Talking Book

Hiding the Rabbit’s Foot


“John, I wish you would look in my room, and bring me my handkerchief. You will find it in the pocket of my blue dress.”

I am in the carriage to go for a drive. I lean back to make myself comfortable and fan myself with my hand. Then I sit straight up and look in the direction of where John scurried away. The rabbit’s foot! Oh dear oh dear oh dear. John wasn’t supposed to know about that. It was Uncle Julius’s secret gift to me.

After he told the tale of Becky I felt my heart lighten, my eyes open as if for the first time, and the sounds of words seem to be as clear as a scrubbed mirror. Later I told him how his words affected me so. Becky has a son. I do not. Julius took my hand and I felt something warm and fuzzy in my palm. The rabbit’s foot. It was a mutual understanding between us both. The rabbit’s foot should never be in anyone’s hands but ours.

I haven’t been well. It was depression that took my hand and led me away from any happiness. My friend Caroline, wife of Henry Button, feels it too. We would meet for lunch every Tuesday, hold each other’s hands and share our secrets. Mine is that I cannot have kids. Hers is she does not really love Henry.

Enter Julius’s rabbit foot. I have always been a believer in Julius’s stories. And ever since I’ve kept it secretly in my blue dress pocket. When I need it I reach deep into the pocket and stroke the gray fur. It gives me comfort. It reminds me of Julius and his story about Becky. It gives me hope that there really is something to believe in. Today I am going for my first drive since I’ve been sick. I wonder if John will come back with the rabbit’s foot or if he will pretend, for my sake of course, that magic exists.

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