to: Bedtime Stories

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