Slipping down that slippery slope or was it sloping down that sloppy slip? Just when you thought it would never end, it somehow did. To the naked eye it appeared as a fenced in pen full of a horde of happy hares. From east to west all you could see was the back to back bunch of bunnies, either resting, restless or grazing on grass.
The fence that held them back was constructed of wood with a broken down gate that lacked hinges to open and close but which still could be propped either way. Days upon days passed by uneventfully and for those who were aware of the hares there was a certain comfort in the familiarity of their routine. But the gatekeeper constantly kept a nervous eye on the proceedings, not wanting anything to disrupt his recently discovered comfort.
To the untrained eye all the little hares appeared to be identical. But to the especially observant, one bunny was special. Her coat was a little more colorful than the others and her eyes shone brightly, so brightly they could even illuminate a personnel sized office. She had a smile that could make the sturdiest of walls fall. Her legs were more powerful than the rest and once led to a special honor, an award for her athletic skills. Beneath the surface lie a unique poet, a caring soul with a heart as big as one could purchase.
Alas, the day inevitably arrived when the gatekeeper was amiss in his duties and he carelessly left the gate open and all of the bunnies hopped away, all but the special little hare. She gazed upon the horizon with a bit of trepidation in her eyes, turbulently contemplated her options and loyally decided she wasn't quite ready to go out on her own. When the gatekeeper saw what he had done he was horrified. Almost comically, and purely as an afterthought he dramatically placed the gate into the closed position. He looked at the lone remaining hare and wondered if it was worth keeping her there.
She returned his look with that one in a million light in her eyes and an irresistible smile. It was like she knew where he had been, like she had been there too and didn't at all mind and was even willing to help him make sense of the mess. The others had left but she would stay by his side. She even offered to help him mend the fence. She didn't seem to mind that he wasn't exactly hooked up right. He was the type of fellow who always needed to grow into his haircut and could be heard wondering why no one ever sold bubble gum out of vending machines. All that he revealed came after he unraveled. The places he traveled filled his mind with gravel. He stubbed his toe and hurt his sole. He towed his soul and hurt his stub.
They began going to lunch together, grabbing a bagel downtown. Once they even stumbled into a filming of a movie. In a contest they went to a local Blockbuster video store to count the movies they had seen. She had actually seen more than the gatekeeper who had spent so much of his life in the dark. Although they made an unusual sight no one seemed to notice. Her sense of humor rejuvenated him and her friendship energized him even more. He was the type of friend for her she felt comfortable enough to open up to and reveal her fears and anxieties. His experience helped her out. In return her youthful enthusiasm reminded him of another day. She helped him maneuver his way around crowded parking lots. Her keen bunny sense added a stability to his broken compass.
But he couldn't keep her there because it wasn't fair to this little hare. She was ready to take on the outside challenges of all that was in front of her. He would forever need the safety of his little world. So off she went to join the other rabbits. He returned to the empty fenced in area and the only things that had changed was he had a stronger fence with no bunnies to look after, and inside of him there was a hole that missed a friend that he never knew he needed before. Still he appreciated all she shared and had given back to him and how good it made him feel to see how far she had come, how much she grew while he knew her. Hard as it was he couldn't despair the loss of his hare and he would try his best not to care.