The End Of The Tree


“It’s not fair,” our pet rabbit said, as he stood up on his hindpaws and rattled at the pen. To make clear how much fair it was not he grabbed the horizontal bar of the cage and shook it around, which made a little noise, but as far as showing inanimate objects who’s boss is nothing like when he shakes pieces of shredded newspaper around.

I kept taking ornaments off the Christmas tree. “Don’t worry. We’re just keeping you in reserve.”

He said, “I’m totally ready! I could finish that tree off in two minutes. Maybe eighteen, tops. Give me five minutes with it.”

The pet rabbit flops out and watches, closely, the Christmas tree, just in case it does anything that involves not getting eaten.
Our pet rabbit spent a month sitting at the edge of his pen and staring hopefully at the Christmas tree.

“We don’t need you to finish the tree off — ”

“Someone has to! You’ve had it a month and haven’t even made a dent in it!”

I set some pieces down in a box that’s meant to only hold ornaments temporarily, until around six years hence when we finally get ornament boxes of the right kind. “I put the biggest dent there is in this one, you know. I cut it down.”

He dropped back to the ground, staring up at me and the tree, mostly the tree. “You did not.”

“You sound like my father,” who’s always amazed when I successfully finish anything that involves a tool, because it is pretty amazing when I do. Ask sometime about how I saved Thanksgiving with nothing but the new oven element, a socket wrench, and a broken oven, and also it was October. “But I did; I took a hacksaw and cut this tree right down.”

“Did not! It’s been standing there right where it is ever since you pulled it in. You put the tree up, you didn’t cut it down.”

“I put it up after I cut it down.”

“That doesn’t even make sense. Bringing in a tree where you can eat it makes sense but then you didn’t even nibble it. And putting it up doesn’t make sense because then most of the tree you have to climb for and climbing is awful.”

I couldn’t help it. The tree might be seven feet tall, but I’m over six feet, so I touched the top branch without even getting on tip-toes. He poked his front paws through the wires of the pen again. “Look, I really did cut it down, right from the ground.”

“You don’t have the teeth for that.”

“Didn’t need teeth,” and he snorted a laugh, “I used a hacksaw.”

“A hacksaw,” he said, like this was the silliest thing he’d ever heard. “And can you show me this so-called hacksaw?”

“No, I just borrowed a saw from the farm. They took it back once they shook the hornet’s nest off the tree.”

Now both ears perked straight up. “Hay comes from farms, trees don’t.”

“This was a tree farm.”

He looked at me about like you might think he was looking at me. “A farm of trees?”

“Far as the eye can see, nothing but Christmas trees and ground.”

Now he snorted. “And they put a fence up around every one of what has to be over twenty trees?”

“Hundreds of trees. Maybe thousands. No fences around any of them.”

He chewed on the pen, just to rattle it. “And you never took me there?” Before I could compose a response he said, “You know somewhere that’s all hay and trees and you don’t bring me there to manage it any?”

“It’s not in walking distance,” I said. “You’d have to get in the carrier and drive there.”

“Oh.” And he settled down some. “Is it in Ohio? You never showed me Ohio and we have to drive there too.”

“No. Not in Canada either. It’s actually kind of near the vet.”

“I like the vet,” he said. “It’s all full of hallways and corridors and people saying how I’m a big and sweet rabbit.”

“They’ve never seen your lust for tree-eating.”

“Now that I know there’s trees to eat there it’s totally different!”

“You hate travelling,” I pointed out again, while unfastening the latches and opening up his pen. He watched me, then looked back at the tree, and back at me, and worked out the path by which he could run around the opened piece of the pen, past the fireplace, and up into the tree. After checking me over again, he bounded along, rattling the knick-knacks on the mantel, and disappeared up the trunk of the tree. I could follow his progress by the branches falling loose off the trunk, and finally, his working out whether he wanted to ask for help climbing back down from the disassembled tree.

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Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there.

5 thoughts on “The End Of The Tree”

  1. The rabbit really went UP into the Christmas tree????!

    And please remind us, what’s the rabbi’s name … I mean rabbit’s name again?

    And PLEASE for the love of hares, show us a face shot of the cute bunny! It’s awful NOT to see his cute face! It’s a he if I remember correctly … of course I have a 50% chance of guessing (remembering) the sex correctly. Please, please give us a bunny face shot! 🙂

    Like

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