minus eighteen today. exhaling makes my braid shimmer with frost, and everything looks covered in lace. the lamp posts have turned to icicle chandeliers. everything is fragile and hushed, like in a maiden aunt’s parlour.
i met a hare on the way home. unlike his distant cousin, he didn’t have a pocket watch as far as i could tell, but he was in a terrible rush. he stopped dead in his tracks when he noticed me, though, and we did that dance where you both try to get out of the other’s way except you keep stepping in the same direction; deadlock! then i could see him thinking oh, bugger this! before just catapulting himself right past me down the bike path.
i raised a baby hare once. we found him in the middle of the school parking lot – not the sort of place a self-respecting mummy hare would leave her kid if she had any say in the matter – and he was small enough to fall asleep in my eleven-year-old hand. he hadn’t learned to be afraid. i took him home and fed him puppy formula in the smallest pipettes my mum could bring home from work, the clear ones she would use for preparing electrophoresis tests. at night he slept in a big box filled with hay next to my bed, and after school i would let him out to explore on the oriental rugs. (hares, even tiny ones, have thick fluff under their feet – on parquet, they’re like bambi.) i’ve never felt anything as soft as his fur. when he had grown big and strong enough, we took him to a wild animal sanctuary. i like to think he missed me. at least for a little while.
(the title is a quote from keats – the eve of st. agnes. it’s tomorrow.)