By Thomas Garcia
Have you ever had the feeling that you were being watched? You know, when the hair on the back of your neck stands up, you slightly turn your head to see if anyone is behind you then quickly look forward to make sure no one is walking up on you?
It might seem like I am paranoid, although I know I’m not alone when I say I have had this feeling before. The funny part about this feeling that I have been having is that the paranoia is coming from a rather unusual source.
You see, a few weeks ago I took a special interest in a furry little rabbit and followed it around for sometime through the alleys close to the Quay County Sun office.
I tailed the rabbit for some time, watching as it hopped around and nibbled at some plants while exploring the vast wilderness of the surrounding back yards. The rabbit was very aware of my presence but continued to hop around without any visible haste.
Most times you get close to a rabbit it darts off with such speed and grace. You can’t help but admire a rabbit’s ability to go from zero to blur in four seconds.
This rabbit however was not in the mood to dash off. Instead, it took its sweet time grazing the various wild flowers and weeds along the alley.
Watching the rabbit cross the street nearly caused me to have a heart attack. Years of genetic coding must be passed down from rabbit to rabbit, and in that coding must be instructions on what to do when rabbits feel a vehicle coming. The rabbit looked in the direction of the vehicle, waited for it to get closer then darted out in front of it then dashed back to the spot it was in before.
The car swerved, and the driver looked at the rabbit then directed a glare at me, as if it were my rabbit the driver had missed or the rabbit was following my commands. I smiled and waved at the car as it passed and the rabbit? Well, it was already across the road making its way to the safety and comfort in the shade from a nearby bush.
I decided that I’d let the rabbit enjoy its rest and get back to what I had to do for the remainder of the day.
Well, last Sunday the wind was blowing like crazy, as we all know, and I was not planning on venturing out much into the dust-filled void. I needed something to eat and was not in the mood to cook and chips were not doing the trick, so I went out and ran a few errands. When I got back I was overcome with the feeling of being watched.
I glanced around the area, across the street and down the alley, yet there was no visible sign that anyone was there. I shook off the feeling and went inside to enjoy my snacks and catch up on my TV series.
The wind had died down a little so I decided open the front door and enjoy some fresh air. As I was watching my shows I heard the dogs across the street barking. They normally bark when someone is walking along the street on the alley and stop when the person gets out of view.
When the dogs’ barking did not stop for five minutes I began to think that something might be wrong. I got up and looked out the screen door to see if someone might be in the street or the alley. I didn’t see anyone, but the dogs were at the very edge of their fence barking away.
I stepped out onto the porch and looked over to where the dogs were and just on the other side of the fence was a rabbit. It was just sitting there right across the street at the beginning of the alley looking in the direction of my house.
I’ll be honest. There was a part of me that was wondering, “Is this the same rabbit I followed a few weeks back?”
Seeing that there was no danger or problem, I returned to watching my shows and eventually the dogs stopped barking. I figured they had gotten tired of woofing and took a water break.
I looked out a little later in the evening, and the rabbit was gone, and the dogs were back to their usual routine of barking at the passing traffic.
There were some items in my car that I needed to bring inside and seeing as how I was outside, I figured I’d save myself another trip. As I opened the door to my car and began to remove my stuff, I was once again overcome by that feeling of being watched.
I looked out the windshield and rear window and didn’t see anything, so I gathered what I needed and closed the door, and as I looked under the car canopy I saw it.
There by the neighbor’s garage and fence was a rabbit, and before I could ponder what it was doing another rabbit slowly emerged from my back yard.
The three of us stood there looking at each other for a few minutes until I decided to back away and leave the two rabbits to what they were doing.
Later that night I began to think about how funny it was to see three rabbits in the middle of town and on the same day. I began joking with myself thinking it may not be a coincidence, they may have been watching me for sometime. In fact, they are part of an ancient and secret sect of bunny assassins sent to take me out for writing about them in my last column.
I got a good laugh from my overactive imagination, turned my attention back to the TV for a while, then turned in to get some rest for the upcoming work week.
The rabbits are still hanging around my yard and I’m inclined to let them stick around for as long as they like. They don’t seem to be hurting anything, and they are a welcome reminder of my old country home.
The only thing I need now is a wild turkey to chase my sister around, flapping its wings while my sister screams at the top of her lungs, flailing her arms in a mad dash for survival, and it will be home sweet home.