See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The visit.



Mrs. Rabitowitz.
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I was outside, sweeping a light snow and some of the bird droppings into the hedge, when I heard, "Good afternoon Mr. Nelson." Without turning about I said smiling, "Ah! It must be Madame Rabitowitz! And to what do I owe this pleasure?"
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Turning around completely, I noticed a rather sad look upon the rabbit's face, and asked, "What is it my dear? Why do you look so melancholy?"
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"You saw the murder last week, did you not?" Mrs. Rabitowitz asked, as she began to pick up a few raisins I had put out for her.
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"Oh my. You saw it too." I answered. "Yes, I tried to clear away the evidence right away, very much afraid you or the children would come across it. I noticed one of the Finches happened across a piece of the entrails and spit it out. I'm so sorry that happened. I never realized hawks would be out before dawn."
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I awoke one morning to see a hawk finishing the remains of a Junco, all that was left was a great deal of down and a few feathers, a claw, and entrails, which I swept away. I was so upset: At first inspection, the down appeared to me to be fur, and I feared for Mrs. Rabitowitz.
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"Oh, yes, yes. We witnessed that." Mrs. Rabitowitz assured me. "You people are much more upset by this kind of thing than we are - the animals and birds, I mean."
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"How so?" I inquired.
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"Oh sweetie, all of this is quite natural you know, disturbing though it is. We are meant to be food for one another. Of course we try to preserve our lives, yet our purpose is to please men and to support life - although it may result in such a grizzly annihilation for some of us... Not a species of course." Laughing she added, "Men are the only ones who do that type of thing. Sad really..."
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"Well, if you don't mind me asking, why is it you seem so sad?" I asked.
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We then sat down on the steps, looking into St. Joseph's Wood, as evening grew dark. Mrs. B responded quietly, "Papa is ill."
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"You mean Mr. Rabitowitz?" I asked with surprise, since I assumed she had been a widow already.
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"Yes dear. He is rather reclusive and no one ever sees him about, except late at night, when he goes for a walk and sneaks a cigarette or two."
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I laughed out loud and exclaimed, "Omigosh! I've run into him - he smokes! Yes indeed - we've met! In fact, he knows Cyril."
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Giggling, Mrs. B said, "Yes - he likes you quite a lot - he likes Cyril too, but says he is a bit hi-brow for him. Papa thinks you are quite funny. He told me he likes it very much when you touch him."
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"Oh! Mrs. B! I assure you, I like it very much when he lets me touch him." Turning more serious I asked, "What is it, what is wrong? Have you been to the doctor?"
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"Oh Mr. Nelson, we can't visit doctors. No, no, no, no, no. You see, they put animals to sleep, after endless tests of course. Oh no, we take care of ourselves alright, we do."
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"So please tell me then, what ails him, what are his symptoms? Is there anything I can do?" I asked with growing concern.
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"Papa has problems with his prostate, in fact, it seems his lymph glands are infected as a result, and of course he has those skin problems from the sun." Mrs. Rabitowitz stated this so matter of fact, it at first seemed she was totally unconcerned, which told me they have been living with this for quite a long time.
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"Oh dear! I'm so sorry to hear that. How is he doing now?" I pleaded.
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"Quite well surprisingly. He sleeps rather late, and stays inside a great deal, but he remains rather chipper." Mrs. R looked away, hiding a little tear from me.
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I gently touched the back of her ear and whispered, "I'm so very sorry. I will pray."
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Jumping down from the stair, gathering her raisins and nuts, Mrs. Rabitowitz turned and replied, "Thanks so much. I knew I could count on you." And she hopped away.
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I sat there, reflecting on the brevity of life. Just then, I craved a cigarette.

8 comments:

  1. I hope that you don't stop the Mrs. Rabitowitz series.

    Have you ever seen "Misery?"

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  2. I'm still praying for you, Ter, er, Mr Rabitowitz.

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  3. I hope you're not sick. :<

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  4. michael r.7:02 AM

    Sorry to hear about the Junco. Aren't they wonderful in their little black and white habits?

    Tell Mrs. Rabitowitz to tell Papa that I'm praying for him. You might also mention that it's possible to do ok with some lymph nodes out of commission. Tell her I had 37 lymph nodes removed from my right side.

    Glad you are back, Terry! I love this series of conversations with Mrs. Rabitowitz!

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  5. Michael I pray for you every day. You have really gone through the mill!

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  6. I love this series too. Yes, everyone knows Cyril! :-)

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  7. Poor Michael r - God bless him !!

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