Excerpt from A Boy Named Rabbit CH 16

 

Just want to get in one or two more short excerpts before the night is over. These two brief scenes from A Boy Named Rabbit come about after some very tense and frightening things happen to Rabbit. Mac wanted to give him a few hours of fun, so he took him to the waterfall and  pool where Rabbit first camped upon reaching Wake-Robin Ridge. Rabbit doesn’t believe for one minute that Mac can be crazy, having mostly seen him in serious mode. And since Mac is notoriously angsty and always worried about something, Rabbit has good reason for his doubts. This is his response after finding out Mac does have his moments.

***

Scene 1

…I closed my eyes, braced for Rabbit’s reaction, but to my surprise, he didn’t start crying again. Instead, he squared his shoulders and with a determined nod of his head, announced, “Well, then—I reckon we need us a plan.”

 “I think you’re right. We do need a plan. But what we need even more right this minute, is a break from all this worrying. Why don’t we do something fun for a couple of hours, and then come back and tackle the problem when we’ve cleared our heads a bit? Nothing like looking at things with fresh eyes, you know. What do you think, partner? Want to go have some laughs?”

The boy stared at Mac like he’d grown another head.

“Why are you giving me that look? I know how to laugh, Rabbit. I do.”

“You ain’t laughed much that I’ve seen.”

“Well, maybe that’s because there hasn’t been a lot to laugh about. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to have a good time. Tell him, Sarah.”

I rolled my eyes, and grinned. “Um, yeah, okay. Mac knows how to have fun. Sort of.”

Grabbing his heart, Mac slumped down on the couch. “Et tu, Sarah? Why does everyone think I’m so anti-fun? Am I really that bad?”

He was pathetic, and I had to work to keep a straight face, while Rabbit glanced back and forth between the two of us, not knowing what to expect. “Not always, but you’ll have to admit, it’s been a long time since you’ve done anything really crazy.”

“Crazy? You want crazy? I can do crazy, you know.”

That did it. Rabbit started to laugh in spite of himself, his youthful exuberance happy to push his worries aside for another time. “I don’t believe you,” he choked out between giggles. “You don’t know how to do no crazy stuff.”

Mac jumped up off the couch. “Okay, that does it. If crazy is what you want, I’m your man. Start making some peanut butter sandwiches, Rabbit. I’ve got some things to get together and then you and I are gonna go for a walk. I’ll show you crazy, all right!”

Rabbit headed for the kitchen, happy excitement all over his face. I followed Mac upstairs where he grabbed some old jeans and a lightweight shirt. “It’s getting warmer every day. Time to ditch the flannel, I think.”

“What do you have up your sleeve, husband of mine?”

“Well, honestly…I don’t have the slightest idea, but I’m sure I can think of something funny when the time is right. This perception of me as a stuffy old fogey has to go.”

Sitting on the edge of the bed, Mac laced up his shoes, his expression sober. “He needs something fun, Sarah. I couldn’t look at his sad little face another minute. One second, he’s crying in fear, and the next, he’s trying to pull it together and come up with a plan, for God’s sake. A kid his age ought to be spending his days laughing and enjoying his childhood, not trying to figure out how to hide from the Bad People, and interpreting nightmares, so he’ll know how to stay safe. It’s all wrong.”

He shrugged, giving a sad shake of his head. “I just want him to have some time to laugh, that’s all.”

Scene 2

“SARAH! MAC DID IT! He was crazy!” Rabbit practically fell through the glass door, trying to get inside. “You shoulda seen him. He jumped in the water—NEKKID!”

He collapsed on the living room floor, holding his sides and shrieking with laughter, as Rosheen joined in the fun, covering his face with kisses. “Aaack! Stop, Rosheen. I’m tryin’ to talk.”

He sat up, still laughing, face flushed and eyes sparkling. “Oh, Sarah, it were so funny. He hung a new rope from the tree by the pool, an’ he said we was gonna go for a swim with the fishies, but then he ‘membered he didn’t have no shorts, an’ I said me an’ my grampa used to go skinny-dippin’ in the creek. Mac said he hadn’t done that in a long time, an’ next thing I knew, he pulled them ol’ clothes off, an’ he swung out over the pond, nekkid as a jaybird, an’ yellin’ somethin’ about bein’ king of the jungle, an’ he dropped right in the water.”

I started laughing, too. “Mac went skinny-dipping in the pool?”

“Yep, but that’s not the funniest part, Sarah. He thought ‘cause it was warm out an’ all, that it would be a good day to swim, but that ol’ water weren’t no kinda warm, an’ he shot back up outta there like backwards lightnin’! He weren’t doin’ no jungle yell, neither. He was screamin’ all high an’ squealy, like my gran when she had a spider crawl on her.”

He collapsed back onto the floor, shrieking with laughter again. When he recovered, he sat up, wiping the tears from his eyes, and shaking his head. “I wish you coulda seen it, Sarah. Mac bein’ crazy’s ‘bout the funniest thing I ever did see in all my whole life.”

8 thoughts on “Excerpt from A Boy Named Rabbit CH 16

    • Not a problem. Just remember to share my post, while I’m sharing yours, and all is well! 😀 (Though I do wish I had posted something sinister, since I can’t hope to compete with you or Ned in the comedy department.) Thanks so much for sharing this one, Karen. Off to Tweet & reblog right now.

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    • Glad you liked it, Karen. I swear, I never know what that little boy is going to say until it falls off of my fingers and onto the page. I do love him, though. He was so much fun to write, except for when he was being heartbreaking. 😦 Then I cried, making typing even harder. 😉

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    • Thanks, Debby. Writing Rabbit is fun, but a challenge at the same time. He’s a mountain boy without a day of schooling, raised by his grandparents, and his grammar and dialect needed to show that. Drawing a line between making it clear that he’s uneducated and “country,” and writing dialogue readers could still understand was tricky. I hope I accomplished it. Of course, in future books, some of the sharp edges will be worn off, as he spends more time with Sarah and Mac, who don’t talk that way at all, and he starts to catch up with his education. But I’ll leave enough that it will always sound like Rabbit. He’s one of a kind.

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      • I think you’ve done a great job. Dialect is always tricky, but the art is to use just enough for colour, without overdoing it. I face the same with my Caledonian Sprite tales – if I wrote it as it really sounds, very few would understand at all!

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        • I hear ya! It adds so much interest, but if it’s overdone, it can just bog people down so deeply, they give up. I loved the bar scene, btw. I need to go comment on that one. I’ve been rushing, and I miss stuff when I do that. Sorry!

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