A cage, a rabbit, and wicked scars.
Well, hay there, my babies! It’s time for another episode of “Myra’s life is an endlessly spinning shit-blizzard of chaos, but let’s laugh about it together.” Here follows a tale of when I was a wee fledgling Chaos Demon. For a time, my parents raised rabbits for meat because we were living that powdered milk and tuna casserole life. It didn’t last forever, because I come from the hardworking type of folk who don’t like to bitch about a problem, when they can put their heads together and get work done. But there were certain habits left over from those early days that carried forward. Like storing a dozen rabbit hutches 6 feet off the ground, suspended on 18″ rail spikes. I presume the purpose was to stop the rabbits from pooping on each other, but now that I’m thinking about it… it was probably to stop ME from climbing up to play with the vicious, completely untamed rabbits that were soon to grace our dinner plates. (Can you smell the foreshadowing?) But we eventually stopped eating the rabbits, and I forgot all about the time that I got bitten and kicked by a loose buck. (There’s no story there. It’s exactly how it sounded.) Her name was Itsy Bitsy, and she was the sweetest albino dwarf a little girl could possibly want. A birthday present, maybe. Or maybe just a way to entertain me with a low-responsibility pet that was happy to live outside. A floofy little bun that tolerated a high energy kid completely OBSESSED with animals, both fluffy and slimy. Her cage was outside, hanging on the side of the garage from those old rail spikes that now had a second purpose. The deal was that I had to ask my mum to get her for me because the cage was too high for me to reach. They say patience is a virtue, but again, I come from resilient stock of problem solvers and Do-It-Yourselfers. You KNOW I wasn’t about to wait around for mother to finish with the dishes. Itsy Bitsy and I had shit to do. It was raining, I remember that much. A really grey, miserable sort of day that only kids can handle, indifferent to the cold and wet. Miss Itsy was huddled in the back corner, hiding from the weather (not me, obviously). And I was there with a big white bucket, a determined grin, and a PLAN. Bucket flipped = stool. Stool = adult height advantage. Adult height = play time with bunbun and a victory badge to wave at mother. Now, it was not a great stool, because it didn’t lend me enough height to reach the back of the cage, but whatever. I was only like 60lbs, and the bucket had most of my weight. I remember her watching me with those freaky red eyes. Beady and demonic with alarm. Almost pink around the edges. And I remember the prickle of the cage jabbing me in the ribs, scraping over my flesh as I inched closer and closer, crawling inside. Standing on tiptoes to reach all the way to the back. Her fur was a bit damp, and she leaned away from me as my fingers finally got close enough to catch her by the scruff. Calves aching, the cage-prickle had crept all the way down to my hips. And there was this brief moment of looming adulthood. A split instant of time where I was like, pfffft. See, mother? I don’t need help. Did it myself. And then the bucket slipped out from under me, because I was right on the edge and my feet were wet. All 60lbs of stubborn Chaos Demon, hanging from two measly rail spikes in a wire cage. Ass up, legs flailing, near sawed in half from the jagged wire gnawing on my entrails. Limbo, but only for a eternity. When the cage fell, my only thought was Itsy Bitsy, who didn’t ask to be assaulted on a rainy day by the idiot who loved her too bloody much. I remember wrapping myself around her as the cage and I divorced in freefall. Shielding her from death with my face was an accident. Oh, unholy gods, my mother is going to murder me. Itsy Bitsy wrapped up in my arms, I kicked myself free of the crime scene, and slunk to the house. Feet bare. Rain pelting me back inside like some sort of cosmic justice for disobeying mother’s direct orders. I fuckin’ knocked on the front door like I was about to be disowned. Shaking from fear or shock, but not crying, because I was hurting, but tears aren’t really my thing. Thankssomuch, not a cute look for me. When my mum opened the door and saw the wretched little cretin she’d spawned, her expression made me laugh. Just the once, and more of a cackle, really. But when she asked me what the fuck happened, I looked down. Itsy Bitsy was red. Pristine snow-white fur spattered with gore. I started fuckin’ bawling BECAUSE I KILLED HER, MUMMY!!! I hadn’t, of course. I’d saved her. With my face. Now, today, we’ve got better things to use as a barricade between certain death and a precious bunbun. But I was a youth, and I’ve since learned some things. As it turns out, the corner of the cage had missed my left eyeball by about 2 millimeters. Too close for stitches, according to the doctor, but they had this freaky skin glue that was new and worth a shot. Touted to do a great job of keeping skin together where stitches weren’t necessarily appropriate. I don’t know if that skin glue is still used today, but I do remember the doctor telling me not to move as the glue dried. And then he and my mother left the room to discuss plastic surgery out of my hearing, because the damage was all-but promised to be gnarly, and a young girl wouldn’t want a face full of scars, even if she was a mud-wretch Chaos Demon. I could still hear them. And kids can’t listen without their eyeballs, so what did I do? You bet your nips I wriggled around until I could see their shadows through the glass. And there follows the story of how I glued my eyelid shut with crazy glue. We got my eyeball unstuck, eventually. And the scar smoothed out over time without plastic surgery, thankfully. But Miss Itsy Bitsy got a condo upgrade, and lived out the rest of her days in a giant dog kennel—no buckets involved.
© Myra Danvers, 2021
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