To this one eighth grade girl

rabbits are a commodity, consumable,
delicious. She talks about 50 rabbits
hanging by their feet from lines that stretch
the expanse of her garage. She talks about
hitting them in the head with tire irons
one after another. She asks,
“Didya know rabbits scream?”

Someone else must do the skinning,
the gutting, the detail work.
The next time she brings up rabbits, she says,
“Vacuum packed 50 rabbits last night.”
Her smile swells at her family’s
ingenuity. When asked if they make rabbit
stew she draws up a look of abhorrence,
then laughs and says,
“Nope, we just cook ‘em up and eat ‘em,”
she rubs a circle on her belly
with an overly emphatic
“mmmm mm.”

Her stories still our room.

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7 thoughts on “To this one eighth grade girl

  1. This makes me sad, to think that this girl grows up killing rabbits like this. And I feel sorry for these poor rabbits. It is almost enough to make me think about being a vegetarian. I once had a Hmong boy in class who told the class about all of the chickens the family had in the basement of his house & how one happened to get into the dryer. At some point, I determined enough was said….and went on to something else. But yes, the class was still!

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    • As a child I refused to eat a rabbit my family shot. They cooked it on a stick turning over our campfire. My brother kept talking about how it looked just like a baby. I’m with you, Claudia. I could not eat rabbit unless I was starving.

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  2. I like the way you tell this quirky story, but it leaves me puzzled. what is the difference between cooking ’em and making rabbit stew? 50 seems an awful lot for one family, so presumably the girl’s talking about a commercial enterprise. This Britisher asks: what age is 8th grade?

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    • Most 8th graders are 14 by the end of the school year. This family freezes some of the rabbits for winter. They roast the rabbits, or fry them up…but never in a stew, not sure why she thought that was odd, but she did.

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      • Thank you for the explanation, Brenda. The system in UK is based on year 1, year 2, etc and in France a complicated alpha-numeric system, so I had no idea if this was a cheeky small child or an adolescent talking.

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